The And Of The Westminster

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If you asked most people how to characterize a democracy, they will often cite phrases like “liberty and freedom” or “power to the people”. Although, in class, we have learned that it’s more complex than one might initially consider. It is important to note that not all democracies are governed the same way; and yet, despite these divergent elements, they still all fit under the definition of democracy. The United Kingdom, a parliamentary democracy, and Switzerland, a direct democracy, have very different forms of democratic governance. I will explore the differences and similarities of these two democracies through the lens of the Westminster (majoritarian) model criterion; and enumerate on the strengths and weaknesses of each comparison. The first Westminster model criterion we will examine is the concentration of power in one party cabinets. In the United Kingdom this manifests itself primarily through the vehicle of strict party discipline. The majority party fills government positions with their top party officials and this newly-formed government remains in power until a vote of no confidence is passed. Similarly, cabinets are typically made up of a single party and are expected to work as a cohesive unit. A cabinet member must abide by cabinet policy and there are harsh punishments inflicted upon those who do not follow party lines. Publicly denouncing a policy decision is strictly forbidden. If a member is unable to support a particular measure, then they are

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