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Political participation in a representative democracy

In a representative democracy, every person does not directly contribute to the governing of the state. Instead, representatives are elected to make decisions on behalf of the people. In Britain, MP’s are elected by constituencies throughout the country, each MP representing the people of his or her constituency. In this essay I shall discuss the importance of political participation by the citizens, and how this relates to the role of the representative. Political participation can take a wide range of forms. Voting, be the easiest and most basic form, is also the most important form of participation. Other ways a citizen could be involved with politics include demonstrating, writing to a representative or joining a pressure group. However if citizens participate in only one way, they should vote. Voting is very important as it provides the government with a legitimate claim to power, and therefore can implement laws and policies with authority. Without this authority, laws are continually broken and the government cannot successfully lead the country. Therefore the act of voting is very important in a representative democracy. However, the importance of voting can vary according to what role the representative is seen to have. There are two roles that a representative could adopt. The first role that a representative might adopt is that of representing the decisions of the region he or she represents. This would involve getting a response from the electorate regarding particular issues, and then representing this response when called to do so by government. Therefore in order for this to work the representative needs to keep in touch with his constituency and must communicate constantly with a large number of citizens. Therefore, in this first approach, the views of the majority of the constituency should always be represented by its representative. This also means that the constituency’s views would be represented even if t...

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Political participation in a representative democracy. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 19:29, January 31, 2015, from