marchgirl91
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Hiya I am in need of some help on political ideologies (please). I have come across some liberal questions I am not too sure how to approach, if u have any advice, or even better, answers, :P lol, would you please let us know, tar xxxx

1. To what extent is modern liberalism distinct from classical liberalism?
2. Liberal Democray is a contractiction in terms - discuss
3. To what extent do liberals support democracy
4. To what extent is modern Britain a liberal democracy?

Thanks alot, I really enjoy politics but I am unsure how to answer these in full detail
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davireland
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(Original post by marchgirl91)
Hiya I am in need of some help on political ideologies (please). I have come across some liberal questions I am not too sure how to approach, if u have any advice, or even better, answers, :P lol, would you please let us know, tar xxxx

1. To what extent is modern liberalism distinct from classical liberalism?
2. Liberal Democray is a contractiction in terms - discuss
3. To what extent do liberals support democracy
4. To what extent is modern Britain a liberal democracy?

Thanks alot, I really enjoy politics but I am unsure how to answer these in full detail
Ill write you an essay plan for one of those questions but I havent got time to do all 4, which one do you want most?
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marchgirl91
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decisions decisions. . . question two please ;D thanks xxx
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davireland
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(Original post by marchgirl91)
decisions decisions. . . question two please ;D thanks xxx
Right Ok, give me a few days, ill write an essay plan over the next few days and get back to you.

(Damn, you chose the most difficult one but I should be able to give you an essay plan)
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marchgirl91
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lol, typical hey :P Thanks alot! Do you do the same A-level? I'm taking it at degree, I think it's really interesting XxX
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davireland
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(Original post by marchgirl91)
lol, typical hey :P Thanks alot! Do you do the same A-level? I'm taking it at degree, I think it's really interesting XxX
No ive never done A level, im studying for a politics degree and ive covered the political theory of liberalism recently and ive just revised it for my exam, so im able to help.
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Rosslyn
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I think I've done all four for my A-Level Politics. The first is the easiest. You should have a table comparing them two and you can divide the paragraphs into social theory (social contract, level playing field, etc), econ. theory, and others.

I think I personally did Q2 for my exam XD but since someone else is helping...

Q3, in essence how do liberals view democracy should be, and compare them to what democracy is actually like, and would liberals support the actual form of democracy we have now? eg. tyranny of the majority, etc.

Q4, oooh I remember this one, I remember for my conclusion I wrote "though Britain has made good attempts, it's still not a liberal democracy in the strictest terms", and my teacher laughed cos he thought it was funnily condescending XD
But yeah, look at electoral system (FPTP, AMS at Scotland, Mayor elections... all with good points and faults), separation of rule(I think that's the term? as in separation of legislative, judiciary and executive. Think Lord Chancellor as having his finger in each pie), Habeus Corpus, Rule of law, terrorist law against human rights? direct democracy vs representative - use of referendums in devolution: low turn out etc.

There are lots to be said about each question and these are just pointers. I enjoyed my politics course in A-Level, though that was 2 years ago now so some details might be sketchy, these are just off the top of my head. Good luck! Liberalism is easy. Do liberalism. Wail when you come to Socialism. lol.
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davireland
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(Original post by marchgirl91)
Liberal Democray is a contractiction in terms - discuss
Right ok,

Intro- We need to start of by stating exactly what a Liberal democracy is, so for example start off by mentioning a division of powers, whether that be as a constutional monarchy or a parliamentary republic. Mention the idea of one person, one vote. Mention the entrenchment of civil liberties in a codified document e.g. Bills of Rights (obviously dont use Britain as too strong an example on this one cos we've only had 2 in our history [Magna Carta and the one following the Glorious Revolution], America is the best example here). Mention freedom of speech as a symbol of a Liberal Democracy.

So is it a contradiction in terms?
-Is democracy illiberal?, one could argue that mass democracy runs parrallel to the classical liberals individualist ideas. Individualism (one of the pillars of Classical Liberalism) advocates that everyone is different and everyone should be treated as an individual, it does not (like Marxism) assume everyone is equal, therefore to encourage a political culture in which electoral rights are open to everyone regardless of class, age, gender, race could be considered illiberal. So from that line of reasoning, it is a contradiction in terms.

- Surely a codified Bill of Rights is also illiberal. Not just because it assumes everyone regardless has a set of rights (linked to the point above) but also the fact that through codifying one puts limits on the rights of the individual. Political theorists such as John Stuart Mill would argue that one should be free to do whatever one likes as long as it does not harm anyone else and Robert Nozick echoes this sentiment when he claims that there should be no punishment for a victimless crime. This demonstrates that by overcomplicating and codifying rights of the individual then you are in effect limiting them to a list of do's and do nots, therefore this element of a liberal democracy is also a contradiction.(JS Mill = Classical Liberal, Nozick = modern Libertarian)

-Ok we've set out a couple of reasons why it could be seen as a contradiction. But if we move away from 19th century classical Liberalism and look more at modern Liberalism (see for example John Rawls). We can see that in reality Liberal Democracy isnt a contradiction in terms.
- Viewed in the context of Modern Liberalism what with its belief in a welfare state, safeguarding civil liberties and the rights of everyone to have these we can see that Liberal democracy is not illiberal because it is similar to the principles of modern Liberalism rather than Classical Liberalism.
- Furthermore we can look at democracy as a type of responsibility, we are given rights by the state and therefore we must having protection against the excesses of the state. Even though Liberals dont like majoritarianism (see Alexis de Toqueville), they accept it as a way of being able to protect themselves from greater and greater state intevention.

-In conclusion, I would argue that Liberal Democracy is a contradiction in turn because it limits many of the traditional liberal doctrine without giving us the substantial protection the individual desires (this is prevented due to 'Tyranny of the Majority).
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marchgirl91
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Oh very good very good Thanks Rosslyn and davirelan! The only things I am unsure about is when you said "Surely a codified Bill of Rights is also illiberal. Not just because it assumes everyone regardless has a set of rights (linked to the point above) but also the fact that through codifying one puts limits on the rights of the individual. "

Wouldn't it protect rights not infringe upon them? x
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davireland
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(Original post by marchgirl91)
Oh very good very good Thanks Rosslyn and davirelan! The only things I am unsure about is when you said "Surely a codified Bill of Rights is also illiberal. Not just because it assumes everyone regardless has a set of rights (linked to the point above) but also the fact that through codifying one puts limits on the rights of the individual. "

Wouldn't it protect rights not infringe upon them? x
Yes it would you are quite right, but the counter argument to that is that by codifying them u are creating a list which could be seen as a restriction. J.S Mill simply said that an action is justifiable if it doesnt harm another, thats such a broad definition, Mill didnt write a list of things which did or did not harm others. Do you see what im getting at?

Im not saying you are wrong because I actually agree with you but im just pointing out that there could be an illiberal element in codifying bills of rights.
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marchgirl91
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O I see what you are saying, yes. I was having a look at the questions (To what extent do Liberals support a liberal democracy) and I put together this. . .

YES - Protects rights (Jefferson)
Allows concent to be governed & political equality (John Locke and social contract)
Allows pluralism, separation of powers and regular elections (Madisons democracy)

NO - Representative democracy is still concentrating power to a degree (Lord Acton power corrupts & Rosuseau it "enslaves" people)
- Unequal intellegance (Plato/Aristotle, can't remember which one! and J.S.Mill with plaural voting)
- Tyranny of majority and the "dull confromity" - Tocquevillle and J.S.Mill
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spanishnfrench
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(Original post by marchgirl91)
Hiya I am in need of some help on political ideologies (please). I have come across some liberal questions I am not too sure how to approach, if u have any advice, or even better, answers, :P lol, would you please let us know, tar xxxx

1. To what extent is modern liberalism distinct from classical liberalism?
2. Liberal Democray is a contractiction in terms - discuss
3. To what extent do liberals support democracy
4. To what extent is modern Britain a liberal democracy?

Thanks alot, I really enjoy politics but I am unsure how to answer these in full detail
hiya i was just wondering where you found those questions? i am looking for a question bank of possible questions for a2 politics, can you help?
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