Introduction To Britishness Essay

2008 words - 9 pages

Britain is a liberal, parliamentary and stable democracy, where its dynamic society shapes the political agenda. The fusion and separation of powers, or lack thereof, 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 have three main roles: making laws, holding the government accountable and ...view middle of the document...

(Lamprinakou 2014) In the United Kingdom, the Westminster model is admired, as is the British political system overall, and known to be superior to other leading countries in the world. With the fusion of powers and single party cabinet, the Westminster model provides security and accountability, improving the odds of campaign promises being carried out and achieved. Additionally, the electorate can support and challenge the government to ensure change and most likely carry out the will of the people. The Westminster system involves two main parties: the Conservatives (the Tories) and the New Labour Party (Labour). The Tories are the center – right party, and historically continue to emphasize the need for defense and economic caution and awareness. The Labour party is center-left and commits to social equality and social justice. However, recently a third party was introduced, the Liberal Democrat Party (Lib Dems). The Lib Dems are in the minority and do not fit the traditional Westminster model of a majoritarian parliament, and focus on the development of social and economic liberalism. The historic two party system encourages strong parties, making the Lib Dems rather undeveloped at this time. “Thus, Westminster model systems, by encouraging the development of strong parties, encourage the institutions best suited to mass democracy.” (Wilson 1994) Strong parties are considered to have an advantage with power in numbers, and therefore more likely to represent the will of the people and be a majoritarian government.
However, sometimes the desire of the people can be blindsided by the weak separation of powers in this government system. One of the Westminster model’s greatest disadvantages is purported as an advantage too. Due to a strong and accountable government, there is a great fusion of powers that can create controversy, misrepresent the people and overlook the minorities. Sometimes the executive can be given too much power, and since it is combined with the legislative, in political party and power, and produces poor checks and balances on the executive. With a strong bicameral system, the upper house (the legislative) should perform checks and balances on the lower house (the executive), but when there is little separation of power, as there is with the Westminster model, the executive power overrides the upper house too.
The House of Lords are responsible for the proper representation of the unwritten constitution. An unwritten constitution provides flexibility in a centralized, rather than federal, parliament. The uncodified constitution can easily be amended and adapted, which has been advantageous, in the past, to fit the dynamic lifestyle of the United Kingdom. A change in the constitution simply requires approval from the majority of the House of Commons, and approval from the House of Lords and Monarch, consisting of several readings. Additionally, the UK courts of law have no actual input towards the...

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