AS Edexcel Elections 25 MarkerWatch
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It's bad practice to use an abbreviation. It should be 'First Past the Post (FPTP)' the first time then FPTP thereafter.
You don't demonstrate that you know what each system is. It's not the main point of your essay but it is worth a sentence or two, like you do for party list.
You need to elaborate more (and/or learn to write quicker). When I was in high school I was writing more like 4-5 pages in that time. If the important isn't there then you can't get marks for it. For example: how does FPTP produce a strong government? Does it always? What do you mean by strong government? Why is this a good thing? You don't need to go into every detail of everything because there is a time limit but I do think yur lack of information is your main weakness.
Always point then example then relate to your argument. You do this sometimes but you don't always have an example which is especially important.
The information in your paragraphs is good (it's right and relevant) but it doesn't always properly support your paragraph conclusion. In AMS you say it is too complicated but you never discuss why that is. The marker will obviously know why this is but the point of the essay is to show you know why this.
In your paragraph conclusion you don't always relate back to the question. You are accessing the criticisms which means take the criticism and say if it is fair or not. This leads to an overall conclusion that's wandered a bit off topic. It's not that you have answered it wrongly but you haven't tweaked the way you relate it back to the question enough. A pet hate of markers is answering the question you wish it was rather than the question it is. It comes across as you wishing it was which system is more effective. You can use the same info for both but it has to be related back to the question.
Would anybody mark or suggest how to improve this answer to the question, (only 25 minutes to answer)
There are a large number of criticisms of almost all of the electoral systems currently used in the UK. Perhaps most widely criticised is the UK’s current voting system for general elections, First Past the Post. Many could argue that, with FPTP, it could be argued that, not all votes are equal. This is because many areas are regarded as ‘safe seats’- the vote in that constituency is won by the same party every time. Therefore, it is votes in the key marginal seats- where which way the vote will go is not certain- which will decide the outcome of the General Election. This means that many people, particularly those living in ‘safe seat’ constituencies; feel discouraged from voting, as they feel their vote does not count for anything. Furthermore, FPTP is seen by some to lead to what Lord Halisham famously referred to as ‘the elective dictatorship’, as governments are normally formed with a strong majority in Parliament, yet this is misrepresentative- as they do not normally have an absolute majority of votes across the country. For example, in 2005, Labour only had 35% of the votes nationally but they had over 50% of the seats in Parliament. Conversely, with regard to FPTP creating an ‘elective dictatorship’, it could be argued that the strong majority which FPTP helps to create also usually leads to a strong, stable government- meaning it could be seen as an advantage of the system. If other, more proportional voting systems were used for general elections, then this strong government by a single party with over 50% of the seats in the House of Commons would be lost, meaning legislation would be passed less easily and governments could be much weaker, so could collapse before they have served their full term in office. Therefore, the strong, stable government which FPTP helps to create is more of a benefit than the various drawbacks of the system.
With regard to other systems, such as the closed Regional List system, some could argue that the closed list means that voters have little power over the choice of candidates as the political party decides the order of candidates on the list, this means that they may choose those who follow the partisan line, thus silencing individual opinions within the Party. Furthermore, in countries where this system is used for General Elections, such as Israel, it produces indecisive results- with a large number of small parties and coalition governments, which do not last very long. Yet, the Regional List system is a proportionate system, meaning there is a much closer correlation between the percentage of votes and the percentage of seats awarded, which means it is fair to all parties and there is not vast over or under representation as seen with other systems such as FPTP. Furthermore, every vote is of equal value and there are no wasted votes, so smaller parties benefit from it as there is no need for tactical voting.
It could also be argued that the hybrid system of AMS- a combination of FPTP with the Regional List system- creates two different types of representatives. This means that constituency MP’s have additional workloads, and representing the interests of their constituency may bring them into conflict with the Party leadership. Whereas MP’s elected under the Regional List system do not have as much constituency work to do and are much freer to follow one party line and progress in their careers. Furthermore, the system is likely to produce a coalition government which may be unstable and may lead to compromise policies that were not included in the election manifestos of one or both parties. For example, in Scotland, in 1999 when there was a Labour/Liberal Democrat coalition, the compromise was that they would not introduce university fees in Scotland, despite the fact it was a Labour party policy in England. However, the system allows for a compromise between FPTP and the Regional List System, it has worked well in Germany since 1949 and in Scotland and Wales since 1999. Here, it has produced mainly minority governments, yet these have been stable and lasted for the full four year term of offices. Furthermore, AMS helps prevent the gross overrepresentation of parties in the assembly which FPTP tends to produce. For example, in the 2003 elections for Scottish Parliament, Labour won only 39% of the total number of seats but if FPTP was the only system used, they would have had 63% of the seats which would have been a lot less fair.