politics unit 1 - democracy and political participation


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  • Created on: 15-05-12 14:16
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Democracy ­ for the people, of the people, by the people
Legitimacy ­ government has a democratic right to hold power.
e.g. the house of commons is legitimate as it is elected. However, many claim that the electoral
system is unfair and distorts political representation.
Direct democracy ­ people making important decisions themselves.
Referendums ­ involves a single question where the answer is either `yes' or `no'
Uk- referendums are not law binging on government or parliament as parliament is sovereign.
People are becoming more customised to being consulted on key issues.
It is easier to inform people due to internet and media.
Less public confidence in politicians
General fall in traditional forms of political participation
Voter fatigue
Press may reduce rational arguments to emotional ones
May be an opinion on government rather than the issues itself.
Petitions (e petitions)
Direct democracy ­ people active
Purest form of democracy
Disperses power widely
Decisions made more acceptable to population
Prevent decision makers making mistakes
Increasers participation (esp as the current low voter turnouts)
Referendums ect can politically educate
Referendums can entrench important constitutional change.
Majoritarianism ­ tyranny of majority
Decisions too complex for people
People choose emotion over rational answer
Distorted by elitists

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Voter fatigue
Representative democracy ­ elected representative.
Elected or appointed with experience
Decides the rationally rather than emotionally
Accountable ­ therefore responsible
The people can't be continually involved so can delegate power
Mediates between the interests of different sections in society ­ preventing tyranny of the
majority.…read more

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Tolerant society
Pluralist democracy
Large and different no of political parties.
Wide variety of political associations and pressure groups
Power is widely dispersed. People great deal of influence
Parliamentary democracy
Parliament is sovereign
Laws only enforced if legitimised by UK parliament
Government is drawn from parliament
Parliament ensures geological representation
Political participation
Low voter turnout ­ political parties
Lost faith in parties as they have all centralised.
Increased participation in pressure groups.…read more

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Parliament weak ability to hold government to account
Smaller parties are under represente…read more


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