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Transcript of Great Britain
Sovereignty, Authority, and Power
"This fortress built by Nature for herself,
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall,
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands;
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England."
Like the United States, British parliamentary elections are "winner-take-all," with no runoff elections.
only national officials that British voters select are Members of Parliament
SOCIAL COMPACTS AND CONSTITUTIONALISM
Magna Carta of 1215 - restrictions on the power of monarchs
The Bill of Rights - lists rights retained by Parliament
HISTORICAL EVOLUTION OF NATIONAL POLITICAL TRADITIONS
The shaping of the monarchy - limited monarchy
Challenges of the Industrial Revolution - colonial
mercantilism and the industrial revolution
b/w lord and peasants.
- William Shakespeare
tells us a great deal about the political culture of Great Britain.
reflects a large amount of nationalism, or pride in being English.
reflects insularity, or the feeling of separation from the continent of Europe.
Political parties, interest groups, and print and electronic media have long connected the government to British citizens.
two-party system emerge with roots in the electorate. The labels "Whig" and "Tory"
Today the two major political parties are Labour and Conservative
Parties are less powerful.
Members must live in districts.
Party leaders run in their respective districts.
Individual votes for four officials on the national level.
Between 30 and 50 percent of the eligible voters actually vote.
Members usually don't live in their districts.
Party leaders run in "safe districts.
First past the post, single-member districts; virtually no minor parties get representation
Party determines who runs where.
United States British Elections
"Individual votes for only one official on the national level.
About 70-80 percent of the eligible voters actually vote (less in 2001 and 2005).
Single-member districts; some representation from minority parties, but still less than if they had proportional representation
THE INSTITUTIONS OF NATIONAL GOVERNMENT
British government has three branches of government and a bureaucracy
Executive branch is fused with the legislative branch because the prime minister and his cabinet are actually the leaders of parliament.
Judicial branch lacks the power of judicial review, so they have no role in interpreting the "Constitution of the Crown."
THE CABINET &
THE PRIME MINISTER
The cabinet consists of the prime minister and ministers, each of which head a major bureaucracy of the government.
Party leaders from Parliament chosen by the prime minister.
The cabinet does not vote, but all members publicly support the prime minister's decisions
Prime Minister of Britain
President of the United States
1. Serves only as long as he/she remains leader of the majority party
2. Elected as a member of parliament (MP)
3. Good chance of getting his/her programs past Parliament
4. Cabinet members are always
MPs and leaders of the majority party
5. Cabinet members not experts
in policy areas; rely on
bureaucracy to provide expertise
1. Elected every four years by an electoral college based on popular election
2. Elected as President
3. Good chance of ending up in gridlock with Congress
4. Cabinet members usually don't come from Congress (although they may)
5. Some expertise in policy areas; one criteria for their appointment; head vast bureaucracies
little separation of powers exists between the cabinet and parliament.
The House of Commons
House of Lords
CITIZEN, SOCIETY, AND STATE
UK evolved from four different nations:
Part of Ireland.
- England consists of the southern 2/3 of the island, and until the 16th century, did not rule any of the other lands.
SOCIAL CLASS DISTINCTIONS
The two classes are not easily divided by income, but psychologically and subjectively, the gulf between them is still wide.
RICH AND POOR have always been important in Britain.
EDUCATING THE ELITE: "PUBLIC" SCHOOL
"Public schools" were originally intended to train boys for "public life" in the military, civil service, or politics.
educated young people to continue after their parents as members of the ruling elite.
The main groups are:
Immigration restrictions are currently under debate
POLITICAL BELIEFS AND VALUES
Economic crisis of the 1970s
Conflicts regarding Northern Ireland have challenged this view of citizenship in Britain
Seem to still be in place today
Manifestations of changing political beliefs and values include:
Decreasing support for labor unions
voting in Britain largely followed class lines
does well in urban and industrial areas and in Scotland and Wales
POLITICAL & ECONOMIC
19TH CENTURY WORK AND WELFARE REFORMS
Labor unions formed to protect workers' rights on the job
POLITICAL EFFECTS OF THE EXTENSION OF RIGHTS TO THE "COMMON MAN"
PUBLIC POLICY AND CURRENT ISSUES...
Many issues confront the British political system today, but four of the most important are:
The evolving relationship between government and the economy
British relationships with the European Union
Blair's balancing act between the U.S. and the EU
THE EVOLVING RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN GOVERNMENT AND THE ECONOMY
Government has tried to established a middle way
Correct balance between state control and the free market is a matter of great dispute.
This issue is illustrated by the current debate over what to do with the National Health Service (NHS).
BLAIR'S BALANCING ACT BETWEEN THE U.S. AND THE EU
Sustain economic prosperity and increase social equality
Sought to develop a new relationship with Europe in which the United Kingdom would play a central and self-confident role
Britain still retains a strong attachment to her many traditions, and the government's long lists of accomplishments are not all in the past
Capital of Great Britain is London
1. To write and create law
2. To hold the Government accountable by scrutinizing the action of the PM and his government.
1. Select Committees exist to scrutinize the government
2. Research and write reports on the subject they are the committee for
Balance of power between the House of Commons and the House of Lords changed slowly
House of Lords was left with only one significant power - to delay legislation
House of Commons was clearly the dominant legislative house by the early 20th century
Symbols of Cities in
Discover a side of London that most tourists (and some Londoners) have never seen...
Cafe in the Crypt at St Martin in the Fields
Library/dining room at Sir John Soane's Museum
Secret London Itinerary
View from The Trafalgar's rooftop bar
Chelsea Physic Garden