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University Degree: UK Government & Parliamentary Studies

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  1. Evaluate the responsibilities of the different levels of government in the UK and explain the electoral process.

    There are few prohibitions on candidacy but a potential candidate must be at least twenty-one years old, a British citizen and have their name on the electoral register. Those who may not stand include members of the House of Lords, those with criminal convictions of a certain nature, those of unsound mind, and certain clergymen. These rules also apply to those eligible to vote. Each application must be accompanied by a deposit of �500 which is returnable if the candidate achieves five percent of the votes cast.

    • Word count: 1801
  2. What is a constitution? Does the UK have one?

    Even Finer's aforesaid definition of constitutions shows that constitutions act to limit power, as the 'allocation of functions, powers and duties' is argued by Vernon Bogdanor to also mean "ipso facto, to limit powers."4 Thus, an important aspect of defining a constitution would be to include its basic purpose of limiting government power. Bogdanor further points out, however, that when the Founding Fathers developed the American constitution, they had not one but two aims. These aims included the structuring of government which would serve to limit government power, thus protecting the people from tyranny, as well as protecting the people

    • Word count: 1793
  3. British politics - analysing the reasons for low electoral participation.

    It would be fair to say that the effectiveness of the right to vote has declined. Studies have attempted to explain that the first part the post method may be an unsatisfactory British voting system, which could discourage right thinking people to avoid having their say. In reference to the British Politics in focus book Bentley says that the majority of voters in the four elected terms did not vote for the governing party. This happened in 1997 when labour only won 43.3% of a vote but received a huge commons majority to retrieve power.

    • Word count: 2213
  4. To what extent and why do New Labours proposals for the NHS differ from those of the previous New Right Conservative Government?

    Thatcher considered a move to private health insurance which never materialised as it was widely rejected by her peers. It is argued that Thatcher only stayed true to the core objectives of the NHS only because of the political damage it could do to the party if they were challenged (Lund, 2008). The Griffith's report of 1983 and American market economist Alain Enhoven were highly influential in what would become the most radical reforms ever proposed for the NHS. The Griffiths report outlined how making the sector more business like, creating competition between providers and linking funding to productivity would strengthen the sector in terms of cost effectiveness as well as managers being introduced at every level to improve the quality of management.

    • Word count: 2422
  5. Voter Turnout in UK General Elections 1997 2005

    (Electoral Commission, 2002, p6) This essay will analyse the possible reasons behind the substantial decline in turnout since the 1997 General Election and its only slender improvement in 2005. It will examine and attempt to provide some explanations for the strong contrast between the turnout of the youngest and oldest of voters and will also explore possible solutions to rectifying the problem of low voter turnout. A point that should first be addressed is why voter turnout is important. According to Pateman (1970, cited in Scully et al, 2004, p522)

    • Word count: 2800
  6. How successful is British Drug Policy?

    This first section will use a case study of Brixton to assess methods of drug policing. In this area there has always been tension between young black males and a white, sometimes racist, police force who have adopted a hard line approach. Through the 1970s and 1980s over zealous policing resulted in the alienation of much of the policed population. The report by Lord Scarman in 1981 raised some important questions about the policing of drugs in a modern Britain. A significant issue here is police discretion which amounts to using a degree of subjectivity in order to maintain the peace. Scarman argued that in Brixton police exercised their discretion in a way that was unjust.

    • Word count: 3495
  7. Will devolution lead to the break up of the UK?

    The USA is a prime example of a state, which has operated for hundreds of years under a devolution like system and remains fully intact to this day. Federalism is not the same as the devolution within the UK but operates on similar principles, while devolution is just the delegation of power to subsidiaries within a unitary government federalism works in the US as a central form of government allowing each state to rule itself individually while at the same time looking to Washington as the US equivalent of Westminster, as a central government to manage the bigger picture.

    • Word count: 2482
  8. Is Representative Democracy An Effective Way to Distribute Political Power?

    This form of representation forms an integral part of the democratic electoral system. 'Black legislators represent Black constituents, women legislators represent women constituents, and so on 3. If representation is divided collectively in these terms, does it make for a fair system? Are all groups and individuals then adequately and proportionately represented by a politician because they can more readily identify with the represented? History and current sociological factors tell us that ethnic minorities, women, lower socio economic groups and other marginalised groups are under represented in Parliament. Let's begin with women in politics.

    • Word count: 3827
  9. Oats Reader Report

    Burr was soon captured and brought to justice in Richmond, Virginia. Overall, the death of Hamilton left his creation of the National Bank and his Federalist Party to their slow destructions. 15 - The Fires of Jubilee: Nat Turner's Fierce Rebellion - By Stephen Oates In 1831, one of the most violent slave revolts was led by man named Nat Turner. This slave rebellion turned out to be the bloodiest slave revolt in American history, causing fear throughout the southern states. Turner created slave support for this rebellion by using his religious visions, religious signs, and speaking abilities.

    • Word count: 1334
  10. Free essay

    Does the Irish rejection of the Draft Constitutional Treaty signal that democracy is alive and well in the EU

    Even though polls suggest that around 70% of Irish citizens approve of the EU1. This could be because it is said that Ireland has done particularly well from being a member of the European Union. This implies that the Irish referendum is displaying proper democratic attributes - helping the Irish to have an influence in the formation of crucial EU policy. This suggests that citizens are worried of the overall sovereignty and traditional values such as military neutrality and abortion will come under threat.

    • Word count: 3271
  11. What are the advantages and disadvantages of different electoral systems?

    The system also means that a party with country wide support, but no focused local support can miss out on seats (The "third party effect" (Heywood, 2007)). Countries which use FPTP usually end up as a two party state, for example the domination of the Republicans and Democrats in America, the Conservatives and Labour in the UK, etc. While many of these issues might seem trivial, they can have profound political and cultural effects, take for example the Northern Irish House of Commons, which from 1929 onwards, was elected using the First Past the Post system, giving the Ulster Unionist

    • Word count: 1992
  12. To what extent is social class important in understanding 'political choice in Britain'?

    One political theorist notes: " (1) 'Two broad theoretical families have dominated the analysis of electoral behaviour: positional theories, which emphasise voters' social locations, long-term ideologies and loyalties; and valence theories, which explain the voting decision in terms of (usually) short-term judgements of government competence and performance' I would agree with this statement, and would back it up by saying that in terms of geography of voters, there are clearly-defined places where each political party recieves a majority of votes, and this is a reflection on social class rather than geography dictating who a person votes for.

    • Word count: 1495
  13. To what extent do the media in Britain determine political attitudes and opinions?

    Measuring media has been proved to be very difficult and one can identify, according to Budge (2001), that the main problems are the difficulties in distinguishing the effects of media from other influences, such as family life and education, which highly varies from person to person. The different media channels, for instance television and the press, have dissimilar impacts; they push and pull in different directions. An example of this is the Labour and Conservative support by the press versus the quiet neutral TV.

    • Word count: 2687
  14. Why is asylum such a big issue in Britain

    And government of home country is obligated to give this protection for every citizen of his country. When government of home country fails to protect these rights, people have the right to move to a country that will protect them. This is right of asylum. In 1951, this part of human right was established by an international treaty, the Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. Signed Convention meant that country was obligated to provide asylum or refugee to person who fleeing prosecution. Immigration actually is movement of people to another place with the aim of settling in another place.

    • Word count: 2044

    in the commons which makes it important, as well as there is the view that the commons is weakened because the majority party supports the executive (nearly a third of the majority party) in the commons. In addition to the fact that the governments growing control of measures of parliament takes effect in which it makes members comply in the executive, dominating its actions. Therefore, the executive is seen to be the core decision making body in parliament. The British parliament in some cases is seen to provide an effective check on executive power, however in other cases it is rather seen as not very effective for various reasons that I shall be mentioning later on in this essay.

    • Word count: 2223
  16. Is a written constitution more democratic then an unwritten constitution

    argue that formal constitutions are extremely important because they entail all the 'procedural rules of a political system.'iii The constitution also acts as a reminder of political values and forms a limitation upon politicians and civil servants. The United States of America has a written, codified constitution and has done so since after the American Revolution. The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law; it builds the structure for the United States Government and appoints power within it; it's the 'source of legitimate governmental authority.'iv The biggest advantage of having a codified constitution is its clarity.

    • Word count: 1990
  17. Free essay

    Decision Making- Gun Crime

    The government is committed to tackling gun crime so as to ensure the safety and security of all British citizens and has therefore on several occasions come up with decisions to tackle the problem. Decision making is the process of choosing between alternative courses of action. It is a process of making an informed choice among the alternative actions that are possible (Kourdi J 2003). It may take place at an individual or organisational level. The nature of the decision making process within an organisation is influenced by its culture and structure and a number of theoretical models that may have been developed.

    • Word count: 2002
  18. social policy

    (Townsend. 1979 pg 31) The term poverty can be further broken down into two different terms, absolute and relative. Absolute poverty is seen as the definition, based on the notion of subsistence. This is the minimum needed to sustain life. If someone is living below subsistence then they are suffering absolute poverty, as one does not have enough to live on. However this view is somewhat simplistic, who defines this subsistence level and how can it be universal? A criticism of absolute poverty is that it is based on an assumption that there is a minimum basic needs for all people, in all societies.

    • Word count: 2534
  19. To what extent has the social and economic context of British politics changed since 1945?

    Employment has always been an economic problem for governments in the UK. Between the 1940's and 1970's unemployment was at a low rate and this period has become known as the era of 'full employment' (B. Jones, et al. 2007. p.70). Following this however came period of high unemployment, which started to grow in the early 1970's until it reached a peak of 3.1 million in the mid eighties. Since then it has declined again and at the turn of the century we where back to a period of 'full employment'.

    • Word count: 1801
  20. Why is there less concern today about the influence of top civil servants in the policy process?

    This was to happen to the extent that the two would be seen as almost one person or an 'organic unit' (Foster, C. D. (2000). This is where concern first came from because people started to question senior civil servants role as policy advisers. The worry was that top civil servants had so much influence they could potentially be making policy. This started the change in influence which top civil servants possessed. At the start of the seventies the relationship between top civil servants and minsters remained one of fusion but civil servants had the slight upper hand because of their permanence.

    • Word count: 1343
  21. Evaluate the role of the Monarchy in the UK, and outline, in turn, the arguments for the status quo, reform and abolition of the Monarchy

    The state as in most countries today is ruled on the basis of a democracy. In a sense, Democracy gives people power. As highlighted in a phrase by Abraham Lincoln, democracy is a government, "of the people, by the people, and for the people". Leach et al (2006:6) When Queen Elizabeth's great ancestors were Monarch they had a considerable amount of power in their hands. It was accepted that God had rightfully chosen the head of state to govern, so their authority could not be questioned.

    • Word count: 1745
  22. To what extent does social class continue to affect voting behaviour in Britain?

    Examining the report written in 2000 about social class and voting trends produced by Robert Andersen and Anthony Heath, they put forward the view; "Despite debate over whether observed changes in class voting are generated by long-run social processes or by short-term political events, there is general agreement that class voting still persists to some degree in Britain."4 They went on to say, that "There is clear evidence of the familiar pattern of class voting in Britain where the working class favours the Labour Party and the salariat favour the Conservative Party"5.

    • Word count: 1296
  23. Free essay

    Is there anything new about New Labour(TM)s approach to Economic Management?

    In 1951 the Conservatives came back into power under Winston Churchill and in 1955 Hugh Gaitskell took over as leader of the Labour party. Gaitskell along with Anthony Crosland saw the Labour party as moving in a different direction than Attlee. Gaitskell and Crosland wanted the party to embrace a more temperate social democrat position. They believed that a mixed economy and demand management rather than government intervention were the appropriate policies to achieve the goals of a collective welfare state and full employment.

    • Word count: 2840
  24. house of lords nee further reform?

    The Lords also has a judicial function. The judicial functions of the House of Lords are exercised not by the whole House, but by a committee of "Law Lords." The jurisdiction of the House of Lords extends, in civil and in criminal cases, to appeals from the courts of England and Wales, and of Northern Ireland. From Scotland, appeals are possible only in civil cases. The House of Lords is not the United Kingdom's only court of last resort; in some cases, the Privy Council performs such a function.

    • Word count: 583

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