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

The basic concepts of a Liberal Democratic Theory of the State by describing the following features; Consent, Limited Government, Representation and Pluralism.

Extracts from this document...


Martin MacInnes POLITICS OUTCOME 2 This essay will outline the basic concepts of a Liberal Democratic Theory of the State by describing the following features; Consent, Limited Government, Representation and Pluralism. Liberalists believe that everybody is free and equal and has the same rights and choices as anyone else. This is best summed up in the Constitution of the U.S.A., which states "all men are created equal". In a modern Liberal democracy people enter in to a contract with those who govern them for a fixed period of time. In the U.K. this is set at 5 years although the government can choose to call an election at any time throughout this period. The government is not permitted to break this "contract" and cannot stay in power for any longer than 5 years without an election being held. Once an election is called all of the main political party's campaign to try and win support from the voters. Anybody over the age of 21 who is a citizen of the country or commonwealth may also choose to nominate themselves to be a candidate in an election even if they are not a member of a political party. ...read more.


This has been called "the power to check power" by Liberalist Montesquieu (1689-1775). This system also exists in Canada, Australia, India and Germany. The electoral systems used in a Liberal Democracy must be seen to be as representative of the majority as well as being free and fair. The system in the U.K. is called "First Past The Post" and it gives people who are 18+ one vote each. (Certain people such as those in jail and the mentally insane are not allowed to vote.) This system enables to voter to vote for a candidate to represent the area (constituency) they live in, at Westminster. The candidate who wins the most votes in that constituency will be elected as an MP. This system doesn't ensure those % votes = % seats although it does give each area of the country a local representative in Westminster. In the U.K. only 77.7% of the population voted in the general election of 1992 and this fell to 71.4 % in 1997. In the U.S.A. they have elections to vote for the President every 5 years and many elections to decide who gets elected to the Senate and Congress. ...read more.


This could change people's opinions of the government and could ultimately lead to them losing the next election. Rather than have Pressure groups do this, Government officials will meet with Pressure Group members to discuss the problem, this could lead to the government backing down on whatever proposals it had, or even changing its policies to suit the Pressure Group. It can be seen that a Liberal Democratic theory of state is based on the principles of everybody being free and equal and having the opportunity to do something about a government that is not representing the publics best interests. It can also be seen that elections should be free and fair and the governments must also follow rules (constitutions). It can also be seen that there are many different countries that adopt this style of "State" although none of them are exactly the same as the U.K has an unwritten constitution whereas the U.S.A. has a written constitution. In a Liberalist State, it can also be found that the media and pressure groups can influence the government as well as the voters. Overall it can be seen that this "State" wants people to be represented by a government that cannot do whatever it feels is best as they will be voted out at the next election. ...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 Unknown Citizen": Auden's Satire of the State"

    This state owns the Press, Public Opinion, and even has a Eugenist department, thus emphasizing the control and power of the government. In line 26 the speaker says, "Which our Eugenist says was the right number for a parent of his generation".

  2. What are the key features of a liberal democratic state?

    And finally the extension of education to the working classes which before then was unheard of. A government must conform with some basic rules if it wishes to call itself a democratic state. These rules although binding can be ignored in certain crucial situations such as in time of crisis like war or terrorist attack.

  1. What are the main differences between 'liberal democratic', 'authoritarian' and 'totalitarian' political systems?

    placed on civil liberties makes this impractical: 'the scope of democracy is limited by constitutional protection of individual rights, including freedom of assembly, property, religion and speech.' Hague (2004: 35) The current system in the UK is a liberal democracy.

  2. The main features of Britain's democracy.

    The logic behind this system is that the common individual could not properly express an opinion. People were just uneducated or only had little knowledge to understand politics and other more complicated arguments. In this type of government the involvement of people is limited since individuals cannot exercise pressure or be frequently involved in issues.

  1. Assess the strengths and weaknesses of Pluralism in domestic politics

    ways between individuals and the state, which would ensure the preserving and the progression of moral values in the societies.

  2. Explain and evaluate Locke's theory of government

    By proposing to differentiate the legislation and executive powers from each other, the philosopher lays down the first idea about checks and balances within the country, which is very essential in maintaining stability and order among the citizens. According to Locke, the reasonable way of overcoming the lacks in the

  1. Malta at the turn of the 19th Century.

    Another interesting fact was the way population increased around these areas and how the Cottonera generated and became densely populated. another reason for Malta's prosperity was the effect of the Berlin and Milan Decrees known better as the Continental System.

  2. The Impact of Electoral Design on the Legislature.

    They may prefer to have real influence with the MPs representing the whole of the city, rather than hold one MP responsible for their sector. The idea of working together, as a team with other representatives in the area is the norm for local government, where working together for a local ward, is often seen as advantageous.

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