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‘to What Extent Is Britain a Liberal Democracy’

  • Date Submitted: 03/05/2015 12:48 AM
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‘To what extent is Britain a liberal democracy’

A liberal democracy is a type of democracy where there is an emphasis on the protection of individual rights and liberties. To be a liberal democracy a country must have the following things; accountability, free and fair elections, legitimacy and the transfer of power, information, rights and liberties, a limited government and tolerance. Britain may be classed as a liberal democracy as their government conforms to these things in one way or another.

Britain in an extent shows that it’s a liberal democracy, for example, the Government is made accountable to the public, this is because it needs to be acting in their general interests, the government is accountable to the armed forces, as ministers are required to explain and justify their actions. Also they must accept critism. This is because their actions need to be fair, just and available for the public. However, many may say that Parliament doesn’t have the time, expertise or technical support to undertake the task efficiently enough. This will let the system down in liberal terms because some ministers may go without anyone knowing about their actions.  

During the 19th and early 20th centuries. The two main parties started moving towards social liberalism and were responsible for important elements of the welfare state; additionally the early liberals introduced the NHS, which was a free health service for everyone in society. This was introduced because they believed that health care was a right rather than something that was given irregularly by charity.

However, there are some major criticisms which we can level, and these stem from the fact that the UK constitution does not successfully limit governmental power, nor does it cement our human rights. On the latter point, any British government could in theory alter our key human rights by simply passing a Bill through Parliament. In most liberal democracies, it would require a lengthy challenge to...


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