Political parties, ideologies and policies

This study material partly comes from 'Edexcel Government and politics for AS' -Neil McNaughton and 'My revision notes: Edexcel AS Uk government and politics)-Neil McNaughton 

Good luck to all people there studying :) 

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  • Created on: 05-06-16 08:46
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Party policies and ideas
Definition of a party
An organisation that develops a set of political goals an policies, which
seeks to convert into political action by obtaining government office,
or a share in government, or by influencing the government of the day.
Features of a party
1. Each party consists of a group of individuals who have commonly
held ideology and shared set of principles or values
2. They are united by ideas and values , and wish to promote these
and manage the country according to
3. They normally have a
formal organisation w ith a leadership,
active members and mass membership
4. They have mechanism for developing policy , selecting candidates
for office and identify leaders
Functions of parties
1. Making policy -
Development of policies and political programs.
This role becomes especially important when a party is in
opposition and seeking to replace the government of the day
Aggregation- This is a policy-formulating function. It involves identify the
wide range of demands made on the political system from mass
individuals in society as well as different groups (through surveys) and
then converting these into programmes of actions.
2. Representation -Parties claim to have a representing function.
They provide representation and speak up for various sections in
the community
3. Selecting candidates- This stage is about finding people to form
the party. Parties spend a lot of time selecting candidates for
offices at all levels.If a political party wins, the winning party
appoints its leading members to government

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Identifying leaders -Parties need leaders (potential gov
ministers). They therefor have procedures for identifying
potential leaders.
5. Organising elections -Party organisations form part of the
process of publicising election issues, perduading people to vote
and informing them about the candidates
6. Education -Parties have an educative function. Involved in the
process of informing the people about the political issues of the
day, explaining the main areas of conflict and outlining their own
solutions of the problems that they have identified.…read more

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The political left
Collectivism, which is a belief that goals can be achieved by
collective action as well as by the efforts of individuals. This includes
the idea of the state as an essential and positive force in the lives of
A belief that the interests of the wider community are often
superior to the interests of individuals.
A belief in the universal distribution of benefits such as health,
education and social insurance.…read more

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Conservative ideas
Center-right political party (today)
Traditional conservatism (late 1800 century)
Traditional conservatism
Originated late part of 1800 century.
Emerged as a reaction to new liberal ideas that came
from two revolutions (1) NorthAmerica 1776 and (2)
Conservative thinkers; Edmund burke became
alarmed at the rise of ideas such as freedom of
individuals, tolerance of different political opinions,
religious beliefs, laissez faire attitude towards left
winged economic activity.
Principles of traditional Conservatism
Human nature ­Most fundamental values.…read more

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Tradition and preservation (monarchy, church
The conservative preference for the preservation of
tradition is related closely to their desire for public
Conservatives argue that the reason values and
institution has survived is because of their quality , that
they `carry a wisdom of the past'
The Organic society and one nation
During the leadership of Disraeli (British conservative
prime minister) during 1860&1870's, conservatives in
the UK expressed the need to unite as a nation;
organic nature of society.…read more

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New right conservatism
The free market and neoliberalism. Margaret Thatcher and her
leadership group were `neoliberals'. They believed that, wherever
possible, markets should be free from intervention or interference by
government, trade unions or large, powerful corporations. The solution
to virtually all economic problems lay in free markets correcting
themselves automatically. This meant free markets for products, fi
nance and labour.
Most large, nationalised (publicly owned and state-run) industries were
sold off into private hands.…read more

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Low direct taxation. New Right conservatives saw direct taxes on
individuals and private companies as a lack of encouragement to work
and enterprise.
Income tax levels were reduced, especially at higher earning levels. The
revenue was made up by higher indirect taxes such as VAT.
· Taxes on private company profi ts were reduced.
State disengagement from economic management.…read more

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Strong policing policies, including greater powers to control
demonstrations and public disorder.
· Longer, more severe sentences for criminals.
· Support for the institution of traditional marriage.
Property. Like traditional conservatives, the New Right emphasised the
importance of home ownership.
Tenants in local authority housing were given the right to buy their
homes at discounted prices and mortgage rates.
· The markets supplying mortgages were opened up to greater
competition and it was made easier for families to obtain mortgages
and other credit.…read more

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New right and Traditional conservatism Difference
Traditional conservatives see society as organic whereas the New Rights see society as
merely a collection of individuals. Margaret Thatcher famously stated, `There is no such
thing as society.'
Traditional conservatives support free markets but take a pragmatic view of economic
management , believing that there are times when state intervention is needed. The New
Right is ideologically opposed to state intervention .
Traditional conservatives have favoured a mixed economy, with some key industries
remaining under state control.…read more

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