Edexcel Politics Unit 1 and Unit 2 complete notes

As relevant examples as well as of 2015, useful for planning essays

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Elections
Functions and Features of elections
Functions ­
Governmental function - Elections are the principle way in which governments in the UK
are formed. They therefore serve to transfer power from one government to the next.
Governments are formed from leading members of the majority party in the House of…

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example the BNP received two seats in the 2009 European elections despite many people
regarding them as an extremist party.
Criticisms of the doctrine of mandate ­
People don't vote rationally - There is little evidence that people vote rationally , people
tend to vote for opposition parties just because…

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Minority government - Governments are elected after winning only a minority of votes . In
2005 Labour won the election with only 35.2% of the popular vote . This threatens both the
legitimacy and the theory of mandate .
Smaller parties lose out -Smaller parties are unable to win seats…

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impact in events of crisis etc. In 2011 Northern Ireland assembly election ­ Belfast South: 5
parties each gained a good share of the seats .
Closed Party List-Proportional Representation. Used in European Parliament elections (Except for
Northern Ireland); Each party puts forward a list of candidates . The order…

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Coalitions more common so it produces a more representative government. In Scottish
Parliament ­ no single party tends to dominate . Up until 2011 and the rise of Scottish
nationalism, no party had ever won a majority.
Reduces disproportionate results of FPTP alone, which reflects will of the people better…

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governments such as post Nazi governments in Germany. In addition Labour introduced
controversial anti-terrorism laws restricting basic civil liberties of freedom of speech .
FPTP produces sharp conflict between parties -Coalition governments are about parties
working together in the spirit of compromise for the good of the country, whilst FPTP…

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political system, reduce democratic participation and thus lower turnout and legitimacy.
Glenda Jackson won her seat by 0.1% of the vote ­ 32.8% to 32.7% .
No ­
Clear electoral choice - FPTP aids democracy because it clarifies the choice available to
voters. For example under AMS the Scottish Nationals…

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conservative policy = to reduce welfare benefitsas a means of creating more incentive to
work and greater reliance vs. Labour's left-wing response to extend welfare benefitsto
create more equality and reduce poverty

Functions and features of political parties
Functions -
Representation - the primary function of political parties- they link…

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Welfare - Because welfare is a social duty, it is the duty of the rich to make sure that poorer
people are looked after . Therefore those who earn more should pay higher tax. For
example in the 1950's Prime Minister Harold Macmillan helped to build council houses.
Policies included;…

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profit and sustainable re- industrialisation to replace banking as the driver for the economy .
For example, members include Jeremy Corbyn and Len McCluskey .
Blue Labour ­ More socially conservative mind -set on issues like crime and immigration
whilst sticking to view on welfare state. Defend traditional institutions ,…

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