Ideologies and How They Impact Policy Making Essays

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Essay Question: What are ideologies and how do they impact upon policy making?

Ideologies refer to a set of ideas and values that provides a base for organised political action. They justify and influence the different theories of society and human nature. Ideologies have a big impact on policy making, as the government of the day will base their policies around these political ideologies. The two major political parties in New Zealand, National and Labour, each have different beliefs and values which lead to different ideologies. Looking at both parties previous and current policies, we can observe the impact of the ideologies they have adopted on their policy making. The National party in the last 20 years has driven policies from a
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Neo-liberalism has had the greatest impact on public policy in New Zealand over the past 20 years. An example of this ideology in policy making in New Zealand history would be The National party in the 1990’s. National significantly reduced the state’s role in the labour market, and introduced markets in public housing and education. A more recent example is the current National government and their benefits policy. In 2008 National focussed on getting beneficiaries into employment. National’s leader John Key announced that they were committing to a benefit policy that would act as a safety net, but encourage beneficiaries to go out and source other forms of income (Key, 2008). This is a neo-liberal idea in the sense of having minimal state intervention. The plan to put in place a tax system that encourages people to work hard and not rely on the welfare state, and the continuing of shrinking the size of government sees that the future intentions of the current National party is going to carry on down a neo-liberal road (Key, 2008).
Social democracy is a political ideology which embraces both socialism and liberalism (Belgrave, Cheyne, & O’Brien, 2008). It is not a tightly sealed set of political values and beliefs, but a set of several. Social democracy contrasts with the ideology of neo-liberalism by identifying market failure rather than government intervention (Eichbaum & Shaw, 2008); this is why it stands for a balance between
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