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The Basic Concepts Of A Liberal Democratic Theory Of The State

1847 words - 7 pages

The Basic Concepts of a Liberal Democratic Theory of the State

Liberalists believe that everybody is free and equal and has the same
rights and choices as anyone else. This is best summed up in the
Constitution of the U.S.A., which states "all men are created equal".
In a modern Liberal democracy people enter in to a contract with those
who govern them for a fixed period of time. In the U.K. this is set at
5 years although the government can choose to call an election at any
time throughout this period. The government is not permitted to break
this "contract" and cannot stay in power for any longer than 5 years
without an election being held. Once an election is called all of the
main political party's campaign to try and win support from the
voters. Anybody over the age of 21 who is a citizen of the country or
commonwealth may also choose to nominate themselves to be a candidate
in an election even if they are not a member of a political party.
(Some restrictions apply) To ensure than there are no time wasters,
candidates are requested to pay £500 before an election and they get
it back if they win a 5% of the vote. A Liberal democracy also has to
be representative so that all areas of the country and people from
different backgrounds, race, religion should have some form of
representation in parliament. During an election, people have the
right to choose who they want to be elected and should be under no
pressure or influence to vote for somebody they don't want to. Men and
women over the legal age limit (18) have the right to one vote each,
provided they are on the electoral register although certain people
such as members of the House of Lords, the mentally ill, people in
jail can not vote. When the day of the election comes, the votes are
cast confidentially and are later counted. In the U.K. the "first past
the post" system is used, so the political party that wins the
majority of seats in the election, is elected to serve as the
government. If the public are unhappy with the way that the government
is performing, the Liberal theory allows the public to remove them
from power.

Once in Power, the government has to follow certain rules so that they
can't take complete control over the country or be governed by a
dictator. To ensure this, a liberal state would have a Constitution,
which is a set of rules that must be obeyed by those in power and/or a
Bill of Rights which "entrench individual rights by providing a legal
definition of the relationship between the individual and the state".
(P41, Political Ideologies, A Heywood) In the U.S.A. they have a
written constitution that has to be obeyed by the government. This
constitution splits the American government in to different parts and
also gives local governments powers so that different states in the
U.S.A. have...

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