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POLI-1007EL Study Guide - Quiz Guide: Body Politic, Uk Independence Party, European Parliament


Department
Political Science / Science politique
Course Code
POLI-1007EL
Professor
Michael Johns
Study Guide
Quiz

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Politics and economics
Representative-government- An electoral system where citizens vote to elect people to represent
their interests and concerns. Those elected meet to debate and make laws on behalf of the whole
community or society, instead of the people voting directly on laws and other debates.
Politics
The representative function of house of commons is to represent the political parties whom voters
have voted in the elections.
Political representation
It’s the requirement that the composition of the elected legislature conforms to the political choices
of the voters. The member of parliament elected needs to support their party no matter if it’s the
party that forms the government or it’s the opposition.
The three ranks of political participation
1. Apathetics- 30% of the population that don’t vote
2. Spectators- 60% of the population that vote and follow the politics one way or another
3. Gladiators- 5% of the population that staff the political parties and from whose rank the
political elite of representatives and ministers are recruited.
conservative party in house of commons has been compromised by rich and high-born. If not
aristocracy, plutocracy prevailed in conservatives ranks in the pre-war house of commons. they
represented the site of their commercial activity.
Changing political recruitment
Because the candidates are not known to the local voters, they vote based on their appearance,
fluency, qualifications, experience and character. Also their jobs, barristers?, public school educated,
manual worker, woman or from an ethnic minority group called direct discrimination.
Imputed discrimination is where selectors might themselves approve of the candidate but claim they
would not meet the approval of the wider electorate: that women would lose vote on mining
constituency, a farmer would be inappropriate in suburban seat.
Demographic representation involves the parliament being representative in statistics- number of
females, minorities in the parliament.
Does representativeness matter?
Yes!
Chapter 14 the changing constitution
The constitution of the United Kingdom or British constitution is a sum of laws and principles that
make up the country's body politic. It is sometimes referred to as an "unwritten" or uncodified
constitution. The statutes passed by Parliament are the supreme and final source of law in the UK
Aggregation of law
Customs and conventions that determine the composition and powers of organs of the state
-gov, parliament and the state

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Regulates the relationship of the various state organs to one another and to the private
citizen.
What is the constitution for?
Negative constitutionalism- To embody and protect fundamental principles- individual liberty. It
tends to be reflected in presidential systems of governments such as united states
Positive constitutionalism- to ensure that the wishes of the people are paramount. This tends to
reflect in parliamentary systems of government such as UK.
unwritten constitution. : a constitution not embodied in a single document but based chiefly on
custom and precedent as expressed in statutes and judicial decisions.
A written constitution is a formal document defining the nature of the constitutional settlement, the
rules that govern the political system and the rights of citizens and governments in a codified form.
The constitutions of most countries have a ‘primary source’- the written document and ‘secondary
source’- judicial interpretation, legislative acts, established practice
Uk lacks primary source, instead it derives from sources that elsewhere would be secondary sources
such as:
Statute law- comprising act of parliament and subordinate legislation made under the
authority of the parent act
Common law- comprising legal principles developed and applied by the courts and
encompassing the prerogative powers of the crown and the law and practice of parliament
Conventions- constituting rules of behaviour that are considered binding by and upon those
who operate the constitution but are not enforced by the courts or by the presiding officers
in the house of parliament
Works of authority- comprising various written works- often according authority by reason
of their age.
The traditional constitution
1. Parliamentary sovereignty- it stipulates that the outputs of parliament are binding and
cannot be set aside by anybody other than parliament itself
2. The rule of law- its accepted as one of the essential features of a free society. However it is
logically subordinate as Parliament could pass a measure undermining or destroying the rule
of law.
3. Unitary state- resides exclusively in the national authority with no entrenched and
autonomous powers being vested in any other body. In the uk, powers resided centrally,
with the queen-in-parliament being omnicompetent. Parliament can create and confer
certain powers on other bodies.
4. A parliamentary government under a constitutional monarchy- refers to the form of
government established by, and developed since, the glorious revolution. The revolution
established the supremacy of parliament over the king.
Challenges of the traditional constitution
1. Membership of the EU
2. Constitutional changes introduced by the labour government elected in may 1997
3. Constitutional reforms pursued by the coalition government formed in may 2010
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Eu membership
Juridical dimension
It had major constitutional consequences because it:
Gave the force of law not only to existing law but also all future European law.
Gave European law precedence over UK law.
Gave power to determine disputes to the court.
Political dimension
Constitutional reforms under the blair government
The case for bill of rights- putting rights beyond reach of simple majorities in the houses of
parliament
Reforms under labours government: they advocated
Devolving power to Scotland and wales
Removing hereditary peers from the house of lords
Incorporating the European convention on human rights into British law
Appointing an independent commission to recommend a proportional alternative to the
existing electoral system
Holding a referendum on the voting system
Introducing a system of proportional representation for the election of uk members and the
European parliament
Legislating for an elected mayor and strategic authority for London
Introducing a freedom of information bill
Reforms under the coalition government
Key feature of the agreement with coalition:
Five-year fixed-term parliaments
A referendum bill on electoral reforms and the creation of fewer and equal-sized
constituencies
Power to recall MPs
A committee to bring forward proposals for a wholly or mainly elected second chamber
based on proportional representation
Reform of the house of commons based on the report of the select committee on the
reform of the house of commons
A commission to consider the ‘west Lothian question’
Petitions that achieved 100,000 signatures to be eligible for debate on the house of
commons.
Reforms under the Cameron conservative government
Withdrawal from the European union
The effect of the changes has been to modify the Westminster constitution but not destroy it.
Formally each of the elements of the constitution remains in place:
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