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The A Level Politics Show

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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!
More Information

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

An Imperial Presidency?

12/11/2019
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It is tempting to look at the impeachment charges levied against President Trump - abuse of power and obstruction of Congress - as evidence that an all-powerful, imperial presidency exists that is associated with illegality and secrecy. Yet the fact that Trump is about to be impeached is the best argument against that argument. Too many constitutional constraints exist to allow for an imperial presidency. Power is not fixed. It varies according to approval ratings, the type of government,...

Duration:00:21:05

How representative is Congress?

12/4/2019
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How do we judge representation? Try these questions on for size: Does Congress look like America? Do elections change anything? Are a broad range of interests and ideas reflected in the two chambers, and what exactly do members of Congress do for ordinary people? The answer to the first three questions is no, and the answer to the last one is not enough.

Duration:00:19:40

Comparative: Devolution versus federalism

11/20/2019
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While traditionally the states in the US had far greater control over their affairs than the regions in the UK, devolution is beginning to change things. Scotland, in particular, is no longer playing nice with Westminster. While in the US, federal institutions have as much chance as influencing policy as the states.

Duration:00:12:01

Media influence and voting behaviour

11/13/2019
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In this episode, we answer a poorly worded and convoluted question: Evaluate the view that media influence and opinion polls are significant determinants of voting behaviour and public policy. While print media, television and opinion polls all have a role to play, the part played by social media has grown significantly. The 2019 general election will reinforce that trend.

Duration:00:25:38

Electoral Reform

11/6/2019
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While FPTP is held up as promoting strong government and stability, the evidence of the past few years has shown otherwise. While the 2019 General Election may yet see a return to strong, single party government with a clear mandate, the alternatives on offer would provide the UK with a chance to heal the wounds of Brexit. The electoral system we currently have cannot sever us from tribalism. Rather, it is the cause of it. Thus, electoral reform is an idea whose time has come.

Duration:00:27:11

Voting in Congress

10/29/2019
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It used to be taken as read that a member of Congress would vote the way the folks back home told them to. The lure of pork-barrel politics and of earmarking - supporting a bill in return for federal funds - perpetuated the idea that all that drove members of Congress was re-election. Yet with earmark reform and the continued corrosiveness of gerrymandering, satisfying constituents became less essential. Instead, the greatest concern to members of the House of Representatives now comes from...

Duration:00:27:32

Labour: Has it returned to its ideological roots?

10/21/2019
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The “Old” and “New” Labour factions of the Labour Party existed long before Tony Blair coined the names. Indeed, the Attlee government was riven with internal divides, as the resignation of Nye Bevan showed. Yet Corbyn’s elevation as party leader reflects a broader trend, perhaps started by Blair himself when he pressurised his chancellor to spend more on the NHS, of a Labour Party that is moving to the left, where it will likely stay for some time to come.

Duration:00:21:39

Conservatism and the state

10/13/2019
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Even Rand support the need for a state, while admittedly she argued that the “strong state is the small state”. Nearly all conservatives believe in a central authority that keeps the peace. Yet when it comes to economic matters, the differences start to emerge.

Duration:00:16:03

Source questions

10/10/2019
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In this episode, Nick goes through his checklist of tips for producing fine work. Source questions can be tricky to plan and even harder to deliver. The key is to ensure that you highlight the arguments that you personally agree with and pit them against the arguments that you don’t. Then let the battle commence!

Duration:00:26:03

Partisanship in the US

10/5/2019
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The founding fathers believed that the US constitution and its elaborate set of checks and balances would encourage compromise and bipartisanship. Yet the ideological distance between the two main parties and an utter refusal to compromise on even the most basic proposals has lead to gridlock, bitterness and dysfunction. It is one of the major reasons why the US constitution simply doesn’t work anymore.

Duration:00:20:24

Have the Tories abandoned One Nation Conservatism?

9/28/2019
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Gordon Brown once said of David Cameron that “The more he talks, the less he says”. What he might have been alluding to is the lip service that all Tories pay to One Nation principles or “compassionate conservatism”, just as leaders in India give a nod and a wink to socialism. Yet the evidence of the past decade points to a rightward shift on economics and on service provision, while Brexit has empowered the neo-conservative wing of the party to the detriment of centrist schools of thought.

Duration:00:27:41

Are UK judges too powerful?

9/24/2019
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Now that the Supreme Court has ruled Boris Johnson’s prorogation of Parliament to be unlawful, we look at whether the 11 unelected judges of the UK’s top court are too powerful. Nick strongly argues that they are simply doing their job. It is not the courts that are acting like despots, but the prime minister.

Duration:00:32:20

Comparative: Amending the US/UK constitutions

9/19/2019
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It is conventional wisdom that the US constitution is difficult to change while the UK’s uncodified and unentrenched arrangements are more flexible. Yet the truth is somewhat muddier. The power of the US Supreme Court means that the US constitution is routinely updated through judicial interpretation. Meanwhile, the use of referendums to create new institutions in the UK, the most notable being the Scottish Parliament, makes it politically impossible to abolish them. Thus, the two...

Duration:00:11:09

Pressure Groups in the UK

9/15/2019
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How powerful are pressure groups and what are the factors that affect their success? Nick examines whether insider status is really that important. He also suggests that while money is handy, sound leadership is even more useful. Finally, while public support is important, government support is critical to the success of any cause. Happy to report that no rebellion became extinct during the making of this podcast, which is hardly surprising since we mention Extinction Rebellion on a number...

Duration:00:17:48

US Congress - is the Senate the more powerful chamber?

9/11/2019
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The Senate has huge influence over shaping the makeup of the US Supreme Court and in approving other presidential appointments. It gets involved in foreign affairs and its members can literally talk a bill to death. Yet the House of Representatives still matters hugely as a result of its co-equal legislative power. Therefore, it is wrong to claim that one chamber is significantly more powerful than the other. That said, the Senate has greater prestige. Senators enjoy a national profile that...

Duration:00:29:08

The Fixed Term Parliament Act

9/8/2019
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The FTPA has many enemies, all of whom stand to benefit if it is scrapped or circumvented. Nick argues that from ending it, we should be mending it.

Duration:00:12:18

Direct and Representative Democracy

9/4/2019
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We discuss whether direct or representative democracy is better. The former might give elites a bloody nose but can also intimidate minorities, while the latter might allow for compromise yet can create an aloof political class. Referendums are not the answer, but Nick argues that other forms of direct democracy could complement representative institutions and strengthen democratic legitimacy.

Duration:00:23:57

Direct and Representative Democracy

9/4/2019
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Nick explores the pros and cons of direct and representative democracy. The former invites citizens into the decision making process but often at the cost of minority rights. While the latter allows for compromise yet can often appear distant and corrupt. It is clear that referendums can be deeply harmful, yet perhaps forms of direct democracy short of plebicites, such as e-petitions and recall procedures, will bolster the existing representative structures in place.

Duration:00:25:03

Comparative: Rights in the US/UK

9/1/2019
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“Eek!” Comparative analysis questions. “Oh dear!” Rights. We take two things that teachers and students stay up late panicking about and, hopefully, prevent any nightmares. We take a look at those awkward 12 mark questions (Edexcel exam board) and give plenty of tips on how to approach them, and then compare the arrangements for protecting rights in both the US and UK. To do this, we break it down into constitutional, judicial and political protection and model how you ought to approach...

Duration:00:23:03

Socialism

8/27/2019
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To what extent do Socialists agree about the means and ends? Nick is joined by his comrade at Reigate College, Matthew Phillips, to discuss, amongst other things, how to ensure your teeth remain as white as Tony Blair’s. Don’t worry, it will all make sense when you give us a listen.

Duration:00:32:41