British Politics discussion thread, all are welcome -
September 5th, 2012, 12:01 PM
Seeing as the Summer recess just finished, I though now would be a good time to make a thread so that us Brits can discuss our political scene, and to get American opinions too.
First, a brief explanation for those who don't know.
British legislation is created in it's lower house, called the Parliament, which sits in Westminster. The country is divided into 326 areas called constituencies. Every general election, the people of each constituency vote for who will represent them at Parliament. These representatives are called MPs. Once all votes are counted, it is usually the party who wins the most MPs which gets to form a government. The most senior MPs in the winning party form the Cabinet, which is the decision making body of the government. For a law to come into being, more MPs in Parliament most vote for the legislation than against it. The present parliament was elected in May 2010 and is arranged as shown below.
My descriptions of the political parties will be very generalised, if you want more detail feel free to ask
The Government : 363 MPs
Being that there are 650 seats in parliement, a government needs to have 326 MPs elected to have a majority and so rule effectively. In 2010, no party was able to achieve this by itself and so Britian is currently run by a coalition government made up of 2 parties.
The senior party in the coalition is the Conservatives, who are led by the Prime Minister David Cameron. They're main ideologies include economic liberalism, British conservatism, British unionism and soft euroscepticism. They have 306 MPs elected
The junior party in the coalition are the Liberal Democrats who are led by the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg. The Lid Dems are a centrist party who support social liberalism, economic liberalism, progressive taxation, civil rights and constitutional and electoral reform. They have 57 MPs elected
The Opposition 287 MPs
The Opposition are the other 9 parties who are not part of the government but who have a vote on Britian's laws
Labour are a centre left party led by Ed Milliand. The party supports ethical socialism (not Marxist socialism), economic liberalism and social democracy. They have 257 MPs
Democratic Unionist Party are a right wing Protestant party from Northern Ireland which supports social conservatism and British unionism. They have 8 MPs
Scottish National Party (SNP) are a centre left party which supports Scottish independence and social democracy. They have 6 MPs
Sinn Fein are a left wing party which supports Irish reunification, Republicanism and democratic socialism. They have 5 MPs but they choose to abstain from taking part in Parliament.
Plaid Cmryn a centre left party which supports Welsh independence and community socialism. They have 3 MPs
Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) are a centre left party which supports Irish reunification and social democracy. They have 3 MPs
The Green Party are a left wing party which supports environmentalism, republicanism and social progressivism. They have 1 MP
Alliance are a centrist party from Northern Ireland who support liberalism and non-sectarianism. They have 1 MP
Respect: a left wing party born from the anti-war movement who support traditional socialism and environmentalism
The remaining two MPs are Sylvia Hermon, an independent, and John Bercow, the Speaker of the House.
Hope that wasn't too long/confusing. If you have any questions feel free to ask them
Location: Precariously balanced on top of a mineshaft
Rep Power: 156557
More left than right
Blah, waffle, moan, grumble etc....
September 5th, 2012, 06:01 PM
Originally Posted by woopah
we're 2 years into the present government's term, how do you think they have done? are disappointed, or have they met your expectations?
They are absolutely crap, which after a fashion has met my 'expectations' as they were that low to begin with. The liberal democrats have turned their back on so many pre governance pledges that they'll be lucky to be voted back in any form of government in the next 100 years IMO. Nick Clegg is a barrel monkey.... The 'Tories' have done the same tried (tired) and tested schtick overall and the most disgusting part of this government relates to how it's forcing the long term sick back into the workforce with scant regard as to their ability, condition or needs. They're targeting the most vulnerable in society as a means of cutting costs and saving money as far as I'm concerned....
As it goes I doubt the Labour Party would be much different so there's my cynicism in regards to the world of British politics....or just in general.
Screaming at the top of my lungs, pretending the echoes belong to someone.
September 5th, 2012, 06:11 PM
The tories have pretty much met my expectations. I expected them to be bloody awful, and they are. Tuition fees, immigration, healthcare, retirement, pensions, the list goes on...
The lib dems are completely disgusting, as far as I'm concerned. To put their hat in with the tories just for a little power when they are supposed to be opposing them on a great number of issues is beyond ridiculous. What people will do for a little power.
I am still, years on, at a complete loss as to how our coalition even occured. It's bizarre to me. I considered voting lib dem in the last general election, as they had a lot of policy that agreed with mine, but I knew they would never have a majority so voted labour in the hope that we wouldn't end up the conservatives. So many people made the choice to vote liberal democrat, and they effectively allowed the tories in. It makes me truly angry that we have a government and PM who were not elected by the majority, and who are doing so much harm to our country.
what did you guys think of this weeks Prime Ministers Question time? Ed Milliband seems to be getting a lot better at Question time. Still, no one party seems to be dominating at the moment, do you guys think we are heading for another hung parliament in 2015?
I think the current coalition has been terrible. For lots of reasons, but namely:
- the slashing of the welfare state. The reduction of security will have a massive impact on society. Particularly next year when the social fund is replaced (scrapped, more or less), council tax benefit is replaced, a cap on benefits is introduced and Universal Credit and Personal Independent Payments begin to roll in.
- the deliberate demonisation of marginalised groups including the disabled and refugees and asylum seekers.
- the terrible economic record. Life just gets harder and harder for a lot of people and yet the government's idea - cut the taxes for the rich!
- the betrayal of the Lib Dems and Clegg in particular.