Now that you have an understanding of power we can now move onto the UK political scene, because this is where power in society is used to help create our democracy in the UK state
How do people vote within our democracy? In the UK we have an electoral system known as the First-Past-the-Post system. Find out more about this system here. The UK political landscape is cut-up into constituencies, with each consitituency having a seat in Parliament. Uncertain about how Parliament works? Then visit this site for a guide through the Parliamentary processes and this site for an A-Z on Parliament.
Before you read further down this article click on this link to watch a step-by-step guide on what how to cast your vote on election day.
Now follow this link for a step-by-step guide and look at the results of the 2005 election here and look at the political map generated by the results from the last general election – results of other general elections.
You might also wonder what influences an individual’s decision where to cast their vote.
How has the political landscape changed? Follow this link to see the changes on the political landscape since 1970. In order to gain some understanding of how UK politics moved from Left to Right between the 1970s and 1980s watch the film Billy Elliot.
The film works on two levels. The main narrative is about cultural changes, particularly that of Billy Elliot’s family accepting that he can remain a ‘man’ and be a ballet dancer. While this cultural change is occurring, there’s also a political change coming to a resolution that of the miners’ strike. Though these two changes are in some ways interdependent – cultural influencing the political and visa versa. It’s the political change from Right to Left that we will focus on especially in relation to power. Follow this link after watching the film Billy Elliot.
The above text looks at the processes and outcomes of a General Election. But this is based on the asumption that everyone votes. If you look in more depth at the results of the 2005 election, constituency by constituency, you will see not everyone voted. Only a percentage of people voted. To understand what I mean look at the results of Christchurch and Portland & Weymouth. Particularly examine the ‘turnout’ figures which show a significant number of people failed to vote.
It’s important to recognise that in democracies there are various ways in which people can participate democratically.
Task – Identify other ways people particiapte politically
People participate politically through the following ways – next lesson