Political parties

  • Created by: dbrennan
  • Created on: 30-05-19 20:48
The Salisbury convention/doctrine (1940)
House of Lords does not block or try to wreck legislation that was promised in the manifesto of the governing party.
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The right of the governing party to pursue the policies it sets out in its election manifesto.
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Pre-election policy document: party sets out a series of policy pledges and legislative proposals that it plans to enact if returned to office.
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Roles of political parties
Provide representation, policy formulation, encourage political engagement, facilitate political participation, engage in political recruitment and provide stable government.
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Political recruitment
Parties asses the qualities of those seeking election to public office, casting aside those who are unsuitable, gives those who will become the nation's leaders to serve a form of political apprenticeship: working up to high office.
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Types of political parties in the UK
Mainstream parties, minority/niche parties, single-issue parties, nationalist parties.
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Examples of nationalist parties in the UK
SNP, Mebyon Kernow, Plaid Cymru, BNP & UKIP.
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Examples of single-issue parties in the UK
The Green Party,UKIP, Independent Kidderminster Hospital and Health concern party, ProLife Alliance.
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Examples of mainstream parties in the UK
The Conservative Party, the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats.
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The UK party system
Traditional two-party system.
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Dominant-party system
A number of parties exist but only one holds government power.
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Examples of UK having dominant-party system
Conservative government (1979-97) and Labour government (1997-2010)
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Multiparty system
Many parties compete for power: government consists of a series of coalitions.
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Single-party system
One party dominates, bans other parties and exercises total control over candidacy at elections (Nazi Germany: NSDPAP).
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Two-party system
2 fairly equal matched parties compete for power at elections and others have little realistic chance of breaking through.
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Does the UK now have a multiparty system?
2015 general election: 13.5%of the vote went to third parties.
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Does the UK now have a multiparty system?
2015 general election: Labour and Conservative secured 67.2% of the popular vote, winning 86.5% of all the contested seats.
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Economic theory: controlling the money supply as a means of keeping inflation in check.
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Closely related to classical liberalism: importance of the free-market, individual rights and limited government/minimal state (associated with Thatcherism).
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Paternalistic conservatism
Power and authority are held centrally: the state acts benevolently and cares for only the neediest. (Associated within one-nation conservatism).
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One-nation conservatism
Paternalistic conservatism: slow, gradual change/evolution, a Keynesian mixed economy with lots of state intervention, universal welfare state, internationalism and increased European integration.
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What is Thatcherism?
Free-market capitalism, neo-liberal economic policy, orthodox conservative social policy (family unit, sexual orientation & law and order), Conservative party ideology of 1980-90.
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Thatcherism in the UK
Importance of the needs of individuals over society.
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Examples of Thatcherism in the UK
Deregulation field of business, privatisation of publicly-owned industries, statutory limits on the power of trade unions, rolling back the frontiers of the state, limited state intervention in the economy, national sovereignty, welfare state limited
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Adversarial politics (yah-boo politics)
Disagreements/political theatre/punch and judy politics between the two main parties in Parliament.
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Postwar consensus
Agreement between Labour and Conservative over domestic and foreign policy after WW2.
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Consensus politics
An overlap of ideological positions between two or more parties.
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Conviction politics
Style of politics in which the policies of parties are shaped by the ideological convictions of their leaders.
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Catch-all parties
A party that develops policies that will appeal to the widest range of voters.
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Based on the belief that the instincts of the people provide the principal legitimate guide to political action.
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What is Anti-politics
A rejection/alienation from conventional politicians and political processes, such as mainstream political parties. Breakdown in the relationship between the people and Parliament.
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What impact does anti-politics have on the UK political system?
The breaking down of the public-Parliament relationship manifests itself in declining voter turnout or increasing support for populist/fringe parties/leaders.
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Populism in France
Before the France en Marche, France had no centrist parties. 2017 national assembly elections: 13.2%, Presidential: 33.9%
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National Rally (Le RN)
Protest vote/anti-politics: people felt under-represented by the two main left/right-wing parties (especially those in the countryside where unemployment was at its worst: 13.5-15%, 24/6% of the young generation are unemployed.
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Access points
Places to which pressure groups go to exert influence.
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The rise of anti-politics
Voters who have been 'left behind' due to the advance of globalisation.
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Where is anti-politics the most popular in the UK?
People living in industrial/post-industrial areas: attracted more to UKIP instead of Labour (concerned about national independence, immigration and because they feel that the political system has failed to represent them).
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How do parties fulfill participation and mobalisation?
Provide opportunities for citizens to join political parties and help to shape their policy, helps to educate the electorate through a range of activities: canvassing, public meetings, advertising, poster campaigns, party broadcasts etc.
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Party loyalty in decline
1960s: 44% of voters claimed to have a very strong attachment to a party, 2015: 10% have a very strong attachment.
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Partisan dealignement
Decline in the extent to which the electorate align themselves/feel represented by a party.
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Floating voters
People who are undecided in who to vote for in an election.
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Conservative party factions
Pre-Thatcherite (One-Nation), Thatcherite & Post-Thatcherite (Red Tory, Liberal Conservatism).
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One-Nation Conservatism
Pragmatic, incremental change, paternalistic, mixed economy.
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Dogmatic, radical change, individualistic, free-market economy.
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Conservative party (David Cameron)
Cameron tried to re-unite the party from its different divisions on European matters, lead the party towards the environment to give it an advantage, detofixy the Tory brand/'nasty party' as May said, wanted to fix 'broken-Britain'.
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Political stance of Conservative party
New Tories/liberal conservatives,opportunists-Cameron used EU referendum to solve internal party divisions.
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Substance of policy under David Cameron
Favoured style over substance: wanted to replace the HRA with a BOR (wasn't furtherly elaborated in 2010 manifesto/2015 election), unclear of how he would contiune to roll back the frontiers of the state, unclear on liberal positions: social welfare
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Substance of policy under David Cameron
Unclear on liberal positions: social welfare & the environment,
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2015 General Election
Conservative party did not try to deliver more of their radical policy pledges, even when they became a single-party government in 2015, EU referendum pledges made it hard for cabinet to work together on policy, early general election: limited gov.
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Conservative Party economic policies (Theresa May)
Economically: raise personal tax allowance, rule out rise in VAT, supporting Jams group, cut corporation tax.
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Conservative Party educational policies (Theresa May)
Reintroduction of grammar schools, replace free school lunches with free breakfast.
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Conservative Party health-care policies (Theresa May)
Means-testing winter fuel allowances, dementia tax (taxing the elderly based on their house/asset prices), remove triple-lock pensions.
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Conservative Party environmental policies (Theresa May)
Supported fracking, abolition of the Department of Energy & Climate Change.
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Conservative Party Brexit policies (Theresa May)
Replaced the environmental department with 'Department for Exiting the EU' and 'Department for International Trade',
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2017 General Election
May lost the majority (36.9%), caused a Hung Parliament, forced to operate as a minority government with the DUP, forced to drop many of her controversial policies.
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Social democracy
Acceptance of capitalism but the need for redistribution of wealth.
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Revisionist socialism
Improving capitalism
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Revolutionary/fundamentalist socialism (Marxism)
Aims to abolish capitalism and produce common ownership.
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New Labour
Labour's modernisation programme under Tony Blair from the 1997 general election: less powerful role for trade unions, re-branding of the party to make it more attractive to middle-class.
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Melding together core Labour party principles (social justice) with the lessons learnt from Thatcherism.
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The Third Way
Ideological position between conventional socialism and mainstream capitalism: associated with Tony Blair/New Labour: the 'Middle Way'.
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Old Labour
The Labour party's historic commitment to socialism & its links to socialist societies, trade unions and the old working class.
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Old Labour vs New Labour
Dogmatic, working-class party, interventionist, favours public sector provision, advocates social justice and supports universal welfare.
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New Labour vs Old Labour
Pragmatic, catch-all party, market-economy, public-private partnerships, social inclusion and targeted welfare.
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Ideological/assuming their beliefs are correct.
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Labour under Gordon Brown (2007)
Better commitment to social justice, favoured deregulation, light approach to economic management, nationalised some banks, tax and spend (Old Labour).
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Constitutional reform under Gordon Brown
Constitutional Renewal Bill (2008) and Constitutional Reform and Governance Act (2008).
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Labour under Ed Miliband (2010)
'New Labour is not the future', Ed Miliband only won labour leadership because he was heavily backed by trade unions, labour MPs preferred Blair's approach, not socialist enough.
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Jeremy Corbyn (2015)
59.5% of first preferences, backbench rebel, ideological, re-elected leader in 2016, regressive (supported policies that were Old Labour).
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The Labour Party policies (Jeremy Corbyn)
Full employment, economy for all, secure homes guarantee, security at work, secure NHS, secure social care, open national education, secure environment, public back into economy, cut income wealth inequality, equal society, justice foreign policy.
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Labour factions (2016)
Momentum, Saving Labour, Labour for the Common Good, Consensus, Progress Labour First, Socialist Workers Party, Stop the War Coalition, Labour Together & Open Labour.
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The Liberal Democrats
Rarely poll more than 10% of the vote, electoral alliance between the SDP and the Liberal party to create a more centrist party, importance of the individual rather than society as a whole.
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The liberal Democrats under Nick Clegg (2007)
More orthodox Lib Dem policies on issues such as constitutional reform, the protection of civil liberties, significant tax cuts etc.
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Orange Book liberals
Classical liberalism/neo-liberalism: Thatcher economics
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Social liberals
Progressive liberalism of Keynes.
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Constitutional reform under Lib Dems
More devolved powers to Scotland and Wales, votes for 16-year olds, bring in STV, reform of the HOL donations to £10,000.
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Where do parties receive their income from?
Membership subscriptions
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Controversy and regulation
1980s-1990s: large individual donations to parties meant that political influence could be bought.
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PPERA (Political parties, elections, referendums Act)2000
£30,000 donation limit per constituency to parties, parties had to declare donations over £5,000 to the Electoral Commission.
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PPEA (Political parties and Elections Act) 2009
Tighter regulations on spending by candidates in the run-up to elections, Electoral Commission could investigate cases and impose fines, donations were restricted from non-uk residents, reduction of thresholds for the declaration of donations.
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Cranborne money
Funds paid to opposition parties in the HOL.
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Example of Cranborne money
2014-15: Labour received £572,717.
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Short money
Funds paid to opposition parties parties in order to help them scrutinise the government and cover their administrative costs.
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Example of short money
2014-15: Labour received nearly £7 million.
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State funding of political parties
Pence per voter/pence per member through the PDG (Policy Development Grants)
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Should political parties be state-funded? (YES)
If they are not funded through taxes, they are funded through wealthy individuals or interest groups who will 'buy' political influence, allows politicians to focus on representing their constituents rather than finding potential donors
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Should political parties be state-funded? (YES)
Smaller parties (Lib Dems) could compete on an equal financial footing: funding would be based on membership or electoral performance only.
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Should political parties be state-funded? (NO)
Taxpayers should not be expected to bankroll parties that they oppose, parties will always have unequal resources because there will be differences in membership levels, human material resources.
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Formula 1 scandal (1997)
Bernie Ecelstone's 1 million pound donation to the labour party may have prompted delay into the introduction of banning tobacco in Formula 1.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


The right of the governing party to pursue the policies it sets out in its election manifesto.



Card 3


Pre-election policy document: party sets out a series of policy pledges and legislative proposals that it plans to enact if returned to office.


Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4


Provide representation, policy formulation, encourage political engagement, facilitate political participation, engage in political recruitment and provide stable government.


Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5


Parties asses the qualities of those seeking election to public office, casting aside those who are unsuitable, gives those who will become the nation's leaders to serve a form of political apprenticeship: working up to high office.


Preview of the back of card 5
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