Democracy- GP1

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  • Democracy
    • 'Demos' = the people 'Kranos' = rule
    • Direct Democracy
      • People directly have a say in the governing of a country
        • ANCIENT ATHENS: All citizens gathered on mass to have their say
          • BUT women, slaves, the poor, and children did not count
        • EU REF: This is why people say a revote would be a 'violation of democracy'
      • STRENGTHS
        • Genuine 'People Power'
        • No need for elected officials
        • Encourages participation and educates the public on key issues
          • LIKE THE EU REF DID!
          • Greater participation= Greater democracy
        • Pushes people to take responsibility for their actions/ decisions
          • Cannot blame elected officials
        • Prevents Tyranny (Power in the hands of a small elite
      • LIMITATIONS
        • Population size makes this approach impractical, expensive, and time consuming
        • Public may not have the time or interest that elected officials would
          • Could create low turnout & APATHY due to VOTER FATIGUE
        • TYRANNY OF THE MAJORITY
        • Public may be unwilling to make unpopular but necessary decisions
          • THOUGH it could be argued that politicians, who are easily swayed by the desire to lick boots, also suffer from this.
    • Representative /Indirect Democracy
      • People elect representatives through whom they have a voice in parliament
        • Most Western Democracies are like this
      • STRENGTHS
        • Practical- Saves time! (Not NECESSARILY as much money though)
        • Elected representatives have greater experience/ expertise
          • They are better informed on the issues they are debating than the general public
        • They are held accountable at the end of each GE
          • Gives people someone to blame
        • Prevents tyranny of the majority
      • LIMITATIONS
        • Parties can influence the actions of the representative
          • WHIPS (THINK HOUSE OF CARDS)
        • Doesn't necessarily represent the views of the public
        • Less interest in political participation
          • People feel that their voice matters less
          • Particularly with the FPP voting system
    • Liberal Democracy
      • a form of government in which representative democracy  operates under the principles of liberalism
        • EQUALITY
      • CRITERIA
        • Regular, free, fair elections
        • Constitution- limited govt. and checks& balances
        • Entrenched civil liberties and rights
        • Pluralism- marketplace for ideas
        • Tolerance towards different groups and views
        • A free press that can scrutinise the government
    • Referendums
      • EXAMPLES
        • EU 2016
        • Alternate Vote Question 2011
        • Scottish Independence 2014
        • 12 in UK history
          • Becoming more popular
            • Tony Blair wanted to introduce more constitutional reforms
              • Referendums in the UK are generally held regarding contutional reforms
                • May's government does not agree with this- wants the dominance of the executive
      • GENUINE DEMOCRACY
        • Legally, Parliament can IGNORE referendums = Parliamentary Sovereignty
          • Politically, It would undermine Parliament's legitimacy if it were to ignore the people
          • Referendums entrench significant constitutional reforms- usually Parliament is not binded by the rulings of previous parliaments
  • Is the UK a Liberal Democracy?
  • POWER- The ability to make someone do something (e.g. a criminal)
  • AUTHORITY- The given right to get people to do something (e.g a police officer)
  • LEGITIMACY- how justified the government's authority is to carry out their mandate
    • THERESA MAY
  • MANDATE- A doctrinere: the right of a governing party to pursue their politics stated in the GE manifesto

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