Has Democracy Been Enhanced In Britain Because Of Tony Blair's Recent Political Reforms Or Not?

1486 words - 6 pages

The question at hand seeks to determine if democracy has been enhanced in Britain as a result of Tony Blair's recent political reforms or not?What is democracy? Democracy can be defined as a form of government where the population of a society controls the government. "Democracy can flourish only as a part of a rich culture of rights respected and duties performed. Most of these rights and duties relate to community life beyond the sway of the politician or the ordinary scope of performance of duties remains profound."After analyzing Britain's political system, Tony Blair recognized that there needed to be a change in the system. "We are now in the Second Age of democracy... It is time to give it a second wind. After a long battle, the First Age established universal suffrage." (Tony Blair). It was on this basis that he proposed his threefold labour party programme to increase democracy in Britain, which as a result of his manifesto led to him becoming the Prime Minister in the year 1997.The threefold programme that he proposed concentrated on strengthening the rights and obligations of citizens, taking decision making closer to the people and improving the democratic credentials of Westminster. It should be noted that the labour party was originally a socialist party, and has been responsible for most of the social legislation. However, in an attempt to regain power in Britain Tony Blair moved the labour party to a more conservative position.So what was Britain's Political system like before the reforms? Why did Tony Blair see the need to make the changes that he made? In 1928 all adult women were granted the right to vote. Since that period, no significant democratic advancement had been made. Also research shows that in 1995 a notional pole was done and seventy five percent (75%) of Britain's population said that the British system of Government needed a serious reform.According to Tony Blair's famous speech made in 1996, "Democracy's Second Age", nearly seventy years after the right to vote was extended to all adult women, Britain had changed radically. It states that the attempt to change prevailing social and economic conditions, and the need to fight two world wars hugely extended the scope of central government.He later went on to say that, "The British state presently does too little on these counts. Basic right to inform, legal equality, due process and security of property, are too often flouted... The idea that the people at large might play a greater political role is instinctively alarming to many in the elite for its implication of greater 'direct democracy'. It ought, instead, to be seen as critical to developing a richer notion of democratic citizenship."In 1900, Britain's central government spending as a share of gross domestic product amounted to nine point seven percent (9.7%), in 1930 it was thirteen percent (13%). Today it is over forty two percent (42%) steady at that level since 1979.Research goes on to show that in...

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