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

Describe the process by which MPs are elected to Westminster. What are the advantages and disadvantages of the First past the Post system? The Parliament in UK

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Describe the process by which MPs are elected to Westminster. What are the advantages and disadvantages of the First past the Post system? The Parliament in UK id divided into the House of Commons and the House of Lords; though it is often assumed that an MP is a member of Commons, they can be a member of either house, however the letters MP are appended as a post nominal to an individuals name only if that person is a member of the House of Commons which currently consist of 646 members. MPs in the House of Commons are elected in general and by-elections to represent their constituency by the First past the Post system of elections and remain MPs until Parliament is dissolved. The members of the House of Lords however, are officially appointed by the monarch however today the selection is carried out by the Prime Minister. The term FPTP means that the candidate who gains the majority of the votes first wins; thus winner takes all. ...read more.

Middle

This means that FPTP prevents the chaos of the political systems in places such as Italy and Israel. As democracy efficient as FPTP may look at first glance, unfortunately there are many who do not favour the system and put forward arguments against it. FPTP is a democratic system but in overall terms if more people vote against a candidate than for him/her, is this democratic in terms of popular representation in Westminster? In recent years national or by-elections have frequently thrown up winners who have failed to gain the popular vote and therefore the victor cannot claim that he/or she has the confidence of the majority in the constituency. This means that a total popular mandate for the winner does not exist. A counter argument to this is that in a democratic society the winner should be accepted by the losers who in turn have a right for their concerns to be heard. ...read more.

Conclusion

For minor parties this could mean that some of their supporters would not bother to turn up knowing that their vote will be a waste. Some may even decide to vote for a different party through tactical voting. All this discriminates the smaller parties who would be losing vital votes and fail to make any long-term progress. In 2001 the Lib Democrats gained 52 seats and 19% if the total votes. Using the basic form of PR, this figure would be equal to 120 seats and therefore it is clear that when it comes to fairness, smaller parties lose out. As FPTP continues functioning the way it is, it can only favour the Tory and Labour parties. In polls carried out between 1999 and 2000, 60% if people asked claimed that they would favour a form of PR in order to make the system fairer but the question is, would a major party such as Labour change the current system which favours them? The common and probably wise answer would be no and therefore as it stands, FPTP will be with us for a long time to come. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

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

Here's what a star student thought of this essay

4 star(s)

Response to the question

Response to Question
This question is a fairly typical two-part question, with candidates needing to address both areas and draw on different skills in order to write a good essay. This candidate has succeeded in writing a clear essay that ...

Read full review

Response to the question

Response to Question
This question is a fairly typical two-part question, with candidates needing to address both areas and draw on different skills in order to write a good essay. This candidate has succeeded in writing a clear essay that answers both parts of the question, and places weight on the evaluative part of the essay (advantages/disadvantages). As evaluation is a higher-level skill, it enables the candidate to reach the upper band of marks. They discuss relevant information in a sufficient level of detail and draw on real-world examples to support their points, making for a successful essay.

Level of analysis

Level of Analysis
The candidate's level of analysis is of a good standard, most likely an A or B grade. Some of the arguments that are made for or against first-past-the-post are not expanded on or developed, but the candidate shows several examples of analysis, with his/her paragraph on the issue of the popular vote when using FPTP being a particularly good example, which provides examples from British political history to support and explain their argument. There is a good balance of analysis of advantages and disadvantages, ensuring that the candidate is providing evidence for both arguments before making a judgement.

Quality of writing

Quality of Writing
Spelling and punctuation are both fine in this essay. The candidate is able to make their ideas clear and explain them well, although some of the sentences seem clunky or fail to make sense ("As democracy efficient as FPTP may look at first glance" - in this case the jist is fairly obvious, but it lets the candidate down a little). I feel that if more care was taken over phrasing and the standard of writing overall, then it would give a better impression of the candidate's skills. However, these sorts of errors are largely ignored at GCSE level, and as the content is good, the candidate would not lose out significantly.


Did you find this review helpful? Join our team of reviewers and help other students learn

Reviewed by ecaudate 23/02/2012

Read less
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 GCSE Politics essays

  1. How was Post war (WWI) Italy affected economically, politically and socially?

    Those who saw the weak government as an embarrassment were inspired by this fascist stronghold in Fiume and were drawn in by the promises d'Annunzio in his brief command of a state emphasising the ideology of fascism. After the war the desires of the nation was for new direction of the Italian state.

  2. "The British Parliament is weak whereas the US Congress is powerful." Discuss.

    Debating bills gives Parliament considerable constitutional authority in the scrutiny and influence of bills.8 The most powerful tool Parliament possesses is the ability to reject a bill. This, however, occurs rarely and is more likely to be used by the House of Lords.

  1. For my creative piece I have written a short story set in the future, ...

    "Welcome to the Renewable Energy Flight Service. Passengers are now asked to fill up the internal combustion engine using the standard four farts. Any subsequent additions to the standard four shall be multiplied by three, and the cost deducted from your flight." "This is your auto-pilot speaking.

  2. Assess the strengths and weaknesses of Pluralism in domestic politics

    Dahl emphasizes the existing political inequality and the limited access to resources needed to influence the government. If we look at it in a different way, there don't seem to be any actual restrictions imposed by the government to stop people from influencing it.

  1. Arguments for and Against the use of Referendums in the UK

    The 'No' campaign was seriously under funded, which would mean that they would have less money for propaganda and advertising, therefore making the argument very one-sided. To solve the problem of being accused in this way, funds should be provided for both sides of any issue subject to a referendum, and the government should remain neutral throughout the campaign.

  2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of the devolution process in Scotland and Wales?

    Sub national governments have reflected the different regions. Devolution has meant that both Scotland and Wales have a clearer sense of their country. For Labour and the Liberal Democrats one of the best arguments for devolution was the idea that it would head off demands for full independence.

  1. Too much democracy is a recipe for anarchy. Discuss.

    There must be direct participation by the whole adult citizens in the making of decisions that have the force of law and are binding on the entire society. 'the fundamental tenets of the liberal-democratic world view: namely that human

  2. The advantages of the Uk having a constitutional monarchy are greater than the disadvantages. ...

    As we know, there are three large parties, i.e. Labour Party, Conservative Party and Liberal Democratic Party. It is arguable fact that the politicians nowadays become only want to gain more benefits for their own party. In this circumstance, we need people who can redress the scales, i.e. the monarchy!

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