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Britain Section 4

Britain Section 4

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Published by Anna Le

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Published by: Anna Le on Oct 13, 2010
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Britain section 4Legislature
 
o
 
House of Commons (Lower House)
 
 
Currently 650
 
 
Three main functions
 
y
 
Pass laws
 
y
 
Give the state finances but authorizing taxes
 
y
 
Review government policy and public administration
 
 
 Arena for policy debate
 
 
Outcome of debates is almost always known
 
 
Rarely has the House of Commons decided to fire a PM
 
y
 
1924: Ramsay Macdonald
 
y
 
1979: James Callaghan during the Winter of Discontent
 
o
 
House of Lords (Upper House)
 
 
Currently about 740 members
 
 
Hereditary peers (nobility)
 
y
 
Title will be passed on
 
y
 
Currently hereditary members of the house of lords cannot votenor speak on the floor 
 
 
Life peers
 
y
 
Formally appointed by Queen on recommendation of PM
 
y
 
For their lifetime ONLY, title will not be passed down
 
 
 Archbishops
 
y
 
Total of 26 senior bishops
 
y
 
 Always have of Canterbury and York
 
 
Law lords
 
y
 
Court justices, also are peers
 
y
 
³The final appeal hearings and judgments of the House of Lordstook place on 30 July 2009. The judicial role of the House of Lordsas the highest appeal court in the UK has ended. ³
 
y
 
http://www.parliament.uk/about/mps-and-lords/about-lords/lords-types/law-lords/
 
y
 
The 12 Lords of Appeal in Ordinary (the Law Lords) are the first justices of the 12-member Supreme Court and are disqualifiedfrom sitting or voting in the House of Lords. When they retire fromthe Supreme Court they can return to the House of Lords as fullMembers but newly-appointed Justices of the Supreme Court willnot have seats in the House of Lords.
 
 
Powers
 
y
 
 Amend and delay legislation
 
y
 
Redrafting legislation
 
 
Legislation
 
 
y
 
Hereditary lords cannot vote or speak (?) It says legislation wasintroduced, but not if it was passed
 
y
 
1999: House of Lords Act
 
o
 
Hereditary peers comes down to 92
 
o
 
 All other peers are expelled
 
y
 
2003: HOC rejects 7 options in reforming the HOL
 
y
 
Goal is to remove hereditary lords, however disagreements havehindered reform legislation
 
o
 
Reforms
 
 
Backbench Dissent
 
y
 
Backbenchers: MPs of the governing party w/o position
 
y
 
Party is supposed to back the PM, but if backbenchers choose togo against the PM, it might result in an overturning of thegovernment
 
 
Parliamentary Committees
 
y
 
1979: Commons revived, and extended number of selectcommittees
 
o
 
 Also more responsibilities
 
y
 
Committees: examine specific policies or aspects of administration
 
y
 
Watchdog committees: monitor conduct of major departmentsand ministries
 
y
 
Process
 
o
 
Hold hearings, take testimonies, and questions senior civilservants and ministers
 
o
 
Issue reports with recommendations
 
 
Usually at odds with government policy
 
o
 
How a bill becomes a law
 
 
http://www.parliament.uk/about/how/laws/passage-bill/
 
 
First reading: introduction, then copied and debated
 
 
Second reading: read again, then voted upon
 
 
Committee: sent for detailed review
 
 
Reporting: Amendments are introduced
 
 
Third reading: final form, and voted on (no debate)
 
y
 
 Amendments can be made in the House of Lords at this point
 
 
Sent to the other house
 
y
 
House of Lords
 
o
 
 Accepts bills with taxation and budget related withoutchanges
 
o
 
Can add technical or editorial amendments to clarify, butthose must me approved by HOC
 
o
 
Will be resent to HOC for another review if changed
 
 
Sent back to the original house
 
 
y
 
Both houses must agree on wording
 
 
Sent to Crown
 
y
 
Political Parties and the Party System
 
o
 
Labour Party
 
 
Launched by trade union representatives and socialist societies
 
 
1906: formally took its name
 
 
1945: Victory in Parliament, becomes a major player 
 
y
 
Begins to moderate ideological appeal and broadening electoralbase
 
 
1950s-60s: classic two-class/two-party system
 
 
Mid-1970s: growing disaffection
 
y
 
Keynesianism
 
y
 
Divisions
 
o
 
Trade unionists vs. parliamentary elements
 
o
 
Foreign policy
 
o
 
Support for unilateral nuclear disarmament
 
y
 
Unilaterialism is scrapped
 
 
1980s-90s: relative harmony
 
 
Modern: moderate left-of-center party
 
y
 
Ideology takes backseat to performance and electoralmobilization
o
 
Conservative Party (Tories)
 
 
Economic and social elite
 
 
1874: Benjamin Disraeli
 
y
 
Birth of the modern welfare state
 
y
 
³long lasting alliance between an upper-class leadership and alower-class following´
 
o
 
Generally get at least 1/3 of the working class votes
 
 
 A LOT of internal divisions
 
y
 
Margaret Thatcher¶s demise
 
y
 
1997: John Major resigns after he is defeated
 
o
 
Weakened due to wrangling among Conservatives aboutEurope
 
y
 
2001: departures of party leaders
 
y
 
2003: forced resignation of party leader 
 
o
 
 Aura of failure and self-doubt
 
o
 
Michael Howard becomes party leader 
 
 
Served on both Major¶s and Thatcher¶s cabinets
 
 
Revitalizes the party
 
 
Resigns after electoral defeat
 
o
 
Liberal Democrats
 
 
1970s: Liberal party is the only centrist challenger to Labour andConservative
 

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