What Is A Liberal Democracy Essay Research

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What Is A Liberal Democracy? Essay, Research Paper A liberal democracy is a system of governing a country. It is one in which the citizens of the country have total freedom and equality. In a liberal democracy, the legislature, executive and the judiciary are kept separate to avoid power resting in one place. There are many features which make up a liberal democracy, these are. Elections they must be free and fair, there must be a choice of political parties, with different views/opinions and policies. A secret ballot must be held so that the voter does not feel pressured into casting a vote for a political party that they do not want to. The government and Parliament must be elected by and accountable to the voters. The elections must be regular, e.g. the USA have elections

every 5 years. The government must call referendums on important issues. Finally, the outcome of the elections must be respected thus allowing power to change according to public demand.Another feature of a liberal democracy is civil liberties. The citizens must enjoy a high degree of civil liberties, like freedom of speech, assembly, movement, property, and conscience. There must also be social freedom like divorce and abortion. These liberties must not be taken away or abused by the government otherwise they should be accountable to the relevant court i.e. in the US-Supreme Court, in the UK European Court of Human Rights. Closely linked to civil liberties are equal opportunities, in a liberal democracy there must be no discrimination. There must be no racism, sexism, ageism or

discrimination of the disabled.One more feature is a fair justice system, anyone accused of a crime must be offered legal representation this is to prevent any claim that they were wrongly charged of a crime because they couldn’t afford to have a lawyer to represent their case properly. There must be a trial by jury so that the person accused is tried by his own people. Everyone should be innocent until being proven guilty; this is so that the chance of an innocent person being imprisoned is minimal.A liberal democracy must have a limited government that is open and accountable to the public; the government can keep secrets but only the ones that are a matter of national defence. The public must have the right to scrutinise and check the government.There must also be a free

press and media, which must not be under state control, must be able to criticise the government and all the major political parties must receive neutral TV coverage.The constitution this is a set of rules and guidelines, which would outline and limit the powers of the government. In the United Kingdom the electoral system is free and fair. There is a secret ballot and universal suffrage of 18 plus. There is arguably a choice of parties and the outcome is always respected, there are not many referendums but the ones that they have are on constitutional matters, e.g. 1997 Referendum on whether Scotland should have its own parliament.In the UK there is a high degree of civil liberties, we have a relatively free society, we have free speech, assembly, property, conscience/religion,

equal opportunities and social freedom like abortion. The UK is a signatory to the European convention of Human Rights; this is an organisation that protects the civil liberties of all its members’ citizens. Recently the Blair government has tried to incorporate this into UK law so that it can be upheld in British courts. There have been a lot of laws, which encourage equal opportunities. E.g. In 1965,1968 and 1976 race relation laws were introduced. In 1975 the sex discrimination act was introduced. In 1970 the equal pay act was introduced, in theory this meant that men and women should earn the same amount for the same job. The judiciary is kept separate of the government; this is to avoid decisions being made to please the government. There is trial by jury and the