To What Extent Is Britain a Democracy?
Democracy is a form of government in which supreme power is held completely by the people under a free electoral system. It states that all citizens have equal access to power and that all people enjoy the right to universally recognised freedoms. It is also the freedom of expression, speech and other civil liberties.
The selection of Prime Minister remains undemocratic in the UK. Although society has the power to vote for a political party to govern the country in a general election, citizens cannot choose their Prime Minister.
The leader of each party is elected by MPs, and if only one candidate stands for leadership they are elected by acclamation (a simple vote without ballot – usually by voice, those for or against).
In general elections, electors vote on the party they wish to govern the country, a voter’s decision should be made on the announced policies and beliefs of the party. Many people feel that electors vote for the qualities and personality of the party leader instead of the party itself. This can change opinion polls greatly and therefore affect the final outcomes of elections.
In 2007 Labour leader and Prime Minister Tony Blair stood down as PM. Tony Blair was elected in 1997 with a landslide majority over the Conservatives. No election was called when Blair stood down, so Labour continued to govern the country and the party members elected a new leader to immediately take over. Gordon Brown was successful in the leadership contest and became Prime Minister in 2007.
In 1997 the British people chose Labour and Blair as PM to govern the country, but last year Brown was brought in by the party with no vote taken by the public. This is argued to be undemocratic as it defeats the use of the electoral system and electors did not chose Brown to be Prime Minister.
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