Democracy And Participation

  • Created by: Eleri M
  • Created on: 27-11-18 14:30
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  • Democracy and Participation
    • Direct Democracy
      • Advantages
        • Gives equal weight to all votes
        • Encourages popular participation
        • Removes need for trusted representatives
        • The people take responsibility
        • Develops sense of community and encourages debate
      • Disadvantages
        • Impractical in large heavily populated places
        • Many people may not want to and feel unqualified to do so
        • Open to manipulation by the cleverest and best speakers
        • Will of the majority is not mediated
        • Minority viewpoints are disregarded
    • Representative Democracy
      • Advantages
        • Only practical system
        • Good for rapid response and complex issues
        • pluralist democracy
        • reduces chances of tyranny of majority
        • Elections allow representatives to be held to account
        • Politicians are better informed than most
      • Disadvantages
        • leads to reduced participation
        • Politicians avoid accountability
        • minorities are still under-represented
        • politicians are corrupt
          • they could betray election promises or put loyalty to their party above responsibility to the electorate
    • UK Democratic System
      • Positives
        • Devolved governments
          • decisions are taken closer to local people through devolution
          • Power is shared so it is more democratic
        • Independent Judiciary
          • separate form other branches of government
        • Free and Fair Elections
          • free of corruption and intimidation
        • Free Media
          • challenges policy and exposes politicians
        • Wide range of political parties and pressure groupds
      • Negatives
        • Under-representation of minority
          • House of Commons is elected by FPTP
            • Makes a mismatch
              • between votes cast for political parties
                • and the seats each party wins
        • House of Lords lacks democratic legitimacy
          • Unelected
          • appointed by prime ministers
          • small number from cross-bencher appointments
        • Lack of Protection for citizens' rights
        • Control of the sections of the media by wealthy unaccountable business interests
      • Possible Reforms
        • allowing people to vote anywhere in their constituency
        • allow voting to take place over several days
        • allow electronic voting
          • wider use of postal voting
        • voting age should be reduced to 16
        • Compulsory Voting
          • Positives
            • it is a social duty
            • makes a more representative parliament
            • policies would have to be aimed at the whole electorate
            • could still spoil ballots
          • Negatives
            • it is undemocratic to force people to vote
            • doesn't stop campaigns being focused on marginal seats
            • doesn't address deeper reasons why people choose not to vote
    • Pressure Groups
      • Types
        • Sectional
          • promote the interests of a group of society
          • membership is only for specific people
        • Promotional
          • focused on achieving a goal
          • Raise awareness for an issue
          • membership to everyone
        • Insider
          • rely on contacts with ministers and civil servants to achieve their aims
        • Outsider
          • they are not consulted by the government
      • Difference in Influence
        • Resources
          • financial resources
            • size of membership
        • Tactics and Leadership
          • knowing 'access points' in UK political systems to target
          • need experienced and capable leaders
        • Public Support
          • need agendas in support with public opinion
        • government attitudes
          • contacts with ministers are key
      • Examples
        • BMA
          • Insider
          • Sectional
          • International graduates can apply for jobs in Scotland
          • lobbying
        • Amnesty International
          • Outsider Promotional
        • Teachers Union
          • Sectional outsider
        • Liberty
          • Insider promotional
        • WWF
          • Specialist Insider
        • RSPB
          • Outsider and also promotional
      • Pros and Cons
        • Positives
          • Educate the public and inform all
          • ensure governments are up to date with public wants
          • prevents tyranny of the majority
          • groups compete which spreads out power
          • forms of direct democracy
          • critiques government
          • enables people to interact with politics
        • Negatives
          • Political Inequality
          • Tyranny of the minority
          • non-legitimate power
            • The leaders are unelected
            • public are only told of the debates the leaders want them to hear about
          • Behind the scenes influence
            • Why are they involved in governmental decisions when they aren't democratic or elected
            • Not held accountable
            • Not subject to scrutiny
    • Rights
      • List of Rights in UK
        • Fair and equal treatment under the law
        • Freedom of expression in speech and writing
        • Freedom of conscience including worshipping as one wishes
        • The right to vote, to stand for an election and join a party
        • The right to belong to an organisation
        • Freedom of Movement
      • Issues with Rights
        • Parliamentary Sovereignty
          • No rights can ever override Parliament or be out of their reach
          • No rights can impact Parliamentary Sovereignty either
        • Protection of Rights
          • The rights are given through acts of parliament
          • Parliament can take away or abolish rights in theory
      • How they came into being
        • Began with Magna Carta as foundation for citizen rights
        • European Convention of Human Rights
          • 1950 - it was made after World War II
        • Human Rights Act
          • 1998 - Passed by New Labour government
            • Right to Life and fair trial etc.
        • Equality Act
          • Brought together other legislation outlawing discrimination and unfair treatment
          • 2010 - Identified nine 'protected characteristics'

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