The UK as a Liberal Democracy

Topics: Democracy, Representative democracy, Referendum Pages: 2 (759 words) Published: November 7, 2015
Vlad Gordeev

To what extent is the UK a Liberal Democracy? [25]
Liberal democracy is a political ideology and a form of government in which representative democracy operates under the principles of liberalism. The liberal aspect of the term is derived from the fact that elections as well as political processes are done freely and in a fair form. The democratic aspect of the term is derived from the idea of people power, the citizens having the right to choose representatives and participate in political decisions as well as having an influence on the government. The UK can be seen as a liberal democracy however this is not true to an extent.

A democracy entitles the citizens of the state to participate in government decisions, such as election, as well as controlling how the government is running. The UK has been a democracy ever since the signing of the Magna Carta. The UK currently has a representative democracy which is not the purest form of democracy. It involves the citizens electing a representative for their area, or constituency who will epitomise them in the main governing body, in the UK’s case its Westminster. The UK is also democratic due to the fixed term elections that occur every 5 years. This prevents the parties from running at specific terms that make their manifesto and legislation look beneficial in the publics eye. The UK’s democracy is most visibly noticed in its elections. Nearly all of the population that is 18 or above can vote with some exceptions. The fact that citizens also have political sovereignty over referendums outcome is also a noticeable feature of the UK’s democratic status.

It is viable to argue that the UK is liberal. After Tony Blair’s victory in 1997, the liberal party decided to pass several constitutional reforms. Reforms passed such as the devolution act in 1998 which gave power to the Welsh Assembly and created a Scottish parliament. In 1999 the the Northern Ireland Assembly was given power under the Good Friday...
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