Unit 1

This category contains 60 posts


This weeks Guardian podcast examines the Police Commissioner elections with a particular emphasis on the general apathy that was expressed not only in these but also in the by- elections that took place this month. http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/audio/2012/nov/16/politics-weekly-podcast-police-elections Advertisements

Freedom of Speech

As a liberal democracy Britain has long had the tradition of a free press. This article suggests that current coalition policies directly threaten this. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9696389/Call-a-truce-before-centuries-of-free-speech-are-brought-to-an-end.html

Votes for Prisoners

This piece in the Guardian has an excllent overview of the votes for prisoners legislation proposed in the Commons this week and the debate over votes for prisoners more generally. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/22/votes-prisoners-politics-editorial

Our Undemocratic Constitution

The UK doesn’t have a codified constitution, however a set of British academics have endeavoured to construct the following spoof document. The┬ácontents of this document is correct- however it is presented in a mildly amusing way to highlight the ways in which the UK is not democratic. http://filestore.democraticaudit.com/file/1ff3da62839e77d8e09ab7326ea05978-1282573540/the-unspoken-constitution.pdf

Safe Seats

Safe seats are an undemocratic side effect of FPTP. The fact that British general elections under FPTP are decided by a few swing voters in marginal seats is not the most democratic way to elect our government. Neither does it encourage turnout in the safe seats. This Democratic Audit pamphlet examines how FPTP creates safe … Continue reading

Electoral Reform Revision

The LSE Politics Blog seems to know that you are all about to start revising electoral systems as it has a brilliant post this week outlining the workings of each of the electoral systems. If you are ensure of the mechanics of the five systems used in the UK this is an excellent place to … Continue reading

Tory Rebellions Over Europe

The division within the Tory party between the moderately Eurosceptic leadership and the Europhobic backbenchers continues to cause problems for David Cameron. The ‘Ballots and Bullets’ blog from Nottingham University has two interesting posts on this issues: dated 31/10 and 1/11. http://nottspolitics.org/

Lib- Lab: A match made in heaven?

If recent trends in Third Party support continue, Vernon Bogdanor’s prediction that the winning party will need 86 seats more than the party that comes second to form a majority administration. This raises the spectre of another coalition in 2015- if so will the Liberals get back into political bed with the Conservatives ( a … Continue reading

The hollow centre

Many political scientists believe that the key to electoral success is to position yourself in the ideological centre because most voters are naturally inclined to position themselves in a moderate position. The New Statesman questions whether or not all of our political parties have failed to follow the electorate to the centre of the ideological … Continue reading

Labour’s Ideology

Ed Miliband has actually managed to make a speech that the media thought was good. I don’t think I thought that I would ever have the opportunity to type those words but yesterday’s offering from the Labour party leader seems to have gone down very well. Miliband’s speech was not a tour de force of … Continue reading

Labour’s Economic Policy

The Political Parties topic in Unit 1 requires you to understand the nature of party policy and how these policies compare. Probably the most important area is economics- most elections come down to the old adage of ‘it’s the economy stupd’ and 2015 is likely to be the same. Ed Balls made his keynote speech … Continue reading

Turn out predicted to hit record low

The next set of elections in the UK will be to select the new Police Commissioners. The notion of elected police commissioners was a central part of the Conservative manifesto in 2010. With turnout predicted to hit a new low of 18% questions are being raised about the legitimacy of the protest. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/9483006/Turnout-of-18-predicted-for-police-commissioner-election-shambles.html The Electoral … Continue reading

The Rise of UKIP

A worrying thought in many ways- but this piece that Mr Carr Hill spotted in the Guardian makes interesting reading about the potential impact of UKIP on the Conservative performance at the next general election. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/sep/19/ukip-force-shape-2015-election

It you find you are getting Hague confused with Heseltine…

Some of you are fairly confident with the background to British politics and can explain what the poll tax riots were etc. Others (understandably) still find the last twenty years a little hazy. If you want to get some of that background information sorted out this clip from Andrew Marr’s History of Britain is a … Continue reading

Lions and electoral systems

If you are still a little puzzled by the workings of AMS- this short video explains the system through the medium of zoo animals. What more could you want from a youtube clip- mixed member hybrid electoral systems and lizards! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QT0I-sdoSXU It’s worth noting that when the narrator talks about MMP (mixed member plurality system) … Continue reading

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