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To what extent would you regard the UK system as truly democratic?

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Introduction

C) To what extent would you regard the UK system as being truly democratic? (25 marks) Democracy is a general description of a political system that is organised on the basis that government should serve the interests of the people. It is expected that citizens should also influence decisions or make decisions themselves as well as this; the government should be accountable under a democratic society. The UK is regarded as beholding democracy however current trends suggest increasing political apathy have begun to question whether the UK political system is truly democratic. The UK is regarded as being highly democratic in that all elections are free from bias and interference. This means that all adults can vote without difficulty in a secret ballot, truly expressing their own opinions. However, the First Past the Post electoral system somewhat undermines the belief of free and fair elections in that smaller parties are subject to the tyranny of the majority, thus have no realistic chance of winning. There is only one representative of each constituency to express the ideologies of all constituents. This means that the constituents are underrepresented. For example, in the 2005 general election, MP of Chelmsford, Simon Burns gained 44.9% of the vote. ...read more.

Middle

This therefore encourages parties to stick by the principles of their manifesto, those that have won them votes. The UK is not democratic in that the party that is in government does not have any legal obligations to legislate the popular policies of their manifesto programme, however the fact that the executive is held to account by legislature means that any unjust, thus undemocratic behaviour is publicised. For example, the Liberal Democrat?s main vote winner was the policy of not increasing the university fees, the fact that Nick Clegg then agreed to the decision of tripling university, has detrimental effects on his party. The electorate that voted for the Liberal Democrats on that basis are now informed, free press publicises immoralities thus resulting in them becoming unlikely to remaining in office over the next term. This gives the electorate the chance to convey their disapproval, the fact that this may only occur once every five years is not truly democratic but more feasible and realistic for a strong Parliament. Since the 1929 women have been able to vote on equal terms with men, this is democratic in that on polling day, parliamentary sovereignty returns to the citizens of the UK. ...read more.

Conclusion

This means we don?t truly have much choice in political parties, consensus politics means that the three main parties are becoming increasingly similar. We are left with very little choice but to vote tactically therefore, not for the party we truly want in power, but for a party that is better than the one that is most similar to your main parties? ideologies. The current political system encourages political apathy in this respect, as it turns voters off by limiting their so called ?freedom of choice?. Many voters see the parties they wish to be in office too small, therefore deem it futile to engage in political participation and vote. Therefore I believe that the UK only appears to be democratic on the surface, the traditions of democracy are now being de-rooted for a new revolution in the tyranny of the majority, overruled by consensus politics. The adversary, differentiating political days are past which encouraged political participation are being trampled upon and pluralist voting only encourages this in that 50%+ does not have to be reached. There is not a major approval therefore of the party in office, this coupled with underrepresentation means the UK is no longer truly a democratic society in that yes we are apparently given the freedom of choice in political parties, but the choice is limited in which party can realistically win. ...read more.

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