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Policies and manifestos

How are people meant to decide who they should vote for? You might not think there's that much difference between each party. Alternatively, you might be more interested in exactly what they're going to do if they win. So, before elections, parties draw up manifestos.

These are documents that set out what the party will do if it wins the election. The manifestos will generally express the ideas, beliefs and intentions of the party. This is what each party has proposed for the elections in 2005 as far as environment, health, education and crime are concerned.

Environment

Conservative PartyLabour PartyLiberal Democrats
  • Protect Green Fields
  • Protect traditional country pursuits e.g. fox hunting
  • Giving farmers a better deal
  • Reduce greenhouse gasses
  • Encourage recycling
  • Ensure everyone has a warm home
  • Reduce greenhouse gasses
  • Tackle pollution from traffic
  • Use more renewable sources of energy

Health

Conservative PartyLabour PartyLiberal Democrats
  • Cut waiting lists
  • Give patients more choice on where they go for treatment
  • Ensure hospitals are clean
  • Cut waiting lists
  • Reduce smoking
  • Give patients more choice on where they go for treatment
  • Let hospitals decide how their money is spent
  • Employ more doctors and nurses
  • Promote walking and cycling to make people healthier

Education

Conservative PartyLabour PartyLiberal Democrats
  • Create greater discipline in schools
  • Give parents more choice in choice of school for their child
  • Scrap tuition fees
  • Rebuild or refurbish every secondary school over the next 15 years
  • Give more money to schools
  • Encourage more sport and after school clubs
  • Scrap tuition fees
  • Get rid of unnecessary pupil testing
  • Ensure that all children are taught by properly qualified teachers.

Crime

Conservative PartyLabour PartyLiberal Democrats
  • More police on the streets
  • Build more prisons
  • Stop early release from prison
  • Cut overall crime
  • More community support officers
  • Monitoring constant offenders more closely.
  • More police on streets
  • Non-violent criminals to do community work instead of going to prison
  • Cut police paperwork so they can concentrate on fighting crime.

Key Points

  • Manifestos set out what each party would do if they won the election.
  • Manifestos are based on the parties' policies and beliefs.
  • Some people think that the manifestos of the three main parties are too similar and so there isn't a real choice.

Big Question

  • In some countries it's illegal not to vote. Do you think that voting in elections should be compulsory in the UK?