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Can someone explain how British politics work

Dilara
Posts: 661
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5/5/2015 8:28:12 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I'm from America and I'm aware how politics work over here but I'm curious to know how politics work in Great Britain. Here are my questions. You can answer as many as you like. Thanks!
Who is the leader of Great Britain? I'm pretty sure it's the prime minister
What are the other important government positions?
How does one obtain these other positions? (not counting leader because I know he's elected)
What are the main political parties and what are their stances on abortion, guns, gay marriage and adoption, Scottish independence, welfare and foreign policy?
What regions of Great Britain vote for witch parties?. The main regions such as Yorkshire and the Humber, the south east ect--what parties do the majority of people in each region support? I've heard that the north is more liberal and the south is more conservative (like in America)
What are the most dominant subjects that are discussed during the elections and have the most impact on ones voting decision? (Is it taxes, foreign policy or something else?)
What are the branches of government? Here we have the judicial branch (Supreme Court) the legislative branch (senate and congress) and the executive branch (president).
Vox_Veritas
Posts: 7,060
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5/5/2015 9:00:30 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/5/2015 8:28:12 PM, Dilara wrote:
I'm from America and I'm aware how politics work over here but I'm curious to know how politics work in Great Britain. Here are my questions. You can answer as many as you like. Thanks!
Who is the leader of Great Britain? I'm pretty sure it's the prime minister
What are the other important government positions?
How does one obtain these other positions? (not counting leader because I know he's elected)
What are the main political parties and what are their stances on abortion, guns, gay marriage and adoption, Scottish independence, welfare and foreign policy?
What regions of Great Britain vote for witch parties?. The main regions such as Yorkshire and the Humber, the south east ect--what parties do the majority of people in each region support? I've heard that the north is more liberal and the south is more conservative (like in America)
What are the most dominant subjects that are discussed during the elections and have the most impact on ones voting decision? (Is it taxes, foreign policy or something else?)
What are the branches of government? Here we have the judicial branch (Supreme Court) the legislative branch (senate and congress) and the executive branch (president).

I don't know if this will help, but:
The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy (that is, the British monarch is a mostly powerless figurehead) that utilizes the Parliamentary system of Government. The Prime Minister is not actually elected; rather, whoever is head of the party which has the majority in Parliament gets to be Prime Minister.
The two major parties in the UK are the Conservative Party and the Labour Party.

That's all I know, sorry.
Call me Vox, the Resident Contrarian of debate.org.

The DDO Blog:
https://debatedotorg.wordpress.com...

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Wocambs
Posts: 1,505
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5/6/2015 7:47:38 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 5/5/2015 8:28:12 PM, Dilara wrote:

Interesting quiz.

I'm from America and I'm aware how politics work over here but I'm curious to know how politics work in Great Britain. Here are my questions. You can answer as many as you like. Thanks!
Who is the leader of Great Britain? I'm pretty sure it's the prime minister

The Queen. The Prime Minister is appointed by the Queen as the person able to command a majority in the House of Commons and thus pass laws. You can be PM from the House of Lords though too.

What are the other important government positions?

The Cabinet, basically, which is the group of senior ministers selected by the PM. They get titles like 'Home Secretary' (crime, immigration), Defence Secretary, Chancellor of the Exchequer (government finances), First Secretary of State... The important ones are usually the Home Secretary, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the First Secretary of State is of course the highest ranking kind of 'secretary', the Leader of the House of Commons (currently the First Secretary). All of these roles, I'm pretty sure, are more established by convention than any specific laws, so its pretty flexible. We have a Deputy PM now but that's very uncommon, for example.

How does one obtain these other positions? (not counting leader because I know he's elected)

Well, the leader is appointed by the Queen, not directly elected. For example, Milliband's Labour could get less seats than the Cameron's Conservatives, but if Labour formed a coalition and established a majority of MPs, then the Queen would appoint Milliband as the PM. The rest are appointed by the PM.

What are the main political parties and what are their stances on abortion, guns, gay marriage and adoption, Scottish independence, welfare and foreign policy?

As far as I'm aware all parties support abortion other than the Irish DUP. Guns are not something people care about in this country. Again, I think only the DUP oppose gay marriage, and presumably gay adoption also. The Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru (Welsh National Party, basically) support independence. Labour, Conservatives and UKIP want to cut benefits, or see it as too generous. SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Green party see it the other way around. The Conservatives are the most hawkish, UKIP oppose foreign intervention, I think, but have a 'right-wing' stance on foreign policy. Labour are fairly right-wing when it comes to foreign policy, but Milliband doesn't seem as fond of interventions as Cameron at the moment, though they do support Trident. SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Greens all want to get rid of Trident, our nukes, and are against military intervention in general. Essentially UKIP are severe Conservatives, Labour takes whatever position is slightly to the left of whatever the Conservatives are doing, the SNP and Plaid Cymru aren't particularly left-wing, though they are more so than Labour. They support more autonomy for their regions and more social spending. The Greens are left wing, wanting a new constitution, nationalisation of several industries, redevelopment of the energy industry to make it renewable, etc. I forgot about the Lib Dems... they appear to be maybe a little more socially liberal than Labour but economically pretty conservative.

What regions of Great Britain vote for witch parties?. The main regions such as Yorkshire and the Humber, the south east ect--what parties do the majority of people in each region support? I've heard that the north is more liberal and the south is more conservative (like in America)

The North supports Labour, the South tends to be Conservative or Lib Dem, apart from London which is pretty mixed, and some places like Brighton which is Green, and the one seat which is UKIP. The differences are more economic than social between Labour and Conservative, though Labour is more liberal. SNP have a chance of winning every single seat in Scotland, and Plaid Cymru are pretty strong in Wales but not nearly as strong as the SNP is in Scotland. Of course, there are some Labour areas in the South and Conservative in the North (of England).

What are the most dominant subjects that are discussed during the elections and have the most impact on ones voting decision? (Is it taxes, foreign policy or something else?)

As far as I can tell, the issues which are most important to the people are austerity and immigration. Basically, you either blame the state of the nation on the fact that ever since Thatcher this country has pursued neo-liberal reform (even under Labour), which is the kind of thing American Republicans support, or you blame immigration... though the Conservatives' position is basically that their plan is working and everything is fine. The thing is, Labour really aren't proposing anything that different from the Conservatives, they just support higher taxes on some people - so that extent, the main issue is taxation, but the thing to remember is that the British people are actually way more economically left than the parties are. For example, a significant majority want nationalisation of the railways and the energy companies, but those policies are only proposed by people like the SNP and the Greens. The NHS is another example - the majority don't want profit in the NHS, but Labour supports something like 5% private profit.

Essentially:
Tory: Our economic plan is working and everyone else will ruin it
Labour: The Tories are making things worse with their austerity measures and lower taxes (but of course, they only propose relatively small changes)
Lib Dem: We will form a coalition with either the Tories or Labour to produce a more moderate coalition (bearing in mind both the Conservatives and Labour are only moderately different in the first place)
UKIP: Blame immigration and the EU for everything wrong with the country
Green: We need a restructuring of the government and the economy - more social spending, greater impact of public sector, more decentralised democratic government
Plaid Cymru: More power for Wales, more social spending, less austerity and military spending
SNP: Anti-austerity and greater Scottish independence (with absolute independence the ultimate goal)

What are the branches of government? Here we have the judicial branch (Supreme Court) the legislative branch (senate and congress) and the executive branch (president).

The House of Commons propose laws and all laws they pass go to the House of Lords, a house of Peers appointed by the government (Lords, Bishops, etc.), who can basically veto it for a year unless its a 'money bill' related to spending. The Royal Family, contrary to popular belief, actually have the power to completely veto laws - they have to grant consent for any bill that is thought to directly affect them. Naturally they are secretive about it and, of course, would only do it with some kind of significant ministerial support (I mean, it would be a lot more trouble than it was worth to go about blocking laws that have strong parliamentary support). I'm not too sure about the role of the judicial system - yours in the US seems to play a greater role - but I presume they have to grant that a proposed bill is in fact 'legal'.
xus00HAY
Posts: 1,372
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5/7/2015 9:29:39 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Quite simply, it doesn't.
The most that will be accomplished today is a few wankers, will replace a few other wankers.
Britain is not a communist country. The government does not actually control the economy. Their job is to govern. Getting industry to run more efficiently and provide jobs for all the unemployed chavs is someone else's job.
While many politicians may convince some voters that they are the next best thing to the Messiah, the fact is, if there was something they could do to fix the economy, the other chap who held the office would have already done it.