Democracy and Participation

  • Created by: Dionne
  • Created on: 01-04-13 21:24
What is Legitimacy?
The right to govern and make laws, where a government is widely accepted and a body is justified to exercise power.
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What is Consent?
Evidence people consent to be governed in a particular way by a particular government.
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What is Democracy?
It is any system of government where the people have access to independent information and are able to influence the government. It also implies the government make themselves accountable to the people.
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Features of a Modern Democracy
Fair regular elections, Access to independent information, Everyone equal under the law, Peaceful transition of power.
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What is Direct Democracy?
People are consulted directly on decisions and make their own decisions- usually by referendums.
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Advantages of Direct Democracy
People engage and learn about politics, No seperate class between politicans and the people, Can make a final descision when the government is divided, Constitutional changes can be entrenched.
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Disadvantages of Direct Democracy
Relies on participation, Emotions may get in the way, Issues may be too complex for people to understand.
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What is Representative Democracy?
People can appoint and change representatives, Delegation of power, Representative assemblies.
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Advantages of Representative Democracy
Retains a political stability, Representatives can be held accountable, Decisions made by people with more expertise.
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Disadvantages of Representative Democracy
Limited to voting and referendums, A lot of power in just a few peoples hands, Minority groups ignored.
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How Does Representation Operate in the UK?
Through MPs, Parties, House of Commons and House of Lords
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What is a Pluralist Democracy?
Power is dispersed, Multiple parties and associations allowed to operate, Different views tolerated.
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What is a Liberal Democracy?
Liberties are well protected, Strong constitution, Strong internal checks and balances.
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When Are Referendums Used?
1) When the government is split on an issue. 2) When an important constitutional change is being made that affects the way people are governed. 3) When it's necessary to entrench an important constitutional change. 4) When there is a special need t
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Advantages of Referendums
Direct democracy, Educated about certain issues, More involved in government in turn increasing voter turnout.
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Disavantages of Referendums
Oppression of minority groups, Close results and low turnout may not produce good results, Undermine government, Publics view at one moment in time.
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Advantages of Democratic Elections
Everyone can vote, Votes in secret and with no intimidation, Only allowed one vote.
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Disadvantages of Democratic Elections
FPTP wasted votes, Parties have similar ideas, Postal Votes are unreliable.
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Advantages of Parliament
House of Commons is elected, lots of debate.
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Disadvantages of Parliament
House of Lords unelected, Majority party dominates, 'Party Whip' control.
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Advantages of Devolution
Opinions from other nations are heard, Good relations maintained between countries.
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Disadvantages of Devolution
England still has majority of the power but does lose some power.
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Advantages of European Parliament
Proportional representation is used- no wasted votes.
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Disadvantages of European Parliament
England holds majority of the power, Minority groups are rarely heard.
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How Can People Participate
Voting in elections, Referendums, Becoming a member of a political party, Becoming a member of a pressure group.
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Why is Voter Turnout Decreasing?
The public- selfish, little understanding, decreasing sense of community. Politicians- lack of vision and moral purpose, scandals, 'catch all' policies. The media- climate of cynicism, only ever pick up on scandals, culture of contempt.
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Advantages of Compulsory Voting
Forces people to take an interest and learn, Get used to voting, Result has more legitimacy.
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Disadvantages of Compulsory Voting
Takes away freedoms, Costly, Won't solve underlying problems, Increased amount of wasted and worthless votes.
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Advantages of Votes at 16
Creates younger generation of voters, Blurred voting ages, Education.
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Disadvantages of Votes at 19
Immature and little interest in politics, Too much pressure, Easily influenced, Wouldn't solve problem of over 18's not voting.
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Advantages of Digital Democracy
Better access, increase voter turnout by E-voting, Independent information.
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Disadvantages of Digital Democracy
Less control, Vunerable to hacking, Demeaning politics 'reality show', People put less thought into voting.
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Advantages of Citizen Education
Improves political knowledge, Encourages engagement with politics.
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Disadvantages of Citizen Education
Expensive and may not create genuine interest.
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Advantages of Replacing the Monarchy
Would be able to settle political deadlocks, Head of state is democratically accountable.
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Disadvantages of Replacing the Monarchy
Queen brings a lot of money into the UK and we would lose an important historical institution, Gives too much power to the majority party.
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Advantages of Elected Second Chamber
More effective check on government, Would increase legitimacy of second chamber.
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Disadvantages of Elected Second Chamber
Might challenge House of Commons authority, Delays laws, May be less independent.
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Advantages of Reforming the Electoral System
Fairer and less wasted votes, House of Commons would be more representative.
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Disadvantages of Reforming the Electoral System
Remove the link between MPs and constituents, New system, Unpredictable results.
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Advantages of Decentralising the Political System
Smaller scale politics is more democratic, Less 'remote', Strengthen communities.
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Disadvantages of Decentralising the Political System
May take local and regional government less seriously, Tensions between central and decentralized government.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


What is Consent?


Evidence people consent to be governed in a particular way by a particular government.

Card 3


What is Democracy?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


Features of a Modern Democracy


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


What is Direct Democracy?


Preview of the front of card 5
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