This was written in OpenOffice on a Linux computer and is attached to show how it can be saved as a . doc Microsoft word file. Can Great Britain be described as a Democracy? Dayne J. Salt Short Answer Yes, Britain can be described in any way you want, whether correct or not, as this is just an opinion. I realize this is a smart-ass response, and I apologize. Couldn't help myself. Long Answer It depends on how you look at it. All the freedoms that democracy is meant to bestow we have, but in a controlled manner.
We have civil liberties, such as freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and freedom of movement. Although this may be true in theory, there is also the argument that despite this, power is always held by a small group who have the ability to use it to their own end. For example, we have freedom of movement, but we are still controlled through passports. For freedom of speech we are controlled in that there are laws against libel and slander. At the very core of democracy is the right to vote and have elected officials, but we have a royal family and unelected House of Lords.
This also shows elitism as they are seen above the public, and we have no way to progress to that level. This goes against the democratic principle that all men are equal. The House of Lords has the power to block (although only for one year) and amend laws passed by the democratic parliament. This is being changed but slowly. Our 'first past the post' system is also only partly democratic, as does not represent the majority; the party with the greatest proportion does not necessarily have the majority of votes. So the people in power do so sometimes without the backing of the people.
This is as undemocratic as you can be. Proportional Representation when executed suitably is a much better system than 'first past the post', and it is more democratic, with every vote counting. Another problem is that MP's are whipped. That is if they don't vote the way there party wants them too they can have penalties or be kicked out of there party. In this way it isn't what the elected MP wants, and he cant go off what the people who voted for him want, but rather goes of what the party wants. There is no obligation for the MP's instigating the whipping to follow their manifesto.
In this way voters have to vote for a party, not an individual. They may like there local MP and want him to stay, but dislike there party leader and not wish him to be PM. Locally, you might like the Liberal Democrats policies in your area – sprucing up parks, or perhaps just prefer your local Lib Dem MP's views than the other alternatives. On the other hand, you might hold the view that Nick Clegg isn't strong enough or have enough experience to deal with foreign policy, and so want David Cameron to be the UK's national leader.
They're both valid views and also not at all mutually-exclusive should the leader have their own election, yet due to the way our system works, you have to choose between the two. This is quite undemocratic. Do the general public have much say in policy's anyway? Voters are simply given a choice between what the Conservatives say and what Labour say. They cannot make a third choice without voting for a party that is unlikely to going power. As a lot of policy's are influenced by international companies and corporations, the voters don't have that much say.
The international companies and corporations have such a big impact because of taxes, employment and the economy. As they have such a big influence they can have a lot of control over our government. Most countries are viewed as either Democratic or undemocratic, with a line separating them. In reality it is not like this at all. There is a scale of democracy. Great Britain IS on the democratic side of the line, but not by as much as you may think. But Is this necessarily a good thing?
Democracy is good in some ways, as long as it pushes the other values one subscribes to, not necessarily good in itself, especially if you have different beliefs. Democracy is far less important than civil liberties, human rights and essential freedoms. If I am locked in a prison because of my beliefs, it doesn't matter whether the jailer is a democrat, a monarchist, an anarchist or a totalitarian. I'm still in the damn prison. As Churchill said – "Democracy is the worst form of government – except all the others that have been tried" and "The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter. "