plsc20hw4_labourparty - Labour Party British Prime Minister...

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Labour Party British Prime Minister Tony Blair has been a staunch supporter of the United States War in Iraq since its entry in 2002 – so much so that he deeply felt that British military presence in Iraq alongside the United States is of utmost importance. British citizens, however, as well as opposition party members and members of his own Labour Party were less keen on British entry into the Iraq War. In fact, several opinion polls revealed that there was “between 65 percent and 80 percent opposition to a pre-emptive war against Iraq.” (Hyland, 2002) In addition, nearly 200 parliamentarians rebelled against Blair’s decision to enter the Iraq War, including 121 Labor Party members. There are several reasons why, despite the high levels of opposition, Blair was able to enforce his will upon the Labour Party. Internal factors, especially party discipline, allowed Blair to have the ultimate say regarding the party platform on the Iraq War. This essentially suggests that though many Labour Party members opposed Blair’s decision to enter into the Coalition of the Willing, they would not go so far as to vote against the party platform, due mainly to the high levels of stress on party discipline. (Dorfman, 2003) “MPs vote with their party leadership on matters of designated importance about 99 percent of the time; the failure to do so is regarded as grounds for sanction and even expulsion from candidacy in subsequent elections.” (Dorfman, 2003) Fearing the repercussions of their dissent, Labour Party MPs of course voted in
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This note was uploaded on 03/10/2008 for the course PL SC 020 taught by Professor Martin,shanelee,dong-wook during the Spring '06 term at Pennsylvania State University, University Park.

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plsc20hw4_labourparty - Labour Party British Prime Minister...

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