- Количество слайдов: 7
THE BRITISH POLITICAL SYSTEM • What do we mean by Britain (the UK)? Not just England, of course? • Why study Britain? (63 m in the size of Oregon) • What can it tell us about democracy and empire? About the loss of empire? • What can it tell us about formal and informal institutions in democracies? • What can it tell us about the EU and sovereignty om the modern age? • What can the PM’s question hour tell us about some of the differences between American and British democracy? : https: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=8 -pi. EGTEYC 4 (start at about 2: 30; go to 6: 00)
WHY DOES BRITAIN’S DEMOCRACY LOOK LIKE IT DOES? • How will we talk about political history in this class? . . . Not comprehensively! We’ll be hacks of a certain sort focusing on critical junctures • The Norman invasion (1066): Why is geography so important in the devel of UK and US democ? Today the UK = 60 million folks living on an island the size of Oregon • King John and the Magna Carta (1215): Why isn’t the separation of powers or checks and balances, taxation only with input, or even the supremacy of law no enough to create a democracy? On the other hand, why is limiting the Crown’s power an important start even if no people’s body was involved the process? • The Reformation (1530 s): Why was the separation of state and church so important to the growth of liberalism (vs. conservatism)? • Civil War (1640 s), Oliver Cromwell, & The Glorious Revolution (168889): Why are the masses to be feared if political change happens too quickly? Can a checked monarchy or institutionalized (versus a personalist) authoritarian system be better than democracy?
How did economic modernity, war, & decline change the British political system? • The Industrial Revolution (1760 s-1860 s) --> The “Great” Reform Act of 1832 (Oh, goody, some regular men get to vote)… • And change keeps slowly coming (1867=most men), and coming (1928, women) • Abroad, the zenith of the UK empire is the 1870 s…Lessons about empires and rising/declining hegemons? • Domination by the Commons (1911): Labour and the Conservatives/Tories consolidate their power… What, no constitutional convention? What would Madison think? • How much can a democratic empire take and still survive? End of colonial rule (20 th Century); WW 2 and the collectivist consensus (1945 -1970 s); The Era of Decline (1970 s-1990 s) • Britain’s resurgence under Margaret Thatcher (1979 -1990) • Two big catch-all parties and Labour’s (Tony Blair) Third Way? (1997 -2010) • A parliament that blends Thatcher and Blair: David Cameron pursues austerity from the center right coalition (Tories + Liberal Dems, 2010 -2015) • 2016: No parliamentary elections, but out goes Cameron with Brexit vote; enter Theresa May (55% approval rate going in vs. 28% for exiting Cameron). She goes for a super majority 2017, and now rules in a weak coalition.
HOW DOES THE BRITISH CONSTITUTION SET UP DEMOCRACY? HOW ARE THINGS CHANGING? • No written document (yet)… So what do they use? : • Common law guides, but parliamentary laws are supreme • My goodness, aren’t you glad we “don’t” do this? • What about the now mostly appointed House of Lords and the Monarchy? Why not just toss these undemocratic actors… Or at least start electing them? Actually, that might be a bad idea • No judicial review in most cases, but finally (2009) a Supreme Court of sorts…appellate powers, but no judicial review except for. . • No Bill of “Rights” in the American sense (but the European Convention on Human Rights applies… at least for now) • The creation of a Federal Reserve-like board for monetary policy • Not much federalism (except… Scotland, Wales, N. Ireland, London and more cities over time) • Will the crisis over Scotland change the UK permenelty? Maybe… Hard for England to have it both ways. • Brexit… Does leaving the EU change everything or does it change just a little (Norway)?
HOW DOES THE BRITISH CONSTITUTION SET UP POWER? • In many ways, Britain has your typical PM system: • The Prime minister selected by the Commons… All 650 members of it (How many is too many reps? ) • All decisive Legislative and executive powers are fused into one: The Cabinet selected from the legislature • Separate heads of state (the monarch) & government (the PM) • Unfixed terms for legislature and the government (early elections vs. votes of no confidence) • Is this governmental system … Which is what Madison, Washington, and Hamilton had in mind for the US, better? What has Britain emphasized with respect to it’s democratic tradeoffs?
WHAT IS UNIQUE ABOUT THE COMMONS? • A multi-country legislature…with national and regional (SNP) parties • Why is the PM so strong? : The two-party system, the organization of power in the parliament, and the UK’s unique electoral laws…. • Does question hour really weaken and humiliate the PM? What kind of leaders would the US have if we had this process? How do the shadow cabinets work? • The size of the commons, its weak committees, its cabinet structure, and its unique cabinet rules (collective responsibility) • Where is the UK like us and unlike many parliamentary system? How do its elections work? Plurality SMD (aka first-past the post, FPTP using Gerrymandered districts) every 5 yrs or 6 weeks after a called election • Why did the British reject ranked voting when they got to vote on it in 2011? What you know is what there is… • Why only 2 -3 big parties in every region? Duverger’s law (and having strong national parties rigging the system…. Just like here) • How do the UK’s national parties control their candidates so much more than in the US? • How ideological are their parties (how do you measure this? ) vs ours (cadre vs. catch-all parties)? Is there any democratic check?
WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN GLOBALIZATION AND BRITISH POLITICAL DISATISFACTION? • Tony Blair and Labour’s Third Way: Can you have Thatcherism (heavy privatization, austerity, and free trade) with “equity”? Where do Cameron/May’s Tories fall on the continuum between Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair? How are the Brexiters different? What relationship will the UK have with the EU? Will Brexit make any difference? • What key political reforms have been pursued over the last two decades? If you add them up, how radical has the change been? Why hasn’t the US gone through change like this? • What was Labour’s overall record? Thatherism with equity worked… so why’d they lose? (Was it the war in Iraq, Gordon Brown, and the younger, smarter Tory, or have the British come to recognize the new econ. rules? ) Why is going on with Labour under Jeremy Corbyn? • How did David Cameron do, and why did he get the boot? Austerity in ‘ 10; riots in ‘ 11; and then a surprise majority in ‘ 12; and then the Scotland Crisis in’ 14; and then Brexit in ‘ 16? • The big question for the UK? Can Britain become more American and still deal with the pressures of globalization?