How Democratic Is The Uk? Essay

684 words - 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. This essay will help decide whether the United Kingdom still follows that definition of being a true democracy and analysing how this has affected the people of the UK.

The first thing to look at is the various types of democracy used in the UK. There are many examples of the various types of democracies with the first being direct democracy. A recent example of what a direct democracy can do is the Scottish Referendum taking place throughout Scotland. This allows the people of Scotland to take the decision of independence in to their own hands. This is a great example of how a democracy should work with millions of peoples voices being heard to make a decision that affects them all. While being one of the most direct ways to involve people it is also one of more ...view middle of the document...

Voters put a cross in a box next to their favored candidate and the candidate with the most votes in the constituency wins. All other votes count for nothing. It’s clear and simple with clear choices and a simple outcome. It allows the voter to clearly express a view on which party they think should form the next government.

However over the years this system has come under heavy criticism such as the main criticism being that under this system votes are not of equal value. The people who vote for losing candidates in a seat might just as well have just not voted in the first place. Whether their candidate loses by 20,000 votes or by one, the outcome is the same. Similarly, if a candidate wins by 20,000 votes, 19,999 of his or her votes are ‘wasted’.

Another common criticism of the UK system is that, although most politicians are elected, many powerful people hold their positions without having to face the voters. Over the years criticism has focused on the House of Lords, the civil service and judges. While the people serving these positions may indeed be experts in their field, the citizens of the UK have absolutely no say in who is elected into these positions. This shows a problem in the United Kingdom’s democratic system and one that does not follow a representative democracy.

While the United Kingdom is considered a representative democracy it is arguable to how representative it is of everyone. It is highly unlikely that you would ever find an MP is Parliament who is from a lower class background with the majority of MPs coming from the middle and upper classes. This shows a problem with the UK’s system as not everyone is getting their voices heard in this regard. While it is possible for pressure groups to get their views heard by governments, they will ensure that pressure groups do not become so powerful they steal the government's legitimacy.

In conclusion it can be argued that the United Kingdom’s democratic system does not follow the definition of democracy strictly with a lot of citizens in the country not getting their voices heard in Parliament. While there are chances for the people to take decisions about their country’s future into their own hands these come few and far between.

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