Presentation on theme: "GREAT BRITAIN FRQ’S 1.Describe the process used in a parliamentary system for the selection of the chief executive. 2.Describe the process used in a parliamentary."— Presentation transcript:
GREAT BRITAIN FRQ’S 1.Describe the process used in a parliamentary system for the selection of the chief executive. 2.Describe the process used in a parliamentary system for removing the chief executive. 3.Other than the removal process, describe a check on executive power within a parliamentary system. 4.Identify the electoral system in Great Britain and explain its effect on party representation in the House of Commons. 5.Describe the role of the state in Great Britain’s health-care system. Describe how the age structure is changing in Great Britain. Explain how the changing age structure is affecting Great Britain’s health-care system.
GREAT BRITAIN FRQ’S 1.Define parliamentary sovereignty, and explain one way it enhances the power of the House of Commons. 2.Define judicial review. 3.Explain why the principle of parliamentary sovereignty has limited the development of judicial review in the British political system.
England = England Great Britain = England + Scotland + Wales United Kingdom = England + Scotland + Wales + N. Ireland
THINKING ABOUT BRITAIN Four Themes: 1.Britain has suffered from less unrest and has had a more consensual history than any other country. 2.Britain’s relative economic standing declined dramatically in the second half of the 20 th century. 3.The conservative governments of Margaret Thatcher and John Major in the 1980’s and 1990’s redefined political life. 4.Impact of Blair and the “New Labour” Party
Head of State (a role that symbolizes the power and nature of the regime) Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth Realms Head of Government (a role that deals with the everyday tasks of running government) Prime Minister David Cameron
FIRST PAST THE POST VERSUS PROPORTIONAL VOTING SYSTEMS Single Member District (a.k.a. First-Past-the-Post/Winner-Take- All) – only one representative is chosen from each district. Tends to produce two party system Proportional – parties receive a number of seats in legislature proportionate to their share of the vote Tends to produce multiparty system
FIRST PAST THE POST VERSUS PROPORTIONAL VOTING SYSTEMS
WHY GREAT BRITAIN? It is a vibrant “advanced democracy.” Citizens enjoy a high standard of living. Unitary system of government. Excellent example of devolution. Parliamentary-style governing system. Oldest democratic tradition of any country in the world. Source of most modern democratic institutions and industrialization. English influence spread all over the world in the 18 th and 19 th centuries. KEY POINT: Britain didn’t become a democracy overnight. Evolution, not revolution, is the story of Great Britain. Democratization was a slow process.
GREAT BRITAIN: THE BIG PICTURE System of Government: Parliamentary Distribution of Power: Unitary Electoral System: First Past the Post Single Member District Constitution: Unwritten constitution Legislature: House of Commons & House of Lords (Bicameral) Major Political Parties: Labour, Conservatives, Liberal Democrats Current Prime Minister: David Cameron Current Ruling Party: Conservative Party & Liberal Democrats (Coalition)
THINKING ABOUT BRITAIN The Basics One of world’s most densely populated countries No longer an “all white” country Welfare state is still strong Social class remains a powerful force Democracy evolved over centuries. Scholars call this process gradualism. Post WWII, this led to a collectivist consensus in favor of a mixed economy and welfare state. Only in recent years has the country’s power started to decline.
THE EVOLUTION OF THE BRITISH STATE BROAD SWEEP OF BRITISH HISTORY British State dates back to the Magna Carta (1215, early attempt to reign in power of the king and advance citizen rights) Two Revolutions in the 17 th Century paved the way for Parliamentary Democracy English Bill of Rights – expand basic civil liberties Act of Settlement 1701 – succession of the monarchy settled The Industrial Revolution resulted in the working class demanding political change Great Reform Act of 1832 – 300k more male voters, House of Commons gains power Suffrage – All men and women 12 and older gained right to vote by 1928. In 1911 House of Lords stripped of power
THE EVOLUTION OF THE BRITISH STATE THE COLLECTIVIST CONSENSUS During WWII, Winston Churchill and opposition parties agreed to suspend normal politics. The Conservatives under Churchill agreed to establish a Commission to overhaul the social services system. This surge of reform came to an end in 1949, but the Conservatives did not repeal the reforms.
THE EVOLUTION OF THE BRITISH STATE THE COLLECTIVIST CONSENSUS From 1945 to the mid 1970’s was the golden era of British politics. WWII coalition government became an informal agreement on many issues. Beveridge Report of 1942 formed core of “Collectivist Consensus.” The report identified “five giant evils” in society that only a welfare state could address: squalor, ignorance, want, idleness, and disease. Highly popular with the public, the report formed the basis for many post-war reforms, including the creation of the NHS.
BRITISH POLITICAL CULTURE Identification with the UK has steadily decline and resurgence of support for regional parties in Scotland and Wales. Devolution (regional parliaments) Ethnic Minorities: From 2001 – 2011 minority population rose from 4.6 million to 7.5 million (Indian 25%, Pakistani 16%, Afro- Caribbean 12%, African 11%) Voting Behavior: 70% voting rate, tied to social class (working class - labour, middle/upper - conservative) and region (rural/suburban England - conservative, Wales/Scotland/Urban - labour)
POLITICAL PARTICIPATION Parties have been the primary vehicle for political participation for over 100 years: Party manifestos (platforms) have been very important in the past. Ever since WWII, either the Labour Party or the Conservative Party has won each general election. The parties began to change in the 1970’s, with the parties both moving towards ideological extremes. All major parties have become “catch-all” parties.
POLITICAL PARTICIPATION THE CONSERVATIVES Conservatives have been successful: They were flexible and changed policies. They emphasized market forces, but maintained responsibility for the poor. They have an elitist, but effective organization. Party strongest during Thatcher years Today they are stronger contenders because of public dissatisfaction with Labour Party. The party’s views on Europe are not shared by the majority of Britons. The party leadership is aging.
POLITICAL PARTICIPATION LABOUR Began as alliance of unions, socialists, and cooperative associations in the early 20th century Economic crisis and New Left activists led to leadership by party’s left wing Leaders more interested in electoral success than ideology were chosen in mid-‘80s New Labour: Tony Blair (Third Way – blending conservative and liberal policies), Gordon Brown, and younger, more moderate leaders took over in mid-1990s
POLITICAL PARTICIPATION LIBERAL DEMOCRATS Product of 1987 merger of Liberal and Social Democratic parties “First past the post” system prevents them from winning as many seats. The party is currently aligned with Conservatives in a coalition government. The party has capitalized on dissatisfaction with conservatives to build its base.
POLITICAL PARTICIPATION REGIONAL/MINOR PARTIES Rise in Scottish, Welsh, and Irish nationalism has led to moderate growth in support for regional political parties. What is devolution? A Labour Party proposal in 1974 to give Scotland and Wales limited self-government. Scottish National Party (Scotland) Plaid Cymru (Wales) Sinn Fein (N. Ireland, part of IRA)
POLITICAL PARTICIPATION INTEREST GROUPS Many interest groups, but little actual lobbying Quangos: quasi-autonomous nongovernmental organizations, work with officials to develop public policy Focus their activity on the people who make the decisions Civil servants Ministers Party leaders Trade Unions Council has close links with labor, Confederation of British Industries with Conservatives.
GB Prime Minister Serves only as long as he/she can maintain leadership of majority party Elected as a member of Parliament Excellent chance of passing policies Cabinet members are always MP’s US President Elected every 4 years by electoral college Elected as President Excellent chance of gridlock with Congress Cabinet members usually not from Congress INSTITUTIONS OF GREAT BRITAIN: COMPARING EXECUTIVES
The Cabinet Cabinet members are all members of the House of Commons except for the Attorney General and Leaders of the House of Lords Collective responsibility Introduces all legislation 90% of legislation passes after extended study and debate INSTITUTIONS OF GREAT BRITAIN
Key to British Democracy is the Parliamentary Party Leader of majority party is Prime Minister Head of minority party leads the shadow cabinet Backbenchers – MP’s not part of leadership INSTITUTIONS OF GREAT BRITAIN
House of Commons Represent single member districts elected in first-past-the-post system 650 members Do not have to live in their districts Elections are party centered
HOUSE OF COMMONS
INSTITUTIONS OF GREAT BRITAIN House of Lords Originally all inherited seats, with the House of Lords Act of 1999, only 92 are hereditary, the remaining seats are by appointment by Queen, PM, or the House of Lords Appt’s Comm. 92 hereditary peers (inherited) 567 life peers (appointment) currently, the number fluctuates Can delay legislation and debate Can add amendments, but easily defeated by HoC
HOUSE OF LORDS
INSTITUTIONS OF GREAT BRITAIN The Judiciary Based on common law system Judges defer to Parliament when reviewing government action and policies By tradition, courts do not impose rulings on Parliament, the Prime Minister, or the cabinet (parliamentary sovereignty). In 2009, a Supreme Court was created to replace the House of Lords as the highest judicial authority in Great Britain.
INSTITUTIONS OF GREAT BRITAIN Bureaucracy Great influence on public policy (discretionary power when implementing new laws) Most are civil servants, some however serve as advisors to ministers and cabinet. Like in the U.S., they are policy experts specializing in areas of industry.
PUBLIC POLICY: THE THATCHER AND BLAIR REVOLUTIONS Domestic politics After the 1945 election Labour nationalized key industries, were performing poorly by the 1960’s Welfare state became a growing expense Thatcher reduced the role of state and privatized government owned companies and government services Tony Blair's “Third Way” (combination of socialism and market reforms) – welfare to work program & raised tuition costs
PUBLIC POLICY: THE THATCHER AND BLAIR REVOLUTIONS Public Policy: Thatcher Government Attempts to reduce social services (not NHS) met with resistance Privatization policies (popular in the short term), sold off nationalized industries (mostly utilities – gas, electricity, water) Falklands War Supporters: saved British economy Detractors: Widened gap between rich and poor
PUBLIC POLICY: THE THATCHER AND BLAIR REVOLUTIONS Public Policy: Blair Government Third Way policies, maintain socialist programs while maintaining Thatcher’s ideals of a market economy and anti-union stance, created minimum wage, raised tuition fees for college, & implemented devolution. U.S. support of Iraq War post 9/11 led to his decreased support in Parliament and his eventual resignation Supporters: popular with liberals and moderate voters (centrist) Detractors: implemented interventionist policy by sending troops into more nations than any other PM since WWII. (Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Sierra Leone)
PUBLIC & FOREIGN POLICY Foreign policy: Europe International power has waned since WWII Special relationship with United States Britain divided on “Europe” Issue of single currency Should the UK join European Monetary Union? Euro-skepticism: Will the EU undermine British sovereignty?
FEEDBACK Centralized, professional media (Similar to U.S.) 11 main daily newspapers Regional newspapers Five quality newspapers known as broadsheets Tabloids are superficial and scandalous BBC and independent broadcasters offer thorough political coverage Papers usually support a political party (Guardian – Labour, Times & Teleraph – Conservative)