Democracy

  • Created by: dbrennan
  • Created on: 05-12-18 15:30
Direct democracy (classical/participatory/radical democracy)
Based on direct, unmediated and continuous participation of citizens in tasks of government.
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Most common form of direct democracy:
Referendums
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Example of direct democracy:
Ancient Athens and the Paris commune 1871: operated as forms of government by mass meeting.
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Representative democracy (indirect democracy)
A limited and indirect form of democracy. Operating through the ability of representative speaking for and on behalf of the people.
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Most common form of representative democracy:
Representatives can be chosen and removed through regular elections.
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Sources of UK democracy:
Democratic elections, Parliament, Pressure groups, Individual rights, Referendums, Devolution, European Parliament
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How are elections in the UK democratic?
They are free and fair, based on universal suffrage and provide electoral choice.
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Free and fair elections
Introduction of fixed-term Parliament in 2011: prevents governments calling general elections at times that favour their prospects of winning.
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How is the UK electoral process not democratic?
Non-elected bodies (the Monarchy and House of Lords), Westminster voting system (plurality rule through FPTP) and electoral malpractice: use of postal ballots in elections.
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Universal suffrage
Elections in the UK became more democractic: progressive extension of the franchise (right to vote in public elections).
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How is universal suffrage not being maintained?
1). Certain social groups do not have the legal right to vote in UK elections: mentally-ill, prison convicts and until recently, 16-17 year olds and until recently, the homeless.
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How is universal suffrage not being maintained?
2). Non-voting: non-voting is most common amongst the poor and disadvantaged and therefore decreasing turnout levels.
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Electoral choice:
Allows electors to vote for the people or policies they most prefer.
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Has electoral choice increase democracy?
UK has broad competitive party politics but: voters have little effective choice in general elections due to the two-party system and because of consensus politics.
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Consensus politics:
General agreement on a political issue between both major political parties.
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Parliament:
Parliament is the law-making body that links government to the people. It upholds representative and responsible/accountable government.
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Example of Parliament upholding democracy:
1). Dominant chamber of Parliament (Commons) is elected. MPs represent their constituents. 2). Maintains deliberative democracy.
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Deliberative democracy:
Consensus decision-making and majority-rule.
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How does Parliament not uphold democracy?
The House of Lords: unelected -The party system: Party discipline prevents MPs from acting in the interest of their constituents -Executive control: scrutiny of the executive is ineffective because the present government has majority control of Cs.
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Pressure groups:
Link government to the governed: giving minority groups a voice who are ignored by the majoritarian system, provide a path for citizens to exert influence between elections, important vehicle for political participation apart from voting.
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How do pressure groups not uphold democracy?
Concentrated power because of financial status (may be backed by parties in order to campaign for them), Undermining Parliament: weakens the role of MPs, Unaccountable power: pressure group leaders= unelected= democratically unaccountable.
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Individual rights:
Human rights to act or be treated in a particular way.
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Legal rights:
Rights enforcable at law.
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Example of rights upholding UK democracy:
Human Rights Act 1998 (the HRA): incorporation of the ECHR into UK law (constitutional reform), an explicit, codified and legal definition of individual rights. Judiciary could protect civil liberties better and check the exercise of the executive.
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2015 prisoners voting rights:
-1,015 prisoners were denied the right to vote in the 2015 UK general elections. Court ruled that there had been a violation of Article 3 of 1st protocol to the ECHR (right to free election).
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How do individual rights affect democracy in the UK?
Check on popular rule: democracy operates only where and when it does not threaten freedom, because of the human right's doctrine.
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How do individual rights affect democracy in the UK?
Rights without responsibilities: people are becoming more concerned with what society owes them rather than what they owe society.
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How do individual rights affect democracy in the UK?
Individual v. collective rights: collective rights often clash with individual rights because collective rights tend to place restrictions on freedom of choice.
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Referendums:
Since 1997, referendums in the UK have been used to settle issues such as devolution, Scottish independence and the membership of the EU.
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Benefits of referendums:
-Promote direct democracy: provide an opportunity for the public to express their views. -Supplement electoral democracy: forces the government to listen to public opinion between general elections Allow the public to express their views about issues
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Ways in which referendums do not completely uphold democracy:
-Public ignorance: public lacks knowledge of professional politicians -Undermining elections and Parliament: referendums may breach their authority. -Bogus democracy: do not directly solve issues, more about campaigning to overcome popular prejudices
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European Parliament:
Prior to the UK leaving the EU in March 2019, the UK could influence EU-policy making through European Parliamentary elections.
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Democracy
Rule by the people. Based on 2 principles: political participation and political equality.
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Pluralist democracy
A political system where there is more than one centre of power.
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Voter turnout
Percentage of the population that cast a vote in an election/referendum
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What is the turnout for the EU Parliament election 2019?
50.5%- the highest it's been since it was founded.
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What is the turnout for the EU referendum?
72.2%-not high enough.
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What is the turnout of the 2017 general election?
69%- highest voter turnout since 1997.
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What percentage of the vote did UKIP win in 2017 general election
1.8%
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How many votes did UKIP win in the 2017 general election?
594, 068
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How many seats did UKIP gain in the 2017 general election?
0-in fact they lost one.
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How many votes did Lib Dems gain in 2017 general election?
2,371,861.
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How many seats did Lib Dems gain in 2017 general election?
12
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What share of the vote did Lib Dems gain in the 2017 general election?
7.4%
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Labour results for 2017 general election
12,877,918 votes, 40% of the vote and 262 seats.
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Conservative results for 2017 general election
13,636,684 votes, 42.4% of the vote and 318 seats.
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SNP results for 2017 general election
977,568 votes, 3% of the vote and 35 seats.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Referendums

Back

Most common form of direct democracy:

Card 3

Front

Ancient Athens and the Paris commune 1871: operated as forms of government by mass meeting.

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

A limited and indirect form of democracy. Operating through the ability of representative speaking for and on behalf of the people.

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

Representatives can be chosen and removed through regular elections.

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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