By Matt Cole
This textbook brings jointly an advent to the political concept of democracy when you consider that precedent days and a severe photograph of its position in Britain today.The writer examines the paintings of Plato and Aristotle, Rousseau and Mill, Marx and Weber, and locates them and others within the debate approximately what democracy capability. He then scrutinises Britain's declare to be a constructing democracy, from the ability of the best Minister and the position of political events to the impression of strain teams and the media, in addition to contemporary constitutional changes.In the context of declining public belief in political associations and lengthening reluctance to vote, an important questions are tackled: can we have a democracy, and why does it subject?
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Additional resources for Democracy in Britain (Politics Study Guide)
This does not obscure the fact that each tradition of liberty is at odds with the other, claims a uniquely close relationship with democracy, and at the same time holds that ultimately democracy must come second to its own notion of rights in the event of the two being mutually exclusive. • What the material in this chapter indicates is that, while we are used to rolling representation, liberty and democracy together in the same breath, the titles ‘representative democracy’ and ‘liberal democracy’ are in some respects each a contradiction in terms.
Interestingly, the animal theme frequently characterises criticisms of populist politics today, as with the concept of ‘dog-whistle’(superﬁcial, attention-grabbing) issues; one researcher at MORI recently even described public opinion as having the clumsy reactions of ‘an eight-hundred-pound gorilla’. What great music or poetry, Plato asks, was ever discovered by turning to popular opinion for judgement? What great leadership, therefore, can be expected from appealing to the tastes of a public which is at best only grudgingly interested and poorly informed?
Votes, when taken, were direct and open. Thus, not only did citizens take decisions and hold oﬃcials accountable in person, rather than through representatives, but they did so without the beneﬁt of the secret ballot, a relatively recent invention, but one which most twentieth-century writers regard as integral to democracy, as the means by which to prevent intimidation and bribery. Thus, the concept of democracy in its earliest form had only one central likeness with the forms commonly recognised today: the idea that power should be exercised by, or at least be accountable to, all those exposed to its use, and that this was the key moral source of authority, because all voters were regarded as having equal claim to govern their own lives.