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Comparison of British System Today with Athenian Democracy

Democracy In Ancient Athens

Do you think that an ancient Athenian would have recognized the constitution of the U.K as a democracy? A Comparison of the British system today with the Athenian system then

An Athenians perception of democracy is as follows, it meant the government of people as a whole. Athenians seen the basis of their state as liberty and a principal of that being to rule and to be ruled and that the majority must be supreme. The characteristics of Athenian democracy are: all citizens are eligible for all offices, rule all over each and each over be ruled, offices are filled by lot-not by skill, the same man could not hold the same office more than once in their life and very rarely twice (in the case of the military), short term of office for all offices or as, many as possible of each office, Jury-courts are all chosen from all citizens, the Assembly is the sovereign authority in everything, payment for services in the Assembly, in the law courts, and in the offices, is regular for all.

Today democracy is a totally different system, Britain is a representative democracy. This is where citizens within a country elect representatives to make decisions for them. Every 5 years in Britain, the people have the chance to vote into power those they wish to represent us in Parliament. These MP's meet in the House of Commons to discuss matters and pass acts which then become British law. Within the House of Commons, each elected MP represents an area called a constituency. The voters in this constituency passed on the responsibility of participating in law making to this MP who, if successful within the Commons, could be re-elected by that constituency at the next general election. For five years, MP's are responsible to their electorate. In this way they are held accountable to them. If they fail to perform (or if the party has done badly during its time in office) they can be removed by the people of their constituency. In this way, the people exercise control over their representatives. However, by handing to their MP's the right to participate in decision making within the Commons, the electorate is removing itself from the process of decision making. Today when you vote for a party you cannot vote for individual policies, you are given a package of policies. People who can vote today...

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