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Lecture

United Kingdom Notes.docx

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Department
History
Course
HIST 1081
Professor
Andrew Petersen
Semester
Fall

Description
The United Kingdom Notes The United Kingdom Majoritarian▯ Parliament has unchecked power No formal constitutional limits on the central government because there is no written constitution Inherit political structure from: Magna Carta (1215)­ limits power of monarchy 1689 Bill of Rights 1707 Act of Union House of Commons can amend any aspect of constitution by a simple majority vote European Convention on Human Rights protects citizens’ liberty Became member of EU in 1973 Branches of Gov’t Crown Symbolic representative of the continuity of the British state Acts as ceremonial figurehead Must act in accordance with the House of Commons Always follow orders of elected representatives In event that legislature finds itself deadlocked, the monarch can influence politics but her choice  would be severely constrained Prime minister declares war and signs treaties “names” prime minister—really elected by House Prime minister Head of largest party in the house of commons Can decide to call elections any time before their term expires (maximum term of 5 years) Vote of no confidence—legislature rejects government, entire cabinet must resign  Expected to provide national leadership Cabinet 20 ministers who are members of parliament preside over individual government departments—responsible for answering to Parliament about  actions of bureaucracies they oversee collective responsibility▯ entire cabinet must appear unified and take responsibility for policy cab members who cannot support a decision are forced to resign Legislature (Parliament) House of Commons has power, House of Lords does not Term= 5 years Speaker of the house= politically neutral Individual legislators have very little power so they vote in favor of their parties Whips­ designate certain members to enforce party line Deliberates, ratifies, and scrutinizes policies that re proposed by the executive House of lords “upper” house 750 members life peers­ appointment for life by the crown upon recommendation of prime minister official of church of England hereditary peers­ members of aristocracy who USED TO be able to give their spot in  greatest power: can delay legislation for 1 year and occasionally persuade governments to amend  legislation Judiciary Ensure parliamentary statutes have been followed Justices are law lords from the House of lORDS,  Electoral System SMD system Call for electoral reform because minority votes can win seats Conservatives draw liberal democrats into a majority coalition, including the promise to hold a  referendum on electoral reform
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