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

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Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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