representative democracy

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  • Representation
    • Social representation
      • -Social representation implies that the characteristics of members of representative bodies, should be broadly in line with the characteristics of the population as a whole.
      • For example, close to half should be women , from ethnic minorities and class backgrounds
    • Representing the national interest
      • Though representatives may be elected locally or regionally, if they sit in the national Parliament they are expected to represent the interests of the nation as a whole.
      • Sometimes this may clash with the local constituency they represent, so they have to resolve the issue in their own way
        • For example, an mp representing a constituency near a major airport may be under pressure to oppose further expansion due to pollution and noise however as a national interest it would benefit them
    • Constituency representation
      • The locality that elects a representative in UK national politics is known as a constituency.
      • 1.) It can mean representing the interests of the constituency as a whole.
      • 2.) It can also mean representing the interests of individual constituents. This often described as the "redress of grievances"
      • 3.) Finally, it can simply mean that a representative listens to her constituents  when deciding a national issue
    • Party representation
      • All modern democracies are characterized  by the political parties.
      • Furthermore, the vast majority of those seeking and winning election are members of a party.
      • It is unusual in modern democracies to find independent party members.
      • Policies in a manifesto are crucial to their appeal.
    • Functional representation
      • This refers to the act that some elected representatives will not just represent their constituency or region but also some social groups.
        • LGBT, community or low- income groups
    • Casual representation
      • Here representative bodies are not representing people so much as ideas, principles and causes
      • This represents the "whole" community, in that the beliefs and demands involved are claimed to benefit everyone- not just a small group.
      • Most is done by pressure groups

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