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Evaluate the case for using Referenda to decide important issues in the UK

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Introduction

Evaluate the case for using Referenda to decide important issues in the UK This essay is about the use of referenda in the UK Democracy. A referendum is when a nationwide vote is held by government to obtain the nations point of view on a political matter. They are used to decide what actions should be taken when an issue arises that effects the constitution. In this essay I will be assessing the pros and cons that referendums propose and using what I establish as good and bad aspects to answer if referenda should be used more often or if they should be used only in special circumstances. There are two types of democracy, the first being 'direct democracy'. Direct democracy involves the direct and continuous participation by the general public with political issues. This practically means that people have to vote everyday on issues that parliament have to decide on. The second type of democracy is 'representative democracy'. ...read more.

Middle

Also the public may be affected by the emotional feelings rather than rational thinking when making a decision on the matter. In some cases the issues may be too complex and complicated for the average member of society and it would be an unfair representation of the public if they were to vote on a subject that they did not fully understand. Additionally the results that arise from a referendum may undermine the authority of government and contradict constitution or existing laws and agreements. Theses entire disadvantages must be taken into consideration when regarding holding a referendum. In the past referenda have been held to settle issues which effect the constitution such as devolution of power and economical status. For example in 1975 a referendum was held to decide whether the UK should remain in the European community. This would affect the economical status of Britain and would also effect the trade regulations between the UK and its European Brothers. ...read more.

Conclusion

One reason that this is not the case is that issues that effect the constitution do not come up very often so this unwritten rule would need to be changed in order to hold referenda more frequently. It would possibly be a good idea for referenda to be held on issues of high public interest or importance such as the fox hunting bill or tuition fees, as well as constitutional matters like a single European currency. I personally think that it would be a good idea to hold referenda more often on a range of political subjects. To make them more practical schemes to educate the public on matters before the referendums are held should be run. I do not think they are used enough, this is partly due to the circumstances that must be for them to be held are too specific. The government should re-evaluate the rules regarding referenda and edit them where appropriate to make the most of this truly representative method of democracy. ?? ?? ?? ?? Danilo Carri Politics ...read more.

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Response to the question

Response to Question
The candidate's response is generally very good, briefly describing referenda, and taking into account many different issues surrounding the use of referenda. However, there is a lack of clarity at times, for example, the candidate writes "depending ...

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Response to the question

Response to Question
The candidate's response is generally very good, briefly describing referenda, and taking into account many different issues surrounding the use of referenda. However, there is a lack of clarity at times, for example, the candidate writes "depending on which party won in the constituency an MP for a party will go through", and specifying what exactly this means would make the essay better and the candidate seem stronger. In the paragraph on Scottish and Welsh devolution, it could be interpreted that the candidate is saying that power was devolved to the Scottish Parliament in 1979, whereas it was in 1997. The otherwise accurate nature of the candidate's knowledge of devolution in the UK is undermined by this failure to clarify his/her point, and could lead to a loss of marks.

Level of analysis

Level of Analysis
The level of analysis is of a high standard; the candidate discusses and examines the advantages and disadvantages of the increased use of referenda in appropriate level of detail, with the underlying direct vs. representative democracy, and the constitutional and legal questions raised by the use of referenda briefly included. More expansive discussion of these issues would demonstrate a high level of thinking, however it is not needed at GCSE in order to achieve a good grade. Examples from contemporary politics are provided to support the candidate's arguments. The judgements made have led the candidate to a clear conclusion, with personal opinions included, which are appropriate at GCSE level.

Quality of writing

Quality of Writing
There are some minor errors in this essay, such as the candidate referring to by-elections as "bi elections", and some grammatical structures and turns of phrase that I would not use, for example "the UK and its European Brothers" and a split infinitive - "to not be". However, these examples do not obscure the candidate's meaning and therefore I feel that they would most likely be overlooked, especially at GCSE level. However, proofreading and checking through an essay before handing it in, or leaving a few minutes at the end of an exam are very good habits to have.


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Reviewed by ecaudate 23/02/2012

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