HOW DEMOCRATIC WAS BRITAIN BY...? (PARTICIPATION (Parliament act (In 1911…
HOW DEMOCRATIC WAS BRITAIN BY...?
Property qualification abolished
Meant that anyone could become an MP, in theory
Opened the door to people from different backgrounds, allowed for working class views to be better represented in parliament.
In 1911 gave MPs a salary of £400 per week
This allowed much more people to become MPs because they had a salary and so could be a politician and support their family at the same time
Allowed working class people to become involved in politics and spread working class viewpoints and political ideas
HOWEVER, the House of Lords is still mostly unelected and they can delay bills up to 1 year. 92 hereditary peers.
RIGHT TO VOTE
1918 Representation of the People act
Gave men over 21 and soldiers over 19 the vote
Women were represented for the first time ever.
1867 second reform act
Created 120,000 new voters. 8% to 28% eligibility
Working class men were represented in parliament for the first time. Able to protect working class issues and interests.
HOWEVER, conscientious objectors were denied the vote until 1926. Women did not gain the vote on the same terms as men
ACCESS TO INFORMATION
Newspapers and railways
Newspapers allowed for the general population to become better informed of their political choices. Political awareness not confined to the elite.
Railways allowed for people to become better informed politically as politicians toured by train. For example, Gladstone toured by train in the Midlothian campaign in 1880.
Railways also allowed for political parties to organise themselves into local associations and for greater voter participation.
Compulsory education from 5-13.
Meant that people became literate and they were then able to make better informed political decisions and know who they were voting for.
HOWEVER, many working class men were still not very informed politically because they left school to find work and were still illiterate
1883 Corrupt and Illegal Practice act
Illegal to bribe or impersonate a voter or face 7 years imprisonment.
System less open to corruption and more reflective of voters wishes.
1872 Secret Ballot Act
Made it so voting was done in secret.
Employers or landlords could not influence their tenants or employees vote.
For example, mill workers in Bradford felt pressured to vote for who their employer voted for.
Made Britain more democratic as people could vote for who they actually wanted to, so the results were reflective of voters wishes.