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Direct Democracy
Democracy ­ General description of various Political Systems organised on the basis that govt. should
serve the interests of the people
1. Government for the people
a. Broad interest of people
b. For all sectors of society
c. Can't have Direct Dem. All the time
2. Direct Democracy (Govt. by the people)
a. People make decisions that affect them
b. All citizens to participate in a council
c. Referendums/Direct Consultation
3. Government of the people
a. Citizens Participate
b.…read more

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Importance of Democracy
Establishes and protects freedom
Protects minorities
All groups have access
Controls government power
Accountable to people
Encourages popular participation
People can influence process
Disperses power more widely
Political Participation
Opportunities for the people to become involved in political process
Make themselves aware of political issues + vote
Become actively involved in promoting issues which they have interests in ­ PG's
Involved in community action
o Voluntary work
Joining + being active in a political party
Why have levels of political participation fallen?…read more

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Partisan Realignment
a. Fewer people have close interest in party politics
4. Pressure Group membership = UP!
a.…read more

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How can political participation be increased?
Compulsory voting
Force citizens to be aware of political issues
Ownership of outcome of elections
Infringement of rights
Reduce voting age 18 16
Politicise young people at an early age (Scottish Referendum on Independence)
Few teenagers will visit polls
16/17 years aren't experienced enough
Making Voting easier/simpler process
Text voting/Internet
Ballot stations in supermarkets
Security of the Internet
Electoral Reform ­ New Electoral Systems Introduced ­ 1997
Social Media ­ Twitter feeds, Facebook, etc.…read more

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A Popular vote where the people are asked to determine an important political or constitutional issue
1997 ­ Should there be a Scottish/welsh assembly ­ S=75% Y , W=50.3%
1998 ­ London Mayor? = Y 72% - Would change govt.…read more

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Women + minorities = underrepresented - Peers = wide backgrounds - Bias towards professional background
Is the UK a democracy?
See `representative democracy' in Britain (separate sheet)
o Accountability
Parliament forces govt.…read more

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Electoral System Examples
FPTP Westminster STV N.I Assembly
AMS Scottish Parliament SV London Mayor
Closed Regional Party List MEP Election
AV proposed for Westminster (rejected by 68% no vote)
Badly disproportionate results 1983 ­ Lab 27.6% = 209 seats
Alliance 25.4% = 23 seats
Party with most votes loses Feb 1974 ­ Cons 13.1 m = 297 seats
Lab 12.…read more

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Choose between Political Leaders
First Past the Post + Effects
Electoral System ­ A system that converts votes into seats
Features of FPTP:
Each constituency = 1 MP
Each Party = 1 candidate per constituency
Voters = 1 vote each
Largest Number of votes = winner
Discriminates in favour of some parties:
Winning Party = higher prop seats than votes Lab 1997 43% of popular vote 63% seats (Badly
3rd Party = Opposite ­ Alliance 1983 25.4% 2.…read more

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Simple to understand small cost MP's can be elected on tiny amounts of support
Doesn't take long to count votes just need more votes
Voters can express a view clearly on which party Encourages tactical voting
they want Safe seats ­ Same party elected
TWO party system ­ single party government Disenfranchises region
Alternative Vote
Majority Systems ­ Winning candidates need overall majority
Run off after 1st Vote
AV voters = 1st + 2nd Choice
1st choice counted ­ candidate win if over 50%
If…read more


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