Analyse whether Britain is a true democracy
A democracy is literally, the terms meaning power of the people (combining the Greek words demos, meaning “the people,” and kratos meaning “to rule” or “power”). It is usually used to describe a political system where the legitimacy of exercising power stems from the consent of the people. Accordingly, a democratic polity is often identified by the existence of constitutional government, where the power of the leaders is checked and restrained; representative institutions based on elections, which provide a procedural framework for the allocation of power by the people; competitive parties, in which the ruling majority respects and guarantees the rights of minorities; and civil liberties, such as freedoms of speech, press, organization, and religion.Aristocracy is a political system in which a privileged class holding hereditary titles (the most powerful members of a society). The word “aristocracy” is the Greek aristo – cratia (rule of the best-born).
It is a hierarchical structure where power is not distributed evenly. It rests mostly with a small group including the king.In a direct Democracy the government is made by the people, with all functions and duties exercised directly by the populace with few or no elected representatives.There is also a representative Democracy in which is a system where the people participate in the decision-making process of government not directly but indirectly, through the election of officials to represent their interests. The elections of officials who represent are often known as MPs.
Britain is apparently a representative democracy.In addition to that there is the Totalitarian state. Totalitarianism and democracy are worlds apart in this typological differentiation. A totalitarian state has the rule and existence of only one party, and they don’t take notice of elections and which does not recognize restrictions to its power in the form of a popular will. Indeed, the party regards influencing popular will with its own ideology as being its duty.
Citizens have little choice than to accept the ruling ideology in totalitarian systems. Citizens are forbidden from having an alternative opinion. Instead they are forced to actively support the ruling ideology. An example of a Totalitarian state is “Nazi Germany” where Hitler was a dictator.There are all sorts of power, some of which are:o Coercion (force) ~ A form of power based on forced compliance through fear and intimidation. Example: Adolph Hitlero Law ~ All the rules of conduct that have been approved by the government and which are in force over a certain territory and which must be obeyed by all persons on that territory (eg.
the “laws” of Australia). Violation of these rules could lead to government action such as imprisonment or fine, or private action such as a legal judgement against the offender obtained by the person injured by the action prohibited by law.o Traditional ~ An inherited pattern of thought or action which makes others follow it.o Authority ~ Permission or a right coupled with the power to do an act or order others to act. Examples include an employer to an employee, a principal to an agent, a corporation to its officers, or governmental empowerment to perform certain functions.
o Love ~ A soul quality, which makes us able to hold both our adversaries and friends in our hearts with equal compassion, in which makes some of us do what the person we love wants, even though we may disagree with it, in order to make them happy.o Charismatic ~ A person who seems charming or captivating, possessing an extraordinary ability to attract; “a charismatic leader”; “a magnetic personality” who can have the ability to lead and influence large numbers of people. Example: Nelson MandelaAs a democratised Britain we have the power to exercise and influence our rights as citizens.There are many ways to influence the governments’ decisions. One, as individuals.
And two, as a group.As individuals we can influence by:o One way we can participate in local government is to become an elected representative of the people within your area. As an elected councillor, people are able to exert an influence on the decisions that are taken by the local government. You can become a councillor if you are 21 or over on the day of nomination, do not have any criminal convictions, have property in or work connections within the council area, are a UK, commonwealth or EU citizen, have not been declared as bankrupt and do not work for the council for whom you wish to be councillor.o At the age of 18 and above, you can vote for the type of political party that you want to rule the country, based on their key policies.
For example, the government of today is Labour, which focuses its key policies on Education, Health services, the Euro ect. Although we certainly can’t make the statement that most people are obviously motivated by their own immediate interests when they cast their vote, there does seem to be some relation between the way people vote and their economic and social levels. Many people vote the way they think will benefit most immediately their pockets or their particular religious, nationality, local, or racial groups. Furthermore, many voters are active in politics and seek their personal interests through the political party.o You can write to your MP, which doesn’t always work, as I have found out.
In addition to that you could meet up with your local MP/ councillor at the surgeries held every month and discuss your ideas.o You can get people to sign a petition and argue your case to your local MP or government.As a group we can Influence by:o Making a pressure group. As the saying goes, you get “power in numbers.” The government are most likely to be influence by a group of people rather than an individual. But what is a pressure group? Well there are types of pressure groups.
Promotional, protective, insider and outsider groups.* What is a promotional pressure group?Promotional groups endeavour to promote a particular cause, and for this reason are sometimes called ’cause’ groups. They are not self-interested in that the achievement of their objectives is not necessarily of direct professional or economic benefit to the members of the group. Examples of cause groups are Shelter, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) and Green peace. Because “cause” groups aim to promote a cause – which might potentially be supported by everybody, regardless of their profession or economic position – membership is not usually restricted. **However, that does mean that “cause” groups have or want to have a large membership.
Some cause groups have few members but a great deal of influence. For example, Liberty – a group with 5,000 members – put pressure on the Labour Party, in opposition and in government, to make the incorporation of the European Convention on Human Rights into UK law a priority.*** What is a protective pressure group?Protective pressure groups seek to protect or defend their members’ interests.* What is an insider pressure group?Insider groups have strong links with decision makers and are regularly consulted. They are the groups that the government considers to be legitimate and are, therefore, given access to decision makers.
For example, insider groups might be included in regular meetings with ministers or civil servants and they might be included on lists for circulation of new government proposals. Insider groups can be further divided into two categories. The first is institutions within the state apparatus. This category includes organisations such as the Church of England and the police force. They can be described as insider groups because they are involved in the consultation process as a matter of course when government proposals relevant to their activities are discussed.
The second category is external groups. Whilst institutions within the state apparatus are consulted in the discussion process of governmental proposals, the same is not true of external groups with insider status. Instead they are the independent organisations such as trade unions and charities.* What are outsider groups?Outsider groups have none of the advantages of insider groups. They cannot expect to be consulted during the policy-making process, nor can they expect to gain access to ministers and civil servants. Rather, they have to work outside the governmental decision making process and, therefore, have fewer opportunities to determine the direction of policy.
In addition to the above, all in all, I believe that Britain isn’t a proper democracy. My opinion to democracy is that:In a democracy, all powers are suppose to be exercised entirely equal to everybody. But in Britain its power isn’t exercised equally, nor fully and when exercised, it isn’t exercised properly-approximately 47% of the time.The reasons why our democracy isn’t a true democracy:o Our democracy seems ageist. Young people can not vote under the age of 18. I believe people age 16 and above should be able to vote, as we are old enough to pay taxes, old enough to get married, old enough to die for your country and have most of the rights what someone age 18 does.
You could argue that we are too young, but I feel that we should have a right to choose who runs the country and who makes the laws that we all abide by. I do believe that young people are often the ones who have real issues, but we need a voice to express those issues. It is debateable that a 16-year-old would not understand enough about the issues involved to be able to vote, many people think most people that age wouldn’t be interested in voting and that we aren’t mature enough.I asked somebody aged 27 about their view on this and they said, “Ok, tell me one thing that a 16 year old could want from the government that wouldn’t be a complete waste of time for them like free computer games on every street corner.” I truly disagree with that response and deem to think that this was an incredibly cynical and ignorant view on a 16 year olds mental capacity – it’s views like that persons which stops us being able to prove ourselves.
My belief is that 16-year-olds do understand the issues and they do need a vote, I’ve met many 14-year-olds who are extremely mature beyond their years and at the same time there are plenty of 25-year-olds who are immature for their age and it would be impossible to bring in a system which tested the maturity of every individual before they were allowed to vote. If the information was supplied about the political parties available to vote for, then I do believe it would be one successful step towards a more democratic society/country.In addition to that, you have to be 21 or over to become an MP.But in perspective the vast majority of MPs are over 30. I want to argue, that, why have “old” members?The dilemma that I see with modern democracy is:1- ignorant or otherwise, the masses are easily manipulated by media and entertainment.
It gets worse. Since we don’t have direct access to events (past or present), we’re dependent on the media regardless of whether we are “easily manipulated”. This dependence poses problems all by itself. Maintaining access to sufficient and credible information is difficult for even the most diligent. Moreover, synthesizing all that information into a coherent viewpoint is often time consuming and impractical. Relying on ready-made opinions from mainstream media is obviously less than ideal – since media is motivated by profit, one must contend with the usual rating-boosters like fear mongering, melodrama, and needless obfuscation.
But so called “alternative media” is often little better.2- Once elected, representatives are rarely held accountable to election promises or behaviour in office3- As those that turn up to vote are generally a minority in terms of the overall electorate, particularly in smaller elections to public office, the results are open to deviation by groups with a political agenda.The answer lies, I believe in a non-representative internet-driven oligarchy, where the right to vote is earned (maybe? ~ such as anybody at any age can vote as long as they have done something to earn this), parliament is computerised and capitalism is declared redundant.Perhaps on reflection a little flawed. Nevertheless, democracy was never intended to be a two horse fashion (fascist?) parade.”Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people.” ~ Oscar Wilde