The topic today is to Describe an Election in your country.
The substance of this lesson can be used for preparing a one or two minute talk on IELTS or TOEFL Test.
The keywords of the text are highlighted.
An election is held every four or five years to give the citizens of a country the opportunity to vote for a representative in parliament and choose a government.
A political party competes for the right to govern by publishing a manifesto of their proposed policies which they hope will persuade the voter to vote for them when election day comes around to go to the polling station.
Each political party will undertake a campaign in their attempt to persuade the electorate. Canvassing, door to door, is undertaken and political leaders engage in TV debates on key issues such as education, healthcare and immigration.
The right to vote is available to all citizens who are aged eighteen years or older and to both men and women.
Voting is done in secret, can only be done and is usually done in person on the day of the election at the polling station but nowadays postal voting and voting by proxy for citizens living overseas is also allowed.
The aim of the election is to establish a mandate for one political party to govern by having the majority to bring to fruition their policies according to the manifesto.
If this does not happen, then the democratic process of government is compromised.
There might be a minority government leading to a coalition or alliance with another political party and terms such as power-sharing, Hung Parliament and even Snap Election are banded about by politicians and political commentators.
A Referendum is quite different from an election.
This is when the electorate are asked to decide on a specific issue of national conscience (for example, independence for Scotland,Brexit for Britain to leave the European Union or on something as sensitive as gay marriage).
The election is conducted in defined constituencies and the elected representative (whether for the party to govern or for the opposition (sometimes also called the shadow party), will attend sessions in Parliament.
The country is run by the majority party headed by a Prime Minister who appoints ministers to the Cabinet for key roles such as Chancellor of the Exchequer to manage the national Budget, the Home and Foreign Secretary.
Members of Parliament must also make themselves available for consultation in their constituency and a particular issue might be raised in parliament itself later by the MP if it is a significant issue of public interest.
Nowadays, opinion polls prior to the election and exit polls are done on election day by the media to anticipate the outcome of the election before it is eventually declared.
The right for a citizen to vote in a national election is a very important privilege and should not be underestimated.