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The Political System of the UK

feat. JG

Lukas Ebert

on 17 June 2013

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Transcript of The Political System of the UK

The Political System of the UK
1. Introduction
2. History
3. Current Situation
4. Popular British Politicians
5. Important Political Terms
6. Reflection
No invasion to England for the last 1,000 years
=> Stable circumstances; Pragmatic development
Last successful invasion 1066 by the Normans
=> Political stability and centralization
Monarch had to consult the nobility when making laws
=> Consultation done by Great Council; Today: Parliament
Monarch ruled by divine right
Political Terms
- Divine right: Monarch is subject to no earthly authority, deriving the right to rule directly from the will of God

- Parliamentary Acts 2011: Introduced fixed-term elections => Elections must be held every five years

- Precedents: Principle or rule established in a previous legal case => Used / Referred to in similar cases

- First-past-the-post-Voting: or "winner-takes-all" principle => election is one that is won by the candidate with more votes than any other(s)

- Court of Appeals: Second most senior court in the English legal system, with only the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom above it

Reflecting the presentation:
Did your opinion about the quote change?
Darlington, Roger. "British Political System." British Political
System. N.p., 13 May 2013. Web. 15 June 2013. <http://www.rogerdarlington.me.uk/Britishpoliticalsystem.html>.

Gavilan College. "II. Political Institutions." Politics in Great Britain:
History and Political Institutions. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 June 2013. <http://hhh.gavilan.edu/mturetzky/PoliticsinGreatBritainHistoryandPoliticalInstitutions.htm>.

Various Authors. "Monarchy of the United Kingdom." Wikipedia.
Wikimedia Foundation, 13 June 2013. Web. 15 June 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monarchy_of_the_United_Kingdom>.

Various Authors. "Politics of the United Kingdom." Wikipedia.
Wikimedia Foundation, 13 June 2013. Web. 15 June 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics_of_the_United_Kingdom>.

Various Authors. "Westminster System." Wikipedia. Wikimedia
Foundation, 05 Dec. 2013. Web. 15 June 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westminster_System>.

Wordpress. UK Fusion/Speration of Powers. Digital image. N.p.,
n.d. Web. 15 June 2013. <http://ourgoverningprinciples.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/uk-fusion-of-powers.jpg?w=500&h=552&h=552>.
a presentation by
Lukas Ebert and Jannik Greiff

Current Situation
Charles I and James II tried to centralize political authority
=> Outbreak: Civil War; no king from 1649-1660
Bill of Rights 1689: Supremacy of Parliament over Monarch
Parliament continued to gain power; Monarchy got forced into a representational role
By 19th century still limited democracy: Ruled by House of Lords
Parliamentary Acts 1911 took away all significant powers of the House of Lords
1918: Women are allowed to vote; Completion of Democratic system
The Legislature

Exercised by British Parliament
Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have own little Parliament
varying degree of legislative power

Two chambers:

House of Lords
Reviews the initiated acts of the House of Commons
Has the power to propose amendments and give a suspensive veto
Consists of two types of member:
Lords Spiritual
Represent the Church of England with 26 members
Lords Temporal
Appointed members for life
92 remaining hereditary peers (membership is passed on to descendants)

House of Commons
Real governing body of the UK
Elected by the people
First-past-the-post voting
two party system
Has 650 members
"[Many forms of Government have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, ] it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."

- Winston Churchill
( Speech in the House of Commons on November 11th 1947)

Constitutional Monarchy
Parliament governs and Queen is the Head of State
No written Constitution; Traditions and precedents
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill

November 30th 1874
January 24th 1965

- British politician & statesman

- Prime Minister of UK

- Nobel Prize for Literature (1953)

The Executive

Government formed by political party with majority in the House of Commons
Prime minister = majority leader of the party
formally appointed by Monarch
forms Cabinet of ministers (20)
Official opposition has an own leader
Two leading parties in GB:
Conservative Party
Labour Party
Leadership of the United Kingdom during World War II
The Judiciary

Determines common law; Independent
Highest Court of Appeals: Supreme Court in London
The Role of the Monarchy in the British System

Family of the Monarch have representational duties (e.g. ceremonial, official and diplomatic)
Monarch has the right to veto a law (last occasion: 1707)
Until 2011: Right to dissolve parliament
Monarch is the Head of the Church of England
- What is your opinion about this quote?
(...the meaning of this quote?)
Solve the "Alphabet Jumble" and the Crossword.
They will help you remember the new words, terms and phrases you learned.
Tony Blair
(Prime Minister 1997- 2007)
Elisabeth II.
David Cameron
(Current Prime Minister)
Thank You for Listening!
- Conservative Party: "Tory Party / Tories" => center-right political party (Conservatism and British unionism)

- Labour Party: Center- right political Party => Diversity of ideological trends from strongly socialist, to more moderately social democratic
Full transcript