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Great Britain Notes

  • Date Submitted: 02/28/2012 05:03 PM
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In class notes 2/21/12
The Cabinet and Bureaucracy
Back bencher
  * new members elected, young, inexperienced.
  *   If enough back benchers they can join against the gov’t.
Back bencher dissent
  * a vote of no confidence,
  * vote against the party.
  * Very Rare
  * Would kill their political career
Order from Liberal to Conservative
Traditional Labour-Liberal Democrats-Labour-Conservative
The Bureaucracy
  * Two Heads of each Department
  * Every member of Cabinet is head of Department
Permanent Secretary
  * they advise and give information to the cabinet minister
  * supposed to be apolitical
  * civil servant-work for gov’t
  * not elected
Cabinet Minister
  * Head of a department
  * Can be appointed with no knowledge of subject
Potential for conflict in the British System
Permanent Secretary
-disagreement in policy, they have a bias, try to influence.
-Gridlock, slow down policy if they don’t like it.

House of Commons (most important, overtime power has switched from House of Lords to Commons)
Purpose:
  1. To pass laws
  2. To provide finances by authorizing taxation
  3. Review and scrutinize public administration.
Reforms:
  * Redistricting districts to equal represent
  * 50 less seats 2015
General Information:
  * 650 seats
  * The legislative and elected body
  * Chaired by nonpartisan Speaker (give up party affiliation)
  * Whips serve similar role as in US(prevent back bench, make sure of attendance)
  * Policy agenda dictated from Whitehall (building where cabinet meets)
  * Potential for backbench dissent (rare)

House of Lords (Peers)

Purpose:   Went from amending and delaying legislation to serving as a chamber of revision/ redrafting legislation. Current example: Nationality, Immigration and Aslum   Bill was too harsh so the House of Lords battled until legislation was revised.

Reforms:

House of Lords Act of 1999- Reduced hereditary members to 92 (some didn’t...

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