From Madison L.'s Blog:
Government Fact Sheet
____________UK____________ REVIEW SHEET
4: England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland
Unitary with devolution
Presidential, Parliamentary, or Mixed?
Head of State/Head of Government
Prime Minister: None except speaking publicly to legislation
Guides legislative process, controls cash flow, appoints treasury, can deploy British forces, and call war.
Monarch: Coronation until death
Indirectly elected by Parliament and elected 5 years with no term limits.
Name of Legislative Branch (Identify both houses if applicable)
House of Lords and the House of Commons. House of Lords is not elected by the general public while House of Commons is.
House of Commons introduces legislation, House of Lords reviews it.
Name of Judicial Branch
England and Wales
The Court of Appeal, Civil Division
The Court of Appeal, Criminal Division
(limited cases) the High Court
The Court of Session
The Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland
(limited cases) the High Court
Supreme: highest court of all the lands
hears appeals on arguable points of law of general public importance
concentrates on cases of the greatest public and constitutional importance
maintains and develops the role of the highest court in the United Kingdom as a leader in the common law world
Not held in one document but in the monarch
Sovereignty rests in Parliament
Parties consist of Conservative party, Labour party, Liberal Democrats, Liberal party, and the Social Democratic party
Trades mostly with European Union rather than with the U.S. as it’s main trader
Majority of population holds to a Christian based society
Collective body of Her Majesty’s Government in the UK.
The 22 members are selected from the House of Commons, and the House of Lords by Prime Minister.
Also they are heads of government departments; e.g. Secretary of State
The Prime Minister is the Head of the organization
Controls taxing, spending, and manage the economy which they concentrate on the most
More senior civil servants
Most important politically with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown
Initiates policies- selecting from what they have or avoiding difficult ones
Responsible for civil actions of the people
Experts in parliamentary politics rather than one subject
Reputation depends on department success
To become a Cabinet minster, an individual must first be elected to Parliament and spend years attracting positive attention there. To ensure one to be an ambitious Cabinet minister, becoming an MP and obtaining a seat in the House of Commons is important
Higher Civil Servants are recruited without specific professional qualifications or training. They become specialists in the difficult task of managing political ministers and government business.
Intermittent public persons such as leaders of institutions are concerned with their own organization, and when government infringes on their business, they become concerned with politics.
Elections are the one opportunity people have to influence government directly.
Turnout at general elections has averaged 77% since 1950.
The wider the definition of political participation the greater the number who can be said to be at least indirectly or intermittently involved in politics.
Other important institutions (complete only if applicable to the country)
The Department for Culture, Media & Sport
The House of Commons is legitimate because it is elected. However, many claim that the electoral college system is unfair and distorts political representation, so legitimacy can be challenged
- The House of Lords is arguable not legitimate because its members are not elected. However, it does have traditional authority and its political influence remains widely recognised
- UK government is legitimate because it is elected with a clear mandate to govern. However, every government in the UK has been elected with a minority of the popular vote, so we can challenge its legitimacy
- The power of the Prime Minister is legitimate because it is widely acknowledged that he/she is the supreme policy maker in the political system. However, there is no legal basis for prime ministerial power, so it could be said to lack legitimacy
Features of the Constitution
It isn’t written.
Not written, enacts powers of the Crown, no way to know state of the Constitution.
Historical Evolution of Political Traditions
This Tory discourse was challenged during the British revolution of the 1640s and the Whig
notion of a balanced constitution became the predominant view of constitution and
government in Britain
Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790)
highlighted what he believed to be the inherent dangers of popular rule and democracy.
Popular sovereignty was something to be feared and resisted wherever possible.
primarily concerned with the maintenance of their dominant position in society and thus the
continuation of existing institutions and practices. This was particularly important given the
changes emanating from the advent of early industrial capitalism and the upheavals brought
about by the French revolution.
Key Political Leaders and their Policies
Queen Elizabeth: No real policies, only there for show.
There is reason to believe that British Muslims are more likely to have closer ties to al-Qaeda due to their Pakistani origin
Belief that the British government was in full support of the War in Iraq
Minorities have not integrated into British society and often feel like mistreated outcasts
Political Parties (Identify/describe platforms of 3)
Conservative and Unionist Party – Center Right Party who strongly support a free market and tend to be Eurosceptic
Liberal Democrats - Liberal, radical-centrist and socially progressive; strongly support democratisation of the political system. Promotes modern liberal values; opposing what some pen the 'nanny state', while supporting the welfare state for the basic necessities of life.
Labor Party - Centre; a big tent party historically allied with the trade union movement; its platform is based upon mixed market Third Way policies since the party's reinvention as New Labour in 1994, whilst maintaining democratic socialist MPs and left-wing factions within the party such as the Socialist Campaign Group; it generally supports greater Pro-Europeanism.
Citizens only elect people in the House of Commons. They are elected in each boundary and serve until Parliament is next dissolved.
Role of Political Elites
See Prime Minister as Head of State.
would expect somewhere in the range of 60-70% of the population to be participants - this group would be informed about politics, make political demands on the system, and give their support to different political parties. Within a industrial democracy, roughly 20-30% of the population would simply be subjects, while they passively obey laws and recognize the existence of a government, they do not exercise their franchise or get involved in politics in any other way. Finally, about 10% of the population would be hardly aware of government and its policies, could perhaps be rural people living in remote areas, these would be the parochials.
Although voter turnout at subsequent general
elections has increased marginally to 61% in 2005, and then to 65% in 2010, these figures
should be put into context by comparing them with previous general election outcomes where
electoral participation was 75% in 1987, 78% in 1992, and 71% in 1997 (Electoral
Commission 2005). Young people in Britain are even less likely to participate in elections than are their older contemporaries. Only 39% of eligible 18 to 24 year olds voted at the General Election in 2001,
falling further to 37% in 2005 (Electoral Commission 2005). Turnout within this group
increased to 44% in 2010 (Ipsos MORI 2010), yet this remains well below the national
average, and suggests that a large majority of those young people who registered to vote
opted not to do so.1
It is also a significantly lower turnout rate than recorded in earlier
elections, when it was reported as 66% in 1987 (Swaddle and Heath 1992), 61% in 1992
(Butler and Kavanagh 1997), and 68% in 1997 (Jowell and Park 1998). In support of this
apparent generational turnout gap, Franklin (2004) has conducted an extensive international
analysis of electoral trends and concluded that age in Britain as in many other countries is a
significant predictor of turnout.
Interest Group System (identify pluralist or corporatist)
3. Smart Environment
1. The group aims to identify the current enforcement requirements of the Police, Local Authorities and other statutory bodies that may be helped by ITStechnologies
2. To allow freight and logistics practitioners to access leading edge developments in telematics so as to illustrate what is or may be on offer, and to allow ITS members the opportunity to learn of the challenges and problems currently facing the logistics and freight industry
3. This group provides a forum for all ITS United Kingdom members with an interest in transportation and the environment to meet, discuss their views and study the uses of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) to benefit the environment.
Most of the regulations that are brought to be voted on are turned down and pushed away, letting the UK do whatever it deems necessary.
First World/Third World
The UK is very developed.
GDP: The UK’s GDP had grown from 1.6 to 2.8 since the start of 2013.
Unemployment: It has gone up .1% to a total of 7.2%, but GDP is still rising
Industry: Job creation is at it’s highest in 33 months and exports from Europe are forecasted to be high.
Deficit: Foreign trade deficit dropped from 9.4 billion to 7.7 billion from December to February.
Interest Rates: It dropped to .5% in March of 2009 and hasn’t increased since and this translated to increase economic growth.
When there is involvement in supranational organizations there are better links between countries so better negotiations can happen and problems can be solved easier which can lead to increased foreign trade and debt forgiveness.
The United Kingdom is a first world country based on its GDP and growth and has a parliamentary system of government with David Cameron as the Prime Minister or Head of Government and Queen Elizabeth as the Head of the State. The UK is split into two branches in the government, the House of Lords and the House of Commons. House of Commons is elected by the people. The only ethnic cleavage that is in the UK is the Muslim minorities. It participates in United Nations and builds bonds with other nations to lower debt and increase foreign trade.
Country Summary Form
Name of Country The UK
I. Demographics – Fill in the blanks with the information for your country.
Infant Mortality Rate: 4.5 deaths/ 100 live births
Life Expectancy: 81
Literacy Rate: 99%
HIV/AIDS Rate: .2%
II. Geography and Climate
Area: 243,610 sq km
Area Comparative: 80th largest. Smaller than Oregan.
Neighboring Countries: Northern Ireland
Climate: temperate, frequently overcast
Terrain: rugged hills, low mountains, and rolling hills
Head of State: Queen Elizabeth II
Head of Government: Prime Minister David Cameron
Legislative Body: Parliament
Per capita GDP $36,600
% Of Workforce involved in Agriculture: .7% Industry: 20.8% Services: 78.5%
Development Status (Do you think this country is developed, undeveloped, or in-between.
Why?) The UK is a developed country because it has a high per-capita GDP and a high percentage of the population in the services.
List the major language or languages (and percentages if available):
1. Official- English 3. Wales
2. Scots 4. Irish
List the major religions (and percentages if available):
1. Christianity 71.6% 3. Muslim 2.7%
2. None 23.1% 4. Hindu 1%
VI. History - List important dates, and why they are important.
Kingdom of Great Britain comes into existence
United States become independent
Greatest period of the country’s history. The Pax Brittanica
Partition of the Island of Ireland
VII. Major Issues (what are some major issues facing this country today).
Some minor territory disputes relating to the colonies they still have. Increasing number of refugees from African nations, Iran, and Afghanistan and immigration issues. High drug use and poverty. Wealth disparity and low social mobility.