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Year 12 Government & Politics: Introductory Lesson

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Andrew Wilson

on 5 September 2016

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Transcript of Year 12 Government & Politics: Introductory Lesson

What will you study?
1. The UK Constitution
2. The UK Parliament
3. The Prime Minister and Cabinet
4. The Judiciary
1. Creates political institutions - including how representatives will be selected and paid
2. Outlines what power those institutions have
3. Creates mechanisms to change itself (add amendments)
4. Establishes relationship between institutions
5. Creates a "decider" if those institutions are deadlocked
6. Establishes limits of government power
7. Establishes rights of citizens
For next lesson...
Find a news story about British Politics you find interesting...
You need to be able to explain:
1. The story itself
2. The major players in the story
3. Potential consequences
4. Possible impact on wider society
Image by Tom Mooring
Year 12 Government & Politics: Introductory Lesson
The UK!!!
What makes this part of the course so hard...

The UK!!!
The UK Constitution has all of the 7 features outlined above...but...they are not in 1 place, some are not written...some are based on tradition...some are based on laws...some are based on legal decisions...some are conventions (not laws, not traditions, not written down...informal pattern of behaviour)...its a mess!
Key Skills You Need!
Excellent literacy - a lot of reading and text analysis
Well developed critical thinking skills
Ability to verbalise your points and explanations
Confidence to argue with me!
Ability to think quickly about key issues
A good memory
A keen interest in politics!!!
So what does a Constitution actually do?
You come to every lesson!
You have ALL of your equipment (textbooks, exercise books, pens et al.!)
Homework is completed to the expected standard for the 6th Form
You are active in lessons
You are active outside of lessons (WATCH THE NEWS!!!)
What is a constitution?
An agreement that establishes the distribution of power within a political system, relationships between political institutions, the limits of government jurisdiction, the rights of citizens and the method of amending the constitution itself.
Some famous examples
The US has the most famous example of a written constitution - in fact it has been copied all across the world as THE template for how to write one!

They can go wrong - it was 1 provision in the German Constitution (Weimar Republic) that enabled Hitler to abuse the powers of the Presidency, and it was lacking 1 provision that would have stopped him being Chancellor and President at the same time.
Ideology Check Point
The idea of a constitution to organise power, create institutions, describe the relationship between citizens and the government and create key rights for citizens comes from Social Contract Theory.
Full transcript