#3 - Power to the people

25 September 2020

Winners announced!

Thank you to everyone who took part this week!

Our primary school winner is hardworking_apple of Michael Faraday School, who gave detailed and well-explained support to why they thought not all people have the power in a democracy.

Our secondary school winner is discreet_frog of Faringdon Community College, who produced a succinct and direct line of reasoning. They also made sure they stayed focussed on the question itself - on whether people do have power in a democracy.

Who has the power in a democracy? If the public get to vote for who they want to run the country, do the public have the power?

Vote in the poll below and then explain your reason in the comments below. We'd like to see really good explanation in this competition, so instead of giving a list of different reasons, give your main reason and then explain it clearly.

Helpful hints to give you a head start:

  • In the American election, is everyone's vote equally as powerful?
  • Who is unable to vote? Do they count?
  • Do politicians have more power than the public?
  • If you don't like either candidate, do you have any power?

The competition closes on Friday 25th September at midday. Good luck!

Comments (23)

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  • In democracy, I believe that the people have the power. They are the ones who have to live with these decisions, so they should them. The government should have no more power than we do, as they are no different. Why should one person (or small group) make the decision when we can vote, and the people can decide what they want for their country? I believe in equal rights, between everyone, and no-one should be able to make the decision for us, when we are the people that have to live with these decisions. Politicians should have no more power than the public and all people should be able to vote. We are all equal, no matter our race, sex or that we have committed crimes. Everyone is equal, and even the queen and prime minister, should be no more powerful than us. We are all humans right?

    However, against my own argument, we need someone to be more powerful than us, to look after and keep our country going. Also, having a more powerful person means that we have someone to look up to, and someone that doesn't let our country fall apart. But, like have explained many times, the public should have the power in the democracy, to keep things fair for everyone.

    Thanks for reading my comment,

  • My name is careful_science from Faringdon Community Collage, please consider my view.

    I personally think that not everybody's votes are equally due to some voter fraud that could possibly happen and also a few ethic minorities that may still have the right to vote but certain events may happen to stop them from voting, also because it is a very one sided competition between Trump and Biden, if you don't like either Trump nor Biden, you won't have anybody to vote for and although voting third party may be possible, it would be in effect throwing you vote away. Now, let me address my first point about voter fraud. In one of Trumps speeches, he suggested to the residents of North Carolina to vote twice and by in mail voting, it would be possible to swap the candidate that the person who sent the letter, voted for. The next point I want to address is the ethnic minorities, as I said at the top, certain events may stop them from voting, what I mean by this is that a say, Mexican could go to vote, but be stopped by a white man who might tell them not to vote and threaten them if they do.

    Thank you for reading.

    1. Hi careful_science! When you say "it is a very one sided competition between Trump and Biden", could you explain what you mean?

  • I disagree if the people of america because we need somebody that will take care of america propaly in my opinion feel like Joe Biden is the one for that job only because hes been campaigning to be president for a long time and i feel like he has more empathy to people. But on the other hand Donald Trump is a bit of a wimp in politics as he is not caring and helpful to society and most people don't want him as president. personally i think people from america should have rights but not a lot because we stillneed a leader to lead america

  • When the pubic vote they have the power to vote for who they want but not the power to get who they want it is the power of the whole public that is why we have an election otherwise they would just get one person to choose who they want and that would be very unfair because lots of people's options would of been controvercial like if you were voting for Donald Trump on the last American election and you where the person who was chosen to chose who would rule the country there would have been hundreds of people who would of wanted Hillary Clinton so it is the public's power they have to choose who they want to rule the country.

  • Children can't vote because you have to be 18 or over to vote. People over 18 years old are allowed to vote. The people who vote have more power because it's there opinion. Lets say people in the United Kingdom were voting for a new president,the public would have more power because they are voting for a new president and which ever president gets the most votes becomes the president of the UK and then the president would have more power. Also in the American election everyone's vote is equally as powerful as everyone else's.
    This is my comment on power to the people. I hope you agree with me.

  • I agree that the voters have the most power because if they didn't want an election then we wouldn't be able to vote for who we want as President. Then people will protest to change who is their President. Or they will move to a different country with a new President and see wether they get to have a President that they have voted for.
    Thanks for reading my comment and entry for the competition


  • In the American vote not all peoples votes are equal because of the states votes as well some votes are higher than others like California can be worth 6 state votes and New York maybe 3 so it varies.Prisoners and past criminals can’t vote but can campaign for president. Isn’t that weird? They should count because they should have a chance to vote for who they want to lead the country.But apparently not since for their wrong deeds they don’t get a second chance and their rights to vote gets taken from them. I don’t think that’s really fair since some people are accidentally caught because they are framed or mistaken for the criminal.The public should have more power than the politicians because the rules are to listen to the people and they were supposed to work for us like the police but now it’s switched and the politicians have more power than us. If you don’t like either candidate you might have power like it could be the deciding vote. We voted for them so if they want to stay in their place they have to listen and do what we want or else it becomes difficult and there will be protesting.The police forces and politicians were supposed to work for us we voted for them so they should do our bidding. People have individual power. But that’s not the case now it’s the other way round they have the power. We have hardly any voices. This is all I really know.
    Thanks for reading,

  • I disagree, since not all ages are allowed to vote you are not giving the power to the people who have there future ahead with this president. As well as that, the people who actually get to vote are thinking about their future when the younger people also want to have a say on their future. They deserve a chance to say what they believe in. Another thing is criminals in jail are not allowed to vote but they are allowed to run for president which is odd. So in my opinion some people do not have power of who they want to be elected.But some people do so it is kind of a tie.
    Thanks for reading,

  • I don't think it is a democracy because of the electoral points system. Fewer populated states have less electoral points which means that their opinion won't be heard or valued as much which is unfair as they should have an equal say in who becomes their president. Also, criminals cannot vote but can campaign to be president- which I think is rather illogical!

  • The president has power to protect us and keep us safe. The power In people were only given to those people just to like protect people and that. There is rules about being special and having some power and You have to 18+ Just to vote and You have to be 35+ to become president. You also have to been born in America So you have the power in that country, Also you have to have been in America for 14 years!! And I think its weird that you have to be 35+ because you could be 32 but done all those but have to wait 3+ years! and have to know everything about being the president and keeping all these millions/Billions maybe even more!

  • First of all, I disagree as young people aren’t allowed to vote but it is also their president after all but it is unfair also this is their future in their hands so it’s important. The American election with Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton, people voted and Hillary got 65,844,610 votes, but Trump got 62,979,636 so Hillary won but that’s where your wrong but how? Well America is split into 50 areas and they all have electoral votes so, for example, if Texas wants Donald Trump to be president and texas has 38 electoral votes he would get 38 electoral votes and Trump got more electoral votes so he won but I don’t think it is fair as more people voted for Hillary but I think the popular vote is pointless as the main votes are the electoral votes
    Thanks for reading,

  • I think the public does have power at first, when voting for who they want to lead the country. But after that, the prime minister and MPs have all the power (unless they hold a referendum) until the next general election. So the public do have power but the country's leader/s have more power

  • I think the public do have power because they can vote for the person who runs the country and it is according to them of who they vote and it’s who gets the more votes from the public so yes. 😁

  • The people have the power because they make the vote, the candidates only try and influence them. But I believe that the electoral vote is unfair and should be removed from the election as it means that, say, New York is worth 29 points and the population was 20,001. If 10,000 voted for Donald Trump and 10,001 voted for Joe Biden then only that one person had the power and Joe would leave with 29 points and Trump walk away empty handed! Is that 100% fair?! So in conclusion, te people have the power WHILE IN A POPULAR VOTE but the president has the power the rest of the time.
    Yours Faithfully,

  • I think the people in California have the most power because their votes are worth more in the election. This is called electoral votes. I don't think it's really fair! Hillary Clinton won 65,844,610 popular votes while Donald Trump won 62,979,626 votes but she didn't win. Why? It's because people in California, New York, Texas, Pennsylvania etc have votes that are worth more than others.

    People who can't vote are people who are not citizens of the United States or are under 18. Even prisoners don't get to vote but get to run for president. Personally, I think it is really strange however just because they can run for president doesn't mean everyone is going to vote for them. They might not even get enough votes.

    If you don't like any of the candidates you simply don't vote at all. It is your choice if you want to participate or you want to withhold your vote.

    I think we have power over politicians because we can choose to vote them in or vote them out. Having said that, they are there to serve us and to listen to us but there are some that are bad but not all of them are bad. It is just like the police.

    Remember you are all beautiful, beloved and blessed!!!!

    delightful_ effort

    1. A very thorough comment, delightful_effort! You said, "if you don't like any of the candidates you simply don't vote at all". Can you think of reasons why some people might think that this is wasting your power of the vote? What might they suggest instead of not voting at all?

      1. If you don't want to waste your vote, vote for the one whose policies are closest to your views

  • In democracy, I think the people should have the power because what happens when nobody likes the person in charge? It causes havoc and it isn’t fair if people don’t have power because we trust them to make the right decision for us because we are to young to vote and if everyone had to trust the politicians then not everyone would feel safe and not everyone would be safe.

  • I agree that the people have the power, although I admit that in fairness they do not hold all of it. The people have power as they have a choice. They can pick between their favourites, and hopefully have good reason for it. However, they could have voted for someone and the other candidate won the election. This could lead them feeling powerless, as they do not agree with the current leader as their boss. The worst kind of scenario in this way is that they voted for someone, and that someone got more votes, but the opposing candidate got more than 270 electoral votes. This would most likely make you exceedingly frustrated, such as in the election of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Another negative case would be that you don't like either of the candidates, but you need to pick between them. In my opinion, it is not the people themselves that have the power, but the amount of people. This is due to the electoral college system. In states like Canada or Texas, they are densely populated and therefore each person's vote within them is much higher than the less populated states, such as Montana. The state with the most electoral votes would be Canada, with 55 per person. In my opinion, the people have around 35% of the power, while the other 65% goes to the amount of people. The electoral college will get the final say, yet that is based on the public. It is a bit like the House of Commons and the House of Lords, but way more complicated. The main thing that the candidates are doing is trying to influence certain states that are legible to them and have more votes. We should all have individual and dependent power, and the leader should support us. However, Mr Trump has not been very good to his people as he has sort of gave them 'false hope'. Another reason against my view could be that only certain ages and people are allowed to vote. Yet they could support on those who are allowed that agree.
    Thank you, the BNC!

    1. Hi reflective_arctic_fox! Another very thorough comment, so thank you! I think you might have meant California when you said Canada. Canada is a different country from America.

      1. Oh, yeah. Sorry. Thank you for the correction though!

  • I think the people have the power in the democracy in America as if the candinate has said something rude to the people or you, you wouldn’t vote for them. I think that this is fair as the candidates have to be true to their word and they can’t say rude things to you. In this time, politicians can’t tell you who to vote for!

  • In a democracy I think that people are able to vote because it is a fair way to decide an election and any other mixed decision question. To be able to vote gives people freedom or it gives people that sense of responsibility and that makes people want to vote more often which means that mostly everyone will keep up with the news, this means that they will be able to know when another election is happening.

  • In real democracy, people should be the only decision makers when it comes to whom they want to run their country. Their power, therefore, should be absolutely indisputable. unfortunately this is not the case in America. in fact, Americans are deprived of this right because of the unfairness of the electoral system there. So let me explain how the American voting system works and unveil its injustice .As a matter of fact, the election in America is won by the candidate who has the majority of the electoral college vote regardless of the people's vote. So what is the electoral college ? The electoral college is a 2nd voting system which wins it all. For example in 2017 presidential election, Hilary Clinton won the democratic vote 66mil to 62mil for the other candidate Donald trump who, in turn, won the electoral college votes; 306 votes to 232. Despite winning the democratic vote, Hilary lost and Donald trump declared president of the USA. . Let us move to the next question, does anybody have the right to vote? No and there are several reasons for that; you must be 18 years old and are not convicted of a crime but if you finish your sentence you can still vote afterwards. Secondly of all you have to be have a citizenship and has lived there for 17&10 months old. Politicians have more power due to such things as the electoral vote. If you don't like the 2 candidates you have no option to chose a personal won but some people may agree with you and not vote for either of them.

  • I believe that nobody's vote is more important than another's but many candidates get more electoral votes because they live in a state with a larger population. Can any random person vote? No, you have to be 18 or older to be able to vote. You have to have a clean criminal record. If you want to be a candidate then you have to have lived in America for over 14 years.

  • people deserve to have democracy and vote for who they want not the whole point system in states it so teaching people deserve to vote not not get to vote it so un fare and mean it bad it so bad people deserve to vote and have democracy it their city to and their state to

  • Hard to say we have some power to vote for who we wanna win but some times even know they have the most points it depends were they live some times your vote worth more or less depending were you live so some people have more power than others depending were you live and I don't think that fair I believe we all should have the same power and it un fair that some people get more power depending were you live we should all have the same power and is does not matter were we live.