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

Assess the view that devolution, under the Good Friday Agreement, created a more democratic system than that which existed under direct rule.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Assess the view that devolution, under the Good Friday Agreement, created a more democratic system than that which existed under direct rule. There are a vast amount of references, which all to some degree support the idea that the Good Friday Agreement (GFA) created a more democratic system of government. However invariably, as is often the case there are those who would argue that despite the GFA and subsequent devolution, a democratic deficit still exists. First I would like to examine the latter view, namely that devolution under the GFA has failed to provide a more democratic system, than the system, which existed previously under direct rule. Direct rule refers to the situation whereby the affairs of Northern Ireland (NI) are governed directly by the Westminster parliament. The governing authority is held by the appointed secretary of state, accompanied by Junior ministers, each of which are responsible for a particular government department for example Health or Education. As prime ministerial appointees, the secretary of state and the junior ministers where more often than not usually British. ...read more.

Middle

Despite such problems it is undeniable that the self-government and re-establishment of the NI parliament (The Assembly) provided by the GFA has come a long way in ensuring NI government is more balanced and inclusive due to its Consociationalist principles which is a political system formed by the cooperation of different social groups on the basis of shared power. The assembly itself is directly involved in government and ministers are nominated to government through an electoral system called the 'd'hondt' system whereby seats are won singly and indeed successfully on the basis of the highest average. This method requires that the number of seats awarded to each party in the assembly, be divided initially by one and thereafter by the number of Executive committee seats won by the party by one. This rather tedious system provides smaller parties with the opportunity of winning seats by means of 2nd and 3rd preference votes. In essence it is a form of proportional representation provides a power-sharing situation. It is undeniable that such a system is both democratic and indeed fair. ...read more.

Conclusion

acts as a forum for discussion on issues which involve two or more ministers in order to recommend a common position where necessary. This is a further example of increased representation. In conclusion it can be argued that the GFA achieved its primary goals, which included the protection of rights and interests among all sides of NI's communities and moreover paved the way for a return of devolution and representative government. Indeed in this sense the GFA empowered local politicians to make local decisions, instead of a secretary of state and their junior ministers, who as we have seen were usually British politicians and therefore detached from the issues of governing NI and its people. Despite these undeniable successes the 1st assembly was plagued with the politics of sectarianism and regularly became bogged down and eventually suspended on several occasions. Nevertheless despite these problems, the NI assembly and executive debated, passed and initiated a range of legislation directly concerned with NI. Indeed personally I believe these devolved institutions of government created on the whole a much more democratic system that that which existed under direct rule. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Politics 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 GCSE Politics essays

  1. The core argument was that Scottish governance should not be dependent on political control ...

    The majority voted for Home Rule, but due to a clause in the bill about a minimum percentage of turnout at the voting, an assembly was not created. Then in 1997 a referendum was held and Scotland voted for a devolved Scottish Parliament with limited tax varying powers.

  2. With reference to any material you have studied explain the approach of the Democratic ...

    The DUP have always required "Decommissioning before Devolution". A further primary example of the DUP's inability to engage completely in the GFA is the party's continual refusal to participate to any degree with the North South Ministerial Council, because they believe the Republic Of Ireland should have no direct say in the affairs of NI.

  1. Prime Ministers between 1899-1914

    Asquith's strong opposition to women's suffrage made him extremely unpopular with the NUWSS. Suffragists were particularly angry that the man who was responsible for deciding how much tax they paid, should deny them political representation. Several times in 1906 members of the WSPU made attempts to disrupt meetings where he was speaking.

  2. Spain and Devolution

    At the same time autonomisation has not brought an end to violent Basque separatism. There are conflicts between centre and region about the extent of the regional powers - the Spanish state, for example, has repeatedly challenged Basque industrial policy in the European Court of Justice (Loyer, 1999).

  1. Serfdom – Emancipation, etc

    both wanted to abolish serfdom but were unable to do so. They feared the opposition of the gentry, they suspected that all social bonds might be weakened, they did not know what to put in its place; above all, they suspected that they would have to give the gentry political

  2. The Word 'Hacker' To the popular press, "hacker" means someone who breaks into ...

    But they're wrong. The next generation of computer technology has often-- perhaps more often than not-- been developed by outsiders. In 1977 there was no doubt some group within IBM developing what they expected to be the next generation of business computer.

  1. With reference to material you have studied discuss the major policy differences between the ...

    Certainly at this stage it is safe to conclude that the UUP were united in their quest to initiate devolved government and get the subsequent institutions up and running, even if this meant accepting concessions in regards Sinn Fein's lack of progress on the question of decommissioning.

  2. Scottish devolution.

    In 1998 the 'Scotland Act' was passed which outlined the constitution and powers of the Parliament and on 1st July 1999 the Parliament was officially opened. The elections for the Scottish Parliament use the additional member system. The Parliament has 129 members, 73 from the Constituencies which are elected on

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