• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what extent is there a consensus in the British party system?

Extracts from this document...


AS Government & Politics - Examination Question on Political Parties To what extent is there a "consensus" in the British party system? (25 marks) The traditional stereotype of the two main political parties in Britain is that the Conservative is right-leaning whilst Labour is left leaning. However, in the last 10 years both parties have been shifting to the centre. Economical, social and political policies of the two main parties have seen itself to be overlapping. Political scientists believes this is a sign of an unhealthy democracy as there is an insufficiency in legitimate political choices for voters to choose from, resulting to the general public feeling they can no longer distinguish the likes of the Conservatives and Labour. This phenomenon is said to be dangerous as it leads the general public to either being disillusioned with politics and desperate for change thus they turn to the extreme, or they simply give up their right or perhaps responsibility to vote with the belief that there is no point and that they cannot influence politics. Indeed, go back 20 years in time and stark contrasts can be seen between Thatcher's Conservative Party and the Labour Party back then. Of cause, the main thing which drew the big, clear line between the two parties was Labour's Clause 4. It stated Labour would secure "workers by hand or by brain the full fruits of their industry" as well as support the idea of "common ownership". ...read more.


This is because the country is heavily in debt at the moment and the only way out is for slashes in government. As seen, the policy of the two main parties overlaps thus consensus regarding the subject of social welfare and spending is present to an extent. Social Justice and law and order are perhaps one of the most relevant topics to voters. Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Greens are perhaps most willing to study the causes of crime however most if not all parties have promised to be "tough on crime". In this area, there is a good consensus between the parties as they all recognize the need to cut down crime rates although their methods of achieving this might differ. In terms of politics, the European Union is one of the main topics; at the end of the day this is only fair as 75% of our law is made there. The Labour Party is happy for further European integration, so as the Liberal Democrats although Nick Clegg has called for a reduction in democratic deficit in the Union. This is because both parties are reasonably pro-free trade. However, the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats don't seem to be aware of the political consequences in being part of a political union; the EU can control everything from hedge funds we own to what light bulbs we are allowed to use in our houses. ...read more.


The reason for this is simple - the parties have realised their past mistakes. Tony Blair realized from the failures of the 1980's that a party cannot be dominated by unionists. David Cameron learnt from the failures of the late 1990's and realised the only way the Tories is going to get into power is by appealing to everyone - especially the middle class. He said in the party conference speech that the Conservatives must not only be "the party for the rich". In many ways, the voters have placed a substantial role in centralizing politics; they have proven to politicians that they are not attracted by the extreme left or the extreme right but rather moderate politics contributing to stability and progress. However, regardless of exaggerated media reports or opinions from fanatic extremists, the two main political forces in the country are not the same and when you put in the other political forces such as the Liberal Democrats, UKIP, Greens, Respect and BNP, the differences and the lack in consensus between the parties simply cannot be clearer. There are things which Cameron's Conservatives would not have done if they were in power instead of Labour; there are also things in which Nick Clegg's Liberal Democrats would not have done if they were in power instead of Labour. Ahead of the election season, parties will try even harder to distinguish themselves from each others to unleash their self promoted uniqueness in attempt to capture and attract swing voters. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level United Kingdom section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level United Kingdom essays

  1. To what extent is Labour still a Socialist Party?

    Economic management is another policy area which, surprisingly, they don't differ much on: (the New Right think state intervention in the economy should be reduced to a 'bare minimum' and that inflation should be controlled) Third Way have similar beliefs to the New Right, but they also feel that its

  2. Government & Politics Revision Notes

    The chief of these are the monarchy (the head of state) and the House of Lords, neither of which therefore enjoy democratic legitimacy or promote political participation. > House of Lords- Critics say that the House of Lords is undemocratic as it is not elected and is not accountable to the electorate.

  1. Unit 1 - Example of Evaluations

    I tried to cut the information down and even though I managed to cut irrelevant information out, there is still a lot of space that is taken out which could have been used for more images. How well does it meet its purpose I believe this document meets its purpose

  2. Constitution and Politics

    * Except for elections there is nothing that forces the government to respect individual freedom and basic rights. * The Human Rights Act (1998) has gone some way to redress this but it stops well short of being an entrenched (fixed)

  1. What is the main reason for the loss of faith and interest in our ...

    When all the data has been compiled and illustrated, I shall make conclusive remarks on the evidence found, including reasoning for both sides of the arguments, and analyse the data in an unbiased and objective way, in an effort to explain both sides of the argument.

  2. priministers power

    Studies and the Institute of Economic Affairs, and experts convened in special seminars * Tendency to make policy 'on the hoof' in a conference speech or TV interview without consultation with ministerial colleagues (e.g. Poll tax) * Brusque treatment of ministers regarded as weak, 'wet', 'not one of us' - e.g.

  1. Evaluate the above statement and consider the extent to which you think it is ...

    The institutions fall ultimately under the control of Cabinet Ministers, who, it can be held, are controlled by the Prime Minister. Although the Prime Ministerial role may once have been open to accurate description as primus inter pares, it has long been the case that Cabinet Ministers are subordinate to the Prime Minister.

  2. The Labour Party.

    Tony Blair was to do whatever he can for the party to win back the 'centre ground' of British politics. Tony Blair got his power from many reasons; firstly he was convinced that the party needed to attract more of the southern and middle-class voters.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work