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Hi everyone, welcome to today's lesson.

This is lesson four of six.

In today's lesson we are looking at how does the UK's political systems compare to other systems from around the world? For today's lesson you are going to need a pen and some paper and some highlighters if you've got them.

But if you don't have them, don't worry.

And as always you are going to need a quiet working space free from distractions so that I've got your full attention for the duration of this lesson.

What I'll ask you to do now is just pause the video, grab that equipment, find that space and once you're ready to resume click play on the video again.

In today's lesson we are looking at three key elements.

We're going to explore what is meant by the term democracy.

Then we're going to look at the features of a democratic society.

Looking at what specifically the United Kingdom has.

And then we're going to look at comparing political systems to the UK's democracy.

So hopefully by the end of this lesson we will answer those three key questions and you will be able to look at what a feature of democratic society is and how that compares to the United Kingdom.

To get us thinking first then what I'd like to do is ask you a couple of questions about what you know already about the United Kingdom.

Now I've asked a question here, in terms of the United Kingdom, what freedoms do we have? Now you can label freedoms as rights you can have them as freedoms, laws and I've given you four images there of things that you might associate with the United Kingdom.

So what I'd ask you to do now is write down as many examples as you can think of, of what freedom's do we have in the United Kingdom.

And then a little bit of an extension task to the first one there is why do these freedoms exist? Where do we get them from? So what I'll ask you to do now is pause the video here and complete that task, what do you know about the United Kingdom? What freedoms do we have? How many can you label? So pause the video now and resume once you are finished.

Okay, so these are my first thoughts when I think of what does the UK look like in terms of our rights that we have.

We have the right to vote, we have the right to a fair trial we have a right to free press so the newspapers can print reliable information.

We have the right to protest, we have the right to free speech, and we have the right to an education amongst a lot of other rights.

And where we get these rights from, we get these rights from the Human Rights Act which was in 1998, based on other legislation that's gone in from Europe and from the United Nations.

We get these laws from the Queen who is our Constitutional monarch who we've looked at in previous lessons.

What I'd like you to do now is what would the opposite of the United Kingdom look like? So if we have all of these freedoms and rights in the United Kingdom, what would the opposite look like? And what I would like you to do is just write down what would you see in these countries.

So if we have all of these rights and freedoms in the United Kingdom.

What would another country who do not have those freedoms look like? And a little bit of an extension task there, can you think of any countries that are the opposite of the UK's democracy.

So do any countries come to mind straight away when you're thinking about lack of rights perhaps? So if you'd like to pause the video here and complete the task, what does the opposite of the United Kingdom look like? Okay, so the opposite to the United Kingdom might look at, there's no elections, there's no voting for the leaders that are in charge.

There might be questions about legal proceedings so it might be corrupt in court.

The media might be censored so it may be controlled by the people that are in charge so the material that you're getting might not be as accurate.

And you may not have the right to protest or to speak freely out in public.

Also, if we have a constitution monarch in the form of the Queen.

A country who is the opposite may just have one leader who holds all the power and perhaps misuses that power.

There might be no protection for citizens in terms of their human rights.

They may not have any human rights legislation, and if people do feel that their human rights are being withheld, if they go to court the court process might not be fair either.

So by looking at that we can look at what is democracy? Now you may have came across this term, democracy, before.

But what we're going to do is we're going to define it.

So, democracy can be defined as follows.

It comes from the Greek work demos which means common people, and kratos which means ruled by the people.

Together you have the system of democracy.

And democracy is a system of government in which power is vested in the people.

It can be exercised by them directly or through freely elected representatives.

Now in the United Kingdom, we have the latter of that.

We have representative democracy.

So we elect officials, we elect members of parliament to act on our behalf and represent our thoughts and feelings in parliament, okay? So you can pause the video here very quickly and take down that definition, just so you are aware of what democracy is and what democracy looks like.

Now if we look at a democracy, I've said here that there are six key features of a democracy.

So number one, and these are in no particular order by the way, they're not sort of hierarchal.

They're not sort of the most important first.

So I'm saying number, free and fair elections.

So you can vote for who you want and the election process is fair, and the winner is who the people truly want.

Number two, we have a multi party system so there's not just one political party standing for the vote, we have lots of different political parties, and we have lots of little parties that perhaps want to stand for a particular cause like Green Peace.

We've also got protection of human rights.

So as we mentioned earlier in the video, we have the Human Rights Act of 1998 and that is protected in our law.

We've also got active participation of citizens.

So we have the right to protest and they participate for rights and perhaps any rights that have been abused or withheld.

We also have the rule of law.

So everybody has equal say and nobody is above the law.

Now we've covered that in previous lessons here at Oak and if you want to go back and look at the rule of law you can do on a separate lesson.

And we also have separation of powers.

So we have an independent legislature, executive and judiciary, and they all keep checks and balances on one another and we will go through that shortly.

If we break that down then to key features of a democracy, the free and fair elections, they should be regular so they should be held within a certain time frame.

They should be held in a secret ballot.

Now that's really important because you shouldn't feel pressured into voting for somebody, and then somebody shouldn't be able to know who you voted for and perhaps cause you problems. Universal suffrage saw the vote and the right to vote has gone on for decades, and everyone who should be entitled vote, should be able to vote.

So if you're entitled to vote, you should be able to have that right.

And majority rule.

So those that win the majority in the elections get to have the power.

And that is through the fair election process.

As we've said a multi party system, you get a number of choices and they perform scrutiny on one another.

So if party A is in power, party B are there to hold them to account and to challenge them on any decisions that they make.

We also have the protection of human rights and a strong democracy should aim to protect the rights of the people.

So by having that protection of human rights has the interest of the people at the heart, so we have the freedom of speech, we have that freedom of association to gather into protest and we look at individual and minority rights.

So when we look at the Equality Act, the human rights there we look at how people of minorities are also protected.

Now if we look at the powers of government as we said earlier, they are split into three.

We have the legislature, we have the executive and we have the judiciary.

And there are three separate branches of government and they each have a role to play to ensure that democracy exists.

First of all, we have the legislature.

Now other than being a really hard word to say what the legislature is, is parliament.

Okay? And parliament is something called a bi-cameral house.

Bi meaning two.

Two houses are the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

The House of Commons being the primary chamber and the House of Commons is what we elect the members of parliament into.

Now their job is the legislative body.

They create the laws, okay? So they go through the parliamentary processes and they create new legislation.

Separately we have the executive, and this is the Prime Minister and his or her cabinet and they form together the executive branch of government.

Now what we need to know is the British Constitution is uncodified, so it's not written down in a single place.

Which means that it's flexible and the executive are able to add and to amend that uncodified constitution.

Ultimate authority lies with the monarchy, so lies with the Queen, and then that duty is then fulfilled by the Prime Minister of that time.

So it's very separate from the legislature, but also it's a very important process in the branches of government.

Then finally we have the judiciary, and the judges in England and Wales form the judicial branch.

Now while judge's do not create new law they can interpret existing law in a multitude of ways.

So it is open to interpretation and they can where they see necessary, apply it in different ways.

So you can see there that they can all hold each other account because if the judiciary do not like something that the legislature have done they can interpret the law in a different way.

And similarly if the executive see the judges making decisions, they can then put the amendments through to parliament and tweak the law in that respect.

So what I'd like to do here, is think about why do we have those separate powers in the UK.

And what I'd like to think about it, does this help promote democracy.

So think about the advantages and disadvantages of having separate people in charge of separate areas and is it right that we have a separation of powers? What are the advantages and disadvantages to having those three distinct branches? So pause the video here, complete the task, and hit resume once you have finished.

Okay, so these are just my ideas.

The advantages of having a separation of powers is that they can perform checks and balances on each other.

And they can hold each other to account.

So as we said, if the judges do not like a particular piece of law and they think that it should be interpreted in a certain way, they can do so.

And then similarly if the executive branch or the legislature can see that the judges are applying laws in certain ways and their not fit for purpose, they can each hold each other accountable.

Ultimately though, power is shared and that there creates no abuse of absolute power.

So not one person has more say than the other.

And it's really important if we're saying democracy is all about fairness and equality and making sure that the rule of the people is adhered to it means that there is no abuse of power.

If we look at disadvantages then, we can say that perhaps power is not shared equally because they all can't create new laws.

So the judiciary do not create the new laws so there's not a 33 and a third absolute split.

We can say that the executive branch may seem to have more power than the other two branches because it's the reigning prime minister and as the head of the government the Prime Minister ultimately has the say.

And also because they might disagree with each other this may cause conflict between the branches or more than one branch together.

So if that's a democratic system what we need to look at is how does this compare to other countries from around the world? Now you may have an idea by watching the news about things that are going on around the world but what we're going to do is we're going to split these down into four distinct categories.

So we can have four levels of democracy.

One, we can have a full democracy and that's your fundamental political freedoms and rights are not only respected, but it's also reinforced by a political culture.

For instance we have a right to free speech, regular free fair elections, and free media with no restrictions.

Next you have something called a flawed democracy.

And from the title there, that democratic system is flawed.

So whilst elections are free and fair basic rights are honoured, but there may be some issues.

For example, the media freedom might be controlled.

And we say that it may be censored or restricted.

So there may be some issues with the media.

Next we have something called a hybrid regime.

Now from the term again, hybrid meaning sort of joining of two systems. We can say that whilst these nations have elections there may be some issues with them.

And nations with a hybrid regime commonly have governments that apply pressure on political opposition.

Sometimes they have non independent judiciaries.

So they are employed by the people of power, so they have a control in all three branches.

There could be seemed to be widespread corruption and harassment and pressure placed on the media and there is this lack of rule of law.

So not everybody is treated equally and fairly.

Finally then we have an authoritarian regime.

And an example of an authoritarian regime may be that there is a lack of oppositional government.

So there's this lack of check and accountability on the ruling government.

Nations that authoritarian are usually absolute monarchies or dictatorships and they have abuses of rights.

Now the elections, if they have them, and if they take place are not always free and fair.

We can say that the media is often state owned so it's owned by the people who are in charge of the country.

And the judiciary is not independent, so again they are appointed by the people in power.

How that looks then, you can see the ticks, the crosses, and the question marks, so there are questions about free media in a flawed democracy.

There are question marks over the election process and freedom of speech in a hybrid regime.

And an authoritarian regime may not have any of the systems of democracy in place at all.

So that's just a very helpful guide for you to see how that works in practise.

What I'd like to do here is this is The Economist intelligence unit's democracy index for 2019.

What I'd like you to do here is to write three sentences.

So using the image you've got in front of you and the key you've got on the left hand side I want you to write a sentence that starts with I see and then I'd like you to write down what you see.

Then I'd like you to write a sentence that starts with I think and again tell me what you think.

And then a sentence that starts with I wonder and again, tell me what you wonder.

So using that information, and take account of the colours that are on the screen and have a look at the key to where they apply.

One sentence saying I see, one sentence saying I think and one sentence that says I wonder.

So give the video a quick pause and complete those three statements for me.

Now whilst we can consider the United Kingdom a full democracy, it may surprise you that we've included the United States here as the flawed democracy.

Now for the first time in 2019 the USA was considered to be a flawed democracy by The Economist intelligence unit.

Now we can say that it may be considered a flawed democracy.

Whilst free and fair elections are held and that the human rights are adhered to there is some question marks about the banning of media outlets in the United States.

Now a flawed democracy is there in the lighter green colour so you can see a full democracy is in the dark green and then the next darker green.

And then a flawed democracy is this categorization between 7.

0 and 8.

0, and that's just how the EIU, the Economist intelligence unit measure levels of democracy.

If we move to a hybrid regime we may consider Turkey to fall under this category.

And again, in 2019 Turkey was considered to be a hybrid regime.

And the reason why this was considered to be a hybrid regime were doubts about elections being free and fair.

The fact that the president here can appoint 12 out of 15 members of the highest court in Turkey, the Constitutional Court of Turkey.

And that is the only body that can challenge decisions made from parliament.

So you can see there that there is a vast control by the president within the court system.

And there are also concerns over state controlled media.

So the fact that Turkey's government control what is outputted in the media.

Finally then, authoritarian regime we've got the example of North Korea.

Again, the EIU considers North Korean to be an authoritarian regime.

We look at this because it's a centralised control so there is lack of an opposition party.

There are lack of human rights being adhered to and enforced with their citizens.

North Korea has a heavy state controlled media outlet.

And there is control of oppositional parties when there is one.

Okay? So we can consider North Korea to be under a dictatorship.

That there is one supreme person in control and that if there is an oppositional party the election process within this country is not free and it is not fair.

So what I'd like to do using that information then is our final task of this lesson is to contrast the UK political system with that of North Korea.

So what I'd like you to do is write a model paragraph for me and in your answer use the following terms, so mention elections, media, monarchy and dictatorship, and democracy and authoritarian regime.

So pause the video here, complete the task, once your done, hit resume to see my version of this response.

So this is my model answer.

And I've said that the United Kingdom is considered to be a full democracy.

It can be considered this way due to the fact that we have free and fair elections in place to vote for our Head of Government - the Prime Minister.

The press are allowed to voice their opinions and print information that is accurate and true.

The Prime Minister is appointed by the Monarchy otherwise known as the King or the Queen.

However, in comparison, it can be said that the opposite of this, is an authoritarian regime, for example, North Korea.

The leader can be considered a dictator, as there is control over the press, the rights of citizens are restricted and therefore there is questions over the fairness of the election process.

Okay, so look at how your answer compares to mine and just have a look at all of the keywords that I have used just to make sure that you've got the right idea for them.

And that is the end of today's lesson.

Today what we've looked at is what is meant by the term democracy.

Then we've identified the features of the democratic society.

And then we've compared the UK system to other political systems from around the world.

What I'd like to do is I'd like to see some of your work.

So if you'd like to please ask your parent or carer to share your work on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter using the tag @OakNational and using the hashtag LearnwithOak.

I'm really looking forward, like I said, to seeing all of your wonderful responses and all of your lovely paragraphs that you've written for me and well done for today because those are some really hard terms to get your head around and there's some really hard ideas there to start thinking about.

What I'd like to say is before you go please complete the exit quiz, just to make sure that you've got all of the terms down from today's lesson, just so that you can consolidate all of that knowledge that you've gathered over the period of this lesson.

I'll see you again next time, thanks for watching.

See you again soon.