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In what ways can the UK be said to be a democracy?

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Introduction

In what ways can the UK be said to be a democracy? There are many countries that claim to be democratic, and the UK is one of them. We elect our government, which it the key feature of a representative democracy, and because of this single reason most people are happy with the definition of Britain as a democracy. However, there are more features that make Britain democratic, and a few that arguably make it less democratic. As well as election of representatives, the features that make a representative democracy democratic are: - democratic institutions and a choice of political parties, civil and political rights, and an open and accountable government. To differing degrees, Britain today has each of these features. We have free and fair elections, not just for the general election, which is usually held every four years. ...read more.

Middle

These rights are given to us and protected by law, which means that freedoms are not absolute - in order to have these rights and freedoms, we have to have limits to them, such as freedom of speech and expression, as long as that speech and expression is not libelous or slanderous. Another accepted feature of democracy that Britain has is democratic institutions and a choice of political parties. There is a wide range of parties you can vote for to represent you and your views - Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat, Green, BNP and UK IP to name a few. This range of parties means that while we have a free and fair election of government, we also have a wide choice of people to select to represent us rather than just one party with just one view. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is possible that a party can get into power with less than half of the votes - as in the 2001 elections, when Labour received only 42% of the vote. Also, the government does not necessarily reflect the views of the whole county as at the last election only 59% of the people able to vote did so. Another problem with our country as a democracy is the non-democratic institutions that help to govern our country. For example, the House of Lords, the Cabinet, the Lord Chancellor and the monarchy are all unelected institutions, which have a part in governing our country. Even though there are some problems with Britain as a democracy, we have all the key essentials that make up a representative democracy - and so the UK can be said to be a democracy, if not the fairest and most democratic in the world. Georgina Grace 1 ...read more.

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