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Traditionally, winning elections has been an aim of political parties subordinate to representing political views.

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Introduction

b) Traditionally, winning elections has been an aim of political parties subordinate to representing political views. However, more recently parties have been adjusting their ideology, possibly to make them more desirable to the majority of the electorate and thus gain political office. As suggested by McKie, recent elections have been "less between competing philosophies, much more about which set of managers was likely to get better results". Both Labour, and the Conservatives have moved considerably towards the centre of the political spectrum in the past couple of decades, and if there are fundamental differences between the two parties, then at least one of them is failing to reflect properly the concerns of the middle ground voter. This convergence of party ideology is most probably a move by both parties to make them more attractive to middle England. ...read more.

Middle

This reinvention of Labour ideology has been very prominent in recent issues such as Labour's intransigence in not raising the salary for firemen and not having a good relationship with the Fire Brigades Union. The reform of the party came after 17 years of Conservative rule, and it was accomplished by the abandonment of many of its distinctive policies that it had fought and lost of in previous elections. When Tony Blair dropped clause four, it was in order to change the party, and when party reform was fully complete, Labour returned to power. However, some of Labour's policy changes may have been due to the shrinking working class, which used to make up the majority of their support. This change in social structure may also be attributable to the Conservative's move towards the centre, as social boundaries have shrunk, the middle class which they traditionally represented is not as easily defined anymore. ...read more.

Conclusion

If one was to argue that political parties simply wished to get elected and this is why they have similar policy, then perhaps it should be questioned why there used to be a very distinct difference between the major parties. This can only be because of changing social structures mentioned previously. Ultimately, there is no way of knowing whether parties simply wish to get elected rather than represent political principles. However, it is likely that getting elected is at the top of their agenda, and perhaps they wish to represent distinct principles when they are in power, however the current Labour government has been acting much like a Conservative government would on issues such as Iraq, and university tuition fees. This perhaps highlights the changing society that we live in which has different political needs than it has in the past century, and political parties have adapted to provide the best options for the electorates needs. Lucy Frith -1- ...read more.

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