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

What is representative democracy?

Extracts from this document...


1} What is representative democracy? A representative democracy is when more than one body acts in the people's interest during an election period. A representative stands for another person, group or entity. An elected politician represents their electors, district and parties. Also in a representative democracy, representatives sometimes hold the power to elect others such as the government in the UK, the prime minister and the president in other countries. 2} Outline the working of any 3 electoral systems used in the UK. The main electoral system used in the UK is FPTP which is used for the general elections. In the British electoral systems is properly titled as the single majority in single majorities. FPTP contains features such as each constituency returns one Member of Parliament. Each party may only nominate one candidate in each constituency. Voters have only one vote each. They choose the preferred candidate by means of the proverbial cross on the ballot paper. Whichever candidate wins the largest number of votes is declared elected. This is known as gaining a simple majority or plurality. It is not necessary for a candidate to achieve over 50 percent of the votes. Whichever candidate wins the largest number of votes is declared elected. This is known as gaining a simple majority or plurality. It is not necessary for a candidate to achieve over 50 percent of the votes. ...read more.


FPTP works in the way which who ever has the most votes in that specific constituency would be elected. It is not a majority vote system. The last time we ever saw a Majority vote was over 50 years ago. Even though no parties are able to get a majority vote I still think FPTP shall still be kept because we have been using the same electoral system for decades and it has worked fine. Compared to alternative electoral systems like AV; AV may require you to get a 50% vote but it doesn't concentrate on who the people want to represent them in their constituencies so I don't think it would be a healthy electoral systems. This may cause MP's to quit because they might not be able to get the backing/support they need from the citizens in the constituencies. I like the simplicity of FPTP with one candidate winning and being clearly identifiable as my MP, also constituencies to be equal of numerical size as far as practical. It's simple to understand and thus doesn't cost much to administer and doesn't alienate people who can't count. It doesn't take very long to count all the votes and work out who's won, meaning results can be declared a handful of hours after polls close. The voter can clearly express a view on which party they think should form the next government. ...read more.


Small constituencies also lead to a proliferation of safe seats, where the same party is all but guaranteed re-election at each election. This not only in effect disenfranchises a region's voters, but it leads to these areas being ignored when it comes to framing policy. If large areas of the country are electoral deserts for a particular party, not only is the area ignored by that party, but also ambitious politicians from the area have to move away from their homeland if they want to have influence within their party. FPTP rewards organised minorities, deals ineffectively with the most disliked parties, ignores (and thus fails to deal with) views that don't look like challenging at the polls and can make certain areas feel neglected by the big political parties. It is therefore the only electoral system in use in the UK to have elected representatives from extremist parties. A party can be despised by 49 per cent of an electorate and still win. Encouraging two-party politics can be an advantage, but in a multi-party culture, third parties with significant support can be greatly disadvantaged. In the 1983 general election, the Liberal SDP alliance won 25 of the vote, but gained only 3 per cent of the seats. Because FPTP restricts a constituency's choice of candidates, representation of minorities and women suffers from 'most broadly acceptable candidate syndrome', where the 'safest' looking candidate is the most likely to be offered a chance to stand for election ?? ?? ?? ?? Government & Politics Met´┐Ż Serdar Coban Assignment two 1 ...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

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. Electoral Systems Assignment

    However, I believe that the fact that the STV system maximises a voter's choice is a very good thing; this in itself may increase turn out in elections just because the people know that if their first choice does not succeed, their second might.

  2. What is the main reason for the loss of faith and interest in our ...

    Although asking 40 people gave quite a good indication, it is still too few in order to gather strong evidence, and could be seen as coincidence for some of the answers. This is especially the case for my questionnaire because the types of questions that I had asked excluded some subjects from certain questions.

  1. 'Britain is in desperate need of electoral reform. The FPTP system is undemocratic.' Discuss.

    Unfortunately, this encourages coalition Governments which are weaker and can include smaller parties, giving them disproportional power to their popularity. Another disadvantage is that, due to the multimember constituencies, the voters are not as closely linked to their MPs and this system is not as efficient in translating votes as others are.

  2. Electoral Systems.

    It looks most similar to the current electoral system. The system is used: in the Australian House of Representatives Arguments used in favour: * The alternative vote retains the same constituencies and so the bond between members and their constituents is not lost.

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