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Edexcel Government & Politics - Unit 2 Governing the UK (09/06/16)

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    (Original post by history master)
    anyone remember the wording of the 40 mark constitution question?
    Something like it's said the arguments for further constitutional reform are more significant than the arguments against constitutional reform and Then it must have been discuss


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    Exam wasn't bad and now I am free
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    (Original post by stratagems)
    What are your units?

    They're interesting topics - you learn about world order (hegemony between US, Russia, China etc), global governance, european union and regionalism for unit 3. For unit 4, it's conflict, war and terrorism; human rights; environmental issues; and, poverty and development. SO MUCH THEORY, which ruins politics for me a little as I like contextual and applied learning.
    mines just US politics its basically the same layout as AS just for the US so you have elections and voting, parties, pressure groups and racial and ethnic politics for unit 3 and unit 4 is the supreme court, the president, congress and the constitution.
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    (Original post by Adam_Budd)
    mines just US politics its basically the same layout as AS just for the US so you have elections and voting, parties, pressure groups and racial and ethnic politics for unit 3 and unit 4 is the supreme court, the president, congress and the constitution.
    That sounds AMAZING. Better go off and revise for history!
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    I spent the first 5 minutes just choosing what questions to do. I started with the 40 mark Judiciary. I talked about their independence and neutrality, the Human Rights Act being a tool for them to use, and the poor track record of politicians in protecting civil liberties. On the other side I wrote about how judges are unelected and unaccountable, how they don't take account of public opinion, how Parliament is sovereign and the Human Rights Act is not entrenched and the decisions the judges come to do not bind the government or Parliament, and that judges cannot undertake pre-legislative review.

    I did the Section A question on Parliament, but I wish I had done it on the PM instead. The 5 mark was all well and good, but I really quite struggled with the 10 mark on the effectiveness of the Commons committees. It was relating it to the Source that I found difficult. I talked about how the chairs are elected by their peers and so are independent, how some of the reports have resulted in changes and have been influential, like that one about phone hacking they talked about, and that the reports of the committees are not actually binding.

    The 25 mark was really bad for me. I didn't really know where I was going, and the structure was a bit dodgy. I talked about the domination of Parliament by the governing party and the whips, resulting in the largely futile debates on legislation, the failings of questions to ministers, the lack of financial control, the weakness of the threat of a vote of no confidence, and how the Lords can only block legislation for one year, and that their amendments do not have to be accepted.

    Thoughts?
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    Hi everyone, i know its tedious but could someone please estimate me a general mark? not expecting high either.

    For the Parliament questions;

    A - describe three committees
    1. Departmental select committee - described (think i put example something about health committee in the box)
    2. Public Accounts committee - Described
    3. Legislative Committee - weak description

    B- assess the effectiveness of congressional committees (might have been "How effective" not assess)
    1. Firstly the Legislative Committee is weak at performing scrutiny because dominated by party aka patronage etc
    2. Public accounts Committee - better as chair is opposition leader, perform oversight (made up some irrelevant example about the financial crisis)
    3. Department Select Committee - after the reform stronger etc.. (quite weakly done though)

    C - Something about assess how parliament are controlled by the Government? (not allowed committees)
    Small introduction (not very good 3/4 lines about fusion of powers)
    Yes - Patronage and whips and Collective Responsibility - But Parliament sovereign, reject bills
    Yes - if has a big majority - example Tony Blair etc - But if small e.g 2016, cant pass through
    Yes - if has mandate then House of Lords Salisbury Convention etc - but if a coalition then not in place.. and vote of no confidence
    Conclusion - depends on size of majority

    The Constitution essay;
    Small introduction (not very good either)
    1. Codified to protect rights better etc - but disadvantages e.g lose flexibility
    2. Electoral reform - FPTP creates tyranny of minority as people elected under 50% (bad representation) - but proportional systems creates coalition and possible weak government
    3. HOL reform - make it an elected chamber better scrutiny etc - but too many checks, too many elections so turnout falls with apathy.
    4. Conclusion - in need of reform to protect rights better and improve the legitimacy of the UK system.
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    Decent paper
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    (Original post by Adam_Budd)
    that sounds pretty terrible to be fair
    Are you doing ideologies?
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    (Original post by Ringles)
    Hi everyone, i know its tedious but could someone please estimate me a general mark? not expecting high either.

    For the Parliament questions;

    A - describe three committees
    1. Departmental select committee - described (think i put example something about health committee in the box)
    2. Public Accounts committee - Described
    3. Legislative Committee - weak description

    B- assess the effectiveness of congressional committees (might have been "How effective" not assess)
    1. Firstly the Legislative Committee is weak at performing scrutiny because dominated by party aka patronage etc
    2. Public accounts Committee - better as chair is opposition leader, perform oversight (made up some irrelevant example about the financial crisis)
    3. Department Select Committee - after the reform stronger etc.. (quite weakly done though)

    C - Something about assess how parliament are controlled by the Government? (not allowed committees)
    Small introduction (not very good 3/4 lines about fusion of powers)
    Yes - Patronage and whips and Collective Responsibility - But Parliament sovereign, reject bills
    Yes - if has a big majority - example Tony Blair etc - But if small e.g 2016, cant pass through
    Yes - if has mandate then House of Lords Salisbury Convention etc - but if a coalition then not in place.. and vote of no confidence
    Conclusion - depends on size of majority

    The Constitution essay;
    Small introduction (not very good either)
    1. Codified to protect rights better etc - but disadvantages e.g lose flexibility
    2. Electoral reform - FPTP creates tyranny of minority as people elected under 50% (bad representation) - but proportional systems creates coalition and possible weak government
    3. HOL reform - make it an elected chamber better scrutiny etc - but too many checks, too many elections so turnout falls with apathy.
    4. Conclusion - in need of reform to protect rights better and improve the legitimacy of the UK system.
    Can't believe I fell into that trap
    Looking back it was obviously about reforms
    I think I was so nervous I just jumped the gun
    Ah well lol
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    (Original post by stratagems)
    That sounds AMAZING. Better go off and revise for history!
    US politics seems to be the easier of the options tbh
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    was three points enough for the 40 mark constitution question as i didnt have enough time to talk about devolution? wrote about 6 sides of paper with a introduction and conclusion
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    (Original post by Adam_Budd)
    that sounds pretty terrible to be fair
    Im doing the same and its insane, like I swear its 3 times AS?
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    Everyone remember his thread, I wanna know what we all got on results day


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    Can anyone remember the exact Parliament question?
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    I suppose the exam wasn't as bad as I had thought it might be. Wasn't excellent, but wasn't horrific.

    I chose Parliament and the Constitution as my topics.

    (5) The question wasn't particularly hard at all; I included at least 2 quotations from the source and I think I threw in an example somewhere. Hoping for at least 4 marks out of 5.

    (10) Again, not that difficult to talk about effectiveness of committees. I talked about their effectiveness to scrutinise, to hold people accountable (I also threw in the witness session with Mike Ashley) and legislation (Backbench Business Committee giving a chance for MPs to discuss issues) However, I think this question bogged me down for some reason, can't fully remember why. Contributed to me scraping the barrel in the last couple of seconds to finish.

    (25) I'm so glad I planned a question yesterday on how Parliament checks executive power, which I interpreted in this question as basically the same. I talked about the House of Lords, question time and debates. (Sucked that I couldn't talk about committees; there was a fair bit to talk about there) I'm hoping for at least 12/25.

    (40) Now, I decided to make the mistake of starting by (5), (10), (25) then (40). What a catastrophic mistake that was. Also, the wording of the question was pretty damn awful. I interpreted it as talking about reforms such as devolution. So I discussed (in order):

    -> Devolution
    -> House of Lords reforms
    -> Incorporation of the HRA 1998
    -> Head of State (Succession to the Crown Act) then expanded upon the issue of some wanting an elected HoS.
    -> Very quickly (last 3 minutes) - I threw in electoral reform (I was stupid and forgot to use it at the beginning) - if you thought my writing was illegible in general, just please don't look at that!
    • I talked about devolution and the House of Lords in-depth, in particular devolution by talking about reasons for why some might want further constitutional reform (English Parliament instead of an English Grand Committee, more devolved powers to established governments; mentioned the Scotland Acts of 2012 and 2016, as well as the proposed revision to the Wales Act being presented in Parliament currently) and why some might not want it as it would encourage calls for independence, and might cause instability in Westminster.
    • House of Lords - I talked about how some might want further reform because it lacks legitimacy, because it's the logical step after the House of Lords Act 1999 and House of Lords Reform Act 2014, etc. Then talked about how some might want to keep the status quo because it'd lead to legislative gridlock (E.g. Congress 2013), duplicate the issues of the House of Commons, etc.
    • Incorporation of the HRA - Talked about how some might want to entrench civil liberties through a codified constitution because it'd be harder to amend, but also talked about how some might want to keep an uncodified constitution because it'd lead to 'judicial tyranny' and it'd be hard to amend rights of individuals due to its rigid nature. (I can't remember if I included an example, hopefully I did )
    • Succession to the Crowns Act - Talked about how allowing female heirs to come before male heirs regardless of gender makes it more socially representative of modern society. However, expanded upon the issue of having an unelected Head of State, with some calling for the monarch to be abolished.
    • Electoral reform - Explained how some would want reform because FPTP produces disproportionate results (Lib Dems got 23% of the vote but 8.8% of seats in 2010) - but countered by talking about how FPTP produces strong and stable government while keeping out extremist parties. Again, this paragraph was beyond rushed, so by no means is it of high standard. But I felt so silly by not including a massive point, I wanted to at least get it down.
    Thoughts? I hope I didn't do too badly. I was freaking out afterwards because some of my classmates talked about codified vs. uncodified and I wasn't sure if I was wrong. I read your comments and from what I understand, it was right to talk about all the different reforms? Also, was it right to give both sides in regards to whether further constitutional reform should be undertaken?

    The biggest problem for me with that exam was timing. A mark a minute yet we had to spend a few minutes at least reading the source. The source wasn't hard to understand, but in practice time really was against me.

    Out of 10? I'd give this exam a 5 or 6. I hope to get a D, at least. I need a pass :sad:

    Oh well, no more exams now. Most of my summer will be spent worrying myself to no end about whether I'm even getting into my school for Year 13.
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    (Original post by Louise12307)
    The question was "the arguments for further constitutional reform are more convincing than those against". Discuss.

    The arguments for further constitutional reform involve mentioning current ones. For example:

    In 1998, devolution allowed for governments/assemblies to be set up in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. Supporters of this reform highlight the powers that were allocated such as the ability for Scotland to vary income tax levels by 3% either side of the level in London. Powers such as these have arguably allowed for a more democratic system, bringing the decisions closer to the people. Therefore, many argue that further reform is not needed.
    However, many disagree. The SNP argue for full Scottish independence and many nationalists argue that Westminster desires to hold all the power.
    That said, a referendum in 2014 for Scottish independence returned a "no" result despite a high turnout (over 80%). In light of this, it can be concluded that the regional public are satisfied with the current level of reform.



    See?


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    Looks to me that you as though you 'fell in the trap' of answering a question on whether reforms have gone far enough already, as it looks like you're just describing and assessing the reforms that already have happened, not whether the proposed reform such as EU membership, Making HoL elected, or adopting a codified consistition are convincing or not?
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    (Original post by UKStudent17)
    I suppose the exam wasn't as bad as I had thought it might be. Wasn't excellent, but wasn't horrific.

    I chose Parliament and the Constitution as my topics.

    (5) The question wasn't particularly hard at all; I included at least 2 quotations from the source and I think I threw in an example somewhere. Hoping for at least 4 marks out of 5.

    (10) Again, not that difficult to talk about effectiveness of committees. I talked about their effectiveness to scrutinise, to hold people accountable (I also threw in the witness session with Mike Ashley) and legislation (Backbench Business Committee giving a chance for MPs to discuss issues) However, I think this question bogged me down for some reason, can't fully remember why. Contributed to me scraping the barrel in the last couple of seconds to finish.

    (25) I'm so glad I planned a question yesterday on how Parliament checks executive power, which I interpreted in this question as basically the same. I talked about the House of Lords, question time and debates. (Sucked that I couldn't talk about committees; there was a fair bit to talk about there) I'm hoping for at least 12/25.

    (40) Now, I decided to make the mistake of starting by (5), (10), (25) then (40). What a catastrophic mistake that was. Also, the wording of the question was pretty damn awful. I interpreted it as talking about reforms such as devolution. So I discussed (in order):

    -> Devolution
    -> House of Lords reforms
    -> Incorporation of the HRA 1998
    -> Head of State (Succession to the Crown Act) then expanded upon the issue of some wanting an elected HoS.
    -> Very quickly (last 3 minutes) - I threw in electoral reform (I was stupid and forgot to use it at the beginning) - if you thought my writing was illegible in general, just please don't look at that!
    • I talked about devolution and the House of Lords in-depth, in particular devolution by talking about reasons for why some might want further constitutional reform (English Parliament instead of an English Grand Committee, more devolved powers to established governments; mentioned the Scotland Acts of 2012 and 2016, as well as the proposed revision to the Wales Act being presented in Parliament currently) and why some might not want it as it would encourage calls for independence, and might cause instability in Westminster.
    • House of Lords - I talked about how some might want further reform because it lacks legitimacy, because it's the logical step after the House of Lords Act 1999 and House of Lords Reform Act 2014, etc. Then talked about how some might want to keep the status quo because it'd lead to legislative gridlock (E.g. Congress 2013), duplicate the issues of the House of Commons, etc.
    • Incorporation of the HRA - Talked about how some might want to entrench civil liberties through a codified constitution because it'd be harder to amend, but also talked about how some might want to keep an uncodified constitution because it'd lead to 'judicial tyranny' and it'd be hard to amend rights of individuals due to its rigid nature. (I can't remember if I included an example, hopefully I did )
    • Succession to the Crowns Act - Talked about how allowing female heirs to come before male heirs regardless of gender makes it more socially representative of modern society. However, expanded upon the issue of having an unelected Head of State, with some calling for the monarch to be abolished.
    • Electoral reform - Explained how some would want reform because FPTP produces disproportionate results (Lib Dems got 23% of the vote but 8.8% of seats in 2010) - but countered by talking about how FPTP produces strong and stable government while keeping out extremist parties. Again, this paragraph was beyond rushed, so by no means is it of high standard. But I felt so silly by not including a massive point, I wanted to at least get it down.
    Thoughts? I hope I didn't do too badly. I was freaking out afterwards because some of my classmates talked about codified vs. uncodified and I wasn't sure if I was wrong. I read your comments and from what I understand, it was right to talk about all the different reforms? Also, was it right to give both sides in regards to whether further constitutional reform should be undertaken?

    The biggest problem for me with that exam was timing. A mark a minute yet we had to spend a few minutes at least reading the source. The source wasn't hard to understand, but in practice time really was against me.

    Out of 10? I'd give this exam a 5 or 6. I hope to get a D, at least. I need a pass :sad:

    Oh well, no more exams now. Most of my summer will be spent worrying myself to no end about whether I'm even getting into my school for Year 13.
    Don't be silly
    That looks like an A
    It's always the ones who complain who get full marks on an A in August
    I understand your being humble but your answer looks fantastic
    At lest you didn't write about codified and uncodified like I did loool

    You'll be fine. I'll eat my hand if you don't get an A lol
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    So for the 40 marker I did:

    1) Arguement for adopting a codified constitution.
    2) Arguement for keeping the constitution uncodified.
    3) Arguement for and against making the House of Lords fully/ partially elected.
    4) Arguements for and against leaving the EU.
    Conclusion - some reforms are more convincing than others.
    (Could have also done electoral reform)

    For the Parliamnt 25 marker I did:

    1) House of Lords controls/ checks the executive in the legislative process.
    2) Back bench rebellions.
    3) Vote of no confidence.

    Conclusion - HoL the only really effective control on the exec.

    (Mentioned PMQs somewhere but could have done a paragraph on that too)

    That's how I did it what do you think?
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    (Original post by xxvine)
    Can't believe I fell into that trap
    Looking back it was obviously about reforms
    I think I was so nervous I just jumped the gun
    Ah well lol
    What trap? did you write all about codification or?
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    (Original post by SlimShady96)
    Looks to me that you as though you 'fell in the trap' of answering a question on whether reforms have gone far enough already, as it looks like you're just describing and assessing the reforms that already have happened, not whether the proposed reform such as EU membership, Making HoL elected, or adopting a codified consistition are convincing or not?
    Its about arguments for/against further reform. Then after you have made the arguments, you discuss which one is the most convincing in the conclusion. Which is what I did.


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