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To what extent is there a democratic deficit in the UK? [25 Marks]

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Introduction

´╗┐To what extent is there a democratic deficit in the UK? [25 Marks] A democratic deficit is when democratic institutions, especially governments, do not fully fulfil parliamentary democracy in their practice. The UK?s democratic deficit can be seen in several areas: the first-past-the-post voting system; the lack of an entrenched constitution and the House of Lords. The first-past-the-post (PR) voting system used in general elections can be seen as unfair?it results in plenty of votes being wasted because of them being wrote off should a party not win a particular constituency. ...read more.

Middle

It also means that no votes are wasted and the vote wholly represents the electorate?s choices. There are no written limitations of government?with no entrenched constitution, parliament can pass any bill it pleases, should it get the necessary majority; this is a large deficit in the UK?s democracy as it means the public can be exploited by a government wanting to pass unjust laws. This can be contrasted to states like the USA, wherein they have a constitution, which laws have to follow and cannot be passed if they are deemed ?unconstitutional?. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is undemocratic because it means the upper house of parliament is not representative of the public?s choices; by introducing elections on the House of Lords? members it would greatly decrease the democratic deficit. However, after a series of reforms, hereditary peers are now limited to 92 members in the Lords, showing that is has become more democratic in recent years. Overall, therefore, it can be argued that the UK has a fairly large deficit in democracy?with its voting system not representing the electorate?s whole vote; the lack of a constitution leaving the UK susceptible to corruption and oppression; as well as the House of Lords being unfairly representative. ...read more.

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