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Chapter 14 Political Parties and Groups


Chapter 14 Political Parties and Groups Xiao Huiyun December, 2005 Main Parties the Conservative Party the Labour Party the Liberal Demacrats ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Chapter 14 Political Parties and Groups

Chapter 14 Political
Parties and Groups
  • Xiao Huiyun December, 2005

Main Parties
  • the Conservative Party
  • the Labour Party
  • the Liberal Demacrats

Other Parties
  • the Conservative Party
  • Scottish Conservatives
  • Welsh Conservatives
  • Conservatives in Northern Ireland

Other smaller national parties
  • Green Party
  • life on Earth is under immense pressure, the
    environment around us is threatened with massive
  • take responsibility to lead a healthy lifestyle
    for human being
  • Ulster Unionist Party
  • nationalism remains a threat to the peaceful
    co-existence of the people of NI
  • remain Northern Republic of Ireland as part of
    the UK
  • Sinn Féin
  • seeks the establishment of a new Ireland
  • merge Northern Ireland with the Republic of

Other smaller national parties
  • Alliance Party
  • Cooperative party
  • Democratic Unionist Party
  • Liberal Party
  • Plaid Cymru
  • Scottish National Party
  • United Kingdom Unionist Party
  • Social Democratic and Labour Party
  • Uk Independence Party

Party in power
  • the Labour Partyin power
  • The 1997 election campaign saw the Tories in
    decline, the new Labour won
  • On 7 June 2001 Tony Blair led Labour to a second
    successive victory in a General Election, winning
    by another landslide
  • the Conservative Partyin opposition

The multi-party system
  • The multi-party system as the title suggests,
    this is a system where more than two parties have
    some impact in a states political life
  • Within Westminster, the Tories and the Liberal
    Democrats provide a healthy political rivalry.
    Sartori defines a multi-party system as one where
    no party can guarantee an absolute majority
  • In theory, the Labour Party, regardless of its
    current parliamentary majority, could lose the
    next general election in Britain in 2006. .

The Conservative Party
  • Emerged in 1830s from the Tory grouping in
  • Later 19th C. concerned with defending
    traditional institutions such as the monarchy,
    the aristocracy and the Empire
  • After 1918 constantly adapted its policies to
    suit prevailing trends in British society
  • In 1930s started to shed its aristocratic image
    and was led by businessmen
  • In 1950s accepted Labour policies such as
    nationalisation and the welfare state (consensus
    politics from 1951 to 1979)
  • Under Thatcher moved towards a set of policies
    aimed at business, the consumer, and the upwardly
    mobile, becoming associated with the business and
    commercial sections of society the New Right
  • The New Rights upheld family values but had a
    free market approach to the economy
  • John Major stressed welfare provision as
    necessary in the process of privatisation

The Labour Party
  • Formed in 1906 from Labour Representation
    Committee with financial backing of trade unions
    to represent interests of working class
  • 1n 1918 made firm commitment to common ownership
    of the means of production
  • 1924 first Labour government came to power
  • By 1929 had replaced Liberals as one of twe major
  • In 1945 General Election gained spectacular
    victory, and its government introduced several
    important social reforms NHS, social security
    system, mass education, nationalisation of
    several leading industries
  • Won power under Wilson 1964-1970 and in office
    again 1974-1979, spent majority of time in
    opposition until 1997
  • In 1995, abandoned Clause Four of its
    constitution and ended the commitment to state
    ownership the era of New Labour
  • More women and minorities in government
  • Downplayed dominance of trade unions over the

The Liberal Democrats
  • An amalgamation of the old Liberal Party and the
    Social Democratic Party , the latter being a
    break away group from Labour Party, formed in
  • Advocates policies based on freedom of the
    individual and support for the adoption of
    Propositional Representation at elections
  • Remains a minority party which draws support from
    voters dissatisfied with Tory or Labour
  • A party of protest rather than a real alternative
    for government
  • Image of party moderate and appeals predominantly
    to middle-class people , often in rural areas

The Other Parties
  • Those with representation in parliament
  • Ulster Unionists largely campaign on the
    question of N. Ireland remaining part of UK
  • Scottish Nationalist Party demands independence
    for Scotland
  • Plaid Cymru demands independence for Wales
  • Those without representation in Parliament
  • Socialist Workers Party society based on
    principles of Marx Trotsky
  • Green Party Champions enviorenmental policies
  • National Front
  • Britain for the British

Public Opinion Voting Behaviour
  • The most important part of political activity for
    the average person is voting at elections . 90
    of voters identified with and voted for one of
    the two major parties.
  • It has been claimed in Britain class is closely
    related to voting choice at elections.
  • However class voting is in decline because of
    growing apathy with both major parties
  • Apathy linked to the low public standing of
  • -- leading politicians portrayed in negative
    and often ludicrous terms
  • -- reporting of their sexual activities in
    tabloid press

Public Opinion Voting Behaviour
  • Why did Labour lose 1992 elections?
  • During election campaign voters put Labour well
    ahead on all caring issues such as social
    welfare, NHS, education and unemployment.
  • Yet majority did not trust Labour on taxation and
    keeping inflation down and voted for Tory again
  • This suggests that Key Issue at the election was
    the pound in your pocket, indicating that the
    likely victor of future elections will be party
    which allows consumer greater economic stability
    and more opportunity to consume
  • In practice this is likely to mean the party
    which keeps tax down and inflation low would win

Why did Labour win 1997 Election?
  • Internal reforms, for example, some reduction in
    trade union power.
  • John Smiths death in 1994 allowed creation of
    New Labour by the more modernising Blair -
    notably, abandonment of Clause IV of its
    constitution in 1995 .
  • Abandonment of traditional socialist - or even
    social democratic - principles and acceptance of
    market economics, low inflation and interest
    rates, cuts in taxation, spending and welfare.
    Pre-election commitment to maintain existing tax
    levels for a five-year term and present spending
    levels for two years, welfare to work, tough
    law and order especially for juvenile offenders.
    Difficult for the Conservatives to criticise what
    were, largely, their own policies
  • New, radical proposals for constitutional reform

Comparison of Manifestos1997
  • Conservative
  • Health will not discourage use of private
  • Education less government control on education
  • Law Order will increase number of police
  • Labour
  • Health will provide more nurses doctors
  • Education 50 of young people attending
    university in 10 years. Will ensure every middle
    schools develops distinctive mission
  • Law Order tougher on crime, tougher on the
    causes of crime

General Election Result,1997
Labour 43.2 418
Conservative 30.7 165
Liberal Dem 16.8 46
Others 9.3 30
Total 100.0 659
Labour General Election Manifesto2001
  • long-term economic stability
  • rising living standards for all
  • expanded higher education as we raise standards
    in secondary schools
  • a healthier nation with fast treatment, free at
    the point of use
  • full employment in every region
  • opportunity for all children, security for all
  • a modern criminal justice system
  • strong and accountable local government
  • British ideas leading a reformed and enlarged
  • global poverty and climate change tackled

General Election Result,2001
Labour 40.7 413
Conservative 31.7 166
Liberal Dem 18.3 52
Others 10.3 28
Total 100.0 659
Pressure Groups
  • A pressure group can be described as an organised
    group that does not put up candidates for
    election, but seeks to influence government
    policy or legislation
  • They can also be described as interest groups,
    lobby groups or protest groups.
  • In Britain, the number of political parties is
    very small, whereas the number of pressure groups
    runs into thousands as the membership of
    political parties has fallen, that of pressure
    groups has increased

Pressure Groups
  • The aim of all pressure groups is to influence
    the people who actually have the power to make
  • A pressure groups can use a variety of different
    methods to influence law
  • Firstly, it can merely inform legislators of its
    members preferences.
  • with an election campaign.
  • Third, its members may threaten, as a group, to
    vote as a bloc
  • Fourth, a pressure group may speed up legislation
    by writing bills and helping legislators make
    progressive agreements
  • Finally, a pressure group my attempt to influence
    members of the executive, who have some law
    making input and who can partly decide the
    strength and effectiveness of law enforcement

Pressure Groups
  • Pressure groups increase participation and access
    to the political system, thereby enhancing the
    quality of democracy
  • Pressure groups improve the quality of
    government. Consultation with affected groups is
    the rational way to make decisions in a free
  • Pressure groups are a product of freedom of
    association, which is a fundamental principle of
    liberal democracy
  • Pressure groups improve participation, but in an
    unequal way, benefiting the well organised but
    disadvantaging the weakly organised In this
    sense, they work against - not in favour of - the
    public interest.
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