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Coalition Government

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How far has the coalition government forced the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats to revise their traditional ideological stances?
The UK's government is currently a coalition, this means that there were two or more 'winning' parties at the 2010 general election. The Conservatives are head of the government and the Liberal Democrats are deputy. By having a coalition government the two parties have to change their ideologies and come up with ideas that fit them both. Evidence shows that the coalition government hasn't forced the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats to revise their traditional ideological stances, this means that they haven't changed their traditional values so they can run government together.
An ideology is an 'ism', a more or less coherent set of ideas, values and theories that help to explain the world and guide political action. The conservatism is the set of ideologies that the Conservatives believe in. Conservatism is an ideology that is defined by a 'desire to conserve'. It has traditionally been suspicious of abstract principles or developed theories, preferring instead to place its faith in tradition, experience and history. The defining values of Conservatism are; tradition, this means that they respect ideas, practices and institutions that have been passed down from one generation to the next. They also believe in human imperfection, the belief that people are security-seeking creatures and also morally flawed. Finally they believe in hierarchy and authority, they think it would be better to have a 'top-down' social organisation as it is natural and beneficial. There are two kinds of conservatism in the UK, One Nation conservatism and Thatcherite conservatism.
One Nation conservatism is a pragmatic and paternalistic form of conservatism that was prominent during the 1950s and 1960s. The conservatives don't like 'new' they believe that everything should be the same as it was 50/60 years ago. They dislike change and believe in authority and oppose state intervention. Disraeli warned against the danger of Britain being divided into 'two nations: the Rich and the Poor'. His call for social reform was narrow (but not remove) social inequalities was based on the principles of paternalism. The rich therefore, have an obligation to attend the needs of the poor. This means that the rich should help the poor in acting in the interests of others who are unable to make informed moral decisions, just like fathers do with children. And the other type of conservatism is Thatcherism. This is an ideological agenda hat was associated with the ideas and values of Margaret Thatcher and the policies of her government (1979-90). Thatcherism does not so much constitute a coherent and systematic philosophy as an attempt to marry two distinct traditions. Although there is political and ideological tension between two traditions, they can be combined in support of the goal of a strong but minimal state, 'the free economy and the strong state'. There are two elements within Thatcherism and they are neoliberalism, this is an updated version of classical liberalism. It's central to the free market and self-reliant individual. The second one is neoconservatism, this is a form of authoritarian conservatism that calls for a restoration of order, authority and discipline in society.
Liberalism is an ideology that is defined by a commitment to the individual, reflected in the doctrine of 'natural' or human rights. The core values in liberalism are individualism, the individual is of supreme importance, implying an emphasis on rights or entitlements. The second core value is freedom, individuals should enjoy the greatest possible freedom consistent with like of freedom for all. Their final value is toleration, people should be willing to accept ideas and practices of which they disapprove, safeguarding diversity and debate. Liberalism encompasses two contrasting traditions, the first is classical liberalism believes in a minimal state and free market capitalism. This views individuals as strongly self-interested and self-reliant creatures. The second is modern liberalism believes in social welfare and economic intervention. This holds that the state should 'help individuals to help themselves'. This shows that the liberals are keen to look after people and give them a helping hand when they need it. There are many differences between the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives, the first being he origin of political society. Conservatism argues that political society develops gradually over time out of custom and human experience. There is no social contact. Secondly, human nature is not rational. People's ability to reason is severely limited, nor is the world understandable and malleable. Therefore, efforts to improve a society will likely have terrible unanticipated consequences. Inequality is the natural order of things, human beings are naturally unequal. Politically, people should defer to their betters to govern and socially, people need to accept problems like poverty, which society cannot solve. These are the type of things that the conservatives believe in and they are completely different to what the liberal democrats believe in.
Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition can be seen to be surprising. Both parties had changed their ideologies slightly for the coalition to work. David Cameron had made significant progress in 'detoxifying' the Conservative brand, particularly by emphasising sympathy for 'green' issues, support for public services and a concern about poverty. Economic Thatcherism thus appeared to be modified by an acceptance of aspects of social liberalism, linked to the social justice and welfare provision. Elements within the Liberal Democrats were shifting too, they grew for a more free-market economy strategy, this shifted the Lib Dems from centre-left to centre-right. The Lib Dems agreed to drop the plan of increasing the income tax. The two political parties have a variety of 'wedge' issues this means that there have been many debates as both parties are trying to stick to their traditional values, many people believe that these 'wedge' issues may destroy the coalition. Some of the issues raised were the university fees and bankers' bonuses. Disagreement also exists on a range of other issues such as education, Europe, immigration, NHS reform, nuclear power and civil liberties. 'Wedge' issues can cause strain on the two parties.
Even though there are a lot of 'wedge' issues, there have also been a lot of policies made that have changed either one or both ideologies. For example there was the increase of tuition fees, Nick Clegg has always said that tuition fees for universities should be free and that they could pay for the tuition fees by adding a penny to the pound tax. However, not long after the coalition government was formed, the two party leaders came out and said that the tuition fee was going to be raised to £9,000 as too many people were going to university. This shows that Nick Clegg had gone against one of his ideologies and policies so that the coalition government didn't collapse within the first year.
Investment to reduce class sizes for children from poorer backgrounds, also new independent schools in state sector - "free schools" - to be set up. This was a joint decision as the Lib Dems get their cherished "pupil premium", the Tories keep "free schools". This shows that from one idea both of the parties can get their way as the Lib Dems managed to keep 'pupil premium' and the Conservatives kept their 'free schools' this shows that they don't have to change their ideologies in order to come up with a new policy and this is similar in all of their policies. Yes, they are having to compromise on ideas but they haven't had to change any of their ideologies in order to do this. They have all kept their traditional views and still manage to come up with new policies.
In conclusion, evidence shows that the coalition government hasn't forced the Conservative and the Liberal Democrats to revise their traditional ideological stances. Both of the political parties have kept true to themselves and still keep their traditional values. Yes, some of the policies are different form their original manifesto yet, they have still managed to continue their traditional values even though one party is a left wing party and the other is a right wing party. This shows that two completely different political parties with completely different traditional values and ideologies can come together and create a powerful coalition government.

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