To what extent is there a democratic deficit in the UK? [25 Marks]

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To what extent is there a democratic deficit in the UK? [25 Marks]

A democratic deficit is when democratic institutions, especially governments, do not fully fulfil parliamentary democracy in their practice. The UK’s democratic deficit can be seen in several areas: the first-past-the-post voting system; the lack of an entrenched constitution and the House of Lords.

The first-past-the-post (PR) voting system used in general elections can be seen as unfair—it results in plenty of votes being wasted because of them being wrote off should a party not win a particular constituency. A way to reduce the democratic deficit that is caused by this system would be to introduce a proportional representation (PR) voting system, in which the percentage of the vote directly constitutes the percentage of seats a party is awarded in the Commons. This would reduce the deficit as it would mean smaller parties who could not secure individual constituencies may be able to gain seats in the Commons with the overall percentages. It also means that no votes are wasted and the vote wholly represents the electorate’s choices.

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There are no written limitations of government—with no entrenched constitution, parliament can pass any bill it pleases, should it get the necessary majority; this is a large deficit in the UK’s democracy as it means the public can be exploited by a government wanting to pass unjust laws. This can be contrasted to states like the USA, wherein they have a constitution, which laws have to follow and cannot be passed if they are deemed “unconstitutional”. By introducing a constitution the UK’s democratic deficit could largely be decreased, it would set out limitations for the government to stop it from ...

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