Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Registering to vote in the UK

Compare this procedure to registration in other countries.



General election 2017: How do I register to vote? 





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Monday, May 15, 2017

Skeptical analysis

This analysis of Iranian politics comes from Al Arabiya, a Saudi-owned broadcaster whose perspective generally reflects the preferences of Saudi Arabian rulers.

Turns out the Saudis don't think much of Iranian democracy even though there are elections in Iran (unlike Saudi Arabia).

Why there is little electoral about elections in Iran
In the British and French elections, the votes of people will determine who enters 10 Downing Street or the Elyse presidential palace. However, in Iran Guardian Council of mullahs chooses the president through a sham election. What we are witnessing these days has no resemblance to the elections in any other country in the world…

Maintaining this façade is not easy for the Iranian government. One of the candidates approved by Khamenei and the Guardian Council is Ibrahim Reisi who is reported to have been involved in the massacre of thousands of political prisoners by members of death squad.

Their conflicts with Khamenei is over Khomeini’s legacy and is a power struggle…

But why are European governments blessing terrorist mullahs while they are torturing and executing Iranians everyday… Indeed, governments in the West have ignored the spirit of democracy…

The consequences of Iran’s policies are suppression, exporting terrorism and efforts to access nuclear bombs to survive. We can see that terror is reaching cities of Europe and is victimizing innocent citizens of Iran, the Middle East and around the world…

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Friday, May 12, 2017

HIATUS

hi·a·tus /haɪˈeɪtəs/ Pronunciation[hahy-ey-tuhs] –noun, plural -tus·es, -tus.
  1. a break or interruption in the continuity of a work, series, action, etc.
  2. a missing part; gap or lacuna: Scholars attempted to account for the hiatus in the medieval manuscript.
  3. any gap or opening.
  4. Grammar, Prosody. the coming together, with or without break or slight pause, and without contraction, of two vowels in successive words or syllables, as in see easily.
  5. Anatomy. a natural fissure, cleft, or foramen in a bone or other structure.
  6. a period after the AP exam during which the primary contributor to this blog takes a break from posting any but the most essential things.
  7. Enjoy
[Origin: 1555–65; < L hiātus opening, gap, equiv. to hiā(re) to gape, open + -tus suffix of v. action] Source: hiatus. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Retrieved July 15, 2008, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/hiatus

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Keep Calm




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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Hint for success

Want a hint for doing well on the FRQs on the exam on Thursday?

I have said it since late in the last century.

Students have told me it was the best advice I offered.


READ THE VERBS! 

 

 

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Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Test advice

Seven years ago, Mr. Frank Franz, who teaches in Virginia offered a list of great suggestions that will help you write better responses to FRQs.

I posted them then and every year since.

I think these ideas are excellent. The only thing I’d add to the list would be to paraphrase the question as an introduction to your response. In the last few years some rubrics have insisted that responses have introductions that label what is being discussed.

Here's what Mr. Franz wrote:

Here's the strategy I place on every FRQ I give my students. I believe it helps them focus on the questions and will help them earn as high of a score as possible. Some of these ideas are my own and some are from colleagues who have served as readers and table leaders.

Free Response Strategy

  • Mark-up the question on the question sheet.
  • Count up how many points you are trying to earn. (Look for number references, count the verbs)
  • Write as many sentences as there are points.
  • Write simple, declarative sentences.
  • Answer the question asked. Nothing else.
  • Answer every part of the question.
  • Look for time references, patterns, and passage of time.
  •  Do not argue with the premise of the prompt.
  • Skip a line between parts, but do not label.


Go ahead and thank Mr. Franz.


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Monday, May 08, 2017

Single party politics in the UK?

The speculation is this analysis from The Washington Post suggests that the coming election might signal the death of the Labour Party.

After hard-left turn under Jeremy Corbyn, Britain’s Labour Party on course for historic defeat
In 2015, Britain’s Labour Party tacked to the left, repudiating the middle-way philosophy that had won it three elections under Tony Blair. Voters responded by handing the party its worst defeat in three decades.

Corbyn
Rather than scramble back toward the center, Labour lurched further left. The party elected as its leader Jeremy Corbyn, a white-bearded baby boomer from the back benches who, like Bernie Sanders in the United States, ignited an improbable movement among young activists…

Now, with less than six weeks to go before Britain votes once more, the Corbyn-led Labour Party is on course for an electoral beatdown so broad and deep it would make the drubbing the party took in 2015 look like a triumph.

The ruling Conservative Party has a double-digit lead over Labour in pre-election polls…

Corbyn may have captured the hearts of left-wing true believers. But unless something dramatic changes before June 8, when Britain votes, that’s not enough to win a national election…

“Labour is the party of the industrial proletariat — that was its original function. But Britain doesn’t have an industrial proletariat anymore,” Martin Baxter, a political analyst who runs Britain’s Electoral Calculus website said of a party that traces its roots to 1900 and the workers’ rights movements of factory-saturated northern England. “So there’s a big question as to what the Labour Party is for.”…

To his enthusiastic backers — who delivered the north London lawmaker a pair of landslide victories in party leadership races — Corbyn’s prescription for Britain is exactly what the country needs.

“I love him — best leader ever,” said Richard Crook, a 57-year-old telephone engineer from southeast London who cheered Corbyn on at the lawmaker’s campaign kickoff. “We’ve all had enough of PR politics. We want the truth…"

May
But there’s no getting around the fact that the polls for Labour are dire. The Tories now have a working majority of 17 in the 650-member House of Commons. Projections — which no doubt influenced May’s decision to call the snap vote — show that could widen to 150 or more.

The gains are forecast across the U.K.

In Wales, where the Conservatives haven’t won in nearly a century, a recent survey showed them leading. In Scotland, where Labour ran a virtual one-party fiefdom until the 2015 vote, the party is now a distant third…

If Labour does lose in a rout, Corbyn may be forced to resign as party leader. The party could also split apart.

Whether that happens or not, the center-left the world over will have to work out what it stands for and stop re-litigating internal battles that date back decades, said Stewart Wood, a Labour member of the House of Lords…

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