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Explaination on British Politics Please

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posted on Nov, 23 2004 @ 08:26 PM
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I'm from the US, so being the typical American I know nothing about foreign politics. To tell the truth all I know is that the Prime Minister Tony Blair seems pretty unpopular due to budget cuts and his support of Bush. I was wondering if somebody from British politics to me. I would mostly just like a briefing on some of the major parties and canidates for Prime Minister and such. Thanks in advance.




posted on Nov, 23 2004 @ 08:28 PM
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Here's a good link for you:

British Political System here

No need for thanks.


[edit on 23-11-2004 by Jamuhn]



posted on Nov, 23 2004 @ 08:33 PM
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I fixed the link above for ya. It links to a real site.



posted on Nov, 23 2004 @ 08:40 PM
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Thanks for that, Jamuhn

Now we can read all about our favorite political parties. I could do with a laugh.




Alliance Party of Northern Ireland
British Labour Party British National Party
Conservative Party


I think its hilarious that Labour is on the same line as the BNP



posted on Nov, 23 2004 @ 11:03 PM
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Great website! It helped, but I still have a few questions... if this information was in the website and I missed it, my apologizes!
British government is very facinating and very complicated! The fact that the U.K. doesn't have a single founding document doesn't help make understanding it all any easier either...

Do the British people popularly elect the Prime Minister, or is he/she chosen by the Parliament?

In the executive branch, the position of Head of Government (Prime Minister) is easy to understand, but what functions does the Head of State (Monarch) serve? How do they share executive power?

Just how autonomous are England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland? I've heard that Scotland has its own Parliament, but what of Wales and Northern Ireland? Does England have its own Parliament seperate from the U.K. Parliament in London?

Since there is no single formal founding document for the U.K. (like the Constitution in the U.S., for example), how does everyone know how the government is supposed to be organized? What keeps someone from just making something up and saying, "Well, it's supposed to be this way!"



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 05:50 AM
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heres a whole load of related links. you should be able to get all the info you desire from these.
www.keele.ac.uk...

[edit on 24-11-2004 by mpcsmith7]



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 06:15 AM
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if the British parliamentary system is anything like the one in Canada is, and it shoudl be as we base our government on theirs, the PM is not popularly voted for. Rather, the voters vote in their counties which each hold a seat in parliament. The winner of each county becomes an MP member of parliament, in England this would be the House of Commons, the common people.

Now the political party who holds the most seats in the house of commons holds power until the next election, the leader of that party, elected within the party, not by the public, then becomes the prime minister. This of course means that the PM must have been elected to parliament and run in a county of his/her own. However even is a PM was to lose in thie rown riding(county), which has happened, the PM can still remain in office by another of his party stepping down and giving up their seat to him/her.

Quite complicated. I am not quite sure how the house of lords works. Before it held more power than the house of commons but i think it has very little actual legislative power, and is merely a retirement posting for career politicians, much like the senate in Canada, not sure though about that one.



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 09:38 AM
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That's good stuff jawapunk. Pretty much on the money.

It's maybe worth just stressing the point about Royal perogative (various arcane Royal powers.....the Parliament administers on behalf of the Crown therefore - technically - although any actual use would cause immense trouble and probably cause the end of the UK Monarchy - the Monarch can appoint whichever Prime Minister they like)
and
Crown Imunity (the Crown in many many areas of Law is in effect above the Law).

We have some very ancient odd stuff still 'on the books' even if they have not been used in many decades if not centuries.

As for things like 'terms' in office and all that, the governing party (led by it's Prime Minister and senior members of his/her Cabinet.......and maybe in conjunction with the views of the middle and junior members of the cabinet.....can decide when they wish to hold a general election before the 'fixed' last possible date.
Governments in the UK must hold a general election (except in the most extreme emergency situation....and then the Monarch would have to consent to any extension of term) within 5yrs of their election victory ie a 5yr 'clock' is started with each electoral win.
However, as governments like to make the most of their advantages of being in office and choose their own timing, it has become the custom for most UK governments post-war to go for election after every 4yrs - although a poll after 3 or 2yrs etc is perfectly possible.
A 'snap' poll is also possible where the sitting government suddenly calls an election with little time - a short 'campaign' - between announcement and the actual poll date, but this is pretty rare and is usually seen as a blatent 'cashing in' on events (the so-called Khaki election of 1918) or avoiding trouble from events know to be looming (just about ever election called before the 5yr term expires gets labelled with this one!).

Scotland does indeed have its own Parliament with many powers devolved to it.

Wales has a function 'Local Assemby' which does not have quite the powers of Scotland's devolved administration and many Welsh people would like to see that cahnged to a system much more similar to Scotland's.

Northern Ireland has had a chequered history with it's 'Local Assembly'. It was certainly appreciated by the business, tourism and farming industries when it was up and running but with the final details still unsettled in working out 'the peace' in NI the Assembly has not functioned for 2yrs+.
It is hoped that the current rounds of talks (going on today, in fact) will resolve this impasse and enable the Assembly to return for several months until the next elections are due in the spring of '05.

England has , so far, chosen not to have an 'English Parliament' or Assembly.
Certain right-wing MP's have suggested that the UK Parliament should serve this purpose and that what they define as 'solely English legislation' should be dealt with by the English MP's alone and the MP's from the regions step aside.
They clearly need reminding that the Parliament at Westminster (London) is the Parliament for the UK and not an English Parliament.

England may choose it's own Parliament one day but for now they seem not to see the benefits of one.

Most UK political parties are to be found 'standing' for election in England, Scotland and Wales (obviously Scot & Welsh nationalists stand solely there).
Northern Ireland has a range of political parties mostly unique to itself.



posted on Nov, 24 2004 @ 12:14 PM
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Originally posted by Pisky
I think its hilarious that Labour is on the same line as the BNP



LOL
its more then hilarious,
Whoever made that site should be given a knighthood for that



posted on Nov, 25 2004 @ 12:18 AM
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OK, let's see if I understand this... the four kingdoms of the United Kingdom -- England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland -- do not have equal standing in the eyes of the British government?
That's a difficult concept for me to wrap my American brain around...

In the U.S., the 50 States all have equal standing in the eyes of the U.S. government. All 50 States are equally autonomous, with their own legislatures, governors, and supreme courts.

Politically, England sounds more like a huge federal district of the U.K. government than an autonomous kingdom of the U.K. (like the District of Colombia in the U.S.). And Wales and Northern Ireland sound more like territories of the U.K. than autonomous kingdoms of the U.K. Scotland seems to get a fair shake out of the deal, though...

Also, the British people, being as progressive as they are, have no complaints about having a royal family, who literally gets rich by sitting around and collecting British taxpayers' money, and are largely above the law on top of that?



posted on Nov, 25 2004 @ 06:36 AM
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Originally posted by ThunderCloud
OK, let's see if I understand this... the four kingdoms of the United Kingdom -- England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland -- do not have equal standing in the eyes of the British government?
That's a difficult concept for me to wrap my American brain around...


- It's a historical thing. It will surely adjust and change over time.


In the U.S., the 50 States all have equal standing in the eyes of the U.S. government. All 50 States are equally autonomous, with their own legislatures, governors, and supreme courts.


- I'm not sure these comparisons between the USA and elsewhere are too helpful.

Oh, by the way, it hasn't come up yet but Scots law is not quite the same as English/UK law. There are subtle but very definite differences.....which unsurprisingly the Scots people jealously guard. History again.


Politically, England sounds more like a huge federal district of the U.K. government than an autonomous kingdom of the U.K. (like the District of Colombia in the U.S.).


- You have to bear in mind that England spent several hundred years determined to 'unite' the British Isles. Edward the 1st (late 13th century) thought it was the thing to do.
He wanted to unite the British Isles under one Crown and one church (oh yes, the Pope and religion was involved back then too! The Pope originally 'gave' Ireland to the English Crown.)
When this could not be accomplished by any other means force was used.....

.....or if it could not be sustained by other means gross froce was used. (and the echos of that sometimes ultra bloody subjugation reverberate within the 'UK' and the British Isles to this day).


And Wales and Northern Ireland sound more like territories of the U.K. than autonomous kingdoms of the U.K. Scotland seems to get a fair shake out of the deal, though...


- Scotland was the biggy.
Scotland wasn't quite like Wales or Northern Ireland. It was too big and the ultimate victory came too late in the day to see Scotland suffer quite the same fate of Wales or Northern Ireland.
England needed the Scots to run Scotland and so after the final defeat of the final Jacobite rebellion in the mid 18th century England contented herself to 'clearing' the Scots highlands (killing and/or deporting and scattering the troublesome rebellious highland clans) and the less rebellious low-land Scots society got on with accomodating itself with the English and surviving.

Wales and Northern Ireland on the other hand were fairly small and poor in comparison to England and they were defeated so utterly and their populations either killed, co-opted, scattered and/or driven out that English 'dominion' was ensured.
New people were brought in, given power and the best land etc etc and the ill-feeling and occassional trouble continues to this day.
(In N Ireland it broken out in 1968 - 69 into a full scale 'terrorist war' for nearly 30yrs, it has only recently stopped - with the odd attack still happening).

Much time has now passed, we all try to get on with things and live for today but there is no doubt that these 'wounds' still resonate for many.
Many English prefer to ignore them (because they and theirs never suffered them I suppose it reasonable for them to be unaware of the hurt).

The best healing of all comes from what has been quietly going on for the last few hundred years. We have been becoming each other.
There is barely a family in any of the British Isles that is (excuse the eugenics speak) 'pure' anything. There are very very few 'English', 'Scots', 'Welsh' or 'Irish' families any more.
We have mixed very well and almost all families have people from at least one of the 'home nations' in them now.


Also, the British people, being as progressive as they are, have no complaints about having a royal family, who literally gets rich by sitting around and collecting British taxpayers' money, and are largely above the law on top of that?



- It is reckoned about one third of the British are republicans. I would not say there are no complaints, far from it.
There has been a progressive 'push' to try and modernise the UK monarchy. Many look to the continental Monarchs and their less aloof and less remote version of Monarch as a more suitable model for the 21st century.

But for all that we are not encouraged to debate a British republic and doing away with the Crown (it is one of the few subjects that is actually an offence for the subject to be raised in Parliament by MP's here).



posted on Nov, 25 2004 @ 07:18 AM
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Originally posted by sminkeypinkey
But for all that we are not encouraged to debate a British republic and doing away with the Crown (it is one of the few subjects that is actually an offence for the subject to be raised in Parliament by MP's here).


Indeed,
but it is believed that there are documents in whitehall planning what we should do after the Queen leaves the throne. I strongly believe that a major push will happen when she leaves the throne, i dont think we will see a president just more power to parliament.



posted on Dec, 3 2004 @ 12:46 PM
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a key aspect to understanding our rather complicated political situation, is a principal understanding of our geo-political chronology.

"This page is intended to provide some basic geo-political facts about the British Isles and a chronology of significant unions and separations amongst the political entities constructed upon them..." The British Isles and all that ...

i hope this helps you out!


[edit on 3/12/04 by BLUELol]



posted on Dec, 3 2004 @ 02:16 PM
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Our system is very complicated to understand, even us brits get confused with our politics sometimes
Our system isn't the easiest to understand
but it has to be one of the most interesting


[edit on 3-12-2004 by infinite]



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