Democracy and Participation (Democracy (Reform (Compulsory voting…
Democracy and Participation
Consulted on specific policy issues by government
Contact with decision makers
Don't aim to gain political office
Influence public attitudes
Normally narrow aims
Meaning the (amount of) people who can vote.
Representation of the People Act 1969
Vote at 18
Representation of the People Act 1928
Voting age equalised
Representation of the People Act 1918
Men's voting age lowered to 21
Women: married, 30+, property
Great Reform Act 1832
Property still a requirement, excluding working class
Representation to urban areas eg. Manchester
Early voting rules meant only wealthy, land-owning men could vote.
Got bills into Parliament but none passed into law
Urgency of right to vote
Arrests and hunger strikes in prison
Direct action and militant methods possibly hindered progression and alienated them
Votes for Prisoners
John Hirst: can't deny human rights (he was convicted of manslaughter)
Votes at 16
All major parties but Conservative support
Julie Morgan PMB 2008 but failed
Votes At 16 Coalition run by NUS
Already implemented in Scottish elections
Electorate elect representatives to make decisions on their behalf.
People's opinions may be distorted or valued below party discipline.
House of Commons. Local councils. Regional assemblies.
2014: Scottish independence
2016: EU membership
parliamentary > popular sovereignty
People make the decisions themselves.
Government don't need to respond
. Petitions Committee choose what is debated.
2017: Stop Trump's state visit. Debated and agreed to.
Revoke Article 50.
Went against referendum result. Conflicting types of direct democracy.
Government refused to debate.
2001 general election: 59%
Less legitimacy, participation and representation.
2019 local election: Hardwick and Salters Lane 21%
Fixed with compulsory voting
House of Lords
Undemocratic, illegitimate, unaccountable, unrepresentative,
92 hereditary peers
Reduced from 650
Hereditary nature made the house elitist. Representation mostly old, white men who came from privileged, hierarchical families.
Other peers appointed by PM.
Electorate elect PM to make these decisions
Institutional power given to PM through patronage/royal prerogative.
Belfast South in 2015: won on 24.5%
Safe seats created with FPTP creates voter apathy
FPTP is disproportionate and unrepresentative
Elected House of Lords
Can legitimately challenge government on their own mandate.
More elected individuals to represent the people.
Voted against in 2011 AV ref: 67% said no.
Third party representation.
But this may deny a gov majority and lead to illegitimate gov and instability.
Australia: average of 96%
Fine implemented as a deterrent from not voting.
Improve turnout and therefore participation, representation and legitimacy.
Votes for prisoners
Votes at 16
Vote from young age= vote for life
But: Low turnout
Below 40% in 2005
Lowest turnout of any age group
However, 2017 saw a surge to 67%
Educated and can do many adult things