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A beginner's Guide To Politics

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    (Original post by Lipvig)
    I know what you mean. I had to do my own research to understand it all.
    Do you understand most of it now?
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    (Original post by legaliseddealer)
    Do you understand most of it now?
    Pretty much. Actually, I probably went a bit overboard if anything...
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    (Original post by Lipvig)
    Pretty much. Actually, I probably went a bit overboard if anything...
    What should I start off researching?
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    (Original post by legaliseddealer)
    What should I start off researching?
    Find an issue that you find interesting. I chose Foreign Affairs.

    Do a bit of research on that, and it will probably link in somewhere with another issue, meaning you have to study that. After you do that, it'll link in with another issue, so research that, and so on.

    For example, for me it went: Foreign Affairs, Middle East, Nuclear weapons, Nuclear power, energy, costs, spending. This in turn led to research on what we spend on, so education, health care, welfare etc.

    Whilst doing this, I suggest making note of what each party stands for on these issue's (even just a few key words), so that you can decide after a few issue's what (if any) party you're most in line with.

    After that, research what they stand on with issue's you might not of thought of (i.e. euthanasia), and compare that with other parties.

    This should give you an idea of what each party stands for, as well as your own independent view on issue's.
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    you should change the title to " A beginner's Guide To Politics, from a left wing perspective"

    A very biased report.
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    Perhaps a better definition of Anarchy would be 'the absence of government' or a 'stateless society' rather than 'rule by none'.
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    Thanks for this. I have yet to read it but I'm sure I will ;D
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    (Original post by sarcastic pratchett fan)
    There will be red hot pokers :mad:
    Not red hot pokers :eek:

    Thank you, I really enjoyed reading that. Defo a help for my P&G classes!
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    What a brilliant piece that was. I can't believe people are complaining, that piece was produced for free and it may not be perfect but I’m sure the people complaining are only doing so because they have extreme views. Thank you for your effort it was brilliant and i will be passing it on to people who have no idea about politics which is unfortunately, many.
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    I didn't read it all as it's 12:00AM here in Toronto and I'm at low mental capacity. However one very blatantly obvious thing that I noticed was not really covered, is an explanation of different socioeconomic systems. You explained the different systems of government, perhaps even in great depth necessary, as most on the list are just theories or very old SoGs rather than the main ones that are still in use today. But you did not explain:

    Capitalism and it's subbranches (Free Market, Social Market and Anarcho-Capitalism).

    Social Democracy

    Socialism

    Communism and it's subbranches (Marxist, Marxist-Leninist, Stalinist, Maoist, Enviromarxist).

    Fascism

    Nazism

    You could have also covered Feudalism and Mercantilism.
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    (Original post by sarcastic pratchett fan)
    A month or so ago I noticed a huge demand for a beginner's guide to politics. So I decided to write one. I have been very busy over the last month. Unfortunately, I had to neglect TSR. This is a plea for help.

    I collected all the necessary body parts and bolted them together. When this mammoth task was finally completed wheeled out the good old lightning rod. Now my creation is lurching down the corridor.

    What do I do? Do I decapitate it, put a stake through where the heart should be and burn it (ie, destroy it)? Do I run away as fast as I can (ie, leave it)? Or do I continue to tinker with it in the hope that one day it shall become a fully functioning member of society (ie, continue the project)?

    The file is in the attachment.

    It was longer than I planned. I really want some feedback. I did not write it in order and I shuffled some sections. I also deleted some bits. It may be a bit disjointed. I might refer to something as above when in this version it is actually below.

    Feedback is very welcome.If you spot bias, or soemthing you believe to be bias, please get back to me asap. If you spot grammatical or factual errors, please tell me. If you think something should be reword please tell me. If you see something that can be cut out, definitely tell me. If you want something to be added in, tell me if you must. If you care about rep, I will give it out for constructive feedback. Sadly, I am one of those who cares about rep, so if you are dazzled by my brilliance and astounded by my genius why not?

    Seriously, I would really like some help with this as I think it is about as far as I can take it by myself. If it's basic stuff (lie pointing out grammatical errors etc), perhaps you could PM me so we can keep the board free for any debate where people think I have been biased etc. I really need some help with this now, so thanks for any time you can give.

    To those who want to help, I am also making a table which outlines every party's position on each issue. I have not put it in as I am still finishing at and am finding it difficult to find some of the fringe parties' stances on issues like GM crops etc.

    To any mods: althouh this is not a real political debate, I feel this is the most appropriate topic to put this in, especially as there are so many threads here wanting an intro to politics. If you disagree, can we please discuss this first before moving the thread?

    PS: On one of my last projects I actually had a teacher email me to tell me that one of her pupils had plagiarised my project. Please do not plagiarise the attached work. You will be caught. I will find you. There will be red hot pokers :mad:
    Pretty much Edexcel Unit 1 Politics summed up right there Did this last year, got 84
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    (Original post by sarcastic pratchett fan)
    A month or so ago I noticed a huge demand for a beginner's guide to politics. So I decided to write one. I have been very busy over the last month. Unfortunately, I had to neglect TSR. This is a plea for help.

    I collected all the necessary body parts and bolted them together. When this mammoth task was finally completed wheeled out the good old lightning rod. Now my creation is lurching down the corridor.

    What do I do? Do I decapitate it, put a stake through where the heart should be and burn it (ie, destroy it)? Do I run away as fast as I can (ie, leave it)? Or do I continue to tinker with it in the hope that one day it shall become a fully functioning member of society (ie, continue the project)?

    The file is in the attachment.

    It was longer than I planned. I really want some feedback. I did not write it in order and I shuffled some sections. I also deleted some bits. It may be a bit disjointed. I might refer to something as above when in this version it is actually below.

    Feedback is very welcome.If you spot bias, or soemthing you believe to be bias, please get back to me asap. If you spot grammatical or factual errors, please tell me. If you think something should be reword please tell me. If you see something that can be cut out, definitely tell me. If you want something to be added in, tell me if you must. If you care about rep, I will give it out for constructive feedback. Sadly, I am one of those who cares about rep, so if you are dazzled by my brilliance and astounded by my genius why not?

    Seriously, I would really like some help with this as I think it is about as far as I can take it by myself. If it's basic stuff (lie pointing out grammatical errors etc), perhaps you could PM me so we can keep the board free for any debate where people think I have been biased etc. I really need some help with this now, so thanks for any time you can give.

    To those who want to help, I am also making a table which outlines every party's position on each issue. I have not put it in as I am still finishing at and am finding it difficult to find some of the fringe parties' stances on issues like GM crops etc.

    To any mods: althouh this is not a real political debate, I feel this is the most appropriate topic to put this in, especially as there are so many threads here wanting an intro to politics. If you disagree, can we please discuss this first before moving the thread?

    PS: On one of my last projects I actually had a teacher email me to tell me that one of her pupils had plagiarised my project. Please do not plagiarise the attached work. You will be caught. I will find you. There will be red hot pokers :mad:
    Very impressed you have managed to do this without a proper academic knowledge of politics. A few mainly picky things:
    Refer to 'America' as the United States when discussing constitutions.
    It might be useful to mention concepts such as negative and positive freedom and the fact the UK is an elected dictatorship. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elective_dictatorship, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positive_liberty, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_liberty.
    There are 650 constituencies not 646.
    Also a couple of sentences along from that you have put strand rather than stand. Also might be worth going into more detail about the deposit: it's £500 and the candidate will get this back if they get over 5% of the votes. "When a PM steps down, the party elects a new PM without another General Election being called" not always the case, this can happen and there is nothing constitutionally wrong so to speak BUT the party could call an election if it wished.
    Might be worth rephrasing the section about First Past the Post: a better definition would be: The UK House of Commons operates under a First Past the Post system in which the candidate with the most votes in a constituency wins. The candidate does not have to meet a quota and it is possible that the other candidates in the constituency could get more combined votes than the winning candidates. FPTP has one MP per constituency and each voter only gets one vote. Might also be useful listing the pros (stable governments, strong constituency and MP link) BUT encourages tactical voting, many votes are wasted as if a voter's candidate does not win effectively they have had no say in the election, lack of correlation between the popular vote and HoC majority e.g. John Major in 1992 highest ever share of the popular vote yet only 22 seat majority, leads to a two party system and favours parties with concentrated support. Also might be worth mentioning the recent interest in electoral reform, AV Referendum and Labour commissioning the Jenkin's report into electoral reform.
    You haven't mentioned anything about the whips and party discipline. This isn't essential but seeing as you mention back benchers and rebellions it would seem appropriate.
    Would strongly dispute: 'Under proportional representation, the link between MPs and their constituencies are lost', if anything the link and representation between MPs and constituencies are higher e.g. under STV where there are multi-member constituencies constituents can have a choice between their MP which could be seen to enhance voter representation and MP link, also proportional representation isn't an electoral system.
    Also feel the section on local government is quite overgeneralised, you haven't stated any of the powers of local government, one in three people are employed by local government. Might be useful to mention why local government power has decreased e.g. Thatcher's reform, abolition of the GLC
    The superior house is not the House of Commons but the House of Lords: House of Commons has more power but the HoL has always been referred to as the superior or upper house.
    "Both Houses can amend a Bill and send it back to the other House to be passed" a process known as ping pong
    The convention stating HoL do not deal with money bills is called the Salisbury convention.
    Also might be worth noting the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949: legislation can be passed without the approval of the HoL. Has been used for fox hunting act in 2004 and sexual offences act in 2000.
    "The left tends towards extreme socialism whilst the right tends towards capitalism." - this is highly disputable, I would hardly say New Labour tended towards extreme socialism, a very small minority of the left tend towards extreme socialism.
    In safety net section might be useful mentioning the welfare state.
    Quite a bit of bias in the section about the Conservatives, I'm not a tory but think you have been a nit unfair. You also haven't made any distinction between one nation torys and Thatcherite tories, this would be worth mentioning as there is a massive difference.
    "They would not legalise drugs or euthanasia, but might adopt a softer approach", they probably would legalise drugs if they had a majority or at least cannabis.
    Labour system is pretty bias if you ask me, might prove more useful in just listing key Labour policies/ changes between 1997 to 2007
    "The majority of those who do not vote would traditionally be Labour supporters." how do you know?

    Could be useful to have a section with some definitions?
    Realise I have gone into a lot of detail, got rather carried away, but hope some of it can be of some help!
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    The spectra isn't just defined by economics, its defined by sum of ideology. The BNP is considered far right because its policies are relatively reflective of fascism. They also have a policy of nationalization of some services, which is only left-wing when viewed as a policy in isolation - this policy has been reached as a result of fascist thought, not socialist - it is the same means to an entirely different end.

    There is a world of difference between that and social/economic conservatism, nobody is making the mistake you assume they are. Socialism and state capitalism are muddled up far more often, I would say.
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    (Original post by sarcastic pratchett fan)
    A month or so ago I noticed a huge demand for a beginner's guide to politics. So I decided to write one. I have been very busy over the last month. Unfortunately, I had to neglect TSR. This is a plea for help.

    I collected all the necessary body parts and bolted them together. When this mammoth task was finally completed wheeled out the good old lightning rod. Now my creation is lurching down the corridor.

    What do I do? Do I decapitate it, put a stake through where the heart should be and burn it (ie, destroy it)? Do I run away as fast as I can (ie, leave it)? Or do I continue to tinker with it in the hope that one day it shall become a fully functioning member of society (ie, continue the project)?

    The file is in the attachment.

    It was longer than I planned. I really want some feedback. I did not write it in order and I shuffled some sections. I also deleted some bits. It may be a bit disjointed. I might refer to something as above when in this version it is actually below.

    Feedback is very welcome.If you spot bias, or soemthing you believe to be bias, please get back to me asap. If you spot grammatical or factual errors, please tell me. If you think something should be reword please tell me. If you see something that can be cut out, definitely tell me. If you want something to be added in, tell me if you must. If you care about rep, I will give it out for constructive feedback. Sadly, I am one of those who cares about rep, so if you are dazzled by my brilliance and astounded by my genius why not?

    Seriously, I would really like some help with this as I think it is about as far as I can take it by myself. If it's basic stuff (lie pointing out grammatical errors etc), perhaps you could PM me so we can keep the board free for any debate where people think I have been biased etc. I really need some help with this now, so thanks for any time you can give.

    To those who want to help, I am also making a table which outlines every party's position on each issue. I have not put it in as I am still finishing at and am finding it difficult to find some of the fringe parties' stances on issues like GM crops etc.

    To any mods: althouh this is not a real political debate, I feel this is the most appropriate topic to put this in, especially as there are so many threads here wanting an intro to politics. If you disagree, can we please discuss this first before moving the thread?

    PS: On one of my last projects I actually had a teacher email me to tell me that one of her pupils had plagiarised my project. Please do not plagiarise the attached work. You will be caught. I will find you. There will be red hot pokers :mad:
    ******************************** *****************************
    I have just read your "guide" which is very wrong on the political parties section. Labour are no longer socialist and are centre right wing, making them Conservative. So they DO NOT stand for socialism. When New Labour was fromed by Tony Blair, Labour became Conservative.

    Also, we cannot really speak of traditional voters because there is no longer such a thing in politics. The majority of people do not vote for one party all of the time. They may switch.



    This was posted from The Student Room's iPhone/iPad App
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    Should have just read this instead of taking on A-level politics in order to finally know something.
    #politicsdropout
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    Cheers for taking the time for this! Well done

    The main thing to improve would be to go through a bit about what the different main parties stand for etc. It is after all, made to suit beginners.

    Hope we see more of these guides!
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    Hello, I'm currently in year nine and this guide has helped me to understand democracy a bit more; we are currently studying democracy in my modern history course for GCSE but it has left many of us confused as to the various political systems.
    I really appreciate the effort put into the guide and I admire the lack of bias; just think that the vocabulary, long paragraphs and the fact that quite a few terms were unexplained made it very confusing for someone young like me and I think it would be fantastic if a guide like this was written targeting younger students; I understand that it was written for a well-educated demographic but I have searched the internet and have not found any succinct and simple guides for teenagers and children.
    Thank you for the guide!
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    Hi all,

    I haven't been on this site for quite a while but just checked in and was glad to see how many people found this beneficial.

    I have started on a re-write and expansion. I am expanding on 3 areas:

    - more on economic theory and economy types
    - more on what parties stand for philosphically and their current pactical positions
    - a large section covering the 'nuts and bolts' of various issues.

    I don't want to go into great depth on political theory or economic principles, as if that's what a person is interested in there are already lots of great introductions for these things. Instead, i hope to focus on the nuts and bolts topics, where I feel there is a real lack of resources.
    The 'nuts and bolts' sections will cover things like:
    - law and order: theory of policing by consent, what is prison for (rehabilitation, deterrent, protection or punishment?), juries vs magistrates etc
    - tax policy (progressive taxation etc)
    - the media (veracity of the media etc)
    - benefits (social contract)
    - the 'nanny state'
    - the EU
    - devolution
    - healthcare (nhs and how other countries deal with healthcare)
    - education
    - military
    - foreign policy
    - constitutional reform
    - drugs policy
    - surveillance/civil rights
    - infrastructure
    - budgets, deficits and recession
    - the party system

    I am obviously adding rather a lot, but i'm doing my best not to make it too unwieldy. Most of the 'nuts and bolts' sections (except for law and order and the NHS which get rather a lot of subsections) are pretty brief, with a quick overview and a statement of each parties' position/policies.

    Having spent rather a lot of time on this I'm considering trying to get it published (properly, not self-published online) to bring it to a wider audience. Failing that, i'll just post the new version on here again. Because of this I won't be checking in for any suggestions until i'm done because otherwise IP rights questions could be raised.

    Looking above, most complaints seem to be from how i've failed to make a point clearly (eg using a perhaps archaic meaning of the verb 'to tend') rather than the actual point itself. However, in the last 5 years i've learnt a lot more and agree that in a few areas i'm somewhat simplistic (and of course, a couple of things have changed since then). I fiind it slightly strange that more people seem to think it was pro-left than pro-right as at the time most people who knew me would have pidgeonholed me as right wing (or perhaps as economically right-wing socially liberal). Perhaps I was more critical of the side I knew due to my familiarity with its flaws.

    For anyone wondering, when i'm writing my target audience is 15 (or perhaps just a tad younger) to 20. While i would consider doing something (probably more abbreiviated) aimed at a younger audience, I do find it hard to sit on my vocabulary.
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    (Original post by sarcastic pratchett fan)
    A month or so ago I noticed a huge demand for a beginner's guide to politics. So I decided to write one. I have been very busy over the last month. Unfortunately, I had to neglect TSR. This is a plea for help.

    I collected all the necessary body parts and bolted them together. When this mammoth task was finally completed wheeled out the good old lightning rod. Now my creation is lurching down the corridor.

    What do I do? Do I decapitate it, put a stake through where the heart should be and burn it (ie, destroy it)? Do I run away as fast as I can (ie, leave it)? Or do I continue to tinker with it in the hope that one day it shall become a fully functioning member of society (ie, continue the project)?

    The file is in the attachment.

    It was longer than I planned. I really want some feedback. I did not write it in order and I shuffled some sections. I also deleted some bits. It may be a bit disjointed. I might refer to something as above when in this version it is actually below.

    Feedback is very welcome.If you spot bias, or soemthing you believe to be bias, please get back to me asap. If you spot grammatical or factual errors, please tell me. If you think something should be reword please tell me. If you see something that can be cut out, definitely tell me. If you want something to be added in, tell me if you must. If you care about rep, I will give it out for constructive feedback. Sadly, I am one of those who cares about rep, so if you are dazzled by my brilliance and astounded by my genius why not?

    Seriously, I would really like some help with this as I think it is about as far as I can take it by myself. If it's basic stuff (lie pointing out grammatical errors etc), perhaps you could PM me so we can keep the board free for any debate where people think I have been biased etc. I really need some help with this now, so thanks for any time you can give.

    To those who want to help, I am also making a table which outlines every party's position on each issue. I have not put it in as I am still finishing at and am finding it difficult to find some of the fringe parties' stances on issues like GM crops etc.

    To any mods: althouh this is not a real political debate, I feel this is the most appropriate topic to put this in, especially as there are so many threads here wanting an intro to politics. If you disagree, can we please discuss this first before moving the thread?

    PS: On one of my last projects I actually had a teacher email me to tell me that one of her pupils had plagiarised my project. Please do not plagiarise the attached work. You will be caught. I will find you. There will be red hot pokers :mad:
    Thanks so much this is fantastic! Just what I needed
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    (Original post by cakefreak)
    Thanks so much this is fantastic! Just what I needed
    really useful ^_^

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