Politics A-Level help

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meli77
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#1
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#1
Hi,

Can somebody read this and give me some feedback, please? Much appreciated!

Evaluate the view that FPTP is no longer fit for purpose. (one PEACE paragraph)

One argument why the FPTP electoral system is no longer fit for purpose is because it is designed to support a two-party system in order to create a strong and stable government meaning that it disproportionately under-represents small parties. For example, in the 2015 General Election, the Conservative party gained 37% of the vote share yet secured over 50% of seats whilst UKIP gained 13% of the vote share and only secured 1 seat in Parliament. This indeed explicitly elucidates that the FPTP tends to exaggerate the performance of the popular parties by producing a winner bonus and discriminate small parties with legitimate aims and objectives such as the UKIP or the Green Party, meaning that they are marginalised. This may potentially lead to disillusionment and political apathy by the constituents as they may feel as if their votes are ‘wasted’ i.e. not everybody’s vote is ‘worth’ the same which could lead to individuals becoming disengaged with politics reducing political participation overall. Contrastingly, others may argue that the FPTP is fit for purpose due to a recent rise of minor parties and the creation of a two-and-half-party system which indeed challenged the FPTP electoral system. For instance, in 2017 the Conservatives were unable to win an overall majority as they fell 53 seats short. The Conservative-DUP agreement was then followed which resulted in a hung parliament. This falsifies the view that the FPTP electoral system under-represents minor parties as to the Prime Minister at that time, Theresa May’s government had an increased chance of losing crucial Brexit votes during the UK-EU negotiations which meant that she had to turn for support to the DUP and its 10 MPs to help give her a working majority of 328 in exchange for financial support for Northern Ireland. Ergo, this incremented DUP’s representation in Parliament, a minority party as such, which would give them power to formulate Parliamentary decisions. Moreover, the recent rise of support for the SNP party as they gained 56 seats in 2015 and 35 in 2017 could suggest that the UK is not a two-party system anymore, but indeed a two-and-a-half party instead. Hence, despite the exceptional circumstances of DUP and SNP’s support in recent years which challenged the view that FPTP is indeed not fit for purpose, the fact that it doesn't ensure effective representation of the electorate's views still remains as FPTP will always systematically be prejudiced towards one of the two major parties.
Last edited by meli77; 4 months ago
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A.B72
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#2
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#2
overall very well written and you would def get many marks for knowledge. the only place where you fall down a bit is the evaluation. you place lots of evidence but dont constantly compare the stronger argument and argue why this matters so much. your points also get a bit muddled. you go from talking about minor parties to wasted votes to two party systems and it isnt clear what point you're actually trying to prove. see below my more specific points

you want to really start off by showing the examiner where you stand so instead of laying out an argument and then 'but others might say' start with 'in support of my argument...'
you say it creates a strong and stable gov like in your list at the start like thats a bad thing but could actually utilise it as a comparitive mark for example 'it is true that the system undoubtably creates a strong single-party government, however in doing so it disproportionately under-represents minor parties'
'This indeed explicitly elucidates' this phrase sounds like a mess, keep indeed or explicitly but not both seeing as they essentially mean the same thing
'with legitimate aims and objectives' this is a very contemptuous point. it insinuates that tories or labour dont have legitimate aims and objectives and to strengthen your point you should argue the other side here which is that the green party are very limited in their aims so it makes sense that they dont have an inflated vote. **in a level politics essays the best thing you can do is constantly argue your points throughout the paragraph instead of heres what i think.... but some may argue... like you did in gcse**
your opposition example doesnt make sense to me and doesnt match your argument. DUP still had an under-representative amount of votes due to FPTP, they just had enough for May to utilise and reach a confidence and supply agreement.
your talking about party systems but the question isnt 'to what extent is the UK a two party system' and youre not making it all that relevent either.
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meli77
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#3
Report Thread starter 4 months ago
#3
thank you sooo much!

(Original post by A.B72)
overall very well written and you would def get many marks for knowledge. the only place where you fall down a bit is the evaluation. you place lots of evidence but dont constantly compare the stronger argument and argue why this matters so much. your points also get a bit muddled. you go from talking about minor parties to wasted votes to two party systems and it isnt clear what point you're actually trying to prove. see below my more specific points

you want to really start off by showing the examiner where you stand so instead of laying out an argument and then 'but others might say' start with 'in support of my argument...'
you say it creates a strong and stable gov like in your list at the start like thats a bad thing but could actually utilise it as a comparitive mark for example 'it is true that the system undoubtably creates a strong single-party government, however in doing so it disproportionately under-represents minor parties'
'This indeed explicitly elucidates' this phrase sounds like a mess, keep indeed or explicitly but not both seeing as they essentially mean the same thing
'with legitimate aims and objectives' this is a very contemptuous point. it insinuates that tories or labour dont have legitimate aims and objectives and to strengthen your point you should argue the other side here which is that the green party are very limited in their aims so it makes sense that they dont have an inflated vote. **in a level politics essays the best thing you can do is constantly argue your points throughout the paragraph instead of heres what i think.... but some may argue... like you did in gcse**
your opposition example doesnt make sense to me and doesnt match your argument. DUP still had an under-representative amount of votes due to FPTP, they just had enough for May to utilise and reach a confidence and supply agreement.
your talking about party systems but the question isnt 'to what extent is the UK a two party system' and youre not making it all that relevent either.
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meli77
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#4
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#4
(Original post by A.B72)
overall very well written and you would def get many marks for knowledge. the only place where you fall down a bit is the evaluation. you place lots of evidence but dont constantly compare the stronger argument and argue why this matters so much. your points also get a bit muddled. you go from talking about minor parties to wasted votes to two party systems and it isnt clear what point you're actually trying to prove. see below my more specific points

you want to really start off by showing the examiner where you stand so instead of laying out an argument and then 'but others might say' start with 'in support of my argument...'
you say it creates a strong and stable gov like in your list at the start like thats a bad thing but could actually utilise it as a comparitive mark for example 'it is true that the system undoubtably creates a strong single-party government, however in doing so it disproportionately under-represents minor parties'
'This indeed explicitly elucidates' this phrase sounds like a mess, keep indeed or explicitly but not both seeing as they essentially mean the same thing
'with legitimate aims and objectives' this is a very contemptuous point. it insinuates that tories or labour dont have legitimate aims and objectives and to strengthen your point you should argue the other side here which is that the green party are very limited in their aims so it makes sense that they dont have an inflated vote. **in a level politics essays the best thing you can do is constantly argue your points throughout the paragraph instead of heres what i think.... but some may argue... like you did in gcse**
your opposition example doesnt make sense to me and doesnt match your argument. DUP still had an under-representative amount of votes due to FPTP, they just had enough for May to utilise and reach a confidence and supply agreement.
your talking about party systems but the question isnt 'to what extent is the UK a two party system' and youre not making it all that relevent either.
Hi, so thanks to you I realised that the counter-argument made 0 sense so I changed it. Is it better now?
Thanks x

Some may argue that the FPTP electoral system is no longer fit for purpose is because it is designed to support a two-party system meaning that it disproportionately under-represents small parties. For example, in the 2015 General Election, the Conservative party gained 37% of the vote share yet secured over 50% of seats whilst UKIP gained 13% of the vote share and only secured 1 seat in Parliament. This indeed elucidates that the FPTP tends to exaggerate the performance of the popular parties by producing a winner bonus and discriminate small parties with legitimate aims and objectives such as the UKIP or the Green Party, meaning that they are marginalised. This may potentially lead to disillusionment and political apathy by the constituents as they may feel as if their votes are ‘wasted’ i.e. not everybody’s vote is ‘worth’ the same which could lead to individuals becoming disengaged with politics reducing political participation overall. Contrastingly, others may argue that the FPTP is fit for purpose because it creates a strong a stable government. Irrespective of the lack of proportionality, the FPTP electoral system usually returns a government with a majority which means that it will produce a clear winner but also the strong majority gives voters a clear choice, most frequently between Labour and Conservative. This is also proved by the fact that there have only been 3 hung parliaments in the past 72 years proves the view that the FPTP electoral system provides the UK with stability and a legitimate government which is what is most desired by the electorate. Furthermore, the FPTP electoral system is easy to understand and operate by the public. For example, in 2011 a rejection of the AV system demonstrated how the voters are content and familiar with the system and thereby it shouldn’t be altered. Hence, whilst it is understood that the FPTP electoral system is by no means perfect as it has shown to be prejudiced towards popular parties, in the long-term for both the formation of the government and voters the FPTP electoral system is indeed fit for purpose.
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Reality Check
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#5
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#5
(Original post by meli77)
Hi, so thanks to you I realised that the counter-argument made 0 sense so I changed it. Is it better now?
Thanks x

Some may argue that the FPTP electoral system is no longer fit for purpose is because it is designed to support a two-party system meaning that it disproportionately under-represents small parties. For example, in the 2015 General Election, the Conservative party gained 37% of the vote share yet secured over 50% of seats whilst UKIP gained 13% of the vote share and only secured 1 seat in Parliament. This indeed elucidates that the FPTP tends to exaggerate the performance of the popular parties by producing a winner bonus and discriminate small parties with legitimate aims and objectives such as the UKIP or the Green Party, meaning that they are marginalised. This may potentially lead to disillusionment and political apathy by the constituents as they may feel as if their votes are ‘wasted’ i.e. not everybody’s vote is ‘worth’ the same which could lead to individuals becoming disengaged with politics reducing political participation overall. Contrastingly, others may argue that the FPTP is fit for purpose because it creates a strong a stable government. Irrespective of the lack of proportionality, the FPTP electoral system usually returns a government with a majority which means that it will produce a clear winner but also the strong majority gives voters a clear choice, most frequently between Labour and Conservative. This is also proved by the fact that there have only been 3 hung parliaments in the past 72 years proves the view that the FPTP electoral system provides the UK with stability and a legitimate government which is what is most desired by the electorate. Furthermore, the FPTP electoral system is easy to understand and operate by the public. For example, in 2011 a rejection of the AV system demonstrated how the voters are content and familiar with the system and thereby it shouldn’t be altered. Hence, whilst it is understood that the FPTP electoral system is by no means perfect as it has shown to be prejudiced towards popular parties, in the long-term for both the formation of the government and voters the FPTP electoral system is indeed fit for purpose.
I think you've missed a fundamental point in your answer, and that is to interrogate the question! What does 'fit for purpose' mean? Which purpose? Or, even more, whose purpose? FPTP is a method of determining the outcome of an election - so what 'purpose' are we talking about - to represent the electorate's choice or deliver a candidate? And 'purpose' considered locally, regionally or nationally?
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meli77
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#6
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#6
(Original post by Reality Check)
I think you've missed a fundamental point in your answer, and that is to interrogate the question! What does 'fit for purpose' mean? Which purpose? Or, even more, whose purpose? FPTP is a method of determining the outcome of an election - so what 'purpose' are we talking about - to represent the electorate's choice or deliver a candidate? And 'purpose' considered locally, regionally or nationally?
Oh I see thank you very much
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A.B72
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#7
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#7
(Original post by meli77)
Hi, so thanks to you I realised that the counter-argument made 0 sense so I changed it. Is it better now?
Thanks x

Some may argue that the FPTP electoral system is no longer fit for purpose is because it is designed to support a two-party system meaning that it disproportionately under-represents small parties. For example, in the 2015 General Election, the Conservative party gained 37% of the vote share yet secured over 50% of seats whilst UKIP gained 13% of the vote share and only secured 1 seat in Parliament. This indeed elucidates that the FPTP tends to exaggerate the performance of the popular parties by producing a winner bonus and discriminate small parties with legitimate aims and objectives such as the UKIP or the Green Party, meaning that they are marginalised. This may potentially lead to disillusionment and political apathy by the constituents as they may feel as if their votes are ‘wasted’ i.e. not everybody’s vote is ‘worth’ the same which could lead to individuals becoming disengaged with politics reducing political participation overall. Contrastingly, others may argue that the FPTP is fit for purpose because it creates a strong a stable government. Irrespective of the lack of proportionality, the FPTP electoral system usually returns a government with a majority which means that it will produce a clear winner but also the strong majority gives voters a clear choice, most frequently between Labour and Conservative. This is also proved by the fact that there have only been 3 hung parliaments in the past 72 years proves the view that the FPTP electoral system provides the UK with stability and a legitimate government which is what is most desired by the electorate. Furthermore, the FPTP electoral system is easy to understand and operate by the public. For example, in 2011 a rejection of the AV system demonstrated how the voters are content and familiar with the system and thereby it shouldn’t be altered. Hence, whilst it is understood that the FPTP electoral system is by no means perfect as it has shown to be prejudiced towards popular parties, in the long-term for both the formation of the government and voters the FPTP electoral system is indeed fit for purpose.
Completely agree with the person above but I would place all that in the introduction, personally
This answer is a lot better! the only thing i would say is it's definitely a stable government but you also call it 'legitimate' - is it accurate to call it legitimate when there is such an inflated winners bonus? 'which is what is most desired by the electorate' isn't really backed up by anything so I would stay clear of generalised statements like this.
'furthermore the FPTP electoral system is easy to understand and operate' why are you bringing in a new point after the argument for your last point? if its the same paragraph you should just back up what you started by saying and avoid bringing in new points until your next paragraph. you were talking about minor parties and contrasted it with strong and stable government but then concluded it by talking about the simplicity of FPTP which isnt relevant with your point.
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EVRoosevelt
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#8
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#8
(Original post by meli77)
Hi, so thanks to you I realised that the counter-argument made 0 sense so I changed it. Is it better now?
Thanks x

Some may argue that the FPTP electoral system is no longer fit for purpose is because it is designed to support a two-party system meaning that it disproportionately under-represents small parties. For example, in the 2015 General Election, the Conservative party gained 37% of the vote share yet secured over 50% of seats whilst UKIP gained 13% of the vote share and only secured 1 seat in Parliament. This indeed elucidates that the FPTP tends to exaggerate the performance of the popular parties by producing a winner bonus and discriminate small parties with legitimate aims and objectives such as the UKIP or the Green Party, meaning that they are marginalised. This may potentially lead to disillusionment and political apathy by the constituents as they may feel as if their votes are ‘wasted’ i.e. not everybody’s vote is ‘worth’ the same which could lead to individuals becoming disengaged with politics reducing political participation overall. Contrastingly, others may argue that the FPTP is fit for purpose because it creates a strong a stable government. Irrespective of the lack of proportionality, the FPTP electoral system usually returns a government with a majority which means that it will produce a clear winner but also the strong majority gives voters a clear choice, most frequently between Labour and Conservative. This is also proved by the fact that there have only been 3 hung parliaments in the past 72 years proves the view that the FPTP electoral system provides the UK with stability and a legitimate government which is what is most desired by the electorate. Furthermore, the FPTP electoral system is easy to understand and operate by the public. For example, in 2011 a rejection of the AV system demonstrated how the voters are content and familiar with the system and thereby it shouldn’t be altered. Hence, whilst it is understood that the FPTP electoral system is by no means perfect as it has shown to be prejudiced towards popular parties, in the long-term for both the formation of the government and voters the FPTP electoral system is indeed fit for purpose.
I think this is excellently written, and would have been very pleased to turn it in myself!

Some very minor notes:
-I wouldn't say "indeed elucidates" - the word "indeed" is unnecessary here, and whilst it alone isn't a problem, you need every single millisecond in a Politics exam, and it's best to get into the habit of writing as punctually as possible.
-You could give a very brief explanation of "fit for purpose" in the opening line: in short, we value democracy far more in the modern day, whereas this concern wasn't shared when Parliament was first born.
-I might add in that a majority is useful because it allows you to get stuff done quickly, to deliver on promises to the voter. This is completely obvious, I know, but I always found Politics essays to be so methodical: you really have to spell out every little thing.

But as I say, these are minor notes. If you wrote an essay where every paragraph was as good as this, and it was opened and concluded soundly, I would struggle to see it getting fewer than a mark or two away from maximum. Well done!
Last edited by EVRoosevelt; 4 months ago
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meli77
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#9
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#9
(Original post by EVRoosevelt)
I think this is excellently written, and would have been very pleased to turn it in myself!

Some very minor notes:
-I wouldn't say "indeed elucidates" - the word "indeed" is unnecessary here, and whilst it alone isn't a problem, you need every single millisecond in a Politics exam, and it's best to get into the habit of writing as punctually as possible.
-You could give a very brief explanation of "fit for purpose" in the opening line: in short, we value democracy far more in the modern day, whereas this concern wasn't shared when Parliament was first born.
-I might add in that a majority is useful because it allows you to get stuff done quickly, to deliver on promises to the voter. This is completely obvious, I know, but I always found Politics essays to be so methodical: you really have to spell out every little thing.

But as I say, these are minor notes. If you wrote an essay where every paragraph was as good as this, and it was opened and concluded soundly, I would struggle to see it getting fewer than a mark or two away from maximum. Well done!
Oh my god thank you so much!! Appreciate it
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meli77
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#10
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#10
(Original post by A.B72)
Completely agree with the person above but I would place all that in the introduction, personally
This answer is a lot better! the only thing i would say is it's definitely a stable government but you also call it 'legitimate' - is it accurate to call it legitimate when there is such an inflated winners bonus? 'which is what is most desired by the electorate' isn't really backed up by anything so I would stay clear of generalised statements like this.
'furthermore the FPTP electoral system is easy to understand and operate' why are you bringing in a new point after the argument for your last point? if its the same paragraph you should just back up what you started by saying and avoid bringing in new points until your next paragraph. you were talking about minor parties and contrasted it with strong and stable government but then concluded it by talking about the simplicity of FPTP which isnt relevant with your point.
Thank you so much!
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EVRoosevelt
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#11
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#11
(Original post by meli77)
Oh my god thank you so much!! Appreciate it
No problem!
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A.B72
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#12
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#12
(Original post by meli77)
Thank you so much!
No problem, your knowledge is great I have no doubt that if you master the exam structure you'll get A*s!
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