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When Obama met Rolling Stone

Mr Bird has asked me to post this piece from Rolling Stone magazine, although the interview is quite long it is an interesting read. It has some nice bits on Democrat/ Republican divisions and ideologies which is what you are doing at the moment. http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/ready-for-the-fight-rolling-stone-interview-with-barack-obama-20120425?print=true

Blue Dog Democrats

The Huffington Post reports the continued decline of the Blue Dog Democrats. After serious losses in 2010 two of the sitting Blue Dogs have lost their primaries in Pennsylvania. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/24/pennsylvania-primary-blue-dog-democrats_n_1450926.html

How Pressure group activity has changed- the iMob

The use of new social media has revolutionised how we protest. This short piece discusses several specific examples and looks at the impact of the iMob on American politics. Any question on methods used by pressure groups in the US would benefit from it. http://www.chathamhouse.org/sites/default/files/public/The%20World%20Today/2012/april/0412marshall.pdf

The Week in Westminster

Peter Oborne is always good value and this week’s edition of Week in Westminster was particularly good for Unit 1. Tory divisions over the budget were discussed and there was a great section about representation for minor parties under FPTP with George Galloway, Caroline Lucas and Nigel Farage all expressing their views about the nature … Continue reading

Tory Backbenchers Threaten House of Lords Reform

This story is a god- send to AS politics pupils- if ever there was a multipurpose example this is it… For many Liberal Democrats constitutional reform was the pay back for getting into a political bed populated with ‘nasty’ Tories back in 2010, we all know that electoral reform didn’t go well for the Liberals … Continue reading

‘Carry on Qatada’

In a headline shameless borrowed from the Independent. The saga about the deportation of Qatada lumbers on. This has important implications to civil liberties in the UK it also raises important questions about national sovereignty. It’s certainly one to keep an eye on over the coming days. Here is a good piece from the Guardian … Continue reading

How divided are the Conservatives?

Very- is the short version of the answer put forward by Peter Oborne in the Telegraph. The nature of right wing opposition to Cameron is an important aspect of any question on the unity of the Conservative or the relative unity of Labour and the Conservatives . http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/conservative/9211677/The-Right-wing-agitators-out-to-get-David-Cameron.html

Veep Choices

The GOP have virtually picked their candidate- all that remains to happen is for Romney to pick his running mate. Sabato looks at the potential candidates with Rob Portman and Marco Rubio emerging as early front runners. There is even a video clip for your entertainment. http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/

H’Angus the Monkey- voting for the ‘other’ parties

Yesterday my set and I were talking about the nature of the UK party system and the fact that how we vote and who represents us elsewhere is different to the nature of representation at Westminster. Our voting behaviour at all levels of elections and our representaiton in second order chambers (EU Parliament, GLA, Scottish … Continue reading

Postal Votes

Unit 1 examiners like candidates to consider how democratic the UK system currently is. Questions about democratic deficit and challenges to our democracy frequently pop up. It’s much easier to make the case that our elections are democratic (every five years (now with Fixed Terms), universal suffrage (apart from lunatics, the homeless, prisoners and 16/17 … Continue reading

Are we facing a ‘crisis of democracy’

The state or health of UK democracy is a regular question theme in Unit 1. This video from The Guardian ‘in conversation’ series looks at the state of democracy on a more global scale- there is plenty of material here that is relevant to Unit 1 but also for Oxbridge interviews etc. https://bcpoliticsblog.wordpress.com/wp-admin/index.php

American Presidential Election Update

The Economist is full of excellent bits on the 2012 Presidential Election: The brilliantly titled ‘Mormonism and the Etch- a- Sketch’ is an astute look at the lability of Mitt Romney- this is a man who has experienced a virtual personality transplant in recent times but as the Economist points out Romney’s audience (a Republican … Continue reading

Bradford West By- Election

Over the Easter break George Galloway made a return to Parliament. The former Labour Party MP and leader of the Respect Party was elected as MP in Bradford West. (You need to update your stats on the make up of Parliament- its not just Caroline Lucas representing a minor party in England now!) By- Elections … Continue reading

Labour’s Lost Liberalism

The Guardian suggests that Blue Labour is a failed model for Labour and that to succeed Labour should re- engage with it’s Liberal heritage. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/mar/12/labour-lost-liberal-streak Some excellent examples in this for the Parties topic in Unit 1.  

President Dave?

While everything went wrong at home David Cameron has been clocking up some air miles in recent weeks with a trip to the USA and his current tour to Asia. The trips themselves provide good examples for the idea that a ‘Presidential PM’ behaves as a statesman- going to Japan to drum up investment in … Continue reading