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Representative democracy and referendum stimulus questions

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´╗┐GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS ESSAY HEMALI 12I Define Representative democracy. (5) Representative Democracy is where citizens cannot all participate directly in Government and legislative decision making. The people elect a representative to make the decisions for them. Therefore, this delegates that power to their representatives. The UK could be classed as being a representative democracy. In a representative democracy there are political parties that represent different political view. Furthermore, there are associations and pressure groups, such as Mencap, which represent different sections of society, interests and causes. This type of democracy allows for fair and regular elections so that the people?s decisions and belief will always count. Explain 3 advantages of representative democracy. (10) An advantage of having a representative democracy is that the representatives chosen have more experience, knowledge and expertise than the rest of the population. ...read more.


For example, some say that going to war with Iraq was an emotional choice, while others say that it was rational. Representatives are more likely to keep an open mind with certain issues like this leading to a rational, reliable choice. Assess the arguments in favour of the greater use of referendums in the UK. (25) Referendums are seen to be used more frequently in direct democracy countries. However they do occur in representative democracy countries such as the UK. Referendums are a form of direct democracy. They are a clear expression of the people?s view on a particular question. When a party wins a general election it is not clear which aspect of their manifesto the people support. For example, the Scottish national party (SNP) won a majority of seats in the Scottish parliament in 2011. ...read more.


Moreover, Referendums help to resolve a political dead lock, when a government is divided over an Issue. The final decision is taken by the people. In the UK this occurred in 2011 with the ?Alternative vote? referendum as there was a coalition government who couldn?t decide the matter by themselves. Another example is the 197 referendum over whether Britain should remain in the European Committee, which resulted in a majority ?yes? vote. The citizens of the state become more encouraged to participate in referendums and therefore this encourages political participation. Referendums help educate the people about the issues and get people involved in the debates. For example, the AV vote in 2011. Lastly, referendums have many positive sides to them, another would be that it prevents the government from making unpopular decisions when a ?NO2 vote is delivered. For example in 2004, the regional government bill was rejected by North East England. ...read more.

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