politics democracy and participation

  • Created by: zun
  • Created on: 03-11-13 15:07

define democracy

"demos" is the greek work for the "the people" and cracy comes from "kratos" meaning rule or power. so democracy means ruled by the people.

there are two main types of democracy, direct democracy and representative democracy also known as indirect democracy.

direct democracy

the first form of direct democracy came from ancient athens. where men would get together and make decisions and the majority ruled. women, immagrents and slaves could not vote. a lot of time was spent at these gatherings, which meant not a lot of time to do much else. this means that this form of direct democracy would not be feasible in todays society. mainly because it would take too much time and there are too many people for everyone to participate. although some people would argue that the internet could be a new way of voting and participating.

even though nowadays most countries use a form of representative democracy, many have began using more direct democracy in the form of referendums. this is due to the fact that there is an increase in voter apathy and growing popular disillusionment with politics.having more direct democracy would make people feel like thay have more of a say rather than just electing someone else to represen them and their views.

representative democracy

representative democracy is when people elect professional politicians to make the decisions for them. if they are not servents to the people then they do not get voted for on the ballot paper. so they do this using elections.the main rules of elections are

  • free, fair and regular elections; voters can express their own views
  • universal suffrage; all adults can vote
  • party and candidate competition; voters have a choice.

liberal democracy is a form of representative democracy and limited government. there are two types of democracy. constitutional demoracy and majoritarian democracy.constitutional democracy is a form of democracy that operates within a clear constitutional framework that both disperses government power and protects minorities and individuals. majoritarian democracy is a form of democracy that is based on the principle of majority rule and emphasizes the general or collective iterests of society, rather than particular interests.

democracy in the UK

fearures of the uks demcratic system

the effectivness of democracy can be measused using the amount of power the public holds over its politicans.to what extent are uk governments held publicly/directly accountable.

core features

  • democratic elections
  • parliament
  • pressure groups

supplementary features

  • referendums
  • devolution
  • the european parliment

free and fair elections

  • the secret ballot paper was introduced in 1872
  • one person=one vote, they abolished plural voting for business ratepayers and graduates of oxbridge
  • the use of proportional representation for elections to the public bodies
  • the establishment of the electoral system in 2000
  • the proposed introduction of fixed-term parliments(to prevent governments from calling general eletions at times that favour their own prospects)

however the fairness of the electoral system has also been questioned

  • non elected bodies-the house of lords and the monarchy, neither of which enjoy democratic legitimacy
  • the…


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