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Flashcards in Political Parties Deck (98):
1

What are the functions of political parties?

Making policy

Representation

Selecting candidates

Identifying leaders

Organising elections

Political education

2

Making policy?

This role is especially important when a party is in opposition and seeking to replace the government.

When a party isn't in government more of their ideas will come from ordinary members as the leaders need to generate support rather then execute their own ideas

3

Representation?

Many parties in the past claim to represent a certain area of society. So, Labour represent the working class. Nowadays, parties claim to respresent national interest and so the representative function means that they ensure all groups have their interests and demands at least considered by government

4

Populism?

A political movement, often represented by a political party, that appeals to people's emotions and which tends to find supporters who feel they aren't represented by conventional politics. Such as UKIP

5

Selecting candidates?

Parties spend a large amount of time selecting candidates for office at all levels.

They need to find prospective local councillors, elected mayors, members for the devolved assemblies and the Scottish parliament, candidates for the European parliament and most importantly for the UK Parliament.

6

Identifying leaders?

Parties have procedures for selecting their leaders. In the ruling party, the PM completely controls the appointment of minsters. In the opposition, the leader elects a small group of frontbench spokespersons who form the leadership.

In 2015 when Ed Miliband resigned the Labour party membership voted for Jeremy Corbyn but due to his extreme left views the MP's in Westminster refused to accept him as their leader.

7

Organising elections?

Apart from supplying approved candidates, the party organisations form part of the process of publicising election issues, persuading people to vote and informing the, about candidates.

Representatives are also present when vote counting takes place, in order to ensure a fair result

8

Political education?

Parties are continuously involved in the process of informing people about the political issues of the day, explaining the areas of conflict and outlining their own solutions to the problems that they've identified.

9

Significance of doctrine of the mandate?

Electors can feel confident that they understand which policies they're consenting to.

The mandate strengthens government, in that the winning party gains legitimacy for its policies. In 2017 the Conservatives sought an electoral mandate for its Brexit negotiation stance

The mandate means Parliament can call government to account on the basis of the governing party's manifesto. If a government strays from its mandate parliament and assemblies can feel justified in challenging the government

10

Problems of the doctrine of the mandate?

Depends upon a single party winning an election outright. When there is a coalition such as in 2010 when two or more parties are involved the consent of the mandate is unclear as one party's manifesto no longer applies

It's clear that voters who have opted for one party don't necceserily agree with all its manifesto

Some manifesto commitments are vague maming taking government to account more difficult

11

How are parties funded?

Membership subscriptions from members

Holding fundraising events such as fetes, festivals, conferences and dinners

Donations from supporters (Labour £11 million in 2015 from trade unions)

Self-financing of candidates for office

Up to £2 million per party available in grants from the Electoral Commission

12

What are the functions of political parties?

Making policy

Representation

Selecting candidates

Identifying leaders

Organising elections

Political education

13

Making policy?

This role is especially important when a party is in opposition and seeking to replace the government.

When a party isn't in government more of their ideas will come from ordinary members as the leaders need to generate support rather then execute their own ideas

14

Representation?

Many parties in the past claim to represent a certain area of society. So, Labour represent the working class. Nowadays, parties claim to respresent national interest and so the representative function means that they ensure all groups have their interests and demands at least considered by government

15

Populism?

A political movement, often represented by a political party, that appeals to people's emotions and which tends to find supporters who feel they aren't represented by conventional politics. Such as UKIP

16

Selecting candidates?

Parties spend a large amount of time selecting candidates for office at all levels.

They need to find prospective local councillors, elected mayors, members for the devolved assemblies and the Scottish parliament, candidates for the European parliament and most importantly for the UK Parliament.

17

Identifying leaders?

Parties have procedures for selecting their leaders. In the ruling party, the PM completely controls the appointment of minsters. In the opposition, the leader elects a small group of frontbench spokespersons who form the leadership.

In 2015 when Ed Miliband resigned the Labour party membership voted for Jeremy Corbyn but due to his extreme left views the MP's in Westminster refused to accept him as their leader.

18

Organising elections?

Apart from supplying approved candidates, the party organisations form part of the process of publicising election issues, persuading people to vote and informing the, about candidates.

Representatives are also present when vote counting takes place, in order to ensure a fair result

19

Political education?

Parties are continuously involved in the process of informing people about the political issues of the day, explaining the areas of conflict and outlining their own solutions to the problems that they've identified.

20

Significance of doctrine of the mandate?

Electors can feel confident that they understand which policies they're consenting to.

The mandate strengthens government, in that the winning party gains legitimacy for its policies. In 2017 the Conservatives sought an electoral mandate for its Brexit negotiation stance

The mandate means Parliament can call government to account on the basis of the governing party's manifesto. If a government strays from its mandate parliament and assemblies can feel justified in challenging the government

21

Problems of the doctrine of the mandate?

Depends upon a single party winning an election outright. When there is a coalition such as in 2010 when two or more parties are involved the consent of the mandate is unclear as one party's manifesto no longer applies

It's clear that voters who have opted for one party don't necceserily agree with all its manifesto

Some manifesto commitments are vague maming taking government to account more difficult

22

How are parties funded?

Membership subscriptions from members

Holding fundraising events such as fetes, festivals, conferences and dinners

Donations from supporters (Labour £11 million in 2015 from trade unions)

Self-financing of candidates for office

Up to £2 million per party available in grants from the Electoral Commission

23

How much money did parties generate in 2015?

Labour 51.2

Tory 41.8

Lib dems, snp, ukip, green, plaid cymru and dup combined = 23.9

24

Problems of party funding 2/2

Aspects of funding verge on being corrupt. It's suspected some donors may expect to receive an honour from party leaders such as a peerage or knighthood.

25

Interesting examples of large donation (Tory) -

Between 2015 and 2017 the Conservative party received £11.3 million from prominent figures and companies in the financial sector

The Conservatives received £3.6 million from property companies

Hedge fund proprietor Angus Ford donated £1.1 million to the Tories between 2015 and 2017

26

Interesting examples of large donation (Labour) -

The Unite trade union gave £657,702 to the Labour party early in 2017

UNISON, the public service union, donated £376,242

27

Alternative funding structures?

Impose restrictions on the size on individual donations to parties, this is used in the USA (although donations can be made to thousands of candidates). To work, the cap would have to be very low

Impose tight restrictions on how much parties are allowed to spend. This would make large scale funding useless

Restrict donations to individuals, i.e outlaw donations from trade unions and businesses.

Replace all funding with state grants for parties

28

What is short money?

Refers to funds given to opposition parties to fund their work. The amount is based on how many seats the party won, so again it leans towards established parties

Since 2015 Labour have received £6.7 mil, the next in SNP with £1.2 million. UKIP turned down £500,000 as they called it corrupt

29

Should UK parties receive state funding?
YES ANSWERS

End the opportunities for corrupt use of donations

End the possibilities of hidden forms of influence through funding

Reduce the large financial advantage that established parties have

Improve democracy by ensuring wider participation from groups that have no ready source of funds

30

Should UK parties receive state funding?
NO ANSWERS

Taxpayers may object to funding what can be considered 'private' organisations

It will be difficult to know how to allocate funding. Would it be on past performance (which would maintain the established ones where they are or on future aspirations which is vague)

Parties will become organs of the state and lose the ability of taking the state to account

31

One Nationism?

Arrived as a response to new liberal ideas behind the revolutions in North America (1776) and France (1789)

Conservatives were alarmed at the rise of ideas such as freedom of the individual and laissez faire economics believing such a free society would lead to major social disorder.

Conservatism is not just a reaction to a new ideology but opposition to change

32

Conservative view on human nature?

Have a pessimistic view on human nature, whilst liberals see humans as naturally sympathetic and caring for each other, tories stress the competitive nature of people

They see human kind as liable to fall into disorder, that we can be easily led to follow false ideas

Conservatives believe we crave order and security

33

Conservative view on order?

Edmund Burke said 'Good order is the founder of all good things'. He was writing in response to the new liberal ideas of France and America.

He suggested the new ideas of liberty, equality and democracy create a disordered society that go against humankind's desire for security. However right such ideas may be they should always be opposed as they would change order so drastically

34

Conservative view on tradition and preservation?

According to Burke the greatest crimes of the French revolutionaries was to abandon traditional forms of authority that had stood the test of time. ' No generation should ever be so rash as to consider itself superior to its predeseccesors'

The fact that values have survived is testament to their quality. Burke also said that traditions bridge the gap between the past and present and allow a sense of security

35

One Nation and Organic Society

Disraeli developed One Nationism as a response to the Industrial Revolution and the growth of capitalism, a great gap was emerging between the middle class, becoming richer and the working class, poorer. These 'two nations' would end up in conflict unless the gap was bridged

Ideas include that society is not just made up of individuals but is organic, meaning that people are tied together by a common sense of being members of an independent society. This implies those who are well off have a duty to help the poor.

36

Property?

In the past Conservatives were seen as defenders of the property-owning classes

In the modern context, conservatives have always attempted to defend the interests of home owners and owners of land and business. Property owners are seen to have a greater vested interest within society and will ensure stability

37

New Right Conservatism?

New Right emerged in the USA in the 1970s and 1980s

Reaction against socialism and traditional conservatism that was seen as too weak to deal with contemporary economic issues

Associated with Reagan and Thatcher

Movement is a mix of Neo-Liberalism and Neo-Conservatism

38

Neo liberalism? 1/2

Associated with Friedrich Hayek Austrian and Milton Friedman American

Interference in the economy by the state is seen as counterproductive, causing inflation and a lack of dynamism. The state should disengage from economic management and shouldn't run any industries

Free markets are seen as more effective in creating wealth than economics with external interference. Markets should not be regulated by the state

39

Neo liberalism? 2/2

Powerful trade unions interfere excessively with labour markets, driving up wages artificially, reducing corporate profit and so dampening economic investment

Excessive welfare benefits reduce the dynamism of society. They encourage people to remain unemployed

High taxation is a disincentive to economic activity. Taxes should therefore be kept low and will be an incentive for individuals and businesses to work hard as they will keep more of their profits

40

Neo-Conservatism?

Loose attitude to morality and lifestyle that can lead to a breakdown in social order, believing in a retention of traditional values

Law and order are crucial to maintaining security and promoting individualism. The state should be authoritarianism in nature

Naturalistic. Patriotism and support for the united nation is important by which social order can be maintained

Internationally, neoconservatives are sceptical of multi national groups such as the EU. They believe foreign policy should represent the pursuit of a nation own interests

41

Conservatism today, the economy

Aim to eliminate the deficit which was £1.6 billion in 2015, believe only a balanced budget can promote growth

In 2016, the balanced budget goal was changed to a medium term goal.

The party is neoliberal in terms of the markets. Government should always promote free trade

Aims to cut corporation tax to as low as feasible but on the other hand it seeks to cut income tax on the poor

42

Conservatism today, law and order

Believe prison and stern punishment is the best deterrent against crime, believe sentencing should be in the hands of elected government and not unelected judges

Stress the need for security and see it as the first duty of government. They accept liberties may have to be sacrificed in the name of security

43

Conservatism today, welfare

Aim to ensure welfare benefits are no longer a disincentive to work. Government is introducing a stricter system to prevent making unemployment preferable

Committed to maintaining the NHS and education system, but believe these should be subject to competition and market forces

44

Conservatism today, foreign policy

Support NATO and the alliance with the USA. Also, believe the UK's best national interests lie in retaining an independent foreign policy

Committed to deterrent of nuclear warfare system

45

Cornerstone?

Motto is 'faith flag and family'

Wish to restore very traditional values to the conservative movement

Support the idea of UK being a Christian country, intensely nationalistic in its outlook

Reactionary atitude to social reforms such as gay marriage and legal abortion

Lead member is Jacob Rees-Mogg

46

Conservative way forward?

Neoliberal movement

Members believe the legacy of Thatcher has been diluted

Support the retention of free markets and support free enterprise through low taxation and deregulation of industry

Lead member is Liam Fox

47

Tory Reform Group?

Seen as left leaning

Promotes social cohesion and opposes policies that might divide the nation

They believe too much economic equality is divisive and support policies to reduce inequality in society

Key member is Kenneth Clarke

48

Creation of the Labour Party?

Created in 1900 by Keir Hardie in response to working class being abused by bosses

49

Labour since the Second World War?

Suffered two huge defeats in 1980 causing the party to split , some left to form the Social Democratic Party (Michael Foot) Some went further left to Old Labor values (Neil Pinnock) some went more neutral with New Labour under Tony Blair and won in 1997

50

Old Labour values? 1/2

Key value is equality, unlike Marxists who pursue complete equality Labour used to support redistribution of income to reduce the worst inequalities

Tend to see society in terms of class conflict, they say the interests of the working class and middle class cannot be reconciled so the state should favour the poorer working class.

Realising total equality is impossible Labour championed equality of opportunity - the idea that all should have equal life chances

Key idea is Collectivism - many of our goals are best achieved collectively including the welfare state and trade unionism

51

Old Labour values? 2/2

Old Labour saw common ownership in terms of the state running major industries on behalf of the people

Trade unionism is key, workers are weaker than their employers so unions restore the balance between them

Believe the central state could play a key role in controlling economic activity and in securing social goals. By placing responsibilities in the hands of the central state it ensured equality of treatment for all

52

Old Labour policies and actions ? 1/2

The welfare state, including the NHS was created in the 1940s

Trade unions were granted wide powers to take industrial action in the interests of their members

Major industries were controlled by the state in order to ensure working conditions in these industries

53

Old Labour policies and actions ? 2/2

Taxes on those with higher incomes were raised in order to pay for welfare and redistribute income to the poor

Comprehensive education was introduced in the 1960s to improve equality of opportunity

54

New Labour values ? 1/2

Reject the socialist idea of class conflict, arguing that all members of society have an equal right to be supported by the state

Accepted that capitalism was the best way of creating wealth so it should be free of state control

It was recognised that capitalism could operate against the interests of consumers, so it should be regulated, not controlled

De-emphasised collectivism, recognising people prefer to achieve their goals individually

55

New Labour values ? 2/2

Equality of opportunity stressed, education and welfare would create opportunities for people to better themselves

Committed to constitutional reform as it believed that the UK is undemocratic

56

New Labour policies and actions ? 1/2

Huge increases in expenditure in the NHS

Large investment in education

Reduce corporate taxation to encourage enterprise

Extensive programme of constitutional reform including the Human Rights Act, Devolution, Freedom of information act

57

New Labour policies and actions ? 2/2

Through tax and welfare systemm, various policies to reduce poverty, especially child and pensioner poverty

Encourage employment by introducing 'welfare to work;' system

58

Far Left and Momentum?

Large shifts in the distribution of wealth and income through tax reforms

Public ownership of many major industries

Firm state regulation of the finance industry

Large increases in the creation of subsidised public-sector housing and control of private rents

Significant increase in minimum wage

Abandon UK's nuclear deterrent

59

Blairites?

Social democrats

Believe policies of new labour were successful and should be retained

Described as central

Notable members are Stephen Kinnock and Yvette Cooper

60

Blue Labour?

Founded by Maurice Gasman

Believe the working class do not favour left wing policies but many associated with conservatism

anti large scale immigration and believe in traditional british values

campaign for brexit and support free markets but propose protection for UK industry

61

Origins of the Lib Dems?

Combination of the Social Democratic party and the liberal party. First leader was William Gladstone

62

Core values of Lib Dems? 1/3

Liberty is the core value, they accept complete freedom isn't feasible so the Liberals confine themselves to accepting the state should have as little impact as possible on people's lives. Privacy, freedom and individual rights must be protected

Pursue social justice e.g. the removal of unjustifiable inequalities in incomes in society, second it means equality of opportunity and third it means removal of artificial privileges to which people may be born

63

Core values of Lib Dems? 2/3

Believe people cannot be free if they are enslaved by poverty, unemployment or sickness

Highly suspicious of the power of government. Believe that the power of government should be controlled. This can be achieved by limiting the power of government via a strong constitution

Pioneered the Support of gay marriage, women, disabled, ethnic minorities and LGBT communities

64

Core values of Lib Dems? 3/3

Concerned with the cause of human rights and democracy, so it supports constitutional reform

Multiculturalism is a key theme among liberal values. Different cultures and lifestyles should be tolerated and granted special rights

65

Lib Dems today - the economy ?

Propose the rebalancing of the UK economy so that wealth and economic activity are spread more widely round the country.

Pragmatic about economic management. e.g. government budget planning should not operate in such a way as to favour one section of society over another

In times of economic recession, the poor in society should be protected and the wealthy should deal with harsher economic policies

Taxation should redistribute from rich to poor

66

Lib Dems today - law and order?

the law enforcement system should seek rehabilitation as much as punishment, they believe most crimes have social causes which should be attached

67

Lib Dems today - Welfare ?

Education and health are Lib Dem priorities. Spending on both should be protected and increased whenever quality of services are threatened

Benefit system should be designed to encourage work

68

Lib Dems today - foreign policy?

Lib Dems support NATO and its aims, they are suspicious of excessive interference by the UK in conflicts abroad

Would abandon the renewal of the nuclear submarines

Strongly support the use of international aid

69

Orange Book liberals?

Suggests Lib Dems should reconnect with its roots, even going back to nineteenth century values

Suggests the party should join neoliberal in supporting the restoration of free markets and the withdrawal of the state from excessive interference

Urged the party to promote policies to enhance individual liberties

Key member is Mark Oaten

70

Social Liberals?

Many were formerly members of the Labour party e.g. Vince Cable

Stress policies concerning social justice, proposing the redistribution of income from rich to poor through taxation and welfare

71

Growth of SNP?

SNP won enough seats in the 2007 scottish parliamentary election to form a government. Party has formed the government of Scotland ever since.

At Westminster, it made little headway in this period. Then in 2015 the SNP won 56 of the 59 Westminster seats available to them as these voters believed the SNP could deliver independence

However, in 2017 SNP lost 21 seat following Labour moving further left

72

Growth of UKIP?

Made a breakthrough in the 2015 election

The outcome of its success was different to that of the SNP. UKIP won 12.6% of the popular vote but had only one parliamentary support

In 2017, the party collapsed following the success of the EU leave vote.

73

Policies of the SNP? 1/2

Complete independence as a sovereign nation within the EU

The party supports constitutional reforms such as an elected second chamber, introduction of proportional representation and votes for 16 year olds

Social democratic and supports social justice. Supports the idea of living wage and aims to move money from rich to poor

Opposed to the UK retaining independent nuclear weapons and favours the cancellation of the trident

74

Policies of the SNP? 2/2

Abolished university tuition fees in Scotland, seeing education at all levels as a key component of equality of opportunity

Environmental protection is key. SNP policies are almost as strong as those of the green party

Supports the welfare state and would protect generous state provision of health, education and social security benefits

75

Policies of UKIP? 1/2

The UK should achieve the best possible trade terms with the EU without accepting free movement of people

Immigration into the UK should be strictly regulated. Only immigrants with specific skills needed in country should be allowed in

Opposed to the excesses of big business and finance and would introduce strong measures to reduce tax evasion and avoidance

Economically libertarian. Extreme form on net-liberalism, that the government should interfere as little as possible

76

Policies of UKIP? 2/2

Socially conservatives, disapprove of lifestyles that aren't traditional

Opposed to the giving of international aid

Protectionist and would ensure British industries aren't subject to unfair competition from abroad

Strongly unionist and so totally against the granting of powers to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

77

Origins of UKIP?

Founded in 1991 by Alan Sked, who was eventually ousted by Nigel Farage in 1997

Has 24,000 members

0 seats

78

Origins of SNP?

Founded in 1934 with the amalgamation of the National Party of Scotland and the Scottish Party

Has 118,000 members

Has 35/59 seats

79

Consensus politics?

A situation where two or more significant parties agree on fundamental ideas and aims. Can also mean 'general agreement' which means parties only disagree on details of policy and how to implement their aims

80

Consensus politics 1950s to 1970s?

In the 1940s Labour PM Clement Attlee created the welfare state, the NHS and major industries such as coal,rail and steel were nationalised.

The Conservatives opposed these changes but built on them and worked with them

81

Adversary politics?

When there's deep divisions between the parties

82

When was the era of Adversary politics?

1979-1990

Tory under Thatcher
Labour under Michael Foot

83

What were these oppositions? 1/2

Publicly owned industries were private sold to private investors. Labour opposed this and wanted to nationalse these industries including the banks.

A number of legal restrictions placed on trade unions. Labour opposed this and proposed additional worker protection measures

84

What were these oppositions? 2/2

Tenants in council homes had the opportunity to buy their homes at a discounted rate with a low mortgage, this became a legal right. Labour opposed this and proposed increased local authority house buying and controls on private rents

Legal regulations on the finance sector were removed. Labour opposed this and suggested big banks may be nationalised.

85

One party system?

Where only one party is allowed to operate. Normally associated with highly authoritarian regimes and are considered non-democratic. e.g. North Korea

86

Two party system?

Only 2 parties have a realistic chance of winning. Also implies that 2 parties win the majority of the votes at elections and most of the seats in the representative assemblies. e.g. UK

87

3 party system?

Used to be very common. It's now common that two parties dominate making the third a pivotal one as it's less likely one will govern alone. e.g. Ireland - Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and Sein Fein

88

Multi party system?

Common in Europe. No set number to define this system. e.g. Italy, where there is so many parties it's unstable and government falls regularly.

89

% of seats won by 2 main parties from 1979?

High in 1979 at 95.8%

Fell to 89.2% in 2017

Low of 85.6% In 2005

90

% of votes won by the 2 main parties from 1979?

High of 82.4% 2017. 2 main parties had 89.2% of seats

Low of 65.1% in 2010 when the parties still had 86.9% of seats showing how FPTP harms small parties.

91

Elections to the Scottish parliament 2016?

SNP 63
Tory 31
Labour 24
Green 6
Lib Dems 5

Shows outside of Westminster it's more than a 2 party system

92

Welsh assembly 2016?

Labour 29
Plaid Cymru 12
Tory 11
UKIP 7


Shows outside of Westminster it's more than a 2 party system

93

N.Irish assembly 2016?

Democratic Unionists 38
Sinn Fein 28
Ulster Unionist 16
SDLP 12


Shows outside of Westminster it's more than a 2 party system

94

How leadership affects a parties success?

Voters are swayed by the personalities and likability of candidates looking at criteria such as

- Experience
- Decisiveness
- Ability to lead
- Media image
- Intelligence
- Apparent honesty

95

Theresa May image?

Poll ratings rose swiftly and remained high

A former Home Secretary for 6 years shows expirence at the highest level

Elected unopposed by her party, demonstrating leadership qualities

Good media image as being tough,having integrity and being able to handle complex questions showing intelligence.

96

Corbyn image?

Opposite to May

No ministerial experience

Not seen as particularly intelligent

Few trusted his ability to lead, his own party refused to consider him there leader inside the Commons. Vote of No confidence passed in 2016

97

How unity affects party success?

In the 1980s Tories united around the leadership of Thatcher while Labour was split between its left and right wings, the party literally split in 1981. Resulting in huge victories in 1983 and 1987

In 1997 Labour was virtually totally united around the banner of New Labour under Blair. Although, under Major the Conservatives had internal divisions over the UK's position in Europe and lost

98

How does the media affect party success?

Carefully select stories that will help sway minds in favour of their party

Telegraph had 72% of its readers vote for Conservative in 2017