House of Lords
The UK suffers from a democratic deficit because of the House of Lords as:
- The HOL are unelected which isn't democratic as they aren't representing the majority of people.
- Most of the Lords are heridetary or are rich so they are most likely to favour the richer than the poor,
- Heriditary peers may not have worked for that position as they have inherited it,
- HOL only have the power to delay a Bill as the HOC can pass a Bill after a year.
- HOC are elected by the people which is more democratic and they have more power than the HOL.
- Although some are heriditary they would have been tought the position by their fathers and Tony Blair stopped Lords from passing their position down to their heirs- there only 98 remaining.
- the Lords have expertise.
- HOL blocked the Bill on tax credits- they aren't always favouring the rich.
- HOL have life peers who have expertise: lawyers, teachers, business people etc.
Voting System: FPTP
The UK suffers from a democratic deficit because of the voting system FPTP as:
- Although the voting system is democratic, it is not completely because FPTP means that parties win on a majority of the vote, but it usually works out that more people didn't vote for that party.
- For example, the Conservatives won 36 % of the vote so they became govt, but 64% voted for another party, meaning that those electors didn;t want the Torys to win.
- It also means that the smaller parties don't get a real chance in winning the election because the bigger, most popular parties will win more supporters.
- The voting system is democratic, to an extent, because it still gives people the chance to vote for their preferred party to win the election- their vote still counts in a way as their MPs will be elected for their constituencies.
- For example, although their is Conservative govt, the majority of constituencies in London have an MP from the Labour Party.
- THe referendum on the AV system showed that the majority of the country didn't want the system changed to the AV.
The UK has suffered from a democratic deficit as a result of a decline in political participation;
- Political participation has declined because of partisan dealignment as people feel that there isn't a political party doesn't completely represent them or their views.
- As a result there has been a decline in the voter turnout:
- For example, in 1950, the voter turnout was always more than 70%: in 1972 it was 77.7% but by 2010 the voter turnout dropped to 65%.
- Much more people politically participate by joining a PG or campaigning instead of campaigning,
- Some people may suffer from political apathy or partisan dealignment which is the fault of the parties who should be doing more to prevent this from happening and stop lying,
- there needs to be more education on politics so more people will become aware of politics which will encourage them to vote.
The UK has also suffered from a democratic deficit because of Parliament:
- The proposals made by the government of the day will probably get a majority vote as they have a majority in the HOC.
- This isn't democratic as the majorities' views are supported; not the minorities,
- The HOL adds to this as they aren't elected so they are undemocratic.
- The minorities voices are heard in Parliament as MPs from the political party they support will have seats in the HOC who can vote in debates.
- MPs, for most of the time, are not tied to the party line, which means they can have their own vote on a debate independent from their party- they may have a different opinion on something to the opinion of their party's ideology.
- For example, in the Syrian Air Strikes debate, Jeremy Corbyn let his MPs have a free vote which meant that they could choose to support the strikes, as Corbyn is completely against bombing.
- The people can elect the HOC which is democratic