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The Effects Of Political Parties On A Democracy

1189 words - 5 pages

The Effects of Political Parties on a Democracy

There are indeed several aspects in the composition of political
parties that threaten democracy in the UK, whilst other aspects may
promote democracy. Careful analysis must be done in order to establish
to what extent either is true.

On the one hand, it may be argued that parties in fact promote
democracy for a variety of reasons. Firstly, they assist the
electorate by offering them a coherent choice, allowing people to vote
democratically. Rather than the electorate having to choose between
several members of each party, and having to place votes for central
government subsequent to placing local constituency votes, voting is
made simple and straightforward. Voters have merely a choice between
separate parties, and beside each party is one pre-appointed MP
Representative. Furthermore, by engaging in extensive and vigorous
campaigns before elections, and thereby holding conferences; rallies
and distributing party manifestos, parties facilitate the electorate
to make educated decisions on polling day. This further ensures
democratic voting, as it not only assists the voters to vote for those
who they realise they most identify with ideologically, but party
campaigning also gets more of the public involved, ensuring a higher
turn out at the polls. Rather than a government elected by only 40% of
the electorate, which would establish poor roots for the democracy of
that government, election campaigns get more, and a wider range of the
electorate actively involved, ensuring higher turnouts at the polls,
and thus a higher standard of democracy.

Parties are also trying to encourage more participation within the
party. They are currently trying to attract support from an
increasingly diverse and distracted society. In 1997, New Labour
capitalised on the number of women who were elected, establishing the
impression that the party is ‘female friendly’. The Conservative party
is also aiming to recruit more women and ethnic minority candidates in
time for the upcoming general election in May 2005. It has also given
higher platforms to those women already elected: Several years ago,
Theresa May was appointed as party chairman. Not only by modernising
themselves to represent current populations in Britain, parties also
modernise themselves by generating new ideas for changing times. The
labour party is the most famous for adapting its policies and
ideology. Labour changed its name to ‘New Labour’ under the leadership
of Tony Blair in 1997, to reflect these radical changes. At this time
Labour chose to adapt its policies, and lose a lot of its socialist
values. Under ‘Old Labour’ state ownership was held under high regard.
But after Thatcher’s privatisation of state businesses, Labour
acknowledged that it would be dangerous to radically...

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