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Politics in Britain

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Politics in Britain The political system – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Politics in Britain


1
Politics in Britain
  • The political system

2
United Kingdom
  • Basic Characteristics
  • Approx. 63 million people
  • Comprised of England, Scotland, Wales and
    Northern Ireland
  • System of Government
  • Constitutional monarchy
  • Parliamentary system
  • First Past the Post Electoral System
  • Unitary state

3
Unwritten constitution
  • Lack of a written constitution

4
Parliamentary system
  • Parliament selects the prime minister
  • prime minister is not elected by popular vote
  • normally the head of majority party or coalition
  • Cabinet responsibility to parliament
  • major legislation and votes of confidence

Parliament
Majority party
Prime minister cabinet
voters
Minority party
5
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6
British government
  • Constitutional Monarchy
  • Monarch (Queen Elizabeth II)
  • is the Head of State
  • Whitehall Street
  • executive agencies / Cabinet
  • (e.g.Department of Defence)
  • 10 Downing Street
  • prime ministers residence
  • Westminster Bicameral
  • House of Commons
  • House of Lords

7
Electoral system
  • Single-member district
  • First-past-the-post (winner-take-all) system

8
Election results
9
Parliament
  • The House of Commons
  • 650 members (Fixed Number)
  • voting is 100 along party lines in most votes
  • party loyalty versus constituency interests
    continues to be a major concern
  • the House of Lords
  • 792 members (not fixed
  • number)
  • Lords Temporal
  • And Lords Spiritual
  • Not elected

10
Margaret Thatcher
  • Served (1979 - 1990) longer without interruption
    than any other British prime minister in 20th
    century
  • cut taxes
  • reduced social services
  • stimulated the private sector (privatization of
    public services)
  • The Right to buy scheme
  • Increased military spending

11
John Major
  • Prime Minister of Great Britain (1990-97)
  • Joined the United States in the Gulf War (1990)
    against Iraqi invasion of Kuwait
  • Continued the privatization policies of Margaret
    Thatcher (e.g. privatization of British Rail)

12
New Labour Party
  • Tony Blair (1997-2007)
  • Rebranded the Labour Party with new labour
  • Movement to the political centre (Brokerage
    politics)
  • the largest majority in parliament (419/659) that
    the Labour Party has ever held in 1997
  • Conservative vote fell to its lowest share since
    1832 in 1997
  • Tony Blair New Labour is a party of ideas and
    ideals, but not of outdated ideology. What
    counts is what works.

Pragmatic Politician Brokerage Politics
13
Tony Blair Third Way
  • Third way alternative to big government
    policies of the old Labour Party (socialism) and
    Thatcherism (free market economics)
  • rejected the historic ties between Labour
    governments and the trade union movement
  • A vague philosophy to draw support from across
    the social-economic spectrum.
  • Transcended ideologies (brokerage)

14
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15
Gordon Brown
  • Labour Prime Minister (2007-2010)
  • Nationalized some banks after the 2007 stock
    market crashed (e.g. Northern Rock)
  • A continuation of New Labour policies with
    respect to the role of government in an economy

Hes smiling!
16
David Cameron
  • Prime Minister (2010-Present)
  • Member of the Conservative Party
  • Responsible for Austerity Measures drastic cuts
    to the public service layoffs and reducing wages
    of public employees
  • Britains involvement in the war in Libya
    (removal of Muammar Gaddifi)
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