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Britain. Cross of St.Andrew (Scotland). Cross of St.George (England). Cross of St.Patrick (Ireland). Union Flag Since 1801. Politics - Parties - Government. Basic Government System. Constitutional Monarchy. Parliamentary & Bicameral.

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Cross of St.Andrew (Scotland)

Cross of St.George (England)

Cross of St.Patrick (Ireland)

Union Flag Since 1801

Politics - Parties - Government

Basic government system
Basic Government System

Constitutional Monarchy

  • Parliamentary & Bicameral

  • House of Lords – The weak upper-house of the Parliament. Holds Judicial powers.

  • Secular members of the House of Lords are appointment as Life Peers or inheriting the title as a Hereditary peer.

  • An unelected body, consisting of:

    • 2 archbishops of the established Church of England

    • 24 bishops of the established Church of England

    • 706 members of the Peerage ("Lords Temporal")

  • House of Commons - The powerful lower-house of the Parliament.

  • 659 MPs (Members of Parliament):

    • - directly elected on a first-past-the-post* basis

    • - member elected to represent each constituency/district

* first-past-the-post ~Electoral system based on single-member districts in which the candidate who receives the most votes wins.

Govt judiciary
Govt. - Judiciary

  • Scotland's Courts:

    • Court of Session

    • Court of the Justiciary

  • House of Lords - highest court of appeal

    • - several Lords of Appeal in Ordinary are appointed by the monarch for life

  • Supreme Courtsof England, Wales, and Northern Ireland

  • - comprise the Courts of Appeal, the High Courts of Justice, and the Crown Courts

  • Judicial review of the Acts of Parliament exists under the Human Rights Act of 1998.

Political parties

For the last 150 years = predominantly a two-party system

Since 1945, either the Conservative Party or the Labour Party has held power.

The Liberal Democrats formed in 1988, when the Liberal Party merged with the Social Democratic Party.

Political Parties

Other Parties:

  • Alliance Party

  • Progressive Unionist Party of N. Ireland

  • The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP)

  • Scottish National Party

  • Direct Gov – Political Parties

  • Scottish Socialist Party

  • Sinn Fein

  • Green Party

  • Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP)

  • The Liberal Democrats

  • Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition (NIWC)

  • Ulster Unionist Party

  • United Kingdom Independence Party

  • Plaid Cymru

  • United Kingdom Unionist Party

i-uk website - Political Parties

General election of 2005
General Election of 2005

  • Going into it:

  • New Labour:

    • Lead by Tony Blair

    • Goal: secure a 3rd consecutive term and retain a safe majority

  • Tories:

    • Lead by Michael Howard

    • Goal: gain back seats from Labour and Liberal Democrats in order to erase the huge majority Labour has.

  • Liberal Democrats:

    • Lead by Charles Kennedy

    • Goal: gain from both parties but mostly the Tories, in order to become the main opposition party. Their argument was that Labour has moved so far to the right that it is only logical for the Liberals to be the opposition party.

General election 05 breakdown
General Election ’05 Breakdown

Leading Parties:

  • Other parties did receive seats in the parliament but not enough to be considered significant political forces.

  • Sinn Fein (Irish nationalist party) gained one more seat, but its members are not allowed to sit in parliament because they refused to pledge allegiance to the queen.

Governing labour party
Governing Labour Party

  • - Formed in the early 1900s by unions and other members of the labor movement

  • - Was the main third party in the UK until 1922, when Liberal Party began it’s huge decline

  • - During the Thatcher Era, Labour was in two factions. One side wanted to remain traditionally socialist while the other wanted to shift to the right.

  • - “New Labour” was considered the brainchild of Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Peter Mandelson, and Alastair Campbell.

  • - The policies of New Labour have been called the “Third Way”.

    • The idea that State must create an environment for the economy that maintains a healthy level of competition and not interfere with market principles and maintain mostly liberal social policies.

  • - Gordon Brown is expected to be the next prime minister or at least Labour’s candidate for prime minister for the next election.

    • He is the current Chancellor of the Exchequer, which is the cabinet minister responsible for all financial matters.

Tory opposition government
Tory Opposition Government

  • Following its decline after Thatcher, the party has been struggling to find an identity.

  • Conservative leaders have faced difficulties in returning the party to being a serious contender for government since 1997.

    • Major's successor, William Hague, resigned after a second landslide defeat in 2001.

    • Iain Duncan Smith, the leader after 2001, was deposed in a vote of no confidence in 2003

    • Michael Howard - reduced the Labour majority at the 2005 general election, but the day after the poll he announced that he would resign "sooner rather than later", citing his age as the principal reason for his resignation.

    • The party had only marginally increased its share of the vote to 32.3%.

  • The party is most noted for:

    • Eurosceptic Stance

    • Moderately conservative social issues and restrictions on immigration

    • Opposition to the idea of “devolution”

  • New Labour argues for what was the Conservative Party’s Economic platform

Third majority party
Third Majority Party

  • Liberal Democrats- Come from the original Liberal Party

  • During the 1980’s a group of Labour MPs thought their party was moving too far left and began the Social Democratic Party.

  • After awhile the Liberal Party and the SDP came together to form the LiberalDemocrats.

  • Until recently, the party was a centrist party, as Labour moved right, Liberal Democrats moved left

  • The party has been increasing in size every election.

  • Some basic policies:

  • Support civil liberties

  • Have opposed the more authoritarian of Labour's anti-terror laws (e.g. detention without trial).

  • Support more open government,

    • including substantial reforms to increase parliamentary oversight of the executive.

  • Federalists and support the concept of devolution

  • Support "free education for all"

    • propose to abolish university tuition fees and set up a system of Government grants for university students.

Role in the eu
Role in the EU

The Presidency of the Council of the EU has 3 essential functions:

  • Organizing and chairing meetings of the Council and its working groups.

  • Representing the Council, both in its work with the other institutions and bodies of the EU, and internationally, for example in the United Nations and World Trade Organization. The Presidency also represents the EU in its relations with countries outside the Union.

  • Ensuring that outstanding negotiations from the previous Presidency are taken forward, and if necessary are handed on to the following Presidency.

    The Presidency rotates between the Member States every six months.

Britain currently holds the Presidency of the EU, from 1 July 2005 to 31 December 2005.

Challenges of current govt
Challenges of Current Govt.

  • Tony Blair, as the leader of the EU AND Britain, is facing the challenging decision about the EU budget.

    “ If he doesn’t get a deal he’ll be slammed for failure – if he does, he’ll be accused of surrendering the rebate”

  • Why the rebate exists:

    - The UK won the rebate in 1984, after the then prime minister Margaret Thatcher threatened to halt payments to the EU budget.

    - The UK was then the third poorest member of the Community but was on course to become the biggest net contributor to the EU budget.

    - This was mainly because the UK had relatively few farms, so it got a relatively small share of farm subsidies, which at the time made up 70% of Community expenditure.

Tory leadership contest
Tory Leadership Contest

Challenges for the New Leader :

  • Uniting the party behind his leadership will be the first task.

  • Forging a shadow cabinet of "all the talents" will be one of the keys to this, and that is sure to mean offering big jobs to all the failed leadership candidates.

  • But it also requires the new leader to create a team that reflects his own new style and political direction.

  • Not the least of them will be the ability to look and sound like a credible alternative Prime Minister.

Contender david cameron
Contender: David Cameron

Date of birth: 9 October 1966 Job: Shadow education secretary Education: Eton College; Brasenose College, OxfordFamily: Married, son and daughter

On his party's future: "The problem was that people don't yet trust the Conservative Party and it is we who have got to change. What we have to do is make a change in the culture and identity of the Conservative Party and explain what this means today."

Campaign Video

What the press say: "He is young, charming, telegenic and altogether, less macho than [David] Davis. He is easy enough to caricature as a risotto-munching, Notting Hill toff, but his life has not been entirely smooth as he has a severely disabled child,“

- Suzanne Moore, Mail on Sunday.

Contender david davis
Contender: David Davis

Date of birth: 23 December 1948 Job: Shadow home secretary Education: Bec Grammar School, Tooting; Warwick University; London Business School; Harvard Business School Family: Married, one son, two daughters

Campaign Video

On his party's future: "Modern Conservatives will show that we are not in politics for ourselves. We are not here to defend privilege or accept the status quo. We have a real purpose to change Britain and improve lives."

What the press say: "He has got self-confidence, ruthlessness, ambition and a keen tactical sense, all necessary qualities for leadership. What is unproven is whether he has the team-making and strategic skills"

- Andrew Rawnsley, The Observer


BBC News – UK Edition

Mike Perez

Anna Mezheritskaya

God Save The Queen!

Presented By:

Pine Crest AP Comparative Govt. - UK Website

Clarissa D’souza

Mr.Rogers AP Comp. Govt.

Period 6 Fall 2005