British Democracy & Parliament - how the United Kingdom is governed


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Updated introduction to UK democracy and how Britain is governed. Covers the devolution process the in Wales and Scotland, the Legislature, Judiciary, Europe, the Executive, and Monarchy.It also includes a brief history of the 'mother of all parliaments', and how European legislation affects the democratic process in the United Kingdom.

Originally developed for an audience of international students with a high level of English.

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  • Welcome to this introductory talk to ‘British parliament and democracy’, a huge subject that is constantly changing, as both politicians and judges respond to the needs of the people of the United Kingdom.
    I will tell you about the different areas of governance, which form the checks and balances for what is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy. I will then turn to the many places where United Kingdom law is created; the Palace of Westminster, London, the other debating chambers of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and the law courts at various levels handling cases of both criminal and civil law. I will then take a brief look at how the general public become involved in the process of democracy, and I will finish with a look at how the European Union, to which the UK is a full member, influences our democracy and law-making across all of our four countries.
  • The full title of the United Kingdom, something that was only fully achieved in 19.. With the addition of the province of Northern Ireland, reflects both the geographical area, Great Britain including the island of Britain (England, Scotland, Wales), and all the major islands but excluding the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands; and the northern part of the island of Eire, Northern Island. The areas of governance are all inter-related and affected by actions of each other. These can be described as the Monarch, the Executive, the Legislature, the Judiciary or Justice system, the Electoral systems, Political parties, Local government, and the European Union.
  • As a constitutional monarchy the UK has as its head of state a member of the House of Windsor, the current Royal Family, of whom Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has been monarch for almost 60 years, with 2012 seeing the Queen celebrate her Diamond Jubilee in June. The Queen is helped in the carrying out of her duties to the nation by the appointment of a first, or prime minister, currently the Right Honourable David Cameron, Member of Parliament for Witney, a market town some 18kms west of Oxford.
  • Though Prime Minister Cameron is responsible for the whole of the United Kingdom in matters such as defence, national security, and the national transport network, other areas of public services, such as education and health, are now the responsibility of national government.
    For example, Scotland and Wales have their own national government, and Northern Ireland has a provincial government.
    Northern Ireland is sometimes called Ulster. However, strictly speaking this is a name given to the north-eastern province of the Island of Ireland and as such includes counties that lie both in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
  • In years past, leaders of the UK government have achieved recognition around the world for the part that they have played in history. Perhaps the most notable, but by no means the only recognizable recent leaders have been Sir Winston Churchill, who was heavily involved in the Second World War, and the United Kingdom’s first ever woman prime minister, Baroness Margaret Thatcher, known as the ‘Iron Lady’ for her uncompromising politics and leadership style. The effect of her policies, driven by her strong convictions, became known as ‘Thatcherism’.
  • Other recent prime ministers have included Tony Blair, born in Scotland and son of a lecuturer in law. He attended St. John's College, Oxford. Originally a Barrister he along with others was the architect of 'New Labour' politics, socialist policies based on market economics.
    Gordon Brown, another Scot, is the son of a Church Minister and he attended Edinburgh University. Formerly a left-wing academic & journalist, he held the post of Chancellor of the Exchequer or Finance Minister, before becoming Prime Minister.
  • Full name - David William Donald Cameron
    Son of a stockbroker and retired JP.
    MP for Witney, a former blanket town about 10 miles west of Oxford since 2001.
    Gained 1st Class Honours degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economnics PPE, from Brasenose College, Oxford University.
    Director of Corporate Affairs at Carlton Communications for seven years.
    Married to Samantha Cameron, the creative director of a high class stationery company. He is a direct descendent of King William IV, with perhaps the most notable achievement during his reign being the abolition of slavery in the British Empire.
  • The home of law-making powers for the whole of the United Kingdom for hundreds of years have been the Houses of Parliament in central London, beside the River Thames.
  • Two large rooms, or chambers achieve this law-making process, the green benches are the House of Commons, and the red benches are the House of Lords.
  • Since 1099 there has been a building on the site of what is now the Palace of Westminster, or the Houses of Parliament. It was known as Westminster Hall, and was built on Thorney Island in the middle of a swamp.
    The original building was built by the Normans, the people from northwest France, who had ruled England since 1066.
    During the reign of Edward the Confessor this building was not only his home, it was the place where meetings about how to rule the country were held, often in the King's bedroom!
  • Throughout its long history, there have been many landmark events. Here are just a few:-
    1348 The original St. Stephen’s Chapel was built, which became the future debating chamber of the House of Commons
    1367 – Great Tom was built, the first public chiming clock in England.
    1512 – The Palace of Westminster, as it this building became known, due to it also being the home of the king, finally saw the last resident king, Henry VIII, leave to live in one of his other palaces, quite probably Hampton Court Palace.
    1536 – 43 – England and Wales unite with Wales having its own Members of Parliament elected to the Westminster Parliament.
    1550 – The House of Commons finally gets a permanent home in the old St. Stephen’s Chapel.
    1605 – Gunpowder Plot – Guy Fawkes is caught trying to blow up Parliament.
    1642 – 49 – After the English Civil War 500,000 people died, in the worst conflict in Britain. The king lost power to Oliver Cromwell, who became Lord Protector or ‘dictator’ in 1653
    1689 – Written contract made between a king and his people. Parliament describes what it expects from a monarch.
    1707 - England and Scotland unite.
    1720 - Robert Walpole becomes the first "Prime Minister".
    1780 - First black voter, Ignatius Sancho makes history.
    1801 - Ireland joins the Parliament to form a United Kingdom.
    1807 - Petitions (lists of signatures of ordinary people) helped to end the slave trade.
    1834 - Fire! Only Westminster Hall is saved from being destroyed.
    1840 - Charles Barry wins the competition to build Parliament's new home; the buildings we see today.
  • 1903 - 1908 - Emmeline Pankhurst and friends fight for votes for women - who eventually get the vote in women - who eventually get the vote in 1918
    1919 - First woman MP, Nancy Astor, enters parliament.
    1921 - Independence gained by southern Ireland from the UK, creating today's UK borders.
    1969 - Age of voting lowered to 18 from 21.
    1989 - Televisiion introduced to record Parliamentary debates and business
    1999 - Separate parliaments for Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales established; more on this later.
    2009 - New Supreme Court set up in a separate building away from Parliament, replacing the Law Lords, the highest legal
  • (75% male 25% female) – 2014.
    Whilst most parliamentary proceedings and meetings are televised these days, perhaps the most famous of these sessions is called Prime Minister’s Questions, or PMQs, a weekly half-hour question and answer session where the prime minister of the day is subject to scrutiny by MPs of all parties. In recent times there have been concerns of this ‘performance politics’ becoming too noisy and confusing for those watching.
    It is worth noting here that few other world political leaders are required or would agree to such weekly experiences when parliament is in session.
  • The House of Lords is often described as a ‘revising chamber’ where proposed new laws are looked at in detail, often by members who bring to the process a lifetime’s expertise outside of politics in their work.
  • The Scottish Parliament’s present buildings, known informally as Holyrood, after the Queen’s official Scottish residence, Holyrood Palace, close by, were opened by Her Majesty in September 2004, following a referendum in 1997 where Scots people voted for greater devolution of law-making powers.
    Currently, there are 129 members of the Scottish Parliament, elected to four-year terms of office.
  • In Wales, the equivalent parliament, or national assembly, commonly known as The Welsh Assembly has 60 members elected to four-year terms. Following a referendum in 1997, the present buildings, known as the Seneth or Senate were opened in March 2006.
  • In Northern Ireland, the legislature is known as The Northern Ireland Assembly, meets at Parliament Buildings, commonly referred to as Stormont, in Belfast, its largest city.
    It has 108 members elected for up to five-year terms.
  • Surprisingly, the United Kingdom has no written constitution, like many other nations, most notably the United States of America. However, that does not mean that laws have no structure.
    A key legal document that underpins UK legislation is that of the Magna Carta, or Great Charter, dating from 1215. It influenced common and constitutional law, political representation and the development of parliament.
  • Instead, laws are passed, decisions from past legal cases create case law, and ancient customs and judicial decisions affect common law, leading to the legal system we have today.
  • The four constituent countries of the United Kingdom have both European, UK, and their own laws and regulations to uphold. These are achieved through the judiciary, the body of judges and magistrates in England and Wales, and Northern Ireland under the authority of the Attorney General, and the Lord Advocate and Advocate General for Scotland.
    It is important to note that it is the Crown, in the form of Her Majesty the Queen that the judiciary are answerable to and laws are applied or prosecuted in her name, and not to parliament.
  • Until 2009, the highest court in the United Kingdom was the House of Lords, but now the separation of the legislature and judiciary is more transparent, with the creation of the Supreme Court for all cases except for criminal cases in Scotland, where it is the High Court of Justiciary.
  • The Privy, or ‘private’ or ‘secret’ council is a body that advises the head of state; what is otherwise known as the Royal Prerogative. By itself, the Council can issue orders, which are used to regulate universities, and royal charters that regulate organisations such as the Royal Society, R.I.B.A., The Royal Institute of British Architects AND .
  • Other courts, most of which meet outside of London and are situated all over the country include…
  • Lower levels of civil courts, dealing with matters like business disputes and land and property rights are found all over the country and are often known as County Courts.
  • The executive power of the United Kingdom, unlike the Monarchy, Judiciary, or Legislature, can be changed on a regular basis by popular vote through the electoral system. The UK operates a multi-party system. In recent elections it has become increasingly difficult to accurately forecast the outcome of the general public’s views on which political party or parties should govern the country.
  • The results of a better education and a greater curiosity in the workings of national government have led to increased demands for devolved powers to Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Today, this means greater tax raising powers, and responsibilities for health and education, and additionally, in Scotland police and criminal law.
  • Use notes above.
  • Use notes above
  • Something not always appreciated is that not only do all ministers of government, including the Prime Minister, Minister for Defence,, Education Secretary, and Foreign Minister have very time-consuming roles to play, but they also have their own constituencies, geographical areas of around 68,000 people, to whom they represent personally in parliament, regardless of whether they support their views or not.
  • Polling stations have fixed opening hours, to enable the widest number of people to visit and cast their vote. There is an alternative, postal voting, that anyone can apply for. It is particularly useful for those who might otherwise be unable to vote in person.
    Unusual places for polling stations have included a launderette in Oxford, a caravan in Little Smeaton, West Yorkshire, a football club in Hallam, Sheffield, a residential garage in County Durham, a pub, The Crown, in South Moreton, Oxfordshire, and the East Hull Boxing Club in Kingston-Upon-Hull.
  • The right to vote is granted to all those of 18 years and older (16 years and older in Scotland for their independence vote on 18 September 2014). Whilst the registration card remains the same for all elections, the ballot papers do change for each election, to reflect changes in candidates and political parties represented. For instance, the European election ballot paper is often coloured green.
  • Just like in any house move, great change happens, especially after several years in one place, and in addition where your home is your office, with many support staff in daily attendance. The personal letter to the incoming Prime Minister is a powerful symbol of democracy, representing as it does respect for a person regardless of political differences, and respect for the will of the people as expressed in the ballot box.
  • Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, as constitutional head of the United Kingdom, receives the outgoing and incoming Prime or First Ministers, on behalf of all British citizens at her official residence of Buckingham Palace, commonly referred to as ‘the office’, apparently.
  • A change of occupant at the most famous address in the country is a key event, heralding as it does, a change in government, and occasionally, political leader such as between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.
  • This term comes from the Palace of Westminster, the name of the seat of parliament in the United Kingdom. Essentially, it is a series of procedures to operate a legislature, or decision-making organization, in this case the UK government.
  • The Conservative party, or more generally known as the Tory party, is a centre-right party and is the largest single political party in the HOUSE OF COMMONS with over 300 MPs.
    The Labour party is a centre-left party, founded in 1900, originally growing out of the trades union movement and socialist parties of the 19th century. It is often known as a socialist party or a party of social democrats, but contains within it a wide range of political views.
    The Liberal Democrat party are a social liberal party, formed in 1988 from a merger of the Liberal party and the Social Democratic party after having been in an alliance together for the previous 7 years.
  • Aged in his 40s and Member of parliament for Doncaster North since 2005, Ed Milliband, as official leader of the opposition, holds the government of the day to account by challenging its plans and promoting some plans of its own.
  • Aged in his 40s and Member of Parliament for Sheffield Hallam, Nick Clegg is keen to keep the United Kingdom within Europe. He is currently the deputy prime minister in a coalition government which is majority led by the Conservative party.
  • The Green Party was established to challenge what it sees as threats to the environment, and that remains its main focus. It recently elected its first MEP to the European parliament.
    The United Kingdom Independence Party (commonly known as UKIP) is a right-wing conservative, Eurosceptic political party, with its principal aim of withdrawing from the European Union.
    The Jury Party was first established in 2009 and seeks to support independent candidates in United Kingdom domestic and European elections. It is an umbrella organisation, giving financial and marketing backing to Independent candidates, who are free to set their own political agenda outside of the traditional model of standing as the candidate of a particular party.
    The British National Party (BNP) is a far-right political party formed as a splinter group of the National Front in 1982. The party is ostracised and ridiculed by mainstream political parties in the UK due to its extremist policies.
  • Responsibilities of County and Metropolitan Councils – including road maintenance, street lighting, local education including all state schools, environmental controls, social services, registrations of births, marriages and deaths.
    Responsibilities of District & City Councils – including rubbish collection, parks and gardens, sports facilities, cultural festivals & events, planning developments.
  • There are 3 MEPs for Northern Ireland, 7 for Scotland, 4 for Wales, and 64 for England and all are entitled to sit in the European Parliament, whether it is based in Strasbourg, France or Brussels, Belgium, as they alternate between both locations each month.
  • The British public have a ‘love-hate’ relationship with the European Union. The most recent European elections saw a strong shift towards the election of political parties that either want a total exit from the European Union altogether, or a re-negotiation and return of many law-making powers currently held by the
  • Thank you for listening. I hope you have found this introduction to British Parliament and Democracy of interest. Maybe you have learned something new!
  • British Democracy & Parliament - how the United Kingdom is governed

    1. 1. BritishBritish Parliament & DemocracyParliament & Democracy An IntroductionAn Introduction
    2. 2. Full title of nation state:Full title of nation state:  MonarchMonarch  ExecutiveExecutive  LegislatureLegislature  JudiciaryJudiciary Electoral systemsElectoral systems  Political partiesPolitical parties  Local governmentLocal government  European UnionEuropean Union The United Kingdom ofThe United Kingdom of Great Britain andGreat Britain and Northern IrelandNorthern Ireland
    3. 3.  MonarchMonarch • A nation’s politics is shaped by status: -A nation’s politics is shaped by status: - The UK is a constitutional monarchyThe UK is a constitutional monarchy Head of stateHead of state HM Queen Elizabeth IIHM Queen Elizabeth II Prime MinisterPrime MinisterMonarchMonarch Head of governmentHead of government Rt. Hon. David Cameron MPRt. Hon. David Cameron MP
    4. 4.  Executive -Executive - • ScotlandScotland • Northern IrelandNorthern Ireland • (Ulster)(Ulster) • WalesWales Authority given to…Authority given to… UKUK (incl. England)(incl. England) Devolved authority given to…Devolved authority given to…
    5. 5. former British Prime Ministersformer British Prime Ministers KnightKnight Winston ChurchillWinston Churchill In office: 1940 – 1945In office: 1940 – 1945 1951 – 19551951 – 1955 BaronessBaroness Margaret ThatcherMargaret Thatcher In office: 1979 - 1990In office: 1979 - 1990 History – Leaders of GovernmentHistory – Leaders of Government Executive -Executive -
    6. 6. former British Prime Ministersformer British Prime Ministers • Tony BlairTony Blair • In office: 1997 – 2007In office: 1997 – 2007 Gordon BrownGordon Brown In office: 2007 - 2010In office: 2007 - 2010 History – Leaders of GovernmentHistory – Leaders of Government Executive -Executive -
    7. 7. David Cameron MPDavid Cameron MP  Executive -Executive - current British Prime Ministercurrent British Prime Minister  Related to Queen Elizabeth IIRelated to Queen Elizabeth II  Married toMarried to Viscountess AstorViscountess Astor  Eton College & BrasenoseEton College & Brasenose College, Oxford UniversityCollege, Oxford University PPEPPE
    8. 8.  Legislature -Legislature -Law-making powers givenLaw-making powers given to…to… UKUK (incl. England)(incl. England) Houses of ParliamentHouses of Parliament LondonLondon
    9. 9. Houses of ParliamentHouses of Parliament • House of CommonsHouse of Commons House of LordsHouse of Lords There are two legislative chambers…There are two legislative chambers…
    10. 10. History of UK ParliamentHistory of UK Parliament Parliament is old – it has been around inParliament is old – it has been around in some form for nearly eight hundred years.some form for nearly eight hundred years. Parliament is a place to debate about howParliament is a place to debate about how to run the country and pass laws to maketo run the country and pass laws to make it better. Parliament is the heart of BritishParliament is the heart of British democracy.democracy.
    11. 11. History of ParliamentHistory of Parliament  1348 - St. Stephen's Chapel1348 - St. Stephen's Chapel  1512 - Palace of1512 - Palace of WestminsterWestminster  1605 - Gunpowder Plot1605 - Gunpowder Plot  1689 - Rules of the monarch1689 - Rules of the monarch  1707 - England & Scotland1707 - England & Scotland uniteunite  1720 - First Prime Minister1720 - First Prime Minister 1834 - Fire! 1840 - Charles Barry, architect
    12. 12. History of ParliamentHistory of Parliament 1918 - Women get the vote 1919 - First woman MP 1921 - Southern Ireland gains independence 1969 - Voting age now 18 and over 1989 - Television 1999 - New parliaments for three countries 2009 - Highest legal court moves out of Parliament More information available @ The 20th Century onwards...
    13. 13. House of CommonsHouse of Commons  There are 650 Members ofThere are 650 Members of Parliament (MPs) who representParliament (MPs) who represent different parts of the UKdifferent parts of the UK  British democracy is aBritish democracy is a ‘Representative Democracy’ so‘Representative Democracy’ so MPs are elected to makeMPs are elected to make decisions on their constituents’decisions on their constituents’ behalf.behalf.  Most spend half the week in theMost spend half the week in the area they represent and half inarea they represent and half in Parliament.Parliament.  Usually, the party with the mostUsually, the party with the most seats in the House of Commonsseats in the House of Commons forms the government.forms the government.  Debate in the House ofDebate in the House of Commons tends to be very lively.Commons tends to be very lively.
    14. 14. House of LordsHouse of Lords  The House of Lords isThe House of Lords is Parliament’s secondParliament’s second chamber. It is made up ofchamber. It is made up of unelected ‘Peers’.unelected ‘Peers’.  Peers have either beenPeers have either been appointed by the Queen orappointed by the Queen or have inherited the positions.have inherited the positions.  The Lords carries out theThe Lords carries out the same legislative role as thesame legislative role as the House of Commons.House of Commons.  Debate in the Lords thoughDebate in the Lords though tends to be very more politetends to be very more polite and often less exciting thanand often less exciting than the House of Commons.the House of Commons.
    15. 15.  LegislatureLegislature --Law-making powers givenLaw-making powers given to…to… ScotlandScotland Scottish ParliamentScottish Parliament EdinburghEdinburgh
    16. 16.  LegislatureLegislature --Law-making powers givenLaw-making powers given to…to… WalesWales Welsh National AssemblyWelsh National Assembly CardiffCardiff
    17. 17.  LegislatureLegislature --Law-making powers givenLaw-making powers given to…to… Northern IrelandNorthern Ireland Northern Ireland AssemblyNorthern Ireland Assembly BelfastBelfast Stormont CastleStormont Castle
    18. 18. • INSTEADINSTEAD • constitution created from…constitution created from… No Bill of RightsNo Bill of Rights – unstructured system– unstructured system  Legislature -Legislature - United KingdomUnited Kingdom ConstitutionConstitution
    19. 19.  Legislature -Legislature - LAW + CASE LAW + COMMONLAW + CASE LAW + COMMON LAWLAW Passed byPassed by GovernmentGovernment In London,In London, Belfast,Belfast, Cardiff,Cardiff, EdinburghEdinburgh JudgementsJudgements reached inreached in past legalpast legal casescases DevelopedDeveloped from customsfrom customs and decisionsand decisions of judgesof judges
    20. 20.  Judiciary -Judiciary - • In the United Kingdom…In the United Kingdom… • 3 separate legal systems covering…3 separate legal systems covering… • England & WalesEngland & Wales • Northern IrelandNorthern Ireland • ScotlandScotland Separate andSeparate and independent from theindependent from the Executive and LegislatureExecutive and Legislature
    21. 21.  Judiciary -Judiciary - • Highest Court in the United Kingdom…Highest Court in the United Kingdom… • Supreme Court –Supreme Court – • created in October 2009created in October 2009 • EXCEPTEXCEPT for criminal cases in Scotland –for criminal cases in Scotland – • High Court of Justiciary -High Court of Justiciary - Separate andSeparate and independent from theindependent from the Executive and LegislatureExecutive and Legislature
    22. 22.  Judiciary -Judiciary - • EXCEPTEXCEPT for certain civil cases in the UK andfor certain civil cases in the UK and from Commonwealth countries -from Commonwealth countries - Separate andSeparate and independent from theindependent from the Executive and LegislatureExecutive and Legislature Examples: Regulates UniversityExamples: Regulates University constitutions and those of professionalconstitutions and those of professional bodies. Other historical activities.bodies. Other historical activities. The Privy CouncilThe Privy Council
    23. 23. • Court of Appeal -Court of Appeal - LondonLondon • High Court of Justice -High Court of Justice - LondonLondon • Crown Courts –Crown Courts – • exampleexample Oxford Crown CourtOxford Crown Court • Magistrates’ CourtsMagistrates’ Courts • exampleexample Banbury Magistrates’ CourtBanbury Magistrates’ Court CriminalCriminal courtscourts Judiciary -Judiciary -
    24. 24. • Court of Appeal -Court of Appeal - LondonLondon • High Court of Justice -High Court of Justice - LondonLondon • County Courts –County Courts – exampleexample OxfordshireOxfordshire • County CourtCounty Court CivilCivil courtscourts Judiciary -Judiciary - Inside a typical criminal court -Inside a typical criminal court - Harrogate Magistrates CourtHarrogate Magistrates Court
    25. 25. UK – Multi-party systemUK – Multi-party system History –History – Conservative or Labour Parties in power inConservative or Labour Parties in power in previous 100 years.previous 100 years. Occasionally - coalition of political parties,Occasionally - coalition of political parties, or parliament with no overall politicalor parliament with no overall political control existscontrol exists (minority government)(minority government).. Coalition government – May 2010Coalition government – May 2010  Electoral System -Electoral System -
    26. 26. History – In Scotland & Wales…History – In Scotland & Wales… Increasing support for ‘patriotic’ politicalIncreasing support for ‘patriotic’ political parties lead to devolved powers in theparties lead to devolved powers in the 1990s.1990s. Example areas of powers… Education,Example areas of powers… Education, HealthHealth  Electoral System -Electoral System -
    27. 27. History – In Northern Ireland…History – In Northern Ireland… political parties split between:political parties split between:  Sinn FSinn Féinéin Social Democratic & LabourSocial Democratic & Labour PartyParty –– both want a united island ofboth want a united island of IrelandIreland Ulster & Democratic UnionistUlster & Democratic Unionist PartiesParties  Electoral System -Electoral System - –– want to continue beingwant to continue being part of the United Kingdompart of the United Kingdom
    28. 28. UK Elections to the House of Commons –UK Elections to the House of Commons – UK national elections, called ‘GeneralUK national elections, called ‘General Elections’, must be held every 5 years orElections’, must be held every 5 years or earlier.earlier. Fixed-term parliament. Prime MinisterFixed-term parliament. Prime Minister makes a request to dissolve Parliament tomakes a request to dissolve Parliament to the Head of State.the Head of State. Next General Election must be called on aNext General Election must be called on a date not later than Thursday 7date not later than Thursday 7thth May 2015.May 2015.  Electoral System -Electoral System -
    29. 29. UK Elections to the House of Commons –UK Elections to the House of Commons –  Held to electHeld to elect 650 Members of Parliament (MPs).  Represent the views of their area (constituency) and work on their behalf in the House of Commons.  All citizens over 18 can vote (plans to reduce age to 16) EXCEPT for prisoners serving 12 months or more.  Electoral System -Electoral System -
    30. 30. UK Elections to the House of Commons –UK Elections to the House of Commons –  Electoral System -Electoral System - Held normally onHeld normally on ThursdaysThursdays. Polling stations, where you vote, are often village halls and primary schools. Open from 7.00am until 10.00pm
    31. 31. The Right to VoteThe Right to Vote • Registration cardRegistration card Secret ballot papers
    32. 32. Final departures at No. 10 Downing StreetFinal departures at No. 10 Downing Street Gordon & Sarah Brown,Gordon & Sarah Brown, their children John &their children John & James, and DowningJames, and Downing Street staffStreet staff Signing a final letter toSigning a final letter to the new Prime Minister –the new Prime Minister – with Douglas Alexanderwith Douglas Alexander Alistair Campbell andAlistair Campbell and Ed BallsEd Balls
    33. 33. Buckingham Palace, LondonBuckingham Palace, London • Welcoming newWelcoming new • First MinisterFirst Minister • David CameronDavid Cameron Saying good bye toSaying good bye to First MinisterFirst Minister Gordon BrownGordon Brown
    34. 34. New arrivals at No.10 Downing StreetNew arrivals at No.10 Downing Street David Cameron &David Cameron & his then pregnanthis then pregnant wife, Samanthawife, Samantha Prime Minister -Prime Minister - David Cameron &David Cameron & Deputy Prime Minister -Deputy Prime Minister - Nick CleggNick Clegg
    35. 35. • Other countries using the ‘Westminster system’Other countries using the ‘Westminster system’ of government include…of government include… • Australia, Canada, India, Jamaica, Malaysia,Australia, Canada, India, Jamaica, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore –New Zealand, Singapore – (all countries of the(all countries of the British Commonwealth; a group of nations having aBritish Commonwealth; a group of nations having a shared history with Britain)shared history with Britain)  Electoral System -Electoral System -
    36. 36. • ConservativeConservative • LabourLabour • Liberal DemocratLiberal Democrat Main PoliticalMain Political GroupsGroups  Political Parties -Political Parties -
    37. 37. Ed Milliband MPEd Milliband MP  Political Parties -Political Parties - Leader of the Opposition  Leader of the Labour Party  MP for Doncaster North  Two children with partner – Cambridge-educated lawyer  Corpus Christi College - Oxford University – BA PPE  London School of Economics
    38. 38. Nick Clegg MP  Dutch-Russian-Japanese- British heritage  Married to a Spaniard  Cambridge University, University of Minnesota College of Europe  Former Member of the European Parliament  Political Parties -Political Parties - Party leader
    39. 39. • Green PartyGreen Party • UK Independence PartyUK Independence Party • The Jury PartyThe Jury Party • British National PartyBritish National Party other Politicalother Political GroupsGroups  Political Parties -Political Parties -
    40. 40. • County and Metropolitan CouncilsCounty and Metropolitan Councils • Oxfordshire County CouncilOxfordshire County Council • Greater London AuthorityGreater London Authority • City and District CouncilsCity and District Councils • Oxford City CouncilOxford City Council • Cherwell DistrictCherwell District • South Oxfordshire DistrictSouth Oxfordshire District • Vale of White Horse DistrictVale of White Horse District • West Oxfordshire DistrictWest Oxfordshire District Parish and TownParish and Town CouncilsCouncils KidlingtonKidlington  Local Government –Local Government – elections every 3 yearselections every 3 years and Woodstockand Woodstock
    41. 41.  European Union -European Union - 27 Member nation states27 Member nation states As a member…As a member… The United Kingdom…The United Kingdom… Elects 78 Members of the European Parliament…Elects 78 Members of the European Parliament…
    42. 42.  European Union -European Union - The UK Parliament responsible for…The UK Parliament responsible for… Checking EU draft laws and other documentsChecking EU draft laws and other documents Adjusting UK law to comply with EU laws & treatiesAdjusting UK law to comply with EU laws & treaties Auditing or checking UK Government complies withAuditing or checking UK Government complies with EU policies & its views with various EU institutionsEU policies & its views with various EU institutions
    43. 43.  European Union -European Union - The EUThe EU CANNOT CHANGECANNOT CHANGE LAWLAW in thein the United KingdomUnited Kingdom But…But… The UK Parliament may have to pass new laws orThe UK Parliament may have to pass new laws or amend existing ones to comply with EU legislationamend existing ones to comply with EU legislation
    44. 44. Produced for by Laurence Todd Thank you for listening and taking part! BritishBritish Parliament & DemocracyParliament & Democracy