Politics, continued..

To tell you the truth I feel like I have learnt so much more about Politics that what I used to know. In our lectures we have covered the history of political parties. Philosophy seems to link well with Politics, for example Locke's theory that we should be represented by a government or Rouseau's idea that we should be more involved in democrasy, the right to vote.
So here's some more political facts to excite you all:

19th Century. This was a volitile time politcally. There wasn't a revolution like the French as the government in the Britain were sophisticated and comprimsied when they introduced the corn laws. This was a massively industrial time. The Reform Act 1832 was a shift of representation towards the towns and towards the north. There was a repeal agaisnt the corn laws as people started to say it was 'rotten to the core' Dickens and Cobbet were writers who expressed these feelings. It was the end of the Tory vs Whing system. The vote was extended to everybody, and the voting age was lowered.
In the late 19th century there was an electoral reform, the working class were allowed to vote.

1920's: After the war socialism and the rise of the labour party strikes
1945- After the second world war the first proper labour government with a secure majority formed. Many social demographics reforms- NHS, Keynesian economics, trade unions and the dismantling of the British Empire, Indian Independence.
Keynesian economics- flood the country with public money. This is not so much the case now.

Attributions to Pickersgill Reef

Churchill- The country was devastated after the war. Churchill lost in the majority vote and Clement Attlee(Labour) was elected prime minister. Clement Attlee changed moderrn Britian and belived in 'fair shares for all.' He proposed William Beveride's idea of a British Welfare System, The NHS. Labour took Beveridge's report and created the NHS, the biggest expenditure which is yet to be the biggest risk. The NHS was a national insurance 'from cradle to grave.'

1970's- Disaster for labour, left wing unions and labour are very close. In the 70's the unions were powerful.
1979, Winter of Discontent- Unions were powerful, but there was huge strikes, even grave diggers striked. The Labour government, gas and electricity were run by public servants paid by taxes. The state were powerful but so were the workers that were organised by trade unions. People striked because they wanted a pay rise of at least 9%. Everyone was out on the strike, it was a huge political chaos.
Eventually people would want the trade unions to be destroyed as they were causing the problems. When things are funded by the public there will always be a struggle. Private industry would be more ruthless.
So then stepped in Margret Thatcher (Conservative)
She targeted the biggest trade union first, the Miners. She wiped them out so all the unions would know about her.

80's boom- selling of the private industries to private sectors had begun. Privatisation of British Gas, British airways for example. If you are brave enough you will get your money, this was the quote people would live by.

So there's a little bit about political party history.

Now for elections and democracy

Parliament can run for a maximum of five years, it needs to be dissolved by the Queen before an election/
The political party can be dissolved at anytime, if the government no longer has a the majority or an election can be triggered if the government loses a vote of confidence in the Commons. A vote of confidence is very rare.

Two international big elections this year will be the US presidential election and the presidential election in France.

The head of state in the UK is the Queen. In other countries they have a president as the head of state. In the UK we only have power to elect the Mp's

Coalition government as passed a law fixing the date of elections every five years, the next occurring on 7th May 2015
In order to vote you have to register on the electoral register in your constituency. You're not automatically on the register even if you pay council tax. In England about 45 million people are on the electoral register.

Citizens living overseas can vote, but less than 15,000 of the estimated 5.5 million actually do.
There was big rise in postal votes, 15% of all votes cast in 2005.

Who can't vote? Under 18's, prisoners, people with criminal records, have to be a citizen, European union citizens.

Representation for the people act
1989- Men over 21 and women over 31 could vote.
1928- Universal suffrage, all adults over 21 could vote.
1969- All adults over 18

How do you win?
First past the post- whoever gains the majority in the constituency is elected. This means that national voting percentages are not reflected in seats. This means the election comes down to marginals because most votes in safe seats are wasted.
Labour won half the seats in 2005 but only had 35% of the vote. This has lead to people voting tactically.
Someone living in Winchester that supports labour would for Lib Dem's tactically.

The 2010 election results show that city's vote for labour which links to the working class values and the countryside voters are conservative votes.

Spoilt ballots- disqualified.

I think marking an 'x' in a box doesn't seem very 21st century and only postal votes will rise and rise.
Attriubuted to Jackhynes, flickr

For a journalist it is important to stay politically neutral, infact you have to when broadcasting. However Newspapers do have a political left or right wing opinion

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