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In the UK, we do not have a representative democracy because the government dominates parliament. How far do you feel this to be the case?

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Introduction

In the UK, we do not have a representative democracy because the government dominates parliament. How far do you feel this to be the case? There are two main types of democracy. Direct democracy and representative democracy. Liberal and Participatory democracy are add ons of representative democracy. Britain is distinguished as being a representative democracy although this is not strictly the case. Direct democracy origioninated in ancient Greece 4000bc. The word democracy actually came from the Greek phrase 'demos kratos' which means 'rule of the people'. Direct democracy is based on the right of every citizen over a certain age to attend political meetings, vote on the issue being discussed at that meeting and accepting the majority decision should such a vote lead to a law being passed which you as an individual did not support. In ancient Greece there were 50,000 citizens who could participate. They used to meet everyday and all vote on decisions on how to run the city. Direct democracy believes that it is the right of everyone to hold political office if they choose to do so. It gives all people the right to participate regardless of religious beliefs, gender, sexual orientation, physical well being etc. Only those who have specifically gone against society (committed crimes) are excluded from direct democracy for their length of their sentence. ...read more.

Middle

Representative democracy is sometimes described as a limited and indirect form of democracy. It is limited in the respect that the popular participation in government is infrequent and brief, the electorate can only vote to change the MP's every 5 years. It is indirect in that the public do not exercise power themselves. There are some good points to representative democracy it offers a practical form of democracy in contrast to direct democracy. It also allows government to be placed in the hands of trained professionals with expert knowledge and experience in dealing with government issues. Parliament is divided into three main sections, the Sovereign the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The House of Lords is mainly right wing and consists of hereditary peers and appointed or nominated peers. The House of Lords has no elected peers. The electorate has no power over who sits in the House of Lords and this is key issue in a representative democracy, seeing as though the House of Lords plays a role in passing bills. The House of Commons consists of elected MP's. The way MP's are elected in constituencies is a system called 'first past the post'. The MP in each constituency who receives the most votes wins a seat in the House of Commons. Each MP will belong to a party and the party who receives the most seats becomes the governing party for the next 5 years. ...read more.

Conclusion

For a bill to become law it must pass through several readings and a standing committee before it progresses to the House of Lords. This is where problems lie with government dominating parliament. The government in power has the majority in the House of Commons, therefore if your elected MP is not a member of the governing party they don't really stand a chance of objecting to or passing bills. The government also has the power to force legislation through with the Act of Parliament. Once a party is elected the prime minister elects his own cabinet. The cabinet are a bunch of ministers who will each be given a department to run and they will control the issues of the country such as the budget, NHS, Schools and civil services to list a few. The cabinet makes all the important decisions in the day to day running of the country. These members of the cabinet are not elected by the electorate. This means that the people running the country are not entirely elected by the people, which goes against the whole point of a representative democracy. In theory a well run representative democracy would be ideal but due to the interference of government in parliament Britain is not a well run representative democracy. I feel that in the UK, we do not have a representative democracy because the government dominates parliament is very much the case. Government dominates the majority of goings on in the House of Commons. Leeanne Foster ...read more.

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