Exploring the Differences Between Liberal Democratic, Authoritarian and Totalitarian Political Systems

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Exploring the Differences Between Liberal Democratic, Authoritarian and Totalitarian Political Systems Defining political systems is a difficult thing to do as no single system is completely static, they often change dependant on things like war and trends in regimes, such as the recent insurgence in ‘liberal democracies’ means that the classifications of systems changes over time. The British Westminster system is considered to be a ‘liberal democracy’ however in the Second World War there were several powers exercised by the government which do not fit with this type of system for example control was exercised over the media and labour and elections were put off. These powers were only used as a…show more content…
The citizens elect a representative who will act on their behalf. There is a constitution that regulates government, within the constitution the rights of the individual are defined, these rights are very important; as a result liberal democracies allow organised, voluntary groups, such as trade unions and pressure groups which can operate independent of government. There is at least a degree of seperation of powers as a method of keeping the system in check with the constitution. Though liberal democracy is an attempt to allow the masses the opportunity to be decide on collective issues, by electing a representative to speak for them the emphasise placed on civil liberties makes this impractical: ‘the scope of democracy is limited by constitutional protection of individual rights, including freedom of assembly, property, religion and speech.’ Hague (2004: 35) The current system in the UK is a liberal democracy. Authoritarianism is the traditional system of most societies and still exists in many today. Authoritarian states are non-democratic; they either have a single ruler or a single political party in power. They work on a system of power ’from above’; public opinion is not taken into consideration. Individual liberty is considered to be less important than the authority of the ruler. The public are not allowed to participate in

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