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

In what ways are U.K. & U.S. elections similar? In what ways are they different?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

In what ways are U.K. & U.S. elections similar? In what ways are they different? There are a myriad of differences between elections in the U.S., however, in some ways they are fundamentally similar. The major similarity between both elections is that the underlying electoral principle is the same in both constitutions; that is that both elections are based on the first-past-the-post system of election, which means that the person or party with one more vote than their nearest rival is the outright winner of the election and, in the case of the President in the U.S., becomes president and, in the case of the U.K. elections the party with the most votes forms Government. A large difference between the two elections however is that in the U.S. the electors vote on the same ballot paper for several officials, including the Presidential candidate, conversely, in the U.K. electors vote once, for the local M.P. Furthermore, the Prime Minister is drawn from the Government, following a general election whereas the U.S. President is voted for by the general American public on the separate ballot. ...read more.

Middle

59% of the population turned out to vote in the 2001 general election. Another difference between the two election systems is the dates at which the elections occur; in the U.K. the dates of the election are flexible and are susceptible to effective use by the Government, on the other hand the U.S. election dates are fixed and so cannot be manipulated in such a way. Linked to the election dates are the durations of the campaigns in both countries. In both countries the campaigns are flexible, but in the U.K. the duration of the campaigns is much shorter than the election campaigns in the U.S. The average campaign in the U.K. last for approximately three weeks, however John Major's campaign in 1997 was nearly six weeks long due to the fact that he thought that he was not very sure that he would be elected. In America, in contrast, the campaigns can be months long. This is partly due to the fact that America is larger and there is a greater population than there is in the U.K. ...read more.

Conclusion

In the U.K. there is more voting choice than in the U.S. The U.S. is conventionally described as a two party system, which is true in the sense that all members of the senate and the House are either Republicans or Democrats, however, often, in the Presidential contest there are three candidates; Republican, Democrat and Independent such as Ross Perot in 1992 and 1996 and Ralph Nader in 2000. In the U.K. on the other hand there is much debate over whether the U.K. is a two party system or a three party system. Traditionally, the U.K. has been a two party system, but with the growing role of the Liberals, popularly seen as the third party in British politics, there are calls that the U.K. is now a three party system, and there are more than two parties in parliament. In conclusion, there are many small differences between the two elections, however, the fact that they are both FPTP systems of election means that the underlying principle behind the elections are both the same. ...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

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

    Although this doesn't happen as frequently nowadays, in the crisis of 1909-1911 over the People's Budget and the Parliament Bill the Conservatives proposed for any bill relating 'to a matter of great gravity' to be taken to a referendum if rejected by the Lords.

  2. Consider the arguments for and against retaining first-past-the-post for general elections

    The argument of strong government isn't even always true, as first-past-the-post doesn't invariably produce a single-party majority. There have been three occasions in the last 50 years on which no single party has won a majority of seats. Another important criticism of first-past-the-post is its denial of an effective voter choice.

  1. Assess the factors that determine the outcome of US Presidential elections

    This stage of the campaign is very expensive and fund-raising is vital. Only a candidate who has built up enough momentum during the 'invisible primary' and performs well in the early stages of the primary season will attract the funds required to keep their campaign going all the way through till the NPC.

  2. Describe the ways in which the methods of the Suffragettes and the Suffragists were ...

    The dictatorship run by the Pankhursts from London was a very different matter indeed. Christabel Pankhurst who, with her mother Emmeline, ran the group from London, and later Paris when she set herself in exile in order to escape arrest, with out consulting the majority of party members.

  1. Free essay

    Outline the principal sources of authority available to US presidents. How similar is executive ...

    Lyndon B Johnson was able to exert more authority than he was constitutionally defined to do so because he had particularly good persuasive skills. Additionally, Ronald Reagan possessed strong strategic skills that enabled him to manipulate his position effectively. President's can exercise neither strategic nor persuasive leadership by relying upon

  2. Party funding.

    Nowadays, people can go to a wine bar, a club or to a restaurant more to socialize, so these political clubs are not so popular. A good example of a leader trying to get back support was William Hague. In hi 'Fresh Future Reforms', he pledged to obtain more than a million members by the millennium.

  1. J. S. Mill Despre Libertate

    singur de judecata si delimitare literara ca Smith ,lipsit de profunde viziune analitica si personalitatea geniala a lui ricardo, mill ram´┐Żne totusi una din marile figuri ale traditiei clasice, de mentionat dintr-o singura suflare, un barbat de o masiva putere de sinteza intelectuala, de un idealism si integritate arzatoare gata

  2. Who would you vote for?

    They did the right thing in letting the Bank of England decide inflation rates and keeping unemployment down. However, now that Gordon is PM, will Alistair Darling be able to continue in his footsteps? He certainly has a lot of experience as an MP (serving as a frontbencher under Neil Kinnock), but has never had this sort of role before.

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