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The A Level Politics Show

Podcasts

Welcome to The A Level Politics Show, where amazing things happen. We will go through as many political topics as possible to give you as much help as we can with your A Level Politics revision. We will focus on UK politics and US politics, and also look at political ideologies, including liberalism, socialism, conservatism and feminism. While this show is geared towards A Level Politics students, we hope to appeal to anyone who is interested in current affairs, and who would like to find out more about how politics actually works. We hope you enjoy the show!

Welcome to The A Level Politics Show, where amazing things happen. We will go through as many political topics as possible to give you as much help as we can with your A Level Politics revision. We will focus on UK politics and US politics, and also look at political ideologies, including liberalism, socialism, conservatism and feminism. While this show is geared towards A Level Politics students, we hope to appeal to anyone who is interested in current affairs, and who would like to find out more about how politics actually works. We hope you enjoy the show!

Location:

United Kingdom

Genres:

Podcasts

Description:

Welcome to The A Level Politics Show, where amazing things happen. We will go through as many political topics as possible to give you as much help as we can with your A Level Politics revision. We will focus on UK politics and US politics, and also look at political ideologies, including liberalism, socialism, conservatism and feminism. While this show is geared towards A Level Politics students, we hope to appeal to anyone who is interested in current affairs, and who would like to find out more about how politics actually works. We hope you enjoy the show!

Twitter:

@nickdesouza

Language:

English

Contact:

07976711105


Episodes

Comparative: GOP/Tories

7/21/2021
In this, the last episode of series 3, we focus on the similarities and differences between the UK Conservative Party and US Republican Party. Both of these parties share similar feelings about welfare and the economy, but operate in different political cultures, allowing the GOP greater ideological purity and forcing the Tories to act more pragmatically. If you like the show, then buy the book - out on August 27th....

Duration:00:14:33

Comparative: The Supreme Courts of the UK and USA

6/9/2021
In this episode, we compare the power and status of the highest courts in both countries. On the surface, both courts appear relatively similar. They both enjoy the power of judicial review and are entirely separate from other branches of government. Yet the different constitutional arrangements in the US allows its Supreme Court far more extensive influence. That said, the appointment process in the UK is far less politicised, perhaps inhibiting the ability of politicians to shape it how...

Duration:00:15:23

Parliamentary Committees

5/27/2021
While public bill committees lack the tools for genuine scrutiny of legislation, select committees do a pretty decent job of holding government to account. Perhaps it is time merge the functions of parliamentary committees so that ordinary backbenchers could have a genuinely important role in shaping the laws of the country. What do you think? Let me know by getting in touch on Twitter (@nickdesouza). If you like the show, why not pre-order my UK politics revision book....

Duration:00:25:36

US elections and democracy

5/12/2021
From the failure of Iowa to report its caucus results, to fraudulent claims by Trump of vote rigging, the integrity of US elections is in jeopardy. This episode examines an array of areas, including primaries, the electoral college, attempts at voter suppression and gerrymandering, to help students evaluate the question: Evaluate the view that US elections are democratic. The answer arrived at by many, sadly, will be no. Oh, and if you love the show then buy the book, available to preorder...

Duration:00:41:39

How powerful is the US President in foreign affairs?

4/29/2021
While Congress can declare war, block diplomats from taking up their posts and withhold funding for war, the president largely calls the shots when it comes to US foreign policy. The early days of the Biden presidency has shown how the commander-in-chief can set the tone and decide upon who to call friend and foe. There will always be times when a President is questioned more, particularly when a policy goes awry. Yet more often than not a President will act as they see fit, not as other...

Duration:00:19:30

Further constitutional reform?

4/8/2021
In this episode, we examine whether the case for further constitutional reform has become overwhelming. We examine topics that have been covered on the podcast before and bring them under one roof to help you answer a general question on this topic. Should the constitution be codified? Is there a case for further devolution in England and ought the Human Rights Act to be replaced with a British Bill of Rights? If you find the podcast useful, think about pre-ordering my revision book:...

Duration:00:24:18

The Republicans

3/24/2021
How united is the GOP? While some Republicans have pushed back against Trump’s form of conservatism, there are too few to be considered a threat to his hegemony. The language of the GOP is now in lock step with that of the 45th President. The party has moved decisively to the right on social and moral issues. While there are divides on the economy, all Republicans unite behind tax cuts and deregulation. Equally, occasional fights over healthcare or Covid relief notwithstanding, the GOP...

Duration:00:18:11

The Democrats

3/10/2021
How unified are The Democrats? This podcast examines party divides over social and moral issues, economic policy and the role of the federal government in welfare, to determine whether progressive Democrats are able to work with moderates. We come to the conclusion that the divides between the factions are not insurmountable, as the early days of the Biden administration has shown. The party is arguably more unified, helped by the opposition to Trump, than it has ever been. Tensions are...

Duration:00:23:25

Backbenchers

2/23/2021
In this episode, we focus on what backbenchers do. What are their functions and which one is the most important? We examine the influence of backbench MPs in both hung and majority parliaments, and then end with some tips on what to look out for when defining key words in your introduction. Enjoy!

Duration:00:26:42

Money in US politics

2/12/2021
Measures to regulate money and the influence it brings to those who spend it in US elections have failed. Campaign finance laws were crafted for a different era and in any case were gutted by the Supreme Court. The net effect is to leave US democracy poorer and special interests more powerful than ever before. By the way, I had wanted to play ABBA’s Money Money Money at the end of this episode but something went wrong. So perhaps you might like to hum it instead.

Duration:00:28:20

Devolution in England

12/9/2020
Should the English be given their own parliament? Or will regional assemblies better represent the people? Of course, there is a third option - continue with the patchwork of random institutions that are created as and when the government sees fit. This “organic” and very British way of implementing devolution has been the route taken for the past twenty years. Proponents of this view argue that “need” is better than “neatness”. I take the view that fairness is better than mess. While an...

Duration:00:19:18

How America voted

11/17/2020
In this special episode, we look at how different groups of Americans voted in the US election and whether any conclusions can be drawn about why Biden won. Is this the first election that was decided on the basis of gender? How important was race, especially when considering the summer of protest, the Black Lives Matter movement and the killing of George Floyd? Is age a significant determinant of voting behaviour, or were senior citizens as appalled as their grandchildren at Trump’s...

Duration:00:35:26

A brief look at the Liberal Democrats

10/26/2020
With only 11 seats in parliament, it is difficult to forget that the Liberal Democrats improved its vote share at the 2019 general election, winning 3.6 million votes. Yet what of its future direction? Is it now a Modern Liberal party or will it seek to outflank to Tories on the right by calling for a smaller state? In this brief episode, we look at the 2019 manifesto for some clues.

Duration:00:10:29

How important is presidential persuasion?

10/14/2020
Imagine receiving a call from the US President? Or being invited to a White House dinner? These methods and others like them have been used by all presidents to get lawmakers to do what presidents want them to do. Yet in the era of hyper-partisanship, this use of soft power is largely redundant. Presidents have resorted instead to using direct authority to bypass the hurdles that the constitution puts in place. Yet rather than showing a lack of necessity to persuade, these approaches...

Duration:00:14:45

Feminism and the economy

9/30/2020
In this episode, I try (badly) to introduce you to the “disagree/agree” sandwich format of writing ideologies essays. Warning: there is a dubious analogy to beef burgers. Halloumi is mentioned too. At some point, the divides over the economy are discussed. Apologies for a very noisy fridge in the background - it makes a change from the cat, I suppose.

Duration:00:13:56

Should the Human Rights Act be kept, scrapped or replaced?

9/14/2020
When the HRA was passed in 1998, few could have imagined its impact on UK Politics. It seemed to merely confirm the rights that had already existed - those written into the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Yet in giving UK citizens to the right to use UK courts to seek redress of grievance, legal avenues to claim rights came closer to the people. No longer would they have to travel to Strasbourg to fight for their rights in the European Court of Human Rights (although they still...

Duration:00:21:25

Are political parties good for democracy?

9/2/2020
Welcome to series 3 of The A Level Politics Show! We hope like the new jingles. In this episode, we focus on whether political parties adequately serve democracy. To do so, they must represent the public rather than their donors, they must hold government to account and provide meaningful routes for citizens to participate. I argue that political parties fall far short of performing these functions and, in doing so, do a disservice democracy.

Duration:00:14:55

Parliament and legislation

7/22/2020
In the last episode of the current series (don’t worry - we’ll be back soon!), we compare legislative output with legislative quality. Parliament is good at the former but not at the latter. The fusion of powers, the limited opportunities for ordinary MPs to shape law and the curbs on the House of Lords all serve to give the government too much of an advantage. Yes, we get laws passed, but are they any good?

Duration:00:21:26

Presidential success

7/10/2020
If we were to judge success by what we preferred, it is likely that we would view presidents very differently. It is far easier to judge success by whether presidents achieve what they set out to do. In this regard, Clinton, Bush Jnr, Obama and Trump all have one thing in common: their success depends almost entirely upon circumstance.

Duration:00:21:44

Comparative: Congress and Parliament

7/1/2020
In this episode, we compare the House of Commons with the House of Representatives, and the House of Lords with the Senate. In doing so, it is important to examine the powers of each chamber, their status in relation to their sister chambers and their capacity to check the work of the executive. Finally, we send you on your merry way with a host of tips for 12 mark questions. It’s hard to believe that this is the 50th episode of The A Level Politics Show. More than 40,000 downloads and...

Duration:00:18:23