WALT: What are the functions of political parties and how important are political parties today?
WILF: Can describe the nature and functions of political parties in Britain today (D)... Can describe and explain consensus and conflict views of the role of political parties (C).....Can list evidence for the decline of political parties and evidence for the continuing importance of political parties (C)... Can evaluate whether the importance of politcal parties is in decline using evidence and theory as support (A)
This lesson examines the functions of political parties in the UK, the debate surrounding the 'decline of political parties' and the sociological explanations of this.
Lesson 1 Development
1. Starter :Rally Robin everything you know about British political parties and what functions they perform then Stand and Share
2. Read and take notes from the PPT
3. Pair Up then Rally Coach the Diagram on the Positive Functions of political parties putting each leg of the diagram in your own words
4. Then with your Revision Twin compare and discuss diagrams making notes as needed
5. Quiz Quiz Trade
6. Still in your Revision Twins log onto this page. Partner A collects evidence that political parties are in decline from the buttons left and Partner B evidence that they are still important using the linked text in the middle of this page. Record your evidence on a shared piece of sugar paper.
7. In groups of 4 All Write Consensus then exam practice then mark and feedback on your revision twins work
8. Plenary - Mix Pair Share today's WALT
Lesson 2 Development
1. Pair Up and Rally Robin the functions and interpretations of political parties then Stand and Share
2. Pair Up again and promenade the debate whether parties are in decline these days
3. In your Revision Twin complete the Rally Coach
4. Now as solo work write your best answer online to this question
- They aim to develop and advance particular ideological positions.
- They aim to facilitate political education and to encourage political participation of both party members and voters.
- They aim to devise individual policies and to combine them into a coherent overall political programme to be implemented if the party is elected to government.
- They play a major role in political elections at local, national and European levels
- To secure election they must attract sufficient voters via the aggregation of interests.
- UK Parliamentary political parties seek to represent the interests of their supporters by securing election to the Legislature and by forming governments.
- The UK Parliamentary system is organised along party lines. This is said to make for more stable government and opposition but may also result in excessive dominance by the Executive of the Legislature.
- Local councils, the Northern Ireland , Scottish and Welsh Assemblies and the European Parliament are also organised along party lines. [However I shall not provide information in this document on the activities of political parties at these levels]
- MPs are nowadays almost always affiliated to political parties and they then try to represent the interests of their constituents even when some constituents will have voted for a different political party. Independent MPs (i.e. MPs affiliated to no political party) such as the anti-sleaze candidate Martin Bell are still elected very occasionally
- Political parties are said to play an important role in the institutionalisation of conflict in that they provide mechanisms through which conflicts can be peacefully resolved although some would argue that they sometimes defuse conflicts rather than resolve them by removing the underlying basis of conflicts (such as deep seated patterns of social inequality.)