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!
Participation in the UK: Crisis? What crisis?
26:49Matthew and Nick discuss voting, political party membership, pressure group activity and online activism. We absolutely do our best not to plug Nick’s book, or to point out that it is available on Amazon and in all good bookshops.
UK Democracy - is it in deficit?
38:00Welcome back to The A Level Politics Show! To kickstart this glorious fourth season, Matthew Phillips and I debate the health of UK democracy. We cover electoral practices, parliamentary representation, the protection of rights and participation, and yes, he helps me to plug my book. In all good bookshops now and under a tenner on Amazon. So good to have you back with us, dear listener!
14:33In 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. https://www.amazon.co.uk/My-Revision-Notes-Pearson-Politics/dp/1398325538/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=nick+de+souza&qid=1626859038&sprefix=nick+de+souza&sr=8-1 Thanks for your support of the show in these difficult times; See you all again in September!
Comparative: The Supreme Courts of the UK and USA
15:23In 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 they see fit. So yes, the US Supreme Court is more powerful overall, but UK Supreme Court is starting to find its feet. If you like this show, perhaps you’ll like my new revision book. Pre-order it now: www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1398325538/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_BYFD19W27DH384S0S677
25:36While 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. https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1398325538/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_FQ5PXFE1WJMJ8FXQMNJ3
US elections and democracy
41:39From 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 right now on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/My-Revision-Notes-Pearson-Politics/dp/1398325538
How powerful is the US President in foreign affairs?
19:30While 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 politicians do.
Further constitutional reform?
24:18In 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: https://www.amazon.co.uk/My-Revision-Notes-Pearson-Politics/dp/1398325538/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=nick+de+souza&qid=1617877782&sr=8-1
18:11How 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 believe in limited government and its lawmakers are largely united in pursuing this goal. I hope you like the show, and if you do, have a think about pre-ordering my revision guide. You can do this by clicking on this link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1398325538/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_fabc_545730Z55AZVQ2ZMBC6F Enjoy!
23:25How 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 creative rather than destructive. Meanwhile, if you like this podcast then have a think about pre-ordering my revision guide. You can do this by clicking on this link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1398325538/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_fabc_545730Z55AZVQ2ZMBC6F Enjoy!