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What Criticisms can be made of the qualifications for Voting and Candidate Selection in the UK?

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What Criticisms can be made of the qualifications for Voting and Candidate Selection in the UK? There are many criticisms that can be made about the qualifications for voting and candidate selection in the UK. These however must be sectioned off into the factors that make the system less democratic and, those that make it less representative. In a democracy such as Britain we must make sure that all of these qualifications are met justifiably and fairly. In order to vote in the UK a person must have his or her name on the electoral register of the constituency, a list compiled yearly by the Registration officer. Nowadays to vote, a person must be over 18 years of age and must either be a British citizen, a commonwealth citizen living in the UK, or a citizen of the Republic of Ireland living in the UK. Certain persons are ineligible to vote. These include members of the House of Lords, prisoners serving sentences for felony of more than 12 months imprisonment, persons sectioned under the Mental Health Act, and persons disqualified upon conviction of corrupt practices at elections. ...read more.


As perhaps, the most influential and less predictable part of society, the young often have the deciding vote in any election. However this can often be a burden to this section of society, especially when limited numbers vote. Eighteen year olds can be very easily influenced, and as statistics have shown they generally vote for the wrong reasons. However, I do not think that the law should change. In fact, 18 year olds are far less rigid in their voting than their elders and many know more about British Politics than their parents. According to the electoral register to vote, you must have a permanent address of residence. Therefore under the present laws the homeless and travellers are ineligible to vote. In some respects, this means that they are disenfranchised but might be wish to be politically active. The voting process is therefore marred as it naturally becomes less democratic without the vote of this part of society. ...read more.


The requirements to also state that members of the clergy of the Church of England, Ireland, Scotland, or the Roman Catholic Church may not run for candidacy. However this is perhaps ignoring the vital skills that vicars have. For example if a local Church of England vicar was also the local MP he would not only know the people in his constituency, but he would know their needs and more importantly their wants. This of course would not be possible for all members of the clergy; Bishops for example are already in the House of Lords and so could not possibly manage their responsibilities. Even so, it would still be potentially viable for local vicars to become MPs as they could do everything that their constituency required. In these ways many problems arise in the voting and candidate selection system, but these are purely political - arising in problems of 'unfairness' - causing the system to become petty and merely 'victories between parties'. It is in this way that the parties of today are more focused on winning votes than they are on running parliament efficiently and democratically. Sarah Badham-Thornhill L6CA ...read more.

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