Past Questions: Political Parties

Some answered, some not. This is a compilation of all the past paper questions (that were accessible at the time - there may be more now). Good source for practice questions without having to wade through the Edexcel website (which isn't very good...).

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Political Parties

ShortAnswer Questions (15)
How important have third parties been in recent presidential elections?
At first glance, it may appear that third parties in the USA barely exist, let alone have an
important effect on the outcome of presidential elections.

There is a wealth of evidence to support the…

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o Ralph Nader ­ accused of losing the Democrats the election but claimed that
there is no party that represents the left
o Despite left's influence in private, in public policies are forced to be fairly
centrist ­ e.g. Obama's healthcare almost carboncopy of one of the
Republican alternatives to…

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level of popular support, the major parties will then conspire to remove that support by
`cooptation' ­ in essence, adopting the minor candidate's policies in order to lower his
support. Ralph Nader gained large proportions of the vote in 1992 and 1996, but his major
policy (the federal budget deficit)…

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Always fail and why
Since 1853, every President has been either Republican or Democrat
o Winnertakesall (WTA)
o Last 10 elections (1972 onwards) every EC vote has gone to Republican
or Democrat candidates (excluding rogue electors)
o Since 1968, never have all the third parties combined gained more than…

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Plenty of contrast ­ e.g. can be socially conservative and fiscally liberal, or vice
versa (Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum)
George Bush Jr. ­ compassionate conservative: fiscally conservative, with a fair
amount of social conservatism and yet a little moderatism (e.g. No Child Left
From a Tea Party perspective, virtually…

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'The theory of "party decline" is increasingly out of date.' Discuss

'The ideological differences between the Democratic and Republican parties are
far greater than the differences within them.' Discuss


Old Sir


This is a very good example of one way of organising 'end-point' revision notes. i.e. Notes that address specific issues that might arise in the exam and mould them into what is essentially a plan for dealing with questions about those issues. Well-organised students should aim to be producing these sorts of notes in the final approach to the exams.

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