• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Does the UK suffer from Democratic Deficit?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Does the UK suffer from Democratic Deficit? First and foremost, it can be said that the UK does suffer from 'Democratic Deficit', due to its unelected institutions, such as the House of Lords. The second chamber has the power to delay the process of passing policies. However some argue that the House of Lords is undemocratic as its members are not elected, therefore they are not representing the views of the public. What's more, the UK's voting system could be considered as 'undemocratic'. This is because people argue that FPTP results in unequal value of votes. Evidence this is the fact that it takes the average Liberal Democrat MP around 115 000 votes to be elected, whereas, the average Labour or Conservative MP is elected with only 35 000 votes. ...read more.

Middle

Furthermore, another factor that suggests the UK is suffering from 'Democratic deficit' is its falling political participation. Election turnouts have been generally decreasing in recent times, for example in 1979 turnout was 76%, but in 2010 turnout was only 65%. This means that a party cannot claim to be representing the majority, when in fact more people either voted against them, or did not vote at all. On the other hand, there is indication that the UK is not in 'Democratic deficit'. One of the reasons being that pressure group membership is rapidly increasing. The RSPB has more membership than all 3 major parties put together. ...read more.

Conclusion

This can be seen, in the Northern Ireland were STV is used and the number of votes is highly proportional to the number of seats won, e.g. DUP won 31% of votes and 33% of seats and Sein Feinn won 26% of votes and 26% of seats. Also, there are plans to reform the House of Lords to make it more democratic. In the future there is the possibility that members of the House of Lords will be elected therefore they will be representing the public. In conclusion, it is clear that the UK does suffer from certain aspects of democratic deficit such as unelected institutions, unfair voting system and a declining election turnout. But it shouldn't be forgotten that the UK has also other redeeming democratic features for instance increasing pressure group membership and devolution. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level United Kingdom section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

3 stars - The strengths of this essay are that it directly addresses the question, considers both sides of the argument and summarises them with a decent degree of accuracy.
Where the essay could be improved is with a greater depth of explanation - the author does not demonstrate strong subject knowledge because the points made are too brief and generalised. A greater explanation of the key terms and concepts would be helpful, and a more varied range of supporting examples.

Marked by teacher Dan Carter 10/09/2013

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level United Kingdom essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    To what extent is there a democratic deficit in the UK?

    4 star(s)

    Election turnouts have decreased each year, for example in 1979 turnout was 76% but in 2010 turnout was only 65% this can also mean that a party cannot claim to represent a majority when in fact more people could have voted against or didn?t vote at all.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Describe the key international institutions and their impact on UK public services:

    3 star(s)

    NATO promotes democratic values and encourages consultation and cooperation on defence and security issues to build trust and in the long run to prevent conflict. For its first few years, NATO was not much more than a political association. However, the Korean War galvanized the member states, and an integrated

  1. What are the main features of representative democracy? In what ways has political participation ...

    One way in which participation could possibly be strengthened in the UK is by changing the voting system used for the General Election. As First past the post means that you only need a majority to win a seat, therefore so called 'safe seats' have been established, with surbuban areas

  2. To what extent is Labour still a Socialist Party?

    to make it more democratic, defence and foreign policy; more involved in international issues and an active pursuit into British national interest. If we think clearly, we can see that three Labour leaders turned the party around: Kinnock dumped the extreme policies, Smith made party electable and Blair gave the party a vision/new start.

  1. The importance of democracy

    It also guarantees that minorities have a free voice and are free from discrimination. Indeed, democracy is sometimes described as a political system where minorities rule. Of course, popular democracy can become little more than government by the majority, and early forms of democracy looked like this.

  2. Assess the view that since 2007 the Northern Ireland Assembly has been a legislative ...

    A DUP backed petition of concern was used to reject the motion. The DUP is the only party with enough votes to reject a proposal outright as it has over 30 Assembly seat (38 MLAs). The DUP could also use a Petition of Concern to prevent an Irish Language Act,

  1. How successful have the UK constitutional reforms been since 1997?

    But by law they are still allowed to have a say on problems and discussions that don?t and shouldn?t concern them, issues that will not affect them in anyway. This slows down the process of by which our country is governed.

  2. From what extent does the UK suffer from a participation crisis?

    and a well-organised protest against fuel prices (in 2000). So perhaps people in Britain are simply uninterested about elections rather than politics in general. But in contrast to voting, non-electoral participation is the particular preserve of one section of society ? the better educated who are evidently more likely to feel they have the skills and resources required to engage in these more demanding forms of political activity.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work