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Transcript of UK GOVERNMENT
-Three arms of state.
-Who runs the Government.
-How Government is run.
Relations with the parliament
and the crown
- Government in parliament
-House of commons
-House of Lords
-Government and the crown
-Relations with ministers
-Who has more power, the Queen or the Prime Minister?
-The Conservative Party
-Party leaders and chronology
-The Labour Party
-Party leaders and chronology
-The Liberal Democrats
Elections and voting
-How and when elections are?
-How often are general elections held?
-How does it work?
-Where do people vote?
-Who can vote?
Three arms of state
Executive: the Ministers who run the country and propose new laws
Legislature: the elected body that passes new laws (PARLIAMENT)
Judiciary: the judges and the courts who ensure that everyone obeys the laws
In the UK there’s no ‘separation of powers’ as in other countries, all Government Ministers have to be a member of either the House of Commons (most of them) or the House of Lords (the remainder of them) and every Government Department will have at least one Minister in the Lords, so that the Department can speak in either House as necessary.
Who runs the government
The Government is led by the
Minister. He and the other most senior Ministers belong to the supreme decision-making committee, known as the
. Every Tuesday during Parliament, members of the Cabinet meet to discuss confidentially what are the most important issues for the government and all members are bound by any decision taken in a practice called collective responsibility.
The current Prime Minister is
, leader of the
who was appointed by the Queen in 2010. He
Oversees the operation of the Civil Service and government agencies
Appoints members of the government
Is the principal government figure in the House of Commons
The official residence of the Prime Minister is at 10 Downing Street. Cabinet meetings also take place here. Most government departments have their headquarters nearby in Whitehall. The media will often use the term Whitehall to refer to the British Government because of that.
The Deputy Prime Minister
( Nick Clegg MP, leader of the Liberal
Secretary of State
- This is usually the head of a Department.
Minister of State
- This is a middle-ranking minister.
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State
- This is the most junior class of minister.
Prime Minister + 22Cabinet ministers + 97 Other ministers = 120 Total ministers
How government is run
Government departments and agencies
24 Ministerial departments
similar to those in other countries and cover subjects such as education, health, transport, industry, and justice (Ministry of Defense, The Treasury, Home office...) However, there are also departments for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
19 Non-ministerial departments
are headed by senior civil servants and not ministers. They usually have a regulatory or inspection function like the Charity Commission.
300+ Agencies & other public bodies.
These are part of government departments and usually provide government services rather than decide policy - which is done by the department that oversees the agency.
The civil service
Each Secretary of State is able to appoint a couple of political advisers – formally known as Special Advisers – to serve him or her. The Civil Service does the practical and administrative work of government. It is co-ordinated and managed by the Prime Minister, in his role as Minister for the Civil Service.
Half of all civil servants provide services direct to the public, including:
paying benefits and pensions
running employment services
issuing driving licences
. Relations with the parliament
and the crown
Government in Parliament
British Constitution says that the Government is responsible to Parliament (responsible government)
The British Parliament
House of Commons
The Government is required by convention and for practical reasons to maintain the confidence of the
House of Commons
. It requires the support of the House of Commons for the maintenance of
(by voting through the government's budgets) and in order to pass primary legislation. By convention if a government loses the confidence of the House of Commons it must either resign or a General Election is held
House of Lords
The Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer must also always be a member of the Commons.
The Lords have very limited powers in relation to money bills and it would be politically unacceptable for the budget speech to be given in the Lords, with MPs unable to directly question the Chancellor
Historically most members of the House of Lords have been what we called
. This meant that years ago a king or queen nominated a member of the aristocracy to be a member of the House and, since then, the right to sit in the House has passed through the family from generation to generation. Clearly this is totally undemocratic. Almost all the other members of today's House of Lords have been chosen by the Queen, on the advice of the Government. But afterwards no member of their family has the right to sit in the House. Many are former senior politicians.
Government Ministers are also required by convention and the
, when Parliament is sitting, to make major statements regarding government policy or issues of national importance to Parliament. This allows MPs or Lords to question the government on the statement. Where the government instead chooses to make announcements first outside Parliament it is often the subject of significant criticism from MPs and the
Speaker of the House of Commons.
Parliament and government both play a part in forming the laws of the United Kingdom. They are separate institutions that work closely together, so it's easy to mix-up exactly what each one is responsible for.
Government and the crown
Head of State of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Her Other Realms and Territories.
Takes little direct part in government, and must remain strictly neutral in political affairs; so much of the Queen's role in the legislative process is ceremonial. She remains the source of the executive power used by the Government
Relations with ministers
British Prime Ministers take their weekly meetings with the Queen very seriously.
Elizabeth also has regular meetings with her individual British ministers, and occasional meetings with ministers from her other Realms. Even ministers known to have republican views speak highly of her and value these meetings.
She also meets the Scottish First Minister and receives reports from the new Welsh Assembly, and is continually kept abreast of goings on with her other governments.
Who has more power, the Queen or the Prime Minister?
According to the Constitution, all public power (executive, legislative and judicial) is created and commanded by the Queen. The Prime Minister is, in theory, a counsellor who advises her. In practice, it is a more complex situation, because the UK is a democracy, so public will must be law. So, more or less, the Prime Minister and the Cabinet take the executive decisions, but it is the Queen, through the Privy Council, who makes those decisions effective.
Now, taking into the account the prime minister is appointed by the Queen and the Queen is also the head of Parliament and Courts, she has more authority than the PM.
The political parties
The Conservative Party
PARTY LEADERS AND CHRONOLOGY
· The government shouldn't interfere with business and services. It creates a gap between poor and rich people.
· Tax should be low due to private business and services.
· Traditional values are very important (monarchy and the House of Lords)
· Little involvement from the European Union.
· Keep the pound sterling.
Edward Heath (1970-74)
The Labour Party
Margaret Tatcher (1975-1990)
The Iron Lady
Economic liberalism, adopting a free-market and reducing the power of the trade union
1984-1985 Miner's strike
Died of a stroke in 8 April 2013
Her strong personality, political decisions and actions led to a general hate-feeling among the working-class and to be described as annoying.
Elections and voting
How and when elections are
How often are general elections held?
John Major (1990-1997)
The Fixed Term Parliament Act provides for general elections to be held on the first Thursday in May every five years. There are two provisions that trigger an election other than at five year intervals:
A motion of no confidence is passed in Her Majesty's Government by a simple majority and 14 days elapses without the House passing a confidence motion in any new Government formed
A motion for a general election is agreed by two thirds of the total number of seats in the Commons including vacant seats (currently 434 out of 650)
Previous to this act, the duration of a Parliament was set at five years, although many were dissolved before that, at the request of the Prime Minister to the Queen.
General elections in Britain are made up of 650 individual elections that take place on a single day,across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
How does it work?
In the opposition (1997-2010)
MPs are elected from a choice of candidates by a simple majority system in which each person casts one vote. The candidate with the most votes then becomes the MP for that constituency.
Candidates may be from a political party registered with the Electoral Commission or they may stand as an 'Independent' rather than represent a registered party.
Where do people vote?
Most voting takes place in polling stations but anyone eligible to vote can apply for a postal vote. British citizens living abroad are also entitled to a postal vote as long as they have been living abroad for less than 15 years.
William Hague (1997-2001)
Ian Duncan (2001-2003)
Michael Howard (2003-2005)
David Cameron (2010-present)
When no single party wins more than
half the seats in the House of Commons, it is
commonly known as "Hung Parliament"
Two or more parties can agree to work together to govern the country.
The party with the most seats can also try to govern with a minority of seats in the Commons. If the party can't get enough support on an important vote, however, it risks defeat, which may force a general election.
Who can vote?
Be 18 years of age or over on polling day.
Be a British citizen, a qualifying Commonwealth citizen or a citizen of the Republic of Ireland.
Not be subject to any legal incapacity to vote.
He wants to make the Conservative style more attractive to young voters.
He is a "tacherite".
Criticises the failure of the 'state multiculturalism'
Favours legalising same-sex marriage.
Officially: Conservative and Unionist Party
Colloquially: the Tory Party (Tories)
Largest political party in the UK
Coalition government with the Liberal Democrats
Party leader: David Cameron
Currently forms the opposition in the Parliament
Party leader: Ed Miliband
The government should provide good public services (schools and hospitals)
Help to close the gap between poor and rich people
Different levels of tax depending on how much you earn
Tolerance and respect where everyone could enjoy their individual rights
Britain has an important part to play in Europe
PARTY LEADERS AND CHRONOLOGY
Tony Blair (1997-2007) (resignation)
Created the first 'national minimum wage', Human Rights Act and Freedom of Information Act
Devolution of power to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
Won impopularity supporting the Iraq War
Announced he would quit as leader within the year 2006
Gordon Brown (2007-2010) (resignation)
The popularity went down due to financial problems
Preceded by Harriet Harman
Ed Miliband (2010-present) (In the opposition)
Social liberal ideology
The third-largest party in the House of Commons
No party having an overall majority, they joined in coalition with the Conservatives
Leader party: Nick Clegg
They believe in personal freedom and equality for everyone
Free healthcare and education
Increase in income tax to help poor and those who need it
People should be able to decide how large a part Britain plays a role in Europe