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Democratic Country

A democratic country aims to have an accountable government that serve the best interests of the people it is governing. The UK is a liberal democracy which ensures that citizens should be able to influence governmental decisions made. But how far is the UK democratic? An element of Britain’s governmental system is that there is no written constitution. This means that, theoretically, the government are free to pass any legislation as long as they have the majority in parliament which could be easily achieved if the party has a large majority of seats.

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This means there is no safeguard for laws that can be altered or new ones that could be created. This is very undemocratic as the government therefore have too much power. The government is also in possession of other powers such as the royal prerogative that allows the prime minister to go to war without consent from parliament. An example of where this was used was the Iraq war in 2005 which was heavily resented by a large majority of the public. Even though this aspect of Britain’s governmental system is undemocratic, parliament generally prevents government from taking too much power.

Another way in which the UK is undemocratic is fairly similar to the reason above. As we do not have a written constitution, many of our rules are not entrenched. An example of this is the Human Rights act. Therefore, the government are free to alter these when they please which is undemocratic as, again, they government have too much power that could be abused. One example of when the Human Rights act was ignored was after the 07/05 London bombings where terror suspects civil liberties were restricted and were held in custody for longer than the permitted time.

Most liberal democracies have written constitutions which ensure that conventions such as the human rights act must be complied with. A key feature of democracies is free and fair elections. In the UK our elections are typically held within 5 years of the previous election and are free from corruption and violence. The outcomes of the elections are always considered legitimate and the changeover between governments is quick and painless. Also, everyone over the age of 18 is allowed to vote apart from very special circumstances such as being in prison. However, the election system used (fast past the

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