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5 markers Unit 1 Corinne Abrahams
One function of elections is to allow the electorate to choose representatives
who will carry out the business of government on their behalf. In the UK this is
Outline TWO done by an electing a MP in single member constituencies. This MP will sit in the
functions of elections House of Commons on behalf of that area.
Another function of elections is to allow participation. Voting in elections is the
5/5 most common form of political participation and allows citizen to feel involved
and consulted in the running of the country. In the UK elections are held at
maximum every 5 years e.g. 2001 and 2005 in the UK and everyone over the age
of 18, with a few exceptions, are able to vote.
Outline the features The "first past the post" (FPTP) electoral system is also known as simple
of the "first past the majority or plurality voting. This system is based on single member
post" electoral constituencies. For a candidate to win, they only need one more vote than their
system nearest rival. In this system voters only have one vote. This system is currently
used in the UK for Westminster elections.
Some voting systems, like party list, try to match the number of seats a party
What is proportional wins to the number of votes it gained in an election, this is called proportional
representation? representation. It is unlikely for minority governments to form under proportional
representation, so coalitions often occur and fewer votes are wasted. Voting
turnout tends to be high in countries that use PR as people feel their vote will
count and this promotes democracy. These systems are used in countries such
as Russia and Israel where they use the Party List system.
A political system whereby people take part themselves in the running of the
Define Direct country and deciding laws. They represent themselves at the forum where they
Democracy can attend, speak and vote in decisions made at the forum. This is particularly
used in small states such as Swiss cantons and Athens in 500 BCE. It is also
5/5 used in representative democracy in the form of petitions, referenda and
A political system whereby people elect others to act on their behalf at a
Define Representative decision making forum making laws. They themselves will not attend, speak or
Democracy vote at this forum. There will be regular elections to enable the people to choose
a representative like in the USA and UK. Representation may be on a delegate,
5/5 microcosm, wisdom and judgement basis for which representatives are
accountable to the electorate.
A political system from the Greek "demos" and "kratia" meaning people power.
Define Democracy This suggests that the people are some way involved in the running of the
country. Usually such a system has popular control, people have a vote to
decide who runs the country and political equality, every vote is equal. There may
also be a culture of freedoms and rights like in modern day Britain and in Athens
What is a A referendum, or plural referenda, is a direct vote in which the entire electorate
Referendum? is asked to accept or reject a particular proposal. This is a form of direct
democracy used in representative democracy. Referenda may be mandatory or
5/5 optional, binding or nonbinding, decided by simple or qualified majority and
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There have been 9 referenda in the last 36 years in the
UK such as Welsh and Scottish devolution in 1997.
A pressure group is a group of like minded individuals, who organise together
over concern about particular issues or interests, often focusing on one issue
What is /define a or policy area. They do not seek to gain political office, power or create
Pressure Group? manifestos. Instead they seek to persuade and influence decision making via
campaigns to enact their policy preference.…read more