This category contains 23 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 contents 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

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

Conservative Euroscepticism

This piece from Tim Bale examines the recent relationship between the Conservative Party and Europe and suggests that an ‘in-out’ referendum on membership could occur in the future. This speculative story links to Unit 1 material on referendums and parties as well as Unit 2 questions on the constitution. http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/2012/06/11/britain-eu-exit-bale/#more-24326

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

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

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

Elected Mayors

Sn interesting piece from the LSE blog concerning the Warwick Commission’s investigation into the impact of elected mayors on the UK. Some worthwile bits in this piece for both the elections topic as well as the democracy aspect of Unit 1. http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/2012/02/16/elected-mayors-commission-research/

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