Answer the question set
Posted by Matt Walker on September 25, 2009
Today I set my AS group some questions on democracy and participation, including the 25 mark part (c) question, Is representative democracy failing in the UK. As you start to tackle exam questions, it is really important that you understand what a question is actually asking.
This question does not require you, for example, to discuss the relative merits of direct and representative democracy. Stating that it isn’t failing because direct democracy would be unworkable in the UK does not answer the question.
Neither is there any point in suggesting that representative democracy is flawed anyway. The question is not a discussion about the merits of representative democracy.
What students must do is address the central premise (basis) of the question. Namely, that the UK’s representative democracy has its flaws, but it is not completely flawed. Both of these points must be explored in the essay.
And how should you conclude? Well, in any essay you will need to weigh up the arguments. Thus with this question, you should ask yourself, do the positive parts of the UK’s representative democracy outweigh its flaws?