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Flashcards in Theme B Deck (31)
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1
Q

What is a political party?

A

A group of people who share political views and goals . Most parties are ideological and members share political beliefs. For example, the Scottish National Party, Plaid Cymru and the Democratic Unionist Party represent national interests and the Green Party and UKIP focus on issues.

2
Q

What is a political party’s aim?

A

To win a majority in a general election and form a government

3
Q

What does each party do at an election?

A

Present with a manifesto stating the policies they would implement

4
Q

What runs along the political spectrum?

A
  • Communism - socialism - liberalism - conservatism - fascism (dictator)
5
Q

What are the key principles of the Labour party?

A

Formed to represent the working classes. Responsible for implementing the welfare state and NHS.

6
Q

What are the key principles of the Liberal Democrats?

A

Formed to represent middle ground between Labour and Conservatives.

7
Q

What are the key principles of the Conservatives?

A

Formed with main principles to protect British culture and traditions, promoting private ownership and enterprise.

8
Q

Identify a feature of the education policy for each of the major parties

A

Labour - Create a National Education Service that provides free education

Liberal - Reinstate University grants for the poorest students

Cons - Create more selective schools to improve standards.

9
Q

Identify a feature of the health policy for each of the major parties

A
  • Labour - Increase tax bill of top earners to fund NHS
  • Liberal - Tax everyone more to fund NHS
  • Cons - Real terms increase in NHS spending
10
Q

Identify a feature of the Economic policy for each of the major parties

A

Labour - Reinstate public ownership of sectors like the railways. Increase taxation of the richest.

Liberal - Boost the economy with a programme of capital investment

Cons - Increase free trade, limit welfare, and decrease government spending

11
Q

Identify a feature of the Social policy for each of the major parties

A

Labour - Extend welfare to meet need; promote equality

Liberal - Reverse the cuts to benefits for ages 18-21

Conservatives - Encourage more home ownership

12
Q

List requirements for eligibility to stand as a candidate

A
  • Aged 18 or over
  • A British citizen
  • An Irish citizen
  • An eligible commonwealth citizen
  • Nominated by 10 electors in the constituency they wish to represent
  • Able to pay a £500 deposit (returned if over 5% of votes are won)
  • Authorized to stand for a political party OR choosing to be an independent candidate
13
Q

List requirements for illegibility to stand as a candidate

A
  • A civil servant
  • A member of the police force
  • A member of the armed forces
  • A government - nominated director of a commercial company
  • A judge
  • A peer in the House of Lords
  • A church of England bishop
  • The subject of bankruptcy restrictions
  • Someone who has been convicted and imprisoned for over a year
  • Someone who has been found guilt of electoral corruption within the last five years
14
Q

How are candidates selected in a general election?

A

Many start their political career at University

  • Many people join and become politically active in their chosen party
  • Parties advertise for candidates, and those who are interested and eligible apply
  • Parties may have a list of prospective candidates who are politically active or advisors on areas of policy
  • Prospective candidates try to gain (canvass for) votes through interviews, public speaking at meeting (hustings) and working for the party in their local constituency
  • Local party workers draw up a shortlist
  • Local party members vote for the candidate to represent that constituency and the one with the most votes is selected. If a constituency typically votes for a political party, it may be viewed as secure by that party and known as a safe seat
15
Q

Explain ‘democracy’

A

Democracy stems from the politics of ancient Greece and means ‘rule of the people, by the people’. In the UK, it describes a system of government where citizens elect political representatives. This includes representative democracy (via elections) and direct democracy (via referendums)

16
Q

Describe representative democracy

A

Most western nations operate a system of representative democracy. The UK is divided into 650 constituencies (voting areas), and each constituency elects a Member of Parliament to represent them in the House of Commons at Westminister. Most elected MPs represent the main political parties.

17
Q

What is a candidate?

A

There are 650 MPs. Each one represents a particular part of the country (their constituency) A person wishing to become an MP puts themselves forward as a candidate who can be selected and voted for in an election

18
Q

Give strengths of representative democracy

A
  • Every citizen can have a say in who represents them
  • If there is a high turnout, parliament is more representative of the public’s opinions
  • Constituencies can lobby their local MP through locally held surgeries
  • A local MP will be very aware of the needs of their constituents
19
Q

Give weaknesses of representative democracy

A
  • Elections mostly take place every five years, which limits citizen input
  • Most MPs will vote with their party rather than represent their constituency
  • The constituents whose party didn’t win often feel unrepresented by the government
  • Many MPs may be university educated, so not always representative of constituencies
20
Q

Describe direct democracy

A

The UK uses a system of direct democracy for specific issues that require public input, in the UK the form of direct democracy is called a referendum where citizens can vote on a specific issue. Referendums are rare in the UK but recent ones include:

  • 2016: UK to leave/remain in European union with 51.9% who voted to leave
  • 2014: Scottish Independence with 55% who voted no
  • 2011: Change voting system from FPTP to alternative vote with 68% who voted no
  • 1975: UK to remain in European Economic Community with 67% who voted yes
21
Q

Give strengths of direct democracy

A
  • Referendums give the government a clear directive from the citizens on an issue
  • Every voter can have a say on a particular, usually controversial issue.
  • Gives government a mandate for action
  • The democratic way to make a decision
22
Q

Give weaknesses of direct democracy

A
  • Often issues are more complex than just a simple yes/no vote
  • Not every citizen who votes understands the complexity of issues
  • The media can influence the electorate
  • If results are close, many may be unhappy
23
Q

There are three key facts about the frequency of general elections in the UK

A

1) Under the Fixed Term Parliaments Act 2011, a general election takes place at least every 5 years on the first Thursday in May
2) If there is a vote of ‘no confidence’ in the current government, an earlier election can be called
3) The House of Commons can vote to hold an election at any time with a two-thirds majority

24
Q

What voting system does the UK operate?

A

A first-past-the-post voting system. This means that the candidate with the most votes overall in a constituency is elected as MP. To form a majority government, a party must win in 326 constituencies or more.

25
Q

Who CAN vote?

A

People aged 18 or over who are:

  • A UK or qualifying commonwealth citizen
  • registered to vote on the electoral register
  • resident at an address in the UK (or a UK citizen living abroad who has been registered to vote in the UK in the last 15 years)
  • Homeless people who have completed a declaration of local connection form
  • candidates standing in an election
  • Members of Parliament
26
Q

Who CANNOT vote

A
  • Members of the House of Lords (condition of their position)
  • Economic migrants from the EU who do not have full UK citizenship
  • Convicted prisoners
  • Persons found guilty of election corruption (barred for five years)
27
Q

Give argument FOR extending the franchise

A

Those in favour argue:

  • They should have a say in their future as a government is elected for 5 years and their education and training are directly affected by the policy makers
  • They are allowed to do other responsible things at 16 such as choose their own medical treatment
  • May be more mature & educated than previous generations
28
Q

Give argument AGAINST extending the franchise

A
  • Some 16 year olds are not well-informed, too immature to vote
  • May be more easily influenced by peers/parents
  • The legally recognised age to be an adult is 18
29
Q

What are European parliamentary elections organised by?

A

The Regional List System in Britain, a form of Proportional Representation. This has an impact on which parties are represented when compared with UK general elections which use the FPTP voting system

30
Q

Give the 2 key points about the Regional List system of electing MEPs

A

1) European elections take place every 5 years, and the UK elects 73 MEPs in total, there are 12 electoral regions in the UK, each with between 3 and 10 MEPs. Each party in each region puts forward a list of candidates in the order they will be selected.
2) After the votes are counted, seats are allocated from the top of the list, working down. When available seats are allocated, those selected become MEPs

31
Q

How many MEPs are there in European Parliament?

A

751