How Democratic is Britain?

In this essay I will be looking at the democracy in Britain, but firstly I would like to be sure that it is clear what democracy means. Democracy is when there's a system of government, whose representatives have been elected by the population. This means that the society is able to choose themselves, they have freedom of speech and views. The opposite of this is Dictatorship, this is when a ruler has total power over a country, a person who tells people what to do in an autocratic way or who determines behaviour in a particular area.

Politics is concerned with power differences at every levelling society its about negotiation and decision making within individuals at a personal level, groups at a personal level and groups at a national level. This topic is a topic that many sociologist are interested in, they want to find out how democratic Britain is because everything sociologists study are linked to each other and this topic is linked to equality in society. Sociologist want to know if our society is as equal as it's said to be, but we all know that in our society there isn't total equality.

One of the important principles of democracy is that we are able to participate in the political process in order to make our views known. We do this by voting, joining a political party and writing to the press or our M. P. 's. We have a Parliamentary democracy, this means that there's a system where leaders are selected to represent the people through elections. These are the Members of Parliament (M. P. ) who are elected. The British system has a number of fixed posts, these posts holders are the civil servants, the lords and the judges.

These are the three main institutions of the state and the most powerful groups in society. The role of the state is to act as an umpire or referee rather than side with one party over another. The problem with this is that most of the people who work for the state are middle and upper class and all seem to share the same views about the way society should be run. This means that not all views are being represented their views are elitism. Due to this critics argue that Britain is not democratic because we have an unelected House of Lords and a Hereditary Monarchy.

In this system there are three types of power and three types of authority that Max Weber drew out, Economic power, Physical power and Non-co-operative power, Traditional authority, Charismatic authority and Legal authority. Economic power is when money has lead someone to power, it can reach to the point were there's exploitation. Physical power is taken over someone using physical force over someone more vulnerable to them. Non-co-operative power is when someone refuses to follow what the person in power order therefore the one who refuses will become empowered themselves.

Traditional authority is when it is accepted because it's always been done that certain way, it's traditional within the culture. Charismatic authority is when a person has something special about them in their personality that the public is drawn to. Legal authority is accepted because it is the law, you can be sent to prison for disobeying the law. There are three factors about the state that seem to support Marx's view, they are: 1. most Mp's are white. 2. most of them are from the middle class and 3. most of them are men.

Due to this many groups are no longer voting because they feel their views are not represented or they feel that there is racism, sexism and bias within the political system. The pluralists argue that the states approach is towards everyone in society. Including the different ethnic groups, all ages, all genders and all other groups that exist in society. Political power is spread a spread among these groups. Unlike the conflict who argue that the state's approach is towards those who have had a privileged education and background.

Thos who are in the senior possessions such as the judiciary. They believe that the policies benefit the bourgeoisie and ruling class. For this reason is why pressure groups have a very important role in maintaining democracy in Britain. Pluralists have a positive role of them. They help politicians keep in touch with the wishes of the public. They provide the government with the expert information. There are links between our voting behaviour and our social class, ethnicity, age and gender.

People vote for the party that the best represents their views or interests, these views and interests are brought to us by the way we are socialised. We get these views and interests through the way we are socialised, we get influenced through our families, our peer groups and the media influence our political views and attitudes on politics. I feel that the media is the main influence in our political socialisation in the media because it influences our lives in everything.

The media often use "Spin" and "Spin Doctors" they use these in campaigns to persuade us to vote a particular way. "Spin" and "Spin Doctors" are use to either catch out the opponent by using images or interviews were they look as if they were going against what they said they would do in their manifesto, for example printing a certain phrase they said out of context so they look bad. If they are unable to do this they might make up things up about them and use it to get the public to vote for them.

These techniques are a type of propaganda because they want you to believe something that is not exactly true but as long as they look like the good ones it doesn't matter. I have come to my conclusion of this essay, I believe that Britain is democratic because we get to vote in the Members of Parliament who are there to represent us. But there is a minority of people who have an incredible power within our government who make Britain and undemocratic country because it's up to them to pass a law or any other decisions.

This wouldn't be a problem if they thought the way the nation do but their backgrounds have a great influences in the way they think and their thoughts are very different to ours. I don't agree with the present parliamentary system because those who are involved in the system are elite, I think that if they wanted a true democratic Britain they would bring in a new system to vote in who we want to be at the top deciding what the right thing would be for our society, including the royal monarchy.