Over the years some people have argued that Britain's Parliamentary system in places is undemocratic. The arguments lie in the Elective system and Parliament. The most argued issue has been our "First Past the post" voting system. The FPTP questions the whole issue of democratic elections in that the majority will of the people within one constituency may be reflected in the electoral outcome. Of the Candidates standing in a given constituency, the one who receives the highest number of votes is elected.
The system works fine when there are only two parties, but it becomes undemocratic as soon as you introduce a third candidate but in practice in the vast majority of constituencies there will be more than two parties standing as candidates. The FPTP has discriminated against the parliamentary power of the third party, which today are the Liberal democrats. The Tories and Labour have benefited from this system time and again, Margaret Thatcher was repeatedly elected in this way.
At a proportionate level, the liberal Democrats should have got around 106 seats in Westminster if their representation was based on similar support for the labour party. This undemocratic problem could be solved by proportional representation, but this also has many down sides. The electoral system is also considered undemocratic that in one sense a vote in one constituency can mean more than a vote in another. Critic's point out that what decides general elections happens in a small number of marginal constituencies. Usually, around 500 seats are "safe" seats in these seats; the result is almost a foregone conclusion.
The winning party gains more votes than it needs to win. Votes for other parties count for little. In marginal seats every vote is important. The results in marginal s determine the complexion of the government. In Britain we have a fusion of powers unlike the Americans who have a separation of powers. This means that the Prime minister and the House of commons are directly linked and the commons holds the majority of the Prime minister s party. It makes the British system far more centralised. In America they are different institutions and can be controlled by different parties.
Our system of Fusion of Powers has been described by many as an undemocratic system, especially by Lord Hailsham. Lord Hailsham referred to this system as an elective dictatorship. This means that a powerful government can be created with overwhelming parliamentary power, which can usually push through its required legislation, but with only a minority of the country supporting it. Also the absence and lack of referenda enhance the idea of the electoral dictatorship Hailsham describes. Party representation is whereby MPS are made to back their party.
They are basically elected under a party label. They are in the Commons to agree with the Prime minister and not representing the good their constituency, which they are supposed to do due to our representative democracy. This makes parts of the general public unprecedented, which makes it undemocratic. Recently Tony Blair has emphasised that the amount of Hereditary peers in the House of Lords in Undemocratic. The criticism has been that, as an un-elected body, which is not accountable to the electorate, it is an undemocratic institution.
Other criticisms have been that the Prime minister can recommend the appointment of life peers since this gives him the power of patronage. The other is the fact the House of Lords is out dated. Not only is the hereditary principle is out dated, they argue, it also helps to restrict the social composition of the house. Heredity and patronage, critics argue, can no longer be justified as the basis for choosing part of the legislature. It is the matter of political principle that those chosen by the electorate in an election since elections ensure that representative are accountable for their actions.