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Democracy, Unit 1

Postal Votes

Unit 1 examiners like candidates to consider how democratic the UK system currently is. Questions about democratic deficit and challenges to our democracy frequently pop up.

It’s much easier to make the case that our elections are democratic (every five years (now with Fixed Terms), universal suffrage (apart from lunatics, the homeless, prisoners and 16/17 year olds) and a generally free system (easy to stand for elections, secret ballot, easy access to voting (polling stations/ proxies etc.) the case against is generally harder to make.

This piece from today’s Independent re- examines the role of postal votes. Seen as a way of increasing participation and spreading democracy the system of postal vote on demand has been seen as flawed since its inception in 2001.

Mary Ann Sieghart looks at what she considers to be endemic voter fraud in Britain’s Asian communities. The evidence in this piece would make an excellent, detailed and developed point if you need to question the levels of democracy in Britain. It also discusses the moves currently being made by the coalition that aim to improve this situation (e.g. individual registration)- again excellent fodder for a response suggesting how Britain is becoming more democratic.






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