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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)
  1. To pass laws
  2. To provide finances by authorizing taxation
  3. Review and scrutinize public administration.
  * 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.


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


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