Introduction to British Politics

Satisfactory Essays
Britain is a liberal, parliamentary and stable democracy, where its dynamic society conditions the agenda of politics. The fusion/separation, or lack thereof, of powers is complicated, but essentially includes the Executive and Elected Legislature, Appointed Legislature, the Judiciary and the Crown. The largest party forms the executive government, whose primary role is to run government and present laws, and overall represents the will of the majority. The House of Commons is elected to reflect the will of the people, and create, criticize and approve laws. The appointed legislature is the House of Lords, and they constitute the unwritten constitution, acting as an extra safety measure, also with the ability to criticize and approve laws. The judiciary upholds the law and represents such as the UK courts of law. The crown is the monarch, and Her Majesty’s role is to represent the United Kingdom as a symbol of ceremony and tradition, and sign bills into law. The most essential element that distinguishes the Westminster model is the executive power that is given to the largest party after a first past the post election. Additionally, with the fusion of powers, the party that controls the legislature also directs the executive branch. “This combination of legislative and executive power in the hands of the government party is the basic feature of the Westminster model.” (Wilson 1994, p.193, as quoted in Lamprinakou 2014) With that being said, this essay will discuss and compare the strengths and weaknesses of the Westminster model, and argue the accuracy of this type of government for the present-day United Kingdom.
As discussed in lecture, there are six main features of the British political system that distinguish the U...

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... advantage, that may seem disadvantageous to some, is the ability to easily get rid of the Prime Minister, as seen in Chamberlain’s and Thatcher’s reign. Chamberlain became Prime Minister in 1937 and was very popular for his aggressive actions in Munich. In 1939, Chamberlain promised that Britain would defend Poland’s independence in an attack, and therefore Britain joined the war. In May of 1940, Chamberlain resigned due to a split government, which he thought would hurt the allies in war, and so Winston Churchill became Prime Minister. Margaret Thatcher, the longest serving British Prime Minister, and only female, thus far, was elected in 1979 and re-elected twice after that. Her third term began in 1987, and her views conflicted with the voters and others in her Cabinet, which then forced her to resign in 1990, as Michael Heseltine challenged her leadership.
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