British Politics Information.

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British Politics Information.

Post by 1916 on Wed Jan 13, 2010 12:09 pm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics_of_the_United_Kingdom

The politics of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland takes place in the framework of a constitutional monarchy, in which the Monarch is head of state and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is the head of government. Executive power is exercised by the UK government, the devolved governments of Scotland and Wales, and the Executive of Northern Ireland. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of Parliament, the House of Commons and the House of Lords, as well as in the Scottish parliament and Welsh and Northern Ireland assemblies. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature, though several senior judges are still members of the House of Lords. In October 2009 the judicial role of the House of Lords was removed and given to a new Supreme Court under the Constitutional Reform Act 2005.

The UK is a multi-party system and since the 1920s, the two largest political parties have been the Conservative Party and the Labour Party. Though coalition and minority governments have been an occasional feature of parliamentary politics, the first-past-the-post electoral system used for general elections tends to maintain the dominance of these two parties, though each has in the past century relied upon a third party to deliver a working majority in Parliament.

The Liberal Democrats, a party formed by the merger of the former Liberal Party and Social Democratic Party in 1988, is the third largest party in the British parliament. It seeks a reform of the electoral system to address the disproportionate dominance of the two main parties that results from the current system.

Growing support for 'Nationalist' parties in Scotland and Wales led to proposals for devolution in the 1970s though only in the 1990s did devolution actually happen. Today, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland each possess a legislature and government alongside that of the United Kingdom, responsible for devolved matters. However, it is a matter of dispute as to whether increased autonomy and devolution of executive and legislative powers has contributed to a reduction in support for full independence. The principal pro-independence party, the Scottish National Party, won 20 extra MSPs at the 2007 Scottish parliament elections and now forms the Scottish Government as a minority administration, with plans to hold a referendum on negotiating for independence, before 2011. In Wales, the nationalist party, Plaid Cymru, is the junior coalition partner in the Welsh Assembly Government although unlike the Scottish National Party it does not officially advocate complete secession from the United Kingdom. In Northern Ireland, the largest Pro-Belfast Agreement party, Sinn Féin, not only advocates Northern Ireland's unification with the Republic of Ireland, but also abstains from taking their elected seats in the Westminister government, as this would entail taking a pledge of allegiance to the British monarch.

The constitution is uncodified, being made up of constitutional conventions, statutes and other elements.

This system of government, known as the Westminster system, has been adopted by other countries as well, such as Canada, India, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia and Jamaica, countries that made up part of the British Empire.
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Re: British Politics Information.

Post by chez on Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:46 pm

I believe the government has really replaced the need for a monarch and yet these useless people are given social priority and a cut of the money of the working class and middle class tax.

Monarchy should follow the benevolent dictator philosophy if it is to survive in a true form because anything less is oppression (socially and economically) of the lower classes for no logical reasoning other than habit.
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Re: British Politics Information.

Post by ronws on Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:57 am

As an alien or outsider view, I wonder how Great Britain would have responded to the modern world if she was still ruled by the existing monarchy. And how would the right of succession affect things? The Queen is still in power and it looks like, if he ever gets to be king, Prince Charles would not be king for very long and a number of people I have read expect that Prince William is, de facto, the future king of England. And, of course, I am reminded of that sly insult from the Beatles, "Now they know how many holes it takes to fill the House of Lords ..." I think Britain still values the monarchy, at least as a culture, for don't many of the gentry still retain their titles? And titles (similar to "statesman" in America) are still given for bringing pride and enrichment to the Crown and the esteem of Britain in their life's work (such as Sir Michael Cain, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Elton John, etc)?

As for the devolvement of other UK nations, I understand the desires of those people to retain their sovereignty. How much of Ireland's problems would disappear if it were not for the civil war, in so many wars, between loyalties to Ireland against those that wish to be part of the British Empire and whatever protection they think that affords? These were all previously separate sovereign countries, similar, in certain perspectives, to previously autonomous states and territories in America. Believe it or not, there are secessionists in Texas who think the annexation of Texas should be annulled and that Texas should resume as its own country, the previous Lone Star Republic of Texas. I am not a secessionist, as a rule but I, like any other would fight off oppression when necessary.

The center director where I work is welsh. But I haven't had much of a chance to talk with him on such matters. In fact, we've only had a chance to speak of the language slip wherein the the US calls soccer what is called football in the UK and I admitted that american football is "sissy" rugby.

I am also reminded of Douglas Adam's damning portrayal of british, and to some extent, american beauracracy in "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." One of the funniest lines was Arthur Dent going into a department and seeing the long line said, "I am british, I know how to queue." The Vogons were the beauracrats and beauracrats are often like another species, (ba doomp tsh!).

It seems now that the UK struggles with what should be protection of member sovereignties but many are displeased with what amounts to be subject to a foreign crown (the monarchy of Great Britain) even if they get some representation in Parliament.

Just musings on my part.
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Re: British Politics Information.

Post by 1916 on Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:41 am

Ireland is not a "devolved" country, twenty six counties of the nation of Ireland are an independent Republic. The remaining six counties form Northern Ireland, which is fully devolved with the exception of policing and justice, policing and justice in Northern Ireland is handled by the British. Over the next few days it is hoped that the Democratic Unionist Party will agree to accept policing and justice from the British, Sinn Féin have already done so, both mentioned parties form the power-sharing coalition. If policing and justice is devolved to Northern Ireland, then technically Northern Ireland is governed under a "Home Rule" agenda.
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Re: British Politics Information.

Post by ronws on Sat Jan 16, 2010 4:40 pm

Is that, then, the reason for the strife in Ireland, especially northern Ireland. Between those that wanted symbiosis with England and those that prefer sovereignty? And what is it about the protestants and catholics?
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Re: British Politics Information.

Post by 1916 on Sat Jan 16, 2010 5:30 pm

There is no "strife" in the Republic Of Ireland, but in Northern Ireland there most definately has been and still is a bit of a "strife". The Irish have historically rebelled against the British over the centuries in order to achieve independence, those who chose to rebel for an independent Ireland were Republicans, those who wanted an independent Ireland but weren't prepared to use violence, were Nationalists. But those who wanted to remain within the United Kingdom were called Unionists. Shortly after the "Easter Rising" in 1920, Ireland was partitioned by Britain, meaning that twenty six counties would be independent and six would remain under British rule. They chose the counties based on which were mainly Nationalist/Unionist. Some were content with a partitoned Ireland but some wanted to achieve independence for the entire thirty two counties. An armed campaign continued but to no real avail, the Official IRA weren't very successful in their attempts to free the six counties. In Northern Ireland, the Protestants who were mainly Unionist discriminated the Nationalist Catholics, they got all the jobs, housing and general luxuries. Even in job applications you had to state your religious denomination, so if you were Catholic you wouldn't get the job. The "Troubles" as they were called started when a Catholic mother with a huge family lost out on a house which was given to a Protestant single woman. The "Civil Rights" campaign began where the Catholics demonstrated in order to obtain their rights, during one particular march, the British army fired on six marchers who were unarmed and were peacefully protesting, they claimed the marchers shot first but this was a blatant lie. At the time of the "Civil Rights" campaign, the Provisional IRA formed, their aim was to achieve a united and independent Ireland. Unionist/Loyalist armies formed and retalliated against the Provisional IRA. Alot of innocent lives were lost, and the killings were basically "tit for tat". Catholics obtained equal rights in Northern Ireland, but the Provos continued their armed struggle. In 1998 the "Good Friday Agreement" was signed, and it ended violence in Northern Ireland. It started a new power-sharing coalition where both Nationalist and Unionist parties shared power. Alot of flaws can be found in the agreement, because there is no real opposition party in Northern Ireland, and 104 of our 108 elected representitives are part of the coalition. Peaceful progress continued but there was still a reluctance and suspicion between Sinn Féin (Political Wing Of The Provisional IRA) and the Democratic Unionist Party. The PIRA decommisoned their weapons and abolished their army council, Loyalist armies followed suit and soon there absolute peace. But then small splinter groups known as Dissident Republicans broke away from Sinn Féin/PIRA and renewed an armed campaign. So far they have little support but have managed to murder two British soldiers and one police officer as well as blowing up a policeman, who had to have his leg amputated. The devolvement of policing and justice in Northern Ireland is expected to happen in the coming weeks which would mean "Home Rule" in Northern Ireland, and most of the population are in full support of the "Peace Process".
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Re: British Politics Information.

Post by ronws on Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:27 am

And seriously, thank you for educating me. I find it's always better to learn from a reliable source, such as someone who actually lives there and lives the history. Just as I could tell you that in Texas, Labor Day is not so much a labor holiday of solidarity around here but it is the opening of dove hunting season and I wake up to the sounds of gunfire in the woods. There are a number of hunting areas around here. They are called hunting "leases." A private owner can charge a fee for hunters to hunt on his land. However, this does not stop the state from requiring hunters to have a license with pre-paid "deer tags" or "dove tags." You pay for each one you intend to hunt. And that's Labor Day weekend, around here.
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Re: British Politics Information.

Post by 1916 on Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:49 am

I always knew "Labor Day" wasn't what it's hyped up to be, I can't understand how anyone would want to shoot an innocent dove of all animals.
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Re: British Politics Information.

Post by ronws on Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:11 am

1916 wrote:I always knew "Labor Day" wasn't what it's hyped up to be, I can't understand how anyone would want to shoot an innocent dove of all animals.

Something to eat. And, of course, to shoot at stuff. To me, dove hunting is a lot of work for not a lot of food. If I were to hunt, I would do as my friend and hunt deer. Much more meat for the amount of time and energy spent. A 100 lb doe can yield 40 pounds of desired meat. The bones and organs and blood volume make up the rest of the weight.
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