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Terms in this set (67)
UK is in the process of withdrawing from the European Union,
- June 2016 referendum in which 51.9% voted to leave the EU.
Rank in file MPs. Those with less experience than the most senior and accomplished politicians.
1945: Both Conservative and Labour parties agreed to support social insurance program, which paved the way for the National Health Service (NHS).
Became Labour PM in 1997, est. New Labour.
British Broadcasting Corporation
The most established and respected news outlet, but it is strictly regulated by the government. In return the government provides substantial monetary support for the BBC
Current Conservative (Tory) leader: Leader of the "Shadow Cabinet". Became PM when Tories win in May 2010. David Cameron resigned in July 2016 as PM after the Brexit vote which he opposed. He was replaced by new Conservative party leader, Theresa May, the former Home Secretary and MP representing the district of Maidenhead. She is the second woman to hold the office of Prime Minister (Margaret Thatcher 1979-1990).
Caucuses - Meeting of party leadership to select candidates. Used by Conservatives to choose party leader.
When two parties agree to work together to win a general election, and afterwards, the majority party leader appoints leading member of the other party to positions within the cabinet.
Cabinet members show solidarity in support of government policies. *If there is serious disagreement, rather than speak out against the policy, a politician is more likely to resign.
Confederation of British Industries (CBI)
Organization that represents the interests of British manufacturer.
Conservative Party (Tory)
Tories. Historically, a conservative right of center party. Have become more moderate with the rise of New Labour. Now the party is solidly center-right, and they are led by David Cameron.
Labour Party leader since September 12, 2015. He replaced Ed Miliband (Shadow MP). Under Corbyn, the party has polled behind the conservatives. He is an MP representing the district of Islington North (since 1983). Ideologically, he identifies as a democratic socialist.
Democratic Unionist Party
Leading Protestant party in Northern Ireland.
Providing sub-national groups more power over governing decisions (ex. Establishment of legislatures in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland).
The English Bill of Rights (1688)
Lists rights retained by Parliament, not by individual citizens. This document, signed by William & Mary, gave important policymaking power to Parliament, including the power of the purse.
Term describing those who are not in favor of greater integration with Europe and the EU. These people fear a loss of sovereignty to the EU, and oppose a single Euro currency
First-past-the-post voting system
Single Member Districts with plurality winning- An electoral system where the candidates compete for a single representative's seat. The winner does not need a majority to win, must simply get more votes than anyone else.
Fixed Term Parliaments Act of 2011
- Parliamentary elections must be held every 5 years beginning in 2015.
- Limits the Prime Minister's power to call elections, except in the case of a vote-of-no-confidence.
--- Early elections can be called if 2/3 of MPs vote for it.
The Glorious Revolution (1688)
James II (Duke of York) was overthrown by Parliament in a bloodless Revolution with the support of the military. His daughter, Mary Queen of Scots and the Dutch Prince William of Orange became King and Queen (William and Mary). Preserved the power of Parliament
Good Friday Agreement (1998)
Blair and US Pres. Bill Clinton helped to negotiate agreement where Britain agreed to give Northern Ireland a regional government, in which all parties would be represented on a proportional basis.
Used to make up the bulk of membership to the House of Lords, but Blair's reforms of the 1990s shifted away from their participation, while emphasizing Life Peers.
Granted by England to most of Ireland, except the north, after WWI. In 1949, the bulk of Ireland became entirely free (Republic of Ireland)
Hutton Report -
- (2003) The BBC reporter Michael Gilligan, said that that weapons inspector Michael Kelley had falsely reported about the prevalence and threat of weapons of mass destruction represented in Iraq.
- Michael Kelley committed suicide.
- Blair then appointed Appeals Judge, Lord Hutton to investigate. The Hutton Report exonerated Blair in 2004, and led to the resignation of the chairman of the British Broadcasting Corporation.
The feeling of being separate from Europe (the Continent)
Irish Republican Army (IRA)
First formed after Easter Rising in 1916 to fight for Irish independence. After 1949, a new IRA was formed by Catholics determined to free Northern Ireland from British/Protestant control. Political arm of the IRA is Sinn Fein led Gerry Adams.
Named after British economist John Maynard Keynes, this approach of government to secure full employment, expand social services, maintain a steady rate of growth, and keep prices stable. Reversed by Thatcher who emphasized neo-liberalism (similar to American conservatism).
Major party center-left. Currently control government, and led by Brown.
Highest court in the land. There are 12 Law Lords, who are experts in law, and are also members of the House of Lords. Final Court of Appeal.
Liberal Democratic Alliance
Liberal Party joined with Social Democrats to form this party. Occupies currently the position just left of Labour.
In the European context, this means smaller government, lower taxes, reduction of subsidies, reduction of tariffs. It forces a country to compete in the market.
Non-hereditary, appointed members of the House of Lords.
This is when there are constitutional limits placed on the authority of government.
Minority party. Currently the Conservative Tories.
Magna Carta (1215)
The Great Charter 1215. Placed limits on the power of the monarch, who pledged to respect the rights of the landowners. Foundation for representative government and parliament.
British PM since July 2016 Theresa May is the former Home Secretary and MP representing the district of Maidenhead.
- second woman to be PM
New Labour Party leader (Shadow PM).
Inflation plus unemployment. Brought way down by Blair and New Labour.
This is where interest groups take the lead and sometimes dominate the state
- Quangos = Quasi-autonomous nongovernmental organizations
-- Quangos combined with government authorities develop public policies)
Thatchernomics is example of Neoliberalism
-cut subsidies to industry and reduced overall government spending.
- Reduced tariffs forced British companies to compete effectively in the global marketplace.
--- Short term: high unemployment, limited economic growth.
--- Long term: a stronger more stable economy, growing at a healthy rate (one of the fastest growing economies in Europe in the late 1990s.
The duty of the upper class to take on the responsibility for the welfare of the lower classes.
Elite pathway for many British politicians. Oxford or Cambridge, where aspiring politicians usually follow a course of study called PPE (philosophy, politics, and economics)
In these systems, seats in the legislature are awarded based on SMDP or PR. The majority party has the right to choose the Prime Minister, or Premier, and to form a government (cabinet positions/ministers). Advantage is that a PM or government can be replaced more easily through a vote-of-no-confidence. Members of the executive leadership are working politicians and members of parliament (MPS)
This is the Flag and Party of Scotland.
Plurality voting system
It is a situation where candidates try to gain more votes than their opponents. First Past the post system.
This is when representation in a legislature is determined by the population of each state. It is the opposite of equal representation.
For one hour, once a week, the Prime Minister and his cabinet must defend themselves against attack by the opposition.
When a question is put directly to the people for a vote. The government is obligated to respect the will of the public. (Referendums have included topics like membership in the EU, adoption of the Euro, the National Health Service, etc.)
A district which has historically been won by a particular party. Each party assigns their most important leaders to safe district to ensure they will have a seat in parliament.
Scottish National Party (BNP)
Main political party in Scotland. Occupies seats in the House of Commons.
They are the leadership of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition. In the House of Commons, they set in the front row opposite the majority party in the House of Commons.
It is the political arm of the Irish Republican Army. Term translated "We Ourselves." (Gerry Adams - Leader).
Particularly among working class, this is the tendency to value the bond to the people and social class you've always been associated with. Many will vote for a particular party out of solidarity.
Speaker of the House
(S)He presides over the debates in the House of Commons. He is supposed to be objective and is not a member of the majority party. His job is to let all speak, but not let things get out of control. Current: The Right Honorable Michael Martin.
Margaret Thatcher's revolution toward a free market economy. It fostered entrepreneurial values of individualism and competition over the solidarity of social classes and the tradition of Noblesse Oblige.
The Third Way
Middle way between the old Labour party and the Conservative party (moderate).
Trades Union Congress
Largest Labor Federation in the UK. Constituent members of the Labour Party.
Where power is concentrated in a single central government
Vote of confidence
A vote on a key issue. By tradition, the cabinet must resign immediately, and elections for new MPs must be held as soon as possible. Puts pressure on MPs to vote the party line, because if they lose, they also lose their seats and must compete in elections to win them back.
The UK is an important case study because:
- It is a vibrant "advanced democracy" democratic tradition since 1066
- Citizens enjoy a high standard of living
- Unitary system of government
- Example of devolution
- Parliamentary-style governing system
- Evolution not revolution
- Democratization was a slow process
- Constitution: Unwritten constitution
- Legislature: Bicameral—House of Commons & House of Lords
- Current Prime Minister: Theresa May
- Current Ruling Party: Conservative Party
- Major Political Parties: Labour, Conservatives, Liberal Democrats
The Conservative Party: Party in Power
The largest party on the right
Theresa May: Current Party Leader
Margaret Thatcher: Prime Minister 1979-1990
John Major: Prime Minster 1990-1997
Dates back to 18th century and traditionally represents the "middle class"—middle=rich class in UK
Has been dominant party in Britain since World War II, holding power for all but sixteen years.
The Labour Party: Loyal Opposition
The largest party on the left
Controlled the British government from 1997-2010
Jeremy Corbyn (2015-present)
Tony Blair (PM 1997-2007)
Gordon Brown (PM 2007-2010) *Ed Miliband 2010-2015.
Created in 1906 to represent rights of working class
Move toward center allowed it to win back Parliament in 1997 on centrist platform and Blair's "New Labour" platform
The Liberal Democrats
Two parties—the Liberals and the Social Democrats—formed an alliance in the 1983 and 1987 elections
Parties formally merged in 1989.
Goal of party was to establish a strong party in the middle as a compromise to the politics of the two major parties.
Tim Farron: Current Party Leader
Nick Clegg: Party Leader: 1999-2015
Paddy Ashdown: Party Leader 1992-1999
Power declined 1990s as major parties became more centrist.
In 2005, Liberal Democrats won 62 seats in Parliament, but won just 8 seats in 2015 (7.9% of total vote)
Government: (May's Conservative's)
Government Officials: (Civil Servants)
Whitehall: (Executive Agencies)
Downing Street: (Prime Minister)
Parliament: (on Whitehall, too)
Westminster: (collective term for gov't institutions)
- Serves only as long as he/she remains leader of majority party
- Elected as Member of Parliament—not as chief executive
- Has an excellent chance of getting his/her programs through Parliament
- Cabinet members always MPs and leaders of majority party
- Cabinet members NOT experts in policy areas; rely on bureaucracy to provide expertise
-"First among equals"
-- Imperatives of Prime Minister
Campaigning Through Media
Making and Balancing Policy
Responsibilities of Prime Minister
Speaks legitimately for all Members of Parliament
Chooses cabinet members and important subordinate posts
Makes decisions in the cabinet, with the agreement of ministers
Campaigns for and represents the party in parliamentary elections
- Cabinet consists of senior ministers appointed by the prime minister, with each handling a major bureaucracy of the government.
- Cabinet members must be either members of the House of Commons or of the House of Lords.
- Cabinet is the center of policy-making in British political system and the Prime Minister has the responsibility of shaping their decisions into policy
- The Cabinet does not vote, but all members publically support the prime minister's decisions.
- "Collective Responsibility" is taken by the Cabinet for all decisions made by the government.
- The unity of the Cabinet is extremely important to the stability of the government.
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