How Democratic Is the Uk?

Topics: Democracy, United Kingdom, Elections, Voting, Representative democracy, Conservative Party / Pages: 8 (1763 words) / Published: Dec 2nd, 2012
How democratic is the UK?

Democracy is a difficult concept to define, but as a simplification and a conventional definition, it is the people's right to choose and the right to say how the country is run. Democracy falls into many categories and comes in various different forms. One form is when power is in the hands of the population as a whole and political decisions are made themselves, this is known as direct democracy. An example of a direct democracy currently present in the UK is a referendum. Another form is representative democracy; in this case citizens will vote for representatives to create decisions for them and the responsibility is handed over to the representative to make decisions for the country. The representatives are also accountable to the electorate.

The democratic elections are a crucial part of UK democracy. A core feature is free and fair elections. They are based on universal suffrage, which is when anybody eligible to vote has their own freedom of choice on which party to vote for without any influence. Your elected vote is also kept secret; this process is called the secret ballot. This prevents intimidation from other people and it prevents judgments made on your electoral choice. However there are four groups of people who are ‘unenfranchised’, these people are the homeless, imprisoned convicts, the mentally incapable and the lords. If you aren’t in any of those categories and you satisfy the requirements established by the law, you are then eligible to vote with the free rights of your own electoral choice.

Under First Past The Post (FPTP) voting takes place in single-member constituencies. Voters put a cross in a box next to their favored candidate and the candidate with the most votes in the constituency wins. All other votes count for nothing. It’s clear and simple with clear choices and a simple outcome. It allows the voter to clearly express a view on which party they think should form the next government. However,

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