Part 2: Governance & Policy-Making

Part 2: Governance & Policy-Making

Part 2: Governance & PolicyMaking Organization of the State Parliamentary Sovereignty Unitary State With devolved powers to Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland Fusion of Powers

Parliament can make or overturn any law Limited now by EU law overrides British law Fusion of Executive and Legislative branches Constitutional Monarchy Constitutional Monarchy Reigns but does not rule All the power but no power Head of state (PM = Head of Government) Gives advice to PM (weekly meeting) Queen Elizabeth II Speech from the Throne: My (1952 - Present) government (speech written by

PM) Gives Royal Assent to bills Black Rod Apolitical (neutral) The Executive Prime Minister (PM) MP and leader of majority party First among equals Serves only as long as he/she is leader of majority party

Chooses cabinet and shapes policy for govt Current PM is David Cameron (2010 - Present) Conservative Party How is Prime Minister Chosen? Leader of party that has a majority (50% + 1) of seats in the House of Commons If no party has a majority (Hung Parliament) 2 options: Coalition (group) of parties o

(Formed by Conservatives and Lib Dems after 2010 election) or Minority Government: party most likely to get majority on bills The Executive Cabinet Center of policymaking Members are party leaders from Parliament (both houses) chosen by PM Collective Responsibility

Cabinet members dont vote Publicly support PMs decisions Cabinet Members are NOT policy experts Rely on bureaucracy (Whitehall) to provide expertise The Executive Discussion Question: Why might a PM put his rivals within the party in the cabinet? Because of collective responsibility rivals wont speak out against PM Silences them! May be necessary for coalition

Comparative Executives Prime Minister of Britain President of the U.S. Serves only as long as he/she remains Elected every 4 years by leader of majority party/coalition electoral college based on pop election Elected as a member of Parliament Elected directly as President Has an excellent chance of getting his/ Has an excellent chance of her programs past Parliament ending up in gridlock with Congress Cabinet members are always MPs & leaders of majority party Cabinet members usually not from Congress (although they

Cabinet members not experts in policy may be) areas; rely on Whitehall Expertise in policy area one criteria for appt to cabinet; members head vast bureaucracies Parliament Bicameral Legislature: Two Houses House of Commons (Lower House) House of Lords (Upper House)

House of Lords (Upper House) Membership: About 800 members Life Peers/Lords Temporal: appointed by the monarch on advice of PM Hereditary peers Lords spiritual: Church of England officials Role in Legislation

Debate, refine, amend, delay, but cannot block legislation House of Lords Discussion Questions: Should the remaining hereditary peers be removed from the House of Lords? Should the House of Lords have elected members instead of appointed and hereditary peers?

Or should there be a limit on the number of members a PM can appoint? Should members have to participate in debate in order to receive compensation? House of Commons (Lower House) Government: PM, Cabinet, and Collective Responsibility Shadow Government referred to as Loyal Opposition Backbenchers: not in government or shadow government Speaker: o o o

o Non-Partisan MP Decides who speaks during debate and Question Time Keeps order Votes only in the case of a tie Party Discipline Since majority party = Govt, party discipline very important Must vote party line Can lose party support in next election Can lose chances of ever being in government Majority party wants to avoid losing vote of

no confidence If issue is not supported, cabinet must resign immediately and elections for new MPs must be held as soon as possible How a Bill Becomes an First ActReading: The short title of the Bill is read out and then an order for the Bill to be printed. Second Reading: MPs to debate the main principles of the Bill. Committee: Line by line examination of bill Report Stage: Chance for the whole House to discuss and amend the Bill Third Reading: Opportunity for final debate on

the Bill Bill goes to other house Ping Pong: Each house considers amendments of other house Royal Assent: Monarch's agreement to make the Bill into an Act How to Get Elected to House of Commons 650 members; 650

districts Single Member District Plurality (FPTP) One MP (member of Parliament) per district Do NOT have to live in district Represent about 70,000 people per MP Party leaders run in safe districts

Serve fixed 5 year terms* Last general election was Current House of Commons by Party Party 2015 Seats (+/- from 2010) Conservative 331 (+24) Labour 232 (-26) Scottish National

56 (+50) Liberal Democrat 8 (-49) Democratic Unionist 8 (0) Sinn Fein 4 (-1) Plaid Cymru 3 (0) Social Democratic & Labour Party

3 (0) Ulster Unionist Party 2 (+2) UKIP 1 (+1) Green 1 (0) Others 1 Total number of seats

650 U.S. vs British Elections United States Parties are less powerful Members must live in districts Party leaders run in their respective districts Individual votes for four officials on the national level Between 30 and 60% of eligible voters actually vote (more in recent elections) Elections are by first-past-the-post single-member districts; almost no minor parties get representation Britain Party determines who runs where Members usually dont live in their districts

Party leaders run in safe districts Individual votes for only one official on the national level About 65% of the eligible voters actually vote Elections are FPTP, SMD; minor parties get some representation, but less than if they had PR (regional elections in Ireland, Scotland & Wales use PR) Judiciary - Supreme Court Established in 2009; 12 justices Final court of appeal in the UK for civil cases. Hears appeals in criminal cases from England, Wales and Northern Ireland Determines devolution issues

Have devolved governments acted within their powers? Ensures laws are consistent with EU laws Cannot overturn any primary legislation made by Parliament (meaning NO judicial review) Common law--precedent

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