Features of UK democracy.
- Free and fair, universal suffrage + electoral choice.
- Pressure Groups
a) Free and Fair:
+ One person, one vote.
+ Electoral Commission (protects public confidence).
- FPTP is unfair; plurality rule, wasted votes & tactical voting.
b) Universal suffrage:
- Prisoners/mentall incapable/House of Lords members can't vote.
c) Electoral choice:
- 2 party system in Westmister elections between Lab and Cons.
+ Links govt to people.
+ MPs represent constituencies.
+ House of Commons - debating chamber of nation.
+ Deliberative democracy (pulicinterest decided through debates).
- House of Lords unelected.
3. Pressure Groups
+ Political voice to minorities.
+ Citizens can exert influence between elections.
- Power lies with wealthy, large PGs and business groups.
- Ignore parliament and go straight to govt (weakens role of elected MPs).
- Unelected, unaccountable leaders.
+ Form of direct democracy.
+ Vote on specific issue.
Important: 1975 referendum on continued membership of European Community (aka EU).
- Irresponsible govt (hand decisions over to electorate but govt are elected to make policy decisions).
- Strengthens govt (they decide when & where its held).
created in 1998 (Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly & Northern Ireland Assembly).
+ Constituent nations given own political voice.
+ Increase political participation and education.
- Major economic and foreign policy decisions still made at Westminster.
- Devolution not advanced democracy in England where 84% of UK population live.