A2 Politics (Option C) Course Notes

These are a set of notes made for Edexcel's Government & Politics Option C. It contains notes for both Unit 3 and 4. I used the Anthony Bennett book for a lot of the points, as well as getting more up to date examples from online sources. I've tried to cover as much of the specification as possible, and there are only a couple of sections left out (such as immigration).

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  • Created by: DavBox
  • Created on: 10-06-13 10:45
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Unit 3C ­ Representative Processes in the USA
Elections and Voting
Key themes:
Primaries and Caucuses
Presidential Candidate Selection
Presidential Elections
Congressional Elections
Midterm Elections
Presidential Elections
Electoral College
Political Parties
Key themes:
Transformation of Parties
Party Divisions
Importance of Parties
Pressure Groups
Key themes:
Functions of Pressure Groups
Access Points
Racial and Ethnic Politics
Key themes:
Political Strategies
Is it still a problem?
Political Representation
Political Movements
Immigration Reform

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Page 2

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Latino Vote
Unit 4C ­ Governing the USA
Key themes:
History of the revolution
Principles of the constitution
Is it antidemocratic
Bill of Rights
How it has altered
Extent of modern constitution corresponding to original values
Impact of the constitution
Does it guarantee freedom
Key themes:
Electoral structure
Change in its power
Leadership in Congress
Voting in Congress
How Popular is Congress?
Case Studies
Key themes:
Imperial presidency
Vice president
Federal Bureaucracy
Influence of Cabinet and EXOP…read more

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Judicial Review
Does it have too Much Power?
Federal Court Structure
Activism and Restraint
Strict and Loose Constructionism
The Roberts Court
Role as an unelected body
Political or judicial institution…read more

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Procedures for primary elections (closed and open) and caucuses, advantages and
disadvantages of each
Presidential candidate selection: significance of role of the invisible primary; the pattern
of primaries and caucuses and extent of 'frontloading', reasons for and consequences of;
different methods of financing campaigns, e.g.…read more

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Open ­ a primary election where any registered voter can vote in the primary of either
party. In Wisconsin 2008, exit polls showed 27% of voters in the Democratic primary were
either independents or registered Republicans. Obama beat Hillary Clinton by only 1%
with the Democrat voters (64%) but beat her 63% to 34% amongst independents and
Republicans.…read more

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Primaries can all too easily develop into bitter personal battles. Hilary Clinton was
accused of making a number of personal attacks of Obama which made the party seem
Lack of peer review leading to a failure to test presidential qualities.
Invisible Primary
This is the period between candidates declaring an intention to run for the presidency
and the first contests of the primary season.…read more

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This is the meeting held once every 4 years by each of the major and some minor parties
to select their presidential and vice presidential candidates and write a party platform.
Each evening of a convention has a theme and a prime-time speaker. The first evening of
the 2008 Democratic Convention was entitled One Nation and focused on Obama's life
story with his wife, Michelle, as the prime time speaker.
Functions of NPCs
Choose the party's presidential candidate.…read more

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This led to Ross
Perot spending $60 million in 1992.
Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (2002)
National party committees banned from raising or spending soft money.
Labour unions and corporations forbidden from funding issue advertisements directly.
The use of union and corporate money to broadcast advertisements that mentions a
federal candidate within 60 days of a general election or 30 days of a primary
Fundraising on federal property is prohibited.…read more

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Political comment programmes. Shows such as Meet the Press and The News Hour
with Jim Lehrer have in-depth interviews with respected interviewers and attract a
more politically aware audience.
Chat shows. In 2000, both Gore and Bush appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show. In 2008,
Oprah made a specific endorsement of Obama.
Commercial Response from public
John McCain 31% thought he had been explaining.
We need leadership without painful new taxes. 61% thought he had been attacking.…read more

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In 5 out of the last 8 elections has the candidate judged to have won the debates gone
on to win the election.
Initiatives and Propositions
This is a mechanism which allows citizens of a state to place proposed laws.
South Dakota was the first state to adopt them in 1898, since then 23 other states have
adopted it too (meaning 24 states use the Proposition process).
There are 2 types of proposition:
o Direct. A proposal that goes straight to the ballet.…read more



This is brilliant!

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