The United Kingdom, is one of the oldest continuously functioning democracies in the world. There are other contenders but many countries have dipped in and out of democracy over the years. Greece was almost certainly the first to embrace democracy but have dipped in and out over the centuries. Now the title probably rests with somewhere like Iceland, Faroes Islands, Isle of Man or possibly the UK depending on your particular definition.
Whoever the winner, the point is that the UK has been democratic for a centuries and you’d expect them to be pretty good at it. However sometimes a UK citizen can look at the political system and see there’s something very wrong.
Firstly there’s the voting system, it is perfectly possible to get millions of votes without a single representative elected into Parliament. Sometimes there’s a sigh of relief where some extreme party can effectively be ignored despite garnering a sizeable following of voters. Other times it just looks profoundly unfair, consider the Green Part getting over 1/2 million votes and one member of parliament against the SNP (Scottish National Party) who got less than a million and have 31 members.
There’s lots more examples and outside the two main parties, there’s few political parties who consider the current situation fair. However even within the elected representatives strange undemocratic situations seems to occur with remarkable regularity. Take for example the Brexit situation that currently is causing utter chaos within the United Kingdom. The current Prime Minister Theresa May decided she didn’t have a big enough majority for her preferred version of Brexit so called an election to increase it. Unfortunately this didn’t go quite to plan and now there is complete disarray, with her majority disappearing.
In fact now within the British Parliament, no-one has a majority for anything. The ‘hard Brexit’ people have lost supporters because of a backlash against those who wanted to remain, the ‘remainers’ have lost supporters from a switch of voting from UKIP. The people who sit in the middle are perhaps the only hope, with maybe a drift from both sides reluctantly recognising the futility of the situation. The situation changes daily though, and political students would be advised to invest in a solution like this to watch the changes on the BBC News.
Maybe democracy will triumph in the end but at the moment it’s difficult to see. Many complain that the UK democratic system was sidestepped by using a simplistic referendum in the first place. The issue was a complicated decision with a myriad of options was reduced to a yes/no vote which was completely inadequate. Which is why we find the shambolic situation now with a divided country run by an unpopular leader with similar views.
Further Information: Bypassing region Locks – Video Proxy