Unit 1 Edexcel Government and Politics (Democracy and Participation / Pressure Groups)

Revision notes (Democracy and Participation / Pressure Groups) for Edexcel Unit 1 Government and Politics AS

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Democracy (Govern by the People)
`Demos' ­ The People
Cracy (Kratos) ­ Rule / Power
Based on:
Political Participation ­ Key political decisions are made by the people
Political Equality ­ Each citizen has free and equal opportunities to influence political decisions
Direct Democracy ­ People make political decisions themselves…

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Representative Democracy
Feature Description of Feature Advantage of Feature Disadvantage of Feature
Democratic In the UK, they are called We have choice ­ 140 Usually no choice
Elections democratic as they are free parties in the last only 14 parties in the
and fair, based on general election H/C (3…

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Liberal Democracies
Liberal ­ Freedom from government intervention
Feature Description of feature Advantage of feature Disadvantage of feature
Free and fair Elections are the same Prisoners have been However there are those
elections rules for everyone, given the right to vote that still can't vote
require universal suffrage by ECHR…

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Democracy in the UK
Described as the `cradle of democratic government'
Features of the UK's democracy
Core Features Supplementary Features
Democratic elections Referendums
Parliament Devolution
Pressure Groups The European Parliament

Feature Description of Feature Advantage of Feature Disadvantage of Feature
Democratic In the UK, they are called We have choice…

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Referendums This is a vote in which the Last referendum (May Very low turnout, and very
electorate can express a 2011) ­ A.V. Vote expensive
view on a particular issue Peoples voices are heard Government decides
of public policy. It is an on certain issues whether or not to approve…

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Example Iraq War ­ No Vote
Coalition ­ wasn't voted in
FPTP ­ No choices and safe seats
Participation crisis (no engagement)
Ineffectiveness of Parliament
House of Lord (unelected by still make decisions and can sit on the cabinet)
Participation in decline (59 % in 2001, 61% in 2005, 65%…

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information and express Ease of organisation ­ virtual Access is not
their views referendums would be universal therefore not
cheaper, easier to organise equal
and held more frequently
Lowering The voting age currently Issues that affect young Immature
the voting stands at 18, but in other people will be voted…

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How effectively does representative democracy
operate in the UK?
Effectively Inefficient
Practicable democracy ­ direct democracy wouldn't Still only 65% turnout, with a much lower predicted
be suitable, effective or possible in such a large turnout for 2015, of less than 50%. The Newport
community. Representative democracy provides the turnout…

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To what extent is the UK suffering a participation
Yes No
Participation is in decline (59% in 2001 and projected Increased for 2001 ­ 2010 and the 2015 general election
42% in 2015) the byelection turnouts were low ­ is a prediction
Manchester central 18.2%, PPC election between 14%…

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and a more informed Cost ­ AV coast £80
audience increases million with a 42%
participation turnout it wasn't worth it
Reduces government Weakens parliamentary
power sovereignty
Parliament doesn't know it Illinformed public can
all make rash decisions
It's a mere `snap snot'
about what society
thinks at that time…


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