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Democratic Processes.

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

James Duckworth E Mansfield Democratic Processes Assignment 1 of 2 19/05/04 Contents page : Introduction......................................................................................... Task 1, P5,M3,D2............................................................................... Task 2 P1,P2,M1,M2,D1....................................................................... Conclusion........................................................................................ Reference Page.................................................................................. Introduction : Democracy means that the people have the right to express their opinion and there are many ways in which this can be done. One of the ways is to vote for a political party that will stand for different political beliefs and control our country. In the United Kingdom there are three main political parties that represent the country via members of parliament that debate issues in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. There are specific roles of both house and this assignment will identify what their roles are and how they are carried out. In relation to voting there is also an aspect in how and why we vote for political parties because there are factors that affect who we vote/elect to represent us. In addition this assignment will look at the importance of our 'representative democracy' as well as explaining what it is. Lastly it will also identify problems with the voting system we have at present. Task 1: P5 - Overview of the main beliefs of political Parties In the United Kingdom there are three main political parties which are Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats. All of these parties have different core beliefs about issues related in how the country is run. Labour The labour party today is called 'new labour ' and like all political parties their beliefs have changes throughout the years they have been a party. One of labours core beliefs is that ' society matters more than the individual' which means what is most important is how the country is rather than a people as individuals.

Middle

Also the other political party the MDC is not openly allowed to share their opinion without the threat of being killed by his supporter, therefore democracy at all does not exist (www.zimbabwedemocracytrust.org/). P2: Explain the workings of the voting process and systems D1/M1: Evaluate the present voting system and suggest alternatives which are fully justified and valid Voting itself is showing your opinion and everyone has the right vote in the United Kingdom if they are eligible. In the UK, at general elections, we have what is called 'first past the post ' voting system'. Another system that is used in the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly is called the 'additional member system'. In this system it is similar to the 'first past the post ' voting system in how candidates are elected, however it is different because there is a 'top up' vote where parties who get many votes but not seats. This is unlike the system we use in the general elections where parties who get many votes don't get many seats in the House of Commons. Secret ballot voting system The system provides for pre-printed ballot papers listing the name of each candidate together with a box next to each name for the voter to record his/her voting preference. An enclosed place is made at the voting area for the voter to record his/her preference in secret. These ballot papers are then placed in sealed boxes, later emptied for counting. The advantage of this process is that voters to put down their choice without intimidation. This method is also use in the UK. The 'first past the post' system currently used has good and bad points in how it works.

Conclusion

The Labour government at the moment is going to change the House of Lords so that different parts of the country are represented and these members will be chosen by being elected by the public. Thirty per cent of the members will be female; twenty percent will be from the different religions. These reforms make it fairer that all the different regions, religions of the UK are able to have an influence in the House of Lords. As a result of these changes the house will make it more representative of modern Britain. Conclusion The purpose of this assignment was to examine why democracy is important but also the benefits of having it in society. In addition this assignment has explained the various voting systems that are present in then UK and which country uses them. Also it has evaluated the present voting system, which is the 'first past the post' by explaining the strengths and weaknesses of both. As well as evaluating the system I have suggested alternatives to the present system. In the UK we are lucky to have a democracy in which we get a say in how the country is run by elected MP's that represent us in the decision making that occurs in the House of commons. Lastly in terms of representative democracy in our country each candidate is party of a specific political party. Each party has different opinions on issues such as taxation and in general elections that occur every four years we vote for these parties via these candidates and a party comes into government id they get the majority of votes. Reference List Accessed on 28/03/04 @ 1100-1300 hrs www.labour.org.uk/ www.conservatives.com/home.cfm www.libdems.org.uk/ Accessed on 29/03/04 1300-16-hrs www.news.bbc.co.uk/vote2001/hi/english/voting_system http://news.bbc.co.uk/vote2001/hi/english/voting_system/newsid_1173000/1173697.stm www.charter88.org.uk/pubs/brief/vote_guide.html Accessed on 30/03/04 1200-1400 hrs www.datalounge.com/datalounge/ news/record.html? record=20289 news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/kent/3277499.stm politics.guardian.co.uk/lords/ story/0,9061,834341,00.html (www.zimbabwedemocracytrust.org/). news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/special_report/1999/ 01/99/lords_reform/newsid_252000/252856.

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