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participating in parties and pressure groups. This can be described as participatory
in political activity. This doesn't just mean voting or standing for elected office, but
· A government with the people: this is expecting that most citizens can participate
possible. Direct democracy is not always feasible, thus representative democracy is
section of society, but they try to take into account all sections of society as far as
· A government for the people: the government is not governing for themselves or one
to public opinion.
the people themselves make the important decisions. Government is intensely sensitive
· A government by the people: this can be described as a direct democracy and is where
people, government for the people and government with the people.
· A definition of democracy can be divided into three sub-headings: government by the
Definition of Democracy
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Types of Democracy
Direct and Representative Democracy
· A direct democracy, as we have already discovered, is one where all the people make
the decisions which affect them on a daily basis. It is essentially unworkable in a
modern state, however referendums give the people the opportunity to make the political
· A representative democracy is much more workable and therefore more common.
Their are many features of a representative democracy. Firstly, elections as it enables
representatives to be chosen to govern on behalf of the people and should ensure
the institutions of government respect the opinions of the people. Elections convey
legitimacy, however in the last two elections there has been a low turnout which
questions the legitimacy of politicians.
· Secondly, the House of Commons should reflect the society it seeks to represent and
should be accountable to the decisions it makes and the laws they pass.
· Thirdly, representatives don't just represent they govern as well.
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A subject entitled "citizenship" has been made a compulsory part of
To attempt to improve these levels of political participation the government has done so ·
political parties much less than they used to in a process known as partisan dealignment.
A third indication, is that from a great deal of research people associate themselves with ·
was 0.27 million.
1.2 million members in 1980 when Thatcher was about to come into power, in 2006 there
Secondly, party membership has been declining.…read more
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Human Rights Act ·
No official discrimination against minority groups. ·
Freedom of assembly. ·
Freedom of association, ·
Free press. ·
Freedom of speech. ·
The power of politicians is legitimated by the people at election time. ·
Politicians are accountable to the people at election time. ·
Political parties are free to air their views and campaign for their policies. ·
Free and fair elections held at regular intervals ·
Use these bullet points as prompts for essay questions.…read more
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Arguments for Referendums
· They are the most direct form of democracy.
· People may be more likely to respect and conform to decisions they have made
themselves. They represent true government by consent.
· They may prevent government making unpopular decisions.
· They may resolve issues which cause special problems for government and parties.
· They entrench constitutional change.
Arguments against Referendums
· They may undermine respect for representative institutions.
· Some issues may be too complex for people to understand.…read more