Free Essay On How Democratic Is UK?
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (abbreviated as the United Kingdom, and sometimes, on behalf of the main part - England) has traditionally played a significant role in world politics, but after the collapse of the British Empire, this role has decreased significantly. UK is a developed industrial-agrarian capitalist state. By the size of the territory is 40 times less than the US in terms of population - almost 5 times less (58 million People in 1997). It is the eighth largest in the world in terms of GDP, but the 16th - the share of GDP per capita (along with Italy and Finland).
Britain is a country with a democratic state regime, as characterized by the democratic features as:
- Recognition of political rights and freedoms to the extent that enables independent and active participation of citizens in the definition of public policies and allows legally and on equal terms to act not only parties, defending government policies, but also the opposition parties that require different policies;
- Political pluralism and political leadership transition from one party to another, and hence the formation of the main organs of higher state (parliament, the head of state) by the general and free elections by citizens; all parties, public associations, citizens are thus legally equal opportunities;
- Separation of powers, role autonomy of different branches of government (legislative, executive, judicial, and others.) Under a system of checks and ensuring interaction;
- Compulsory and meaningful participation in the exercise of state power of national representative body, and only he has the right to make laws, determine the basis of domestic and foreign policy of the state, its budget; decisions are taken by a majority in the protection of minority rights and the rights of the political opposition;
- Promotion of freedom of any political ideology, if her followers are not calling for violence, do not violate the rules of morality and social behavior, do not infringe upon the rights of other citizens.
The Form of Government
Great Britain is a constitutional monarchy. Monarchy is the oldest political institution of Great Britain. Hereditary king or queen is the head of state, and as such they personify the state. From a theoretical point of view, the monarch is the head of the executive, part of the legislative and the head of the judiciary, the commander of the armed forces and the secular head of the Anglican Church. In practice, as a result of a long evolution under the influence of political struggle awesome power of the monarch was severely limited, and now their prerogatives monarch has only nominally; powers of the monarch actually implemented by the Government, and cases where the monarchs involved in decisions, very, very few.
The negative effects of the conservation of the monarchy rather obvious and recognized even by English authors (direct intervention in political life in the selection of the Prime Minister when the House of Commons there is no majority in any party; indirect effects of the monarchy as the personification of conservatism, lack of progress, reluctance to change centuries-old tradition) . Conservation benefits for the monarchy ruling circles are larger than the effects of its shortcomings. The monarchy is an ideological weapon impact on the society. Its political goal is also obvious. When social upheaval occur in the country it is possible to use the royal prerogatives.
Basis of the Legal Status of the Individual
As the UK do not have clearly expressed the legal separation of the constitutional and other norms, there is no division of rights, freedoms and responsibilities of the individual constitutional (basic) and others. In practice the content of fundamental rights is determined not so much by the laws (although a number of special laws, since the Bill of Rights of 1679) as judicial precedents and constitutional traditions. Chief of the principles developed as a result of this, states that citizens have the right to do whatever is not prohibited by legal regulations.
After World War II, when the government was the Labour Party, the law has been committed certain guarantees social and economic rights, even though these rights is nowhere clearly not fixed. We are talking about unemployment benefits, free education in school, the right to strike, public health etc. Political rights (freedom of speech, assembly, rallies, demonstrations) are regulated mainly customs legislation these freedoms are assumed naturally existing, and it establishes a certain requirements for their implementation, such notice or police permission to hold demonstrations, the right to prohibit the police for a certain period meetings in the area where the riots on the social or ethnic basis, etc. Individual rights are governed by the laws of a few (for example, referred to the act of habeas corpus), but the specific regulation of these rights is usually associated with the acts of the proceedings (for example, during a search), with judicial precedents.
In the last decade, when the Conservatives are in power, some of the provisions of the legislation on the rights of citizens tightened - in respect of trade union freedoms and strikes, some of the limitations of personal rights introduced in connection with the acts of the fight against terrorism.
In the UK, there are several parliamentary commissioners (commissioners, ombudsmen), including the Commissioner for Administration, which should, in particular, respect for the rights of citizens controls.
As in the United States, the great importance to the activities of the government machinery in the UK has a two-party system, but unlike the US, one of the two parties which succeed each other in power, is considered employment, workers' party. In recent decades, this system undergoes certain changes. Since the parliamentary elections usually involves about ten traditional and newly formed parties, neither of the two major parties (Conservative and Labour) cannot be obtained in rare cases received a clear majority in the House of Commons. In this regard, it may be necessary in the coalition of the two main parties with a small party to secure a majority in Parliament to form a government. However, the application of majoritarian system of relative majority excludes it.
Legal Regulation of Direct Democracy Institutions
As in the US, in the UK there is a principle of separation of powers, but in his other option, since adopted the concept of the rule of Parliament. The elections to the lower house - the House of Commons (top - the House of Lords - not elected as head of state, the monarch) - are crucial for the country, for the House of Commons forms the government. The representative local organs – councils – are also elected. In Britain, as in the US, there is no on-site representatives appointed by the Centre, supervises the activities of local governments.
The selection is made on the basis of universal, equal and direct suffrage by secret ballot. These principles are not formulated as constitutional, but in fact they come from a variety of acts regulating elections. Active suffrage is granted to citizens of Great Britain, over 18 years (since 1983), as well as citizens of the Republic of Ireland and Commonwealth citizens resident in the UK. Citizens permanently living abroad are eligible to participate in the parliamentary elections only for 5 years after they have left the country. Voter registration in the voter lists (lists of registration) is required; lists are not official registrar on the basis of municipal authorities, and according to the homeowner. Appeal against irregularities in the lists, you can double, including the Court of Appeal. Compile lists ends on January 16, and they are valid for one year for all elections. A year later, the lists are compiled again (periodic list).
There are two views on Britain, which have a huge impact, but which are erroneous. According to one of them as a principle of the English polity advocates the complete separation of legislative, executive and judicial powers, each of which is entrusted to a person or group of persons, none of whom can in no way interfere with the activities of others. Spent a lot of rhetoric on the evidence that is already in the Middle Ages, when the English people were in a state of perfect rudeness, he genius of this nation brought to life and practice an elaborate division of labor, which philosophers have expounded on paper, but they never hoped to see in life.
According to another view, the special advantage of the UK based on the balanced union of the three powers. It is said that the monarchical element, the aristocratic element and the democratic element - each has its share of supreme power and the agreement of all three elements is necessary that this power could function. Great theory, called the theory of "checks and balances", is widely used in political literature, and much of this theory comes from the English experience, or they supported. They say that the monarchy has some drawbacks, some negative trends are for the aristocracy, some disadvantages has a democracy; but England has shown that it is possible to organize the direction in which these negative trends will deter, neutralize and balance each other when the whole good governance is built not only in spite of the opposing tendencies of each other, but because of them.
H. Barnett, Constitutional and Administrative Law (5th edn Cavendish 2005) 9, "A written constitution is one contained within a single document or a [finite] series of documents, with or without amendments"
Beatson, Jack (1998). Constitutional reform in the United Kingdom: practice and principles. London: Hart Publishing. p. 45. ISBN 978-1-901362-84-8.
Chrimes, S B (1967). English Constitutional History. London: Oxford University Press. p. 42.
Bogdanor, Vernon (1997). The Monarchy and the Constitution. Oxford University Press. p. 131. ISBN 0-19-829334-8.
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