Democracy and Participation

  • Created by: hutc2232
  • Created on: 04-06-17 17:49
What is democracy?
Rule by the people, thus is based on two core principles: political participation and political equality.
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Define direct democracy.
It is based on a direct, unmediated and continuous participation of citizens. The people make the decisions themselves. The effectiveness of direct democracy is based on the extent of popular participation in government.
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Define indirect democracy.
The people simply chose who will make decisions on their behalf. The effectiveness of representative democracy is based on the extent of popular control over government.
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What is indirect democracy otherwise known as?
Representative democracy.
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What is a referendum?
A popular vote on an issue of public policy. Its a vote in which the electorate can express a view on a particular issue of public policy.
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What are the differences between referendums and elections?
Elections - amorphous,hold to account,representative domcracy - referendum - single issued , unaccountable, direct democracy
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What are the differences between majoritarianism and constitutional democracy?
Majoritarian - protects society, single party rule, centralized government - constitutional - protects individual, coalition, divided soverengty
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Whats another term for a referendum?
Plebiscite.
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What are the core features of the democratic system?
Democratic elections, parliament, pressure groups
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What are the supplementary features of the democratic system?
Referendums, devolution, the European parliament
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What is parliamentary democracy?
A form of democracy that operates through a popularly elected deliberative assembly
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When are referendums used?
Sensitive or complex ethical issues, to avoid damaging party splits, constitutional reforms
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What is deliberative democracy?
A form of democracy in which the public interest is decided through debate, discussion and argument amongst either representatives or private citizens.
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What is pluralist democracy?
A form of democracy that operates through the capacity of organised groups to articulate popular demands and ensure government responsiveness.
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How many referendums have been in the UK since 1973?
12
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When was the Scottish independence referendum and what was the result?
2014 - 55 % remain
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What are the three reasons for explaining decline in participation?
Blame the public, blame the media, blame the politician
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What are the features of parliamentary democracy?
All laws have to be approved by parliament, highest source of authority cos sovereign, government is majority from parliament, fusion of powers, two houses in parliament
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How do elections promote democracy?
Educate the public, participation of the public, legitimate transfer of office, universal adult suffrage
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How can democratic legitimacy be achieved?
success in elections, use of referendums and secured by a majority vote in the legislecture
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What is democratic legitimacy?
rightful use of power which has been gained or operates through accepted democratic channels. It can be seen to operate in a direct or representative democracy.
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How could representative democracy in the UK be improved?
Electoral reform, e-democracy, lowering the voting age and compulsory voting.
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FOR: democratic deficit
Low turnout, Low political party membership, undemocratic institutions (HoL), first past the post
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AGAINST: democratic deficit
Rise in pressure groups, EU membership, media participation
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Explain how media participation could be an argument for the UK being democratic?
Online petitions. It deals with corruption by 'sexing up' politics. Example:'sleaze' became a blanket term for private affairs like David Mellor's sex scandal - held accountable and resigned
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Explain how EU membership could be an argument for the UK being democratic?
Pooled soverenigty - party list system - representative - pluralism - UKIP won 13 seats at 26.6% majority
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How does the first past the post system support the theory that the UK has a democratic deficit
Questions governments legitamacy - two party system - not proportional - 3.8 million votes for UKIP = 1 seat
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How does the undemocratic institutions support the theory that the UK has a democratic deficit?
EU - party list system elects MEP - least powerful chambers compared to the non-elected bureaucracy in Brussels, council of ministers - HoL - ping pong politics, gridlock, 60 defeats during 2015
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Other than voting in elections and referendums, how can people become involved in politics?
Join a political party, join a pressure groups, start petitions and stand in elections
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What are criticisms of referendums?
Low turnouts, rarely unbiased (more money, more unfavorable), impractical (usually too complex for yes/no), manipulated by those in power
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Assess the strengths of representative democracy as it operates in the UK.
Strong and stable government, possesses fair electoral systems which secure accurate representation, political diversity and numerous avenues to participate and engage in politics.
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What are the criticisms of representative democracy?
Low participation (legitimacy), exclusion of minorities, not truly representative, elite rule
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Other than electoral reform, how do you improve democracy in the UK?
increase use of referendums, compulsory voting, wider use of technology, introduction of initiatives
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How and why the use of digital democracy could make the UK more democratic?
engage and secure participation of the public in the political environment(Turnout is declining) - activate political debate, gauge public opinion ( hold politicians more to account), replace traditional voting (greater levels of direct democracy)
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FOR: direct democracy being more widely used in the UK
Turnout at various elections is low, may reduce the power of political parties, faults of electoral system for representatives would be reduced, enliven political life and education
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AGAINST: direct democracy being more widely used in the UK
no evidence public want it, referendum turnout isn't any better(AV), no link it increases education (AV/Brexit), political parties are essential
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In what circumstances are referendums held in the UK?
fulfill pledges made in party manifestos, provide legitimacy for constitutional change, to settle internal party disputes, satisfy coalition
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FOR: using referendums more widely in the UK
greater legitimacy for decisions, settle log standing disputes(AV), education participation
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AGAINST: using referendums more widely in the UK
promotes irresponsibility and apathy, time consuming and costly, done to suit political parties not the public
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How much does a referendum cost?
£142.4million (EU) - but general election campaigns - 2017 snap election costs max of £15 million per party
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FOR compulsory voting
increase participation levels, practical ( used in Australia), increased legitimacy, extend the citizens understanding of issues
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Explain how representative democracy is effective in the UK....
elected constituency link, specialists or experts who have both practical knowledge but high expertise, New parties and pressure groups do form and are free to operate and challenge governments, minorities are protected
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Explain how representative democracy is not effective in the UK....
‘participation crisis' (turnout), not representative, unelected second chamber
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Key features of a referendum
popular vote on a an issue of public policy, direct democracy, either binding or advisory (UK = affected by parliamentary sovereignty)
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FOR: democracy in the UK suffers a ‘participation crisis’
Turnout over the past 3 general elections has been significantly lower, Political party membership has fallen
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AGAINST: democracy in the UK suffers a ‘participation crisis’
Turnout levels in general elections have risen, the number and membership of pressure groups
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Define direct democracy.

Back

It is based on a direct, unmediated and continuous participation of citizens. The people make the decisions themselves. The effectiveness of direct democracy is based on the extent of popular participation in government.

Card 3

Front

Define indirect democracy.

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What is indirect democracy otherwise known as?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What is a referendum?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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