Can democracy be classed as healthy when more and more voters every year seem to be unconcerned or reluctant to engage in political life?
A majority of people are disillusioned not with democracy but with the archaic British political system and this disillusionment could lead from the spoiling of ballot papers to something much more serious such as civil unrest as demonstrated by the nationwide riots last year.
As Jean-Jacques Rousseau highlighted in The Social Contract, democracy in its political sense can only be efficient when the general will of the people is the same as each and every individual will.
This shows the interest citizens had in political affairs decreased drastically. Even the negotiation in as a result of a hung parliament went relatively smoothly, with agreements resolved within days not the months seen in some countries.
The fact that the voting age begins at 18, and people of all classes can vote, ensures that party policies are both balanced and fairer to all sections of society.
There are three main factors that could explain declining turnouts at election time, the electorate- society has become more materialistic, the media- they have caused enormous problems for the public to trust and put their faith in politics, and lastly politicians- they have done nothing to restore faith back into politics.
The voting turnout over the past years has been inconsistent. This incredibly low turnout illustrates just how apathetic people have become in regards to British politics, but there is also the matter of spoiled ballot papers.
As democracy in modern society is now taken to be synonymous with freedom, its efficiency as a political system is cumbered by its connotative meaning, i. Proportional electoral systems may confuse voters and will result in less strong government; compulsory voting would cumber us with the careless votes of those uninterested in politics and therefore would not be an accurate representation of what the population wants; a removal of unelected members of Parliament may increase political bias and reduce the expert value of the Lords; referendums may be subject to people who do not know what is best for the country, and even then only those who set the agenda of the referendum — members of Parliament — are those possessing the power; they decide what we may decide on.
The government is only open about the things it wants to be, it still reserves the right to keep quiet. If a government so wished they could abolish the devolved assemblies completely. This shows that the media has had an impact on citizens and their preferred party which could be another reason why there is a participation crisis.
David Cameron, Gordon Brown and Nick Clegg even though it was still below the average turnout rate during to In it was found that Deteriorating rates of voter turnout and falling levels of party membership despite there being opportunities for participation show evidence.
Being a simple plurality system of voting; FPTP favours two party dominance between the Labour and Conservative party. Many of us are tied with jobs social life family life to find time to vote. This creates an impression to citizens that politicians are less trustworthy and are all about presentation which causes turnout rates and party membership to decline.
We vote for a particular party but our second choices are not considered. The electorate is rarely consulted directly via the use of referendums as opposed to more democratic countries such as Switzerland.
The democratic deficit is very real and present in the UK and it is greatly affecting democracy in this country. Westminster grants power to these devolved areas whilst retaining the right to veto their decisions. Conservatives party membership has also fallen. Freedom of Information Requests FOI are in principle a brilliant thing as they promote transparency and accountability of the government and local authorities, but as with so many things they do not work in practice as they do in principle.
FPTP discriminates against smaller parties like the Liberal Democrats who have a low concentration of support and so are unlikely to gain a majority of votes in any one area. The cause of participation crisis lies within the physical act of voting being out of touch with the public.
However, this is difficult to administer and as a result, most modern democracies are representative; the public chooses who they wish to possess power and trust that person to devise policies that will benefit them. The mainstream political parties do not represent the views of many and the small parties that do will never gain power under the unfair FPTP system.
The Justice Secretary Chris Grayling holds the view of many in his party and others across the political spectrum over the debate on whether or not to extend the franchise to all. Only two countries in the world allow hereditary politicians — Lesotho and the United Kingdom. The current system of FPTP ensures that an MP can be elected without a majority of votes which is highly undemocratic.Is the Uk political system democratic?
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To what extent do political parties promote democracy? (25 marks) Political parties have many functions, one of which is to uphold the principles of a democratic political system. An Analysis Of Democracy In The UK.
Print Reference this. Disclaimer: Epstein uses the British democratic system to devise whether the Americans should follow their policies, highlighting benefits and consequences of the British system. If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have the essay published on the.
Is there a Democratic Deficit in the UK? One of the main factors forwarded to argue there is a democratic deficit in the UK is the low levels of voter turnout and widespread disillusionment with the political system. In the UK received a general election turnout of %, the lowest since the start of universal suffrage in How Democratic Is the Uk?
Essay; How Democratic Is the Uk? Essay.
Words Apr 21st, 3 Pages. Democracy in the United Kingdom has changed a lot over the years however the definition has never changed. The right for people to choose and decide how a country is run. To What Extent Is There a Democratic Deficit in the Uk? Essay .Download