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

Do political parties promote or

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Do political parties promote or threaten democracy? There are indeed several aspects in the composition of political parties that threaten democracy in the UK, whilst other aspects may promote democracy. Careful analysis must be done in order to establish to what extent either is true. On the one hand, it may be argued that parties in fact promote democracy for a variety of reasons. Firstly, they assist the electorate by offering them a coherent choice, allowing people to vote democratically. Rather than the electorate having to choose between several members of each party, and having to place votes for central government subsequent to placing local constituency votes, voting is made simple and straightforward. Voters have merely a choice between separate parties, and beside each party is one pre-appointed MP Representative. Furthermore, by engaging in extensive and vigorous campaigns before elections, and thereby holding conferences; rallies and distributing party manifestos, parties facilitate the electorate to make educated decisions on polling day. This further ensures democratic voting, as it not only assists the voters to vote for those who they realise they most identify with ideologically, but party campaigning also gets more of the public involved, ensuring a higher turn out at the polls. ...read more.

Middle

At this time Labour chose to adapt its policies, and lose a lot of its socialist values. Under 'Old Labour' state ownership was held under high regard. But after Thatcher's privatisation of state businesses, Labour acknowledged that it would be dangerous to radically reform businesses and bring them back under state ownership, thus they modernised their policies adapting them to the New Britain, by sticking to privatisation which had been warmly received. This promotes democracy, as policies are adapted to suit the electorate, rather than parties imposing unwanted, outdated ideologies upon its citizens. However, it has also been argued that many aspects of political parties actually threaten democracy in the UK. Firstly, although the electoral system is indeed simple to understand, party choice is limited. Relatively few parties gain seats in the House of Commons, which leads to tactical voting among the electorate: Many people find that their favourite party has no chance of winning in their constituency, and so they cast a vote for the candidate they consider most likely to stop their least favourite party winning. This threatens democracy, as poll results consequently do not reflect voters' actual preferences. ...read more.

Conclusion

Tony Blair did the same with his decision to go to war with Iraq in 2003, sidelining many in his cabinet, making the decision without their support and acknowledgment. This threatens democracy, as parties are often unable to carry out their policies for which they were supported at election time, as long as cabals are able to run parties to serve their own narrow political interests. Furthermore, although some parties have shown themselves to be adapting their policies, parties often water down these new ideas to fit their ideological framework. They often avoid radical policy change for the sake of political safety. This threatens democracy as it narrows the scope for proper political debate on key issues. In conclusion, although it can be argued that political parties are indeed promoting democracy through several factors of their composition, it is evident that there is still much room for improvement. Perhaps stronger unity and communication between party leaders and members or even electoral reform could be the next step. Either way, it is clear that parties must re-evaluate their respective standards of democracy, and ensure that steps are taken to raise these levels, and thereby increase overall democracy in the UK. Esty Waldman Year 12 Politics ...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. Representation and Democracy in Britain 1830 – 1931

    He introduced higher taxes on unearned income, which helped pay for another innovation - pensions for senior citizens over 70. In 1908 he became Prime Minister following the death of Henry Campbell-Bannerman. Asquith now took on the House of Lords, which often blocked reforming Liberal bills, preventing them becoming law.

  2. Conflict Analysis: Angola

    For example it was reported that during the latter half of 1997 the government was increasing the amount of arms it bought18. Furthermore the government was giving military support to help rebel movement in Zaire under Laurent Kabila, leading to the overthrow of the pro-UNITA president Kinshasha and the establishment of the DRC.

  1. The Impact of Electoral Design on the Legislature.

    Under STV all existing MPs can stand for election, and may have an advantage in being better known than their new colleagues. MPs could become bogged down in casework. There is no evidence in Britain that local casework-based candidates poll better than national names, often voters like to be represented

  2. Political parties and representation

    the next government will have to address. (3) Are parties necessary in representative democracy? Normally, yes - except in very small states, or where the franchise is restricted to a small number of voters. One can suggest 3 reasons, by imagining a situation in which all candidates in all elections were independents.

  1. In What Ways Do Political Parties Promote Democracy?

    Political parties are also to increase the political participation within the public sector, as it is agreed that nowadays, there is not enough of the public taking part in the voting systems, nor do they evidently actively take part in political issues.

  2. How do elections promote democracy?

    party they do not support simply to have a say in the outcome. * Electors do not have the chance to discriminate between candidates of the same party. They must put up with the choice made by a small group of party activists.

  1. Asian Values in Singaporean Perspective.

    A 2001 Social Attitudes of Singaporeans (SAS) Survey conducted by the Ministry of Community Development and Sports (MCDS) in Singapore resulted in the finding that nearly all interviewees claimed they were proud of their country and considered Singapore their home.

  2. What are the roles of political parties and how effectively do they carry this ...

    Because of this electorates are often presented with stale ideas which have simply been repackaged and labelled as a new revolutionary idea. Another function expected of political parties is the electoral function. Simply by existing parties give the electorate someone to vote for.

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