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Five Lessons from the GOP Primary

Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post has suggested that the five key lessons so far in the GOP primary campaign are as follows: 1. Conservatives aren’t picking up what Mitt Romney is putting down. 2. It’s a Super PAC world. We’re just living in it. 3. Barack Obama is Mitt Romney’s biggest ally 4. Debates … Continue reading

Snowe to retire

Olympia Snowe is the classic example of a moderate Republican, the sort that have unfortunately been going out of fashion of late. It seems this trend is continuing as the Maine sentor has announced her forthcoming retirement. What is particularly interesting is the rationale for her departure from politics, namely the increasingly partisan nature of … Continue reading

Clegg- less Liberal Democrats

This piece from the Torygraph poses the notion that Clegg has more invested in the coalition than his party at large and that a gap is beginning to emerge not only between the Liberals and the Tories but also between the Liberals and their leader- there are some great examples here for the Unit 1 parties … Continue reading

Balancing the Ticket

As the Republican primary battle continues apace thoughts now begin to turn to the VP nomination. Obviously in 2008 the selection of Sarah Palin added to the drama of the campaign, this piece from the Guardian looks at whether or not Rand Paul might be a good option for a Romney running mate in 2012. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/ana-marie-cox-blog/2012/feb/27/post-palin-logic-behind-gop-vp-pick

Clegg on Lords Reform

This piece on Lord’s reform is generally quite interesting, it does however also include a brilliant soundbite, according to Nick Clegg, the retention of an appointments system for the upper chamber “puts Britain in the same league as Jordan, Belize and Burkina Faso”. Well worth remembering for an essay on constitutional reform or the House of Lords in Unit … Continue reading

Crossover Voting

An interesting piece on crossover voting in the Republican primaries http://2012.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/02/how-serious-is-the-democratic-crossover-vote-threat-in-michigan.php?ref=fpbg

Labour’s Economic Alternatives

The Unit 1 topic on parties requires you to understand the differences between Labour and the Conservatives and the different opinions that coexist within the parties. This podcast from the Guardian offers both. With views from Rowenna Davis (Blue Labour) and Hopi Sen (In the Black Labour) it examines the nature of what Labour are … Continue reading

Conservatism on both sides of the Atlantic

Dan Hannan has written an interesting piece on the nature of both US and UK conservatism and how the Republicans in the USA have transformed themselves in recent decades. Dan Hannan is an erudite blogger albeit one who has a particular (libertarian, eurosceptic axe to grind…) this piece looks at what it means to be … Continue reading

When is a Fixed Term not a Fixed Term? Part II

The post made by Patrick Dunleavy on the LSE blog a few days ago suggesting that the current Parliament would not last until 2015 has caused a flurry of responses on the LSE blog that I thought I would share with you. First of all Mark Pack has suggested an early election will only serve … Continue reading

Claiming the Centre Ground

Another piece from Steve Richard’s in the Independent for you. This one is interesting on a couple of points, firstly it eludes to the electoral importance of capturing the centre ground and secondly it discusses how previous political traditions e.g. New Labour have gone about doing this and what Mr Cameron and Mr Milliband could … Continue reading

Divisions in the coalition

For the parties topic you are supposed to know about the similarities and differences between the parties. The issue of coalition does complicate this somewhat as both the Liberals and the Conservatives are pursuing somewhat artificial agendas as set out in the Coalition Agreement. Steve Richard’s has written an excellent piece in today’s Independent looking … Continue reading

Super Donors

A great piece from the NY Times regarding the emergence of the Super Donor- wealthy individuals backing the Republican candidates. These figures utilise the Super PAC structure to donate millions to the candidates. An interesting take on elitism and campaign finance. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/22/us/politics/in-republican-race-a-new-breed-of-superdonor.html?_r=1&hp

This piece from the NY times compares the demographics of the Republican primary electorate with the dmeographics of the USA at large, from this Timothy Egan attempts to explain why the right winger Santorum is still beating the more moderate Romney. There are some excellent stats for elections, parties and primaries questions. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/16/the-electoral-wasteland/

Lobbying and Campaign Finance

A good piece from the Guardian on campaign finance. While it is focused on the UK (and particularly the Green lobbyists) it makes some interesting comparissons to the US system. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/feb/20/who-funds-thinktank-lobbyists  


If you are still feeling a little confused about Electoral Reform, this is an excellent video Dr Simon Usherwood from the University of Surrey explain the nature of the electoral reform debate through the medium of Lego… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3ahU0gsy-0&feature=player_embedded  

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