Features of representative democracy

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  • Features of representative democracy
    • Accountability
      • Elected representatives must be made responsible for their policies, actions, decisions and general conduct
        • Otherwise representation becomes largely meaningless
    • Social representation
      • Idea that the representative body should broadly represent the characteristics of the population as a whole
        • MPs should be in line with the makeup of the country (ie. race, sex, sexual orientation, disability)
    • National interest
      • A country's goals and ambitions ie. economic, cultural, military etc.
        • Often referred to as "raison d'état"
      • May clash with the constituency an MP represents
    • Constituency representation
      • Representing the interests of individual constituents
      • Representing the interests of the whole constituency
      • A representative listens to their constituents' views when deciding about a national issue
        • Can clash is personal conscience
    • Party representation
      • All modern democracies have the characteristic of political parties
        • The majority of those who take part in elections are members of political parties instead of being individual candidates
      • People are more likely to understand what a party stands for
        • Therefore vote for the members to represent them on that basis


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