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  1. 1. Britain
  2. 2. Governance O Unitary State- in contrast to a federal system, a system of government in which no powers are reserved for subnational units of government. O O O O Cabinet Government- a system of government in which most executive power is held by the cabinet, headed by a prime minister. O O Parliamentary Sovereignty- the doctrine that grants the legislature the power to make or overturn any law and permits no veto or judicial review Constitutional Monarchy- system of government in which the head of state ascends by heredity but is limited in powers and constrained by the provisions of government O O O O In some cases, the prime minister is supposed to listen to his cabinet and supposed to derive policy and decisions through the majority opinion of his cabinet--> acting in combination with his cabinet (this case 22 members) cabinet govt. is playing a bigger role in a presidential system of government Parliamentary Democracy- system of government in which the chief executive is answerable to the legislature and may be dismissed by it O O Power concentrated at one level  the federal level Federal is shared between central government and federal government With some exceptions have queen who is head of state while also having a constitution with prime minister who is head of govt. head of state- face of great Britain prime minister- face of the government Differences?
  3. 3. Prime Minister and Monarch
  4. 4. Britain
  5. 5. Subnational Governments O Subnational Governments O O No formal powers prior to 1998 for the subnational governments (page 71) O O Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland They were not subject to review a reversal of Westminster where the UK parliament sits, it’s the national parliament This lead to devolution some of the powers trickling down to some of those subnational governments O Scottish Parliament O O O O Education, Health, and Justice system Directly Elected Mayor In London Spread to other cities Implications of that push for more local governments O More democratic split between the subnational governments, maybe the smaller states breaking apart and England would lose power or they could stay together and be like the U.S. of independent states. O O O O O Push for independence Push for more power Push into breaking out as their own national government They could stay together They could push towards fedarlism
  6. 6. Cabinet System
  7. 7. Executive O Prime Minister: Leader of their Majority Party O O Not elected to that position key difference from President There is no separate election for prime minister, but the majority party of the house of commons elects the prime minister O O O Selects a Cabinet from Parliament O O O O O Simultaneous enrollment required In order to be a member of the cabinet you have to be a member of the parliament Cabinet Support required for major action by prime minister Prime minister always has a majority in the House of Commons absolute Checks and Balances? O O He has the majority at all times, that is not always the case for the President Prime minister is the absolute seed of majority don’t experience gridlock like here, government functions quicker Don’t really exist Comparison of Power? O Prime Minister has practically all of the power, and selects cabinet members from his party, therefore everything he will want to get passed will probably get passed because the cabinet has influence but they most likely share the same views
  8. 8. Judiciary O UK Supreme Court O Does not have the power of judicial review, cannot review what is passed in parliament, there are no checks on parliament O Practically everything else is the same O Separate Subnational Judicial Structures O England and Wales O Northern Ireland O Scotland O European Court of Justice O European union is part of the UK, the ECJ (European Court of justice) is a court that has a justice from each member country of the EU. O They can review all laws passed by parliament to make sure they follow the “constitution” rules/regulations of the EU O Has the authority of judicial review over British parliament
  9. 9. Legislature O House of Commons O 650 seats (based on population) O All members are elected O Main Legislative Body: 1. pass laws 2. provide finances for the state by authorizing taxation 3. review and scrutinize public administration and government policy O House of Lords- serves mainly as a chamber of revision, providing expertise in redrafting legislation, with the power to suggest amendments to legislation under consideration in the Commons. But they cannot block legislation, only delay it. O 763 Members O Previously Hereditary Title, they are not elected O Now only 94 O 26 Lords Spiritual O Anglican Church
  10. 10. Legislature Cont’d O Bills Introduced to Commons and Lords O Various Sources O Can be made by MP (members of parliament), think tanks O O Drafted by Whitehall physical location of the prime minister’s office Three readings in each House O O 1. reading of the bill outloud as introduction 2. then there is a formal printing of the bill and distribution O 3. final reading of the bill and final format, where they vote on it O O O O O 2a. after there is a review period and they can suggest and make amendments Lords Cannot block a Bill Must be passed by Commons they decide whether it becomes law or not Royal Assent– being confirmed by the Queen (not the prime minister) Parliament as Governing Body? O Not really governing body because prime minister has most the major power. House of Commons is always in majority of the prime minister, so the beliefs and foundation of the parliament and cabinet and prime minister are all the same.
  11. 11. Legislature Cont’d Parliament as an Important Policy Forum
  12. 12. Parties O Labour PartyO Manual Laborers/Unions O Conservative O Free-Market O Liberal Democrats O Welfare state
  13. 13. Elections O Elections are winner takes all Single member District O O No Requirements for Majority Similar effects of Britain's system as American Single Member District System are: O Party polarization O O O O O O Gerrymandering and districting Geographical advantages of district representatives Minorities are under represented 2010 as an aberration O O Democratic and Republican Labor, Conservative, Liberal In 2010 there was no majority group so two groups (liberal party and conservative party) formed a coalition to create a new majority Elections are held every 5 years O A relatively new Phenomenon, before this there was no time constraint and elections could be called at any time in the case of: O O 2/3 vote is passed by the House of Commons for a new election If majority of parliament decide to cast a vote of no confidence in the Queen’s government O O O Queen’s government refers to the prime minister and their cabinet Politically dangerous because if your party leaders the 2/3 vote and then fails, that party is done Lastly, the prime minister used to be able to call elections as he pleased, in order to get a bigger majority in the houses or if he could not govern effectively due to gridlock in the houses.