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#1 Paul!"$%^&*1122

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Posted 22 October 2004 - 10:52 AM

could someone please tell me what is the difference between ADVERSARIAL politics and CONSENSUS politics.
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#2 George

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Posted 22 October 2004 - 01:14 PM

The best example is probably a comparison between Westminster and the Scottish Parliament.

The UK Parliament at Westminster is an example of adversarial politics; I'm sure you're familiar with it from TV and you'll notice that there's clearly two 'sides'. The Prime Minister and his party on one side, and the Leader of the Opposition, etc on the other. Basically, they're trying to work against each other.

In the Scottish Parliament, there has been a change in culture. You'll notice the debating chamber is now arc-shaped, and there are no 'sides'. Of course, there are still parties and officially the SNP is the party of opposition, but all the MSPs are meant to be working with each other. This is consensus politics, and it's meant to be less dominated by parties and more by principles.

There are other examples of how the Scottish Parliament has been created differently from Westminster. A good point is the committee system, which is much more powerful in Holyrood. There are committees for all sorts of things, and they have the power to introduce Bills before the parliament. The committees are formed by MSPs from different parties, and because they are more or less 'behind the scenes' a Tory MSP can agree with a Labour MSP's ideas without it being all over the papers.

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#3 Paul!"$%^&*1122

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Posted 22 October 2004 - 01:44 PM

QUOTE(George @ Oct 22 2004, 01:14 PM)
The best example is probably a comparison between Westminster and the Scottish Parliament.

The UK Parliament at Westminster is an example of adversarial politics; I'm sure you're familiar with it from TV and you'll notice that there's clearly two 'sides'. The Prime Minister and his party on one side, and the Leader of the Opposition, etc on the other. Basically, they're trying to work against each other.

In the Scottish Parliament, there has been a change in culture. You'll notice the debating chamber is now arc-shaped, and there are no 'sides'. Of course, there are still parties and officially the SNP is the party of opposition, but all the MSPs are meant to be working with each other.  This is consensus politics, and it's meant to be less dominated by parties and more by principles.

There are other examples of how the Scottish Parliament has been created differently from Westminster. A good point is the committee system, which is much more powerful in Holyrood. There are committees for all sorts of things, and they have the power to introduce Bills before the parliament. The committees are formed by MSPs from different parties, and because they are more or less 'behind the scenes' a Tory MSP can agree with a Labour MSP's ideas without it being all over the papers.

Well, I hope that answers your question tongue.gif Sorry, I did go on a bit rolleyes.gif

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So would i be correct to say " a disadvantage of fptp is it promotes adversarial politics rather than consensus due to the goverment and oppposition party competing with each other and this could lead to the government forgeting that they have to work for the people of britain"or something along those lines
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#4 George

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Posted 22 October 2004 - 05:09 PM

QUOTE(Paul!"£$%^&*11 @ Oct 22 2004, 02:44 PM)
So would i be correct to say " a disadvantage of fptp is it promotes adversarial politics rather than consensus due to the goverment and oppposition party competing with each other and this could lead to the government forgeting that they have to work for the people of britain"or something along those lines

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Hmm, I'm not really sure. FPTP probably doesn't help matters, but even in PR systems the parties are still competing. The big problem with FPTP is that - as in recent elections - the winning party can have a big majority in parliament without having the majority of votes. This could also be considered an advantage, since having a clear winner avoids coalitions; often considered to be weaker governments. However, a coalition government is consensus politics in action (just look at the Labour-Lib Dem coalition at Holyrood).





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