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21 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
Define 'class dealignment'
A situation where members of a social class stop aligning themselves in terms of class and believe they no longer belong to a certain class. An example of this would be in the working class began to view themselves as lower middle class
When did class dealignment take place in Britain?
After the 1960s, many people were more likely to pursue higher education, have professional jobs which made them more affluent.
Define 'partisan dealignment'
The process of people no longer voting according to their social class. These people lose their traditional class loyalties to a particular party.
Provide an example of 'partisan dealignment' in the UK.
The Barking and Dagenham 2006 local election results showed partisan dealignment from the traditional Labour identification to the extreme right British National Party
What is a multi-party system?
A political system in which more than two parties exist and contest elections with a realistic prospect of achieving political power. (Multiparty systems usually operate under proportional representation systems and result in coalitions.)
List two advantages of multi-party systems.
Voters have a wide choice. Voters are more likely to vote for a party that reflects their view, If a coalition is necessary, the ruling parties will have to compromise to achieve power.
List two disadvantages of multi-party systems.
Small parties can wield disproportionate influence in forming coalition governments. The withdrawal of small parties can cause the coalition to collapse.
Is the UK becoming a multi-party system?
The share of the vote of the two main parties has delcined from 90% or more in the 1950s to 65% in the 2010 general election. The Liberal Democrats were in coalition after the general election. (The absence of PR for Westminster elections means genuine multi-party politics is unlikely)
Argue the case that the UK has a two-party system
Between 1945 and 2010 Conservative and Labour have alternated in government, so in terms of winning elections there was a two-party system.
Present the case that the UK has a three-party system
Three parties share most of the votes cast at general elections, and after the 2010 general election the Liberal Democrats went into government with the Conservatives.
Argue the case that the UK has a dominant-party system.
The Conservatives were in power from 1979 to 1997 and Labour from 1997 to 2010.
Which system best describes the UK at present?
A dominant-party system best describes the UK between 1979 and 2010, with a period of Conservative dominance followed by a period of New Labour dominance
How democratic is the process by which the main UK political parties elect their leaders?
All three parties involve their members. The Liberal Democratic leader is elected under one member, one vote (OMOV). The Conservative Party does use OMOV, but only after the party's have finalised a choice of two candidates. Labour also uses OMOV but its members only constitute one-third of the electoral college that selects the leader.
Is the way in which the main parties select their candidates for parliamentary election best sees as 'top-down' or 'bottom-up'?
Ostensibly, all choice candidates locally, but those selected must be taken from lists of centrally approved candidates. The Labour Party allows the central party to impose a candidate upon a constituency.
Which of the three main UK political parties formulates its policies in the most democratic way?
The Liberal Democrats. Their annual national conference remains the party's sovereign policy-making party
What ideological positions were traditionally associated with the Conservative Party and the Labour Party?
The Labour Party was formed by trade unions and socialist societies, so it has been regarded as a socialist party for most of its existence. The Conservative Party traditionally favoured pragmatism and believed in gradual improvements founded on experience and existing institutions, rather than a prior reasoning and radical change.
In what respect have these parties shifted from their traditional ideological positions?
Labour distanced itself from socialism under Tony Blair, e.g. redrafting Clause IV. Margaret Thatcher abandoned a traditional conservative approach by adopting a radical neo-liberal agenda. More recently, David Cameron tried to re-brand the Conservative party by focusing on environmental policy and social exclusion.
Why do some commentators refer to an 'end of ideology'?
The two main political parties are no longer ideologically distinct. they appear to be arguing over the tone and presentation of policy rather than its substance.
Identify some of the different kinds of minor parties that operate in the UK
Regional (e.g. Plaid Cymru); single-issue (e.g. UKIP); ideological (e.g. BNP)
Identify one reason why minor parties have traditionally found it difficult to achieve electoral success in the UK
The first-past-the-post electoral system, employed in virtually all elections before 1997, made it difficult for smaller parties as they had to win a large proportion of the vote in a constituency before they had any chance of winning.
Give reasons why minor parties have become more popular in recent years
The tendency of the big parties to move towards the centre ground has forced many who would previously have supported such parties into the arms of minor parties. The adoption of proportional or hybrid electoral systems in some UK elections has also benefitted such parties.