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One of the most scathing headlines…

Steve Richard’s analysis that the Queen’s speech is ‘a ragbag of eyecathching measures worthy of Tony Blair’ is a rather damning indictment of the coalitions legislative agenda. This opinion piece looks at the motivations for the measures and the triumph of spin over substance. http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/steve-richards/steve-richards-queens-speech–a-ragbag-of-eyecatching-measures-worthy-of-tony-blair-7728975.html

Obama and Gay Marriage

Obama’s decision to say he supports Gay Marriage is a high risk strategy. While it will appeal to his core vote and particularly his donors. It will however potentially alienate Republicans and socially conservative African Americans- this could be risky in especially in some swing states. This piece from the Washington post examines how the issue … Continue reading

Republicans and Hispanics

Many commentators have suggested that the Hispanic vote could be key in 2012. It is certainly key for Unit 3. (Race politics, representation, elections and immigration). This piece from the Washington Post Blog suggests that Romney is still struggling on the issue of immigration to quote he’s ‘still deciding what his position is’.  In addition to … Continue reading

Economist Multimedia

For those you who have been paying attention to the blog today- you will have noticed that I have been busy on the Economist website, where I have found a great set of animated graphics- I can’t link directly to the films but you will see them on the right hand side of the US … Continue reading

Campaigning in Swing States

The Economist reiterates the importance of swing states in a Presidential election- this time musing the need for Obama to campaign in Arizona. http://http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2012/01/electoral-map

How do you win the US Presidential Election? Be the President already.

The Economist has an excellent piece this week looking at the advantages enjoyed by incumbant Presidents. http://www.economist.com/node/21554223 Lexington suggests the President enjoys the following advantages: – Use of Air Force One – Command of the Bully Pulpit – Permanent Campaign – Fundraising – Commander in Chief- anniversary of Bin Laden’s death  

Amendment 1: North Carolina

North Carolinia has voted to pass Amendment One outlawing gay marriage in the state. A good example of direct democracy in the USA/ civil rights. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/09/north-carolina-passes-amendment-1

Evaluation of SV

An excellent blogpost from Patrick Dunleavy looking at the pros and cons of SV in London. Perfect for a question asking you to outline the criticisms of electoral systems or the impact of electoral systems in the UK. Particularly in reference to whether or not the electorate understands systems other than FPTP sufficiently to express … Continue reading

Holding the PM to Account

The BSkyB, Murdoch, Hunt, phone- hacking saga provided some wonderful Unit 2 examples this week. Any question on ‘how effecitvely is the PM held to account’, ‘how effective is Parliament in holding the PM to account’, ‘how powerful is the PM’ or indeed questions concerning the power or accountability of Ministers would benefit from this anecdote. 1) On … Continue reading

SV and AMS

This is an interesting piece about the mechanics and pros and cons of the electoral systems used in London. On the day of the London Elections Dave Hill discusses his thoughts on the process http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/may/02/jenny-jones-london-mayor-voting?newsfeed=true Dave Hill is contemplating Green- despite the fact that he knows that Jenny Jones is not going to be mayor. … Continue reading

How democratic is the UK?

The health of UK democracy or the levels of democracy evident in our elections are topics favoured by Edexcel examiners and this piece in the Independent provides some excellent examples. http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/leading-articles/leading-article-our-democratic-process-needs-better-safeguards-7707352.html It explains how the Metropolitan Police will be patrolling polling stations in Tower Hamlets today amid fears of Electoral Fraud. It suggests that the Electoral Commission is … Continue reading

Encouraging People to vote

Telegraph blogger Ed West discussing why the state encourages people to vote makes interesting reading for those of you doing Unit 1. It starts with one of my favourite quotes of the week- elections are ‘like the X Factor for intelligent people’. He begins by extending the analogy- not everyone cares about music but there … Continue reading

Polarisation of US Politics- Republican Divisions

The Economist carries an article this week that examines the Tea Party challenges in the Republican Senatorial contests. A key target for the Tea Party is Richard Lugar (Sen for Indiana)- a moderate, long serving Republican. Another long serving Republican Senator being targetted is Orrin Hatch, who in a great turn of phrase is described as … Continue reading

Mexican Immigration

The Economist covers the recent Pew Center report on Mexican immigration. The key pointsare as follows: 1) More Mexicans exited the USA than entered it between 2005- 2010. 2) The reasons for this trend are complicated: Policies- e.g. Aggressive tactics to encourage self deportation play a part as does straightforward ‘deportation’. Equally there are economic factors: … Continue reading