• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7
  8. 8
    8
  9. 9
    9
  10. 10
    10
  11. 11
    11

To what extent do the Conservatives and Labour parties represent distinct ideologies?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

2. To what extent do the Conservatives and Labour parties represent distinct ideologies? The term 'Ideology' was first used in 1800s; a French writer Antoine Destutte de Tracy described it as the basis of a new and better way of conducting politics. Since then it has been used in several ways, for example, Eagleton in 1991, provided sixteen separate definitions of the term and suggested that 'Ideology' has a whole range of useful meanings, some of which are not compatible with each other, and it may be impossible to compress this wealth of meaning into a single comprehensive definition. However, over the years, a 'descriptive' meaning of ideology was come up and commonly used by political scientists, that is, 'An Ideology is a reasonably coherent structure of thought shared by a group of people. It is a means of explaining how society works and of explaining how it ought to work'. Dobson (1992) argued that an Ideology defined in this way has four main elements. First, a view of human nature; second, an idea about how history has developed and why; third, a concept of the relative importance of the individual and the group; and finally, a view of the role of the state. Nowadays, Ideologies are widely used by people to understand the society, different Ideologies can produce quite different version of the political world. ...read more.

Middle

that 'One nation Conservatism was revived and revitalised by the post-war election defeat of the Conservatives and the perception arising from that defeat that the party needed to modernise itself... Progressives accept and support the welfare state and Keynesian methods of macro-economic management... Progressivism stresses the importance of a social safety net to deal with poverty in addition to a limited redistribution of income and wealth. It espouses a paternalistic commitment to caring for all members of the community and favours government intervention in the economy to regulate markets.' (Whiteley et al. 1994, p.131) This post-war consensus - the welfare state had been accepted by the public at large and by every government elected between 1945 and 1979 (except Heath's in 1970), whether Labour or Conservative, pledged to maintain and improve its main institutions and practices. However, this consensus did not last for long; cracks began to appear from 1968 onwards in the face of economic and political developments which appeared to show that stability and prosperity could not be guaranteed by the policies adopted during the years of consensus. 1974 was a turning point. First, Margaret Thatcher became Conservative Leader following the party's defeat in the October 1974 election and the adoption of a New Right social market strategy. ...read more.

Conclusion

and fewer spending commitments, secondly making internal Labour Party reforms, followed by building a positive image for the Party Leader, and targeting new policies at 'Middle England', then wooing the press, minimising the impact of the Boundary Commission, and finally attempting to win the votes of women. Whilst nobody could deny that the result of the 1997 general election was a decisive victory for Labour, the number of seats won by Labour was inflated by the way in which the electoral system works. Also, turnout was the lowest in a general election since 1935. There are a number of factors, explain Labour's huge Commons majority. The long-term factors are the problems faced by the Conservative government and the repositioning of Labour. By the time the general election was called, the Conservative Party appeared tired, divided and sleazy whilst the Labour Party appeared fresh, united and dynamic. Reviewing the whole 18 years of Conservative rule, it can be claimed that the period had failed to produce the revolution in the nation's political attitudes that the Thatcherites had hoped for, so there was a mood that it was 'time for a change'. Although, long-term factors produced the climate in which the election was fought, a number of short-term factors had an important bearing on the result, such as electoral geography, Labour's campaign tactics, tactical voting, party membership and the campaign. ...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. Why Did the Post-war Consensus Breakdown?

    First, the Conservative defeat resulted in a serious reconsideration of policy which eventually resulted in Margaret Thatcher's New Right social market strategy. And second, Labour came to power just as a series of domestic and world economic crises were about to break out.

  2. What, other than the personal beliefs of Margaret Thatcher was there to Thatcherism?

    More direct counter arguments can be advanced against the critiques of Benn and Riddell, these include an exposition of the self-referential nature of their arguments. Both Benn and Riddell set parameters themselves on what Thatcherism should and does represent. This means that many of their criticisms arise because of the definitions they have created.

  1. To what extent was there a 'post war consensus' between 1945-1970.

    be kept in line with price increases so that any inflationary tendencies could be restrained. From 1947, demand management influenced economic policies and budgets were deliberately unbalanced to control inflation but by the 1960s governments were forced to use direct intervention to try and control spiraling wage rises that were causing high inflation, affecting the whole economy.

  2. Analysis on Thoreau's Ideologies

    Every where you turned there was propaganda, for and against the government. For and against democracy, and communism. For no matter how hard any individual tried, they could not earn money, support themselves, find work, or afford food. Meanwhile, all the government could relay was to "Have confidence" and "Believe in the country, Believe in the Government."

  1. Nazi Ideology

    It can be seen in memoirs that the military activities over time became unpopular with the boys as the training became much more rigorous and the children were beaten if they objected. As the years progressed and youngsters in Germany entered into their late teens, the Hitler Youth lost its

  2. The Labour victory of 2005 was unusual. To what extent is this true?

    and less than Jim Callaghan scored in 1979 in his unsuccessful bid for a third Labour term (36.9 per cent). The government's level of support among voters is therefore small. But taking the electorate as a whole, the proportion of eligible people who cast a vote to return the government

  1. What is Politics

    Groups constantly compete to gain the attention of decision makers and it is the job of the decision maker to decide between the competing claims made by different groups. The location of power It follows from this, therefore, that what matters to pluralists about the distribution of power in society

  2. Compare and Contrast how the Conservative and Labour 1997 manifestos use rhetorical language to ...

    "compete to win", "control over public spending" "remain the lowest taxed major economy in Europe", "continuing fight to keep burdens off business". These are extracts that demonstrate The Conservatives interest in business and a free market. It is in such lines that it attempts to rally core voters.

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