Unser Service

AGB / Datenschutz

Du bist hier: Referate Datenbank | Gemeinschaftskunde | Political Rights - How they were gained

Political Rights - How they were gained

Wörter: 5300
Typ: Referat
Sprache: Englisch
Autor: Unbekannt
PDF-Format (?)
ZIP Archiv (?)


From Feudalism To Parliament

William I set up a ”feudal system”, he established a strong monarchy through centralization of the government. The king owned all the land, granting estates to his barons, which they devided among their followers; below there were the Saxon serfs. The newly established Royal Council (Curia Regis) was more dependent on the king than the Saxon Witan had been.
But the cruel rule of William´s successors came to an end when Henry, Duke of Anjou, ascended the throne through marriage.
Henry restored peace by re-establishing a highly competent government and freed England from feudal strife by putting down baronial rebellions and instituted royal courts, travelling judges (today´s ”circuit judges”) and the jury system. From then on the sentences pronounced at the courts were collected; they form the Common Law that serves as case examples for judges even today. But the church had ist own courts, hoping to have them abolished, he made his best friend, Thomas à Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury. Henry was furious when Thomas now opposed him; four knights, wrongly believing they were carrying out the king´s wish, murdered Thomas in Canterbury Cathedral.

The First Parliament

Henry´s son Richard I (Lionheart) spent most of his time on the Third Crusarde - his brother John I (also called Lackland) was one of the most unpopular English kings, he ruled so badly that in 1215 the barons and bishops forced him to sign a charter protecting their privileges.
This Magna Carta was to become a cornerstone of British freedom..
Chief provisions of the charter:
*no taxation without the consent of the Common Council (Parliament)
* no man may be imprisoned without fair trial by his equals;
* free election of bishops and abbots by the English clergy;
* the King subjected to the control of a council of 25 barons.
This Magna Carta is the first do stress that the law of the land is even above the will of the ruler and that the law is binding on the ruler. Although it was not really a democratic document, for it gave rights only to the freemen (nobelmen and barons) - a very small group of the population - it could later be applied without difficulty to other groups, and finally to all people.

During the rule of John´s son Henry III, a ”parliament” was called together by a powerful baron, Simon of Montfort. It consisted of barons, bishops, two knights of each shire, and two citizens from each town. Simon de Montfort´s Parliament (1265) was the first Parliament in which the plain people were represent.
The king had to promise that neither nore his successors would introduce new taxes or new
laws without the consent of Parliament.

The first king to summon a parliament himself was Edward I (the ”Model Parliament of 1295), because he needed money for his wars. (= the model for all future Parliaments)
Edward´s Model Parliament, 1295, established permanently the representative system in the Great Council by admitting representatives of the commonalty (two knights elected from each shire and two burghers from each borough) to vote on taxation.

The right of the people to be represented in Parliament was officially recognized, for the king realized that he could levy taxes more easily with the good will of the people.
The Commoners (citizens and townsmen) were allowed to be present but didn´t yet take part in the decisions of Parliament. Parliament met only when it was called by the King, who called it only when he was in need of money.

Statute Law (written laws adopted with the consent of Parliament) began to supersede royal instructions and the Common Law established by custom:
a) Quo Warranto, 1290, wihdrew special privileges from feudal lords unless confirmed by royal grant and long usage.
b) Quia Emptores prohibited subinfeudation (granting away of land legally belonging to the feudal lord).
c) Statute of Mortmain prohibited land-grants to the Curch without financial compensation to the Crown.
Jurisdiction began to be devided from administration through the establishment of seperate courts; Common Pleas for civil suits and King´s Bench chiefly for criminal cases, both in Westminster Hall.

Development of Parliament during the rule of Edward III :
Excessive taxation during the French war enhanced the importance of knights and burgesses, who began to meet separatly for financial debates before voting taxes.
In the year 1340 the Commoners met themselves for the first time.
This led to the division of the Great Council into the House of Commons (elected representatives of counties and boroughs) and the House of Lords (personally summoned barons and bishops).
But there was still a limitation: the Crown was still supreme in all matters, the Crown had always the ”last word” in decisions.
The t w o - c h a m b e r s y s t e m, and the predominance of the Lower House, where the burgeois element was strenthened through the landed gentry, have since constituted the two principal features of the English Parliament.
Disintegration of Feudalism
In the 15th century the townspeople (esp. traders) became richer and richer, they were even able to pay more taxes than the nobles. Consequently the Commons gained a greater influence on all matters of finance. Numbers of former serfs freed themselves from feudal services by paying a fixed sum (firma), which made them free ”farmers” (freeholders), while the rest became permanent paid land-labourers. Thus serfdom was abolished four hundred years earlier than on the Continent.

Decline of nobility
The Wars of the Roses, which were fought chiefly by barons, extinguished many noble families and encouraged lawlessness and violence among nobles and their retrainers (military employees used also in the Hundreds Years´ War). This led to the elimination of the old nobility from political influence and the creation of a new aristocracy of court officials under the Tudor kings.
The Tudors were the most popular dynasty in the English history, uniting absolotistic ten-
dencies with respect for Parliament and the interests of the powerful new middle classes through their keen instinct for England´s commercial possibilities.
Henry VII (Tudor) restored order and royal authotrity by r i g o r o u s t a x a t i o n and suppression of the lawless nobility, who were forbidden to keep retrainers. The former political influence of the nobility was now superseded by a new gentry (reliable offices drawn from middle classes).

Struggle between Parliament and Crown for Supremacy (1603-1688)
(Stuart Age - Absolutism and the English Revolion)

The Early Stuarts were politically undiplomatic and abitrary, though with personal dignity and courage, the Stuarts were very unpopular through their despotic and Catholic tendencies. Resistance to Stuart despotism led to the revival of Parliamentarism.
James I (son of Mary Stuart) was disliked by the extreme Protestants and by the Roman Catholics. The latter plottet to blow up Parliament and the King and seize power, but failed.
Guy Fawkes, who wa to setfire to gun powder stored in a cellar underneath Parliament, was captured and executed together with the other conspirators. Since that time the 5th November has been celebrated as ”Guy Fawkes Day”.
Nowadays the Queen (or King) reigns but does not rule, but both James I and his son
Charles I (1625) regarded themselves as ”Kings of Divine Rights” and wanted to rule absolu-
tely. Charles dissolved Parliament and tried to rule in an absolutistic maner.

”Long Parliament”, elected in the year 1642, contained only the King´s opponents. Under the leadership of John Pym, Hampden and Cromwell, Parliament soon became stronger than the King, excluded bishops, abolished episopacy and introduced Constitutional Reforms:
* no dissolution of Parliament without ist own consent
* Parliament meets every three years even if it isn´t summoned by the King
* Abolition of Star Chamber and Court of High Commission

Charles conflict with Parliament developed into a civil war. The parlamentary troops, supported by the Puritans (Roundheads) were organized by Olver Cromwell. After years of fighting, the King´s ”Cavaliers” were defeated and Charles was executed in 1649.
Oliver Cromwell established a Puritan ”Commonwealth”, called himself ”Lord Protector” and dissolved Parliament (1649). During the last five years of his rule Cromwell exercised a military dictatorship, though he declined to accept an offer of the crown and re-established a new House of Lords consisting of peers nominated by himself.
Oliver Cromwell forbade all old customs, closed all theatres, moreover it was the time of religious intolerance, even games and fun on Sundays were forbidden!
Oliver Cromwell died in 1658, his son Richard, who followed him, eas not able to cope with the army and Parliament and abdicated after one year.

The Restoration of the Stuarts
After Oliver Cromwell´s death Charles II (the Merry Monarch; son of the executed King Charles I) was asked to return from exile in France, the masses rejoiced (1660). He re-established Parliament and the Church of England, Protestant and Roman Catholics were excluded from puplic offices.
Of the two political parties, the ”Tories” (chiefly the landed aristocracy) supported by the King and the Church of England; the ”Whigs” (mostly moneyed middle-class) stood for the Dissenters and the rights of Parliament.
1673, the Test Act: in 1672 Charles had secretly become a Catholic, issued the Decleration of Indulgence in favour of Catholics and Dissenters. Under pressure from Parliament, this led to be withdrawn, and was superseded by the Test Act. Through requiring that civil service appointments be made dependent upon taking the sacraments of the Curch of England, the Test Act secured final control of puplic affairs by the Established Curch.

1679 Exclusion Bill introduced into Parliament in 1679 proposed to exclude Charles´s brother James, who was avowedly Catholic, from succession. Charles prevented the passage of the Bill by repeated dissolution of Parliament.
1679 The Habeas Corpus Act - together with the Magna Carta, this is the greatest landmark in the establishment of the rule of the law in England. It was enacted ba Parliament against abitrary imprisonment (no person must bearrested without a judicial warrant and speedy trial).
The Habeas Corpus Act became later a symbol of English freedom as against suppression of subjects in absolutistic states. It is a part of Austrain law, too, probably it was the most important act passed in Parliamnet: arrested persons were to be questionend by a magistrate wihin three days, or set free.

Supremacy of Parliament (1688 - 1832)
James II (brother of Charles II) tried to restore Catholicism by rigorous measures, he was very unpopular and finally even lost the support of the Tories. But the throne was offered to Mary and her Protestant husband, William of Orange, Stadtholder of the Dutch Republic, so James fled to France. This ”Glorious Revolution” (1688) marks the end of the old fight between King and Parliament.
The Parliament was supreme - William and Mary, who ruled very jointly, had to sign the
Bill of Rights (1689), giving Parliament all the rights of law-making and taxation. - From now on the Kings formed their Cabinets from the strongest party in Parliament.
Chief provisions of the Bill of Rights:
* Parliament to control legislation and taxation
* No standing army without consent of Parliament
* No excessive fines and cruel punishments
* Free election of members to Parliament
* Freedom of speech, supplemented in 1695 by abolition of censorship in printing
* Parliaments to be held frequently

The Time after the Glorious Revolution saw the end of the idea of the Divine Right of King; the monarch no longer held office by the grace of God, but by the grace of Parliament.
The Cabinet became responsible to Parliament, not to the King. Since 1707 no English monarch has vetoed an Act of Parliament.
The Bill of Rights is the nearest approach to a written constitution of Britain.

A few further Act passed under the rule of William and Mary:
- Toleration Act, (1689), granted Dissenters freedom of worship, in practice also extended to Catholics.

- Triennial Act, (1694), provided that no Parliament should continue longer than three years.

- Act of Settlement, (1701), this act contained important constitutional provisions:
* The Sovereign must be member of the Curch of England
* He must not leave the country without the consent of Parliament
* The nation shall not be involved in any war of defence of territories not belonging to the
Crown of England without the consent of Parliament
* Foreigners shall not be eligible for offices or membership of either House of Parliament or
to have any grant of lands from the Crown.
* Persons holding offices under the Crown or receiving pensions from the Crown shall not
be members of the House of Commons.

The Act of Settlement and other statutes provided for a maximum interval between elections to the House of Commons (still on a very narrow franchise), and declared that new lawes and taxes must be approved by Parliament and by monarch. But there was no formal restriction on the types of laws that might be passed. Any existing law could be replaced by a new one, this provided that it passes through the prescribed process.

Under Queen Anne (James II´s younger daughter), Parliamentary union with Scotland was effected in 1707, sixteen Scottish lords were to be elected to the House of Lords, as well as representatives to the House of Commons. The ecclesiastical, legal and educational systems, however, have remained seperate.
After Queen Anne´s death a strange thing hapened: the English accepted a foreign king rather than having the Catholic Stuarts back.
George I of Hanover (1714), a greatson of James I, was not able t speek English and was therefore unable to preside over meetings of his ”Cabinet”. This had to be done by one of his ministers, who came to be called PRIME MINISTER. From now on the King left the government of the country to Parliament and the Cabinet.

During the Napoleonic wars there was one important event:
”The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland” was created by abolihing the Irish
Parliament and sending Irish Members to Westminster (1801).

Suffrage - Supremacy of the House of Commons

The Victorian Age - Queen Victoria , who came to the throne in 1837 (after George IV and William IV), gave the century her name: She and her husband; Prince Albert became symbols of ”Victorian” morality and respectability. Her age was one of great changes.

The industrial reforms had been introduced:
* slave trade and slavery had been forbidden
* religious tolerance was granted to all
* industrial towns were given seats in Parliament
* the right to vote was extended to more people (which brought Britain closer to a real
* working hours for women and children in factories werde limited
* criminal law was reformed (e.g. no longer the death peanalty for steeling a sheep)
* education was improved (it became cumpulsary in 1876)

Sozial Legislation:
* Factory Act 1833,
Collieries Act (1842, women and children under 9 were not to work underground)
* Ten-Hours Act (1847, limited the working day of women and young persons)
* Factory Act (1864, on Saturdays factories were closed at two o´clock and the other five
working days were limited to ten and a half hours per day)
* Employment of child chimney sweeps was forbidden in 1864
* Gangs Act (1868, forbad gang labour of children under eight)

A number of Reform Acts, beginning in 1832, gave the vote to an increasing number of people: the middle classes (1832), the industrial workers (1867), the rural population (1884), women (1918 and 1928) and, finally, in 1969 the young (18 plus).
The system of government

Britain is a without a written constitutional monarchy constitition. Some parts of the governmental system are written down in Acts of Parliament (they are also called ”laws” or
”statutes”), others are regulated by ”conventions”, which are commonly accepted assumptions about the way things should be done, mostly based on precedents.
Britain is like a democracy, yet ist people are not, as one might now expect in a democracy, constitutionally in control of the state. The constitutional situation is an apparently contradictory one.
As a result of the historical background the people of Britain are subject of the Crown, accepting the Queen Elizabeth as the head of the state. But yet even the Queen is n o t sovereign in any substantial sense since she receives her authority from Parliament, and is subject to ist direction in almosts all matters. In short, she ”reigns” but does not ”rule”.

Technically, British sovereignty collectively resides in the three elements of Parliament:
THE CROWN, and Parliament´s two chambers, THE HOUSE OF LORDS and

The Crown
The reigning monarch is not only head of the state but symbol of the unity of the nation. The monarchy is Britain´s oldest secular institution, ist continuitty for over a thousand years broken only once ba a republic that lasted a mere of eleven years (1649 - 1660).
The monarchy is hereditary, the succession passing automatically to the oldest male child, or in the absence of males, to the oldest female offspring of the monarch. By Act (or law) of Parliament, the monarch must be a Prostestant. Succession is automatic on the death of the monarch, confirmed later by a formal coronation ceremony.
For example, the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in the year 1953, took place over a year after she became queen.
In law the monarch is head of the executive and of the judiciary, head of the Curch of England and commander-in-chief of the armed forces, however since 1689 the Crown is only sovereign by the will of Parliament.

The remaining powers of the monarch are basically to summon, prorogue (or to suspend until the next session) and to dissolve Parliament; to give royal assent to legislation passed by Parliament; to appoint government ministers, judges, officers of the armed forces, governors, diplomats and bishops of the Curch; to confer honours, such as peerages and knighthoods; to remit sentences passed on convicted criminals; and finally to declare war on or to make peace with an enemy power.
In practice, of course, she is free to decide herself, the monarch dicharges all these functions on the direction of the government
Nevertheless, the function of the monarch is politically important.

The House of Lords

The upper chamber of Parliament, the House of Lords, is not democratic in any sense at all.
It consists of four catagories of peer. The majority are hereditary peers, a total of almost 800, nut of whom only about half take an active interest in the affairs of the state. A smaller number, between 350 and 400, are ”life” peers - an idea introduced in the year 1958 to elevate to the peerage certain people who have rendered political or public service to the nation. Only a quarter of this life peers are women.. All life peers are created on the recom-
mendation of the Prime Minister of the day, with nominations also sought from opposition parties. The purpose was not merely to honour but also to enhance the quality of buisness done in the Lords.
Nine of the most senior judges, the Lords of Appeal in Oridinary, are also entitled to sit in the Lords.. Finally, alongside these secularpeers, the Lords Temporal, are the twenty-six most senoir bishops ans archbishops of the Curch of England, the Lords Spiritual.
The lords of appeal - known as the Law Lords - and the Lords Spiritual are the ancient non-hereditary compenent of the Lords.

Until 1911 the Lords were able to reject bills passed in the Commoners, and thus frustrate not only the government of the day, but also the will of the Commoners. Since then the Lords have been unable to challenge financial legislation, and have only been able to delay other legislation (since 1949 for no more than one session) but not prevent it. Theit only other surviving dicretionary power is to veto an attempt by the Commons to prolong ist own life beyond ist five-year term. The role of the Lords, therefore, is now more to warn than frustrate over-zealous governments, and they have done this more by the proposition of amendments to legislation which causes them unease, than by direct oppositions.

Although there are over a thousand peers entitled to sit in the House of Lords, average daily attendance is only about 300 and most of these are life peers, who retain a strong interest in the affairs of the state. The House of Lordsis presided over by the Lord Chancellor , the senior law officer of the state. The position is not like that of the Speaker, for the Lord Chancellor is not impartial, but a government officer and besides, the Lords are expected to conduct their buisness in a far more orderly fashion than the Commons. He is responsible for the administration of justice and he is also an automatic member of the Cabinet.
A larger number of peers support the Conservative Party than either Labour or the Liberal Democrats, who collectively with independent peers (who, unlike the Commons, have ”cross-
benches” across the back of the chamber to sit upon), can marshall almost the same number of active peers as the Conservatives.
In 1988 there were 446 Conservative peers, 117 Labour peers, 61 Liberal Democrats, 25 Social Democrats and 226 crossbenchers. This preponderance in favour of the Conservatives arises partly because the majority of hereditary peers sympathise more with the Conservative Party than with ist oppnents, but also because Labour declined to nominate candidates for life peerages for a periode during the 1980´s since ist party policy included abolition of the Lords, on the grounds that it was an undemocratic anachromnsm. Depite this preponderance, however, no Conservative government can be absolutely sure of majority, if ist propsals are contoversial. Peers, of whatever party loyality, are far freer to vote according to their own convictions rather than party policy than are members of the Commons.

The House of Commons
The dynamic power of Parliament lies in the House of Commons. Of ist 650 Members, 523 represent constituencies in England, 38 in Wales, 72 in Scotland and 17 in Northern Ireland.
There are only seats in the Commons debating chamber for 370 members, but expect on matters of great interest, it is unusual for all members to be present at any one time.
Many MP´s find themselves in other rooms of the Commons, participating in a variety of committees and meetings necessary for an effective parliamentary process.
The shape of the Commons debating chamber makes an important comment on the political process in Britain. Unlike many European chambers which are semicircular, thus reflecting the spectrum of political opinion in their seating plan, the Commons is rectangular, with the Speaker´s (the Pesiding MP) chair at one end, and either side of it five rows of benches running the lenght of the chamber. On one side, to the Speaker´s right, sits Her Majesty´s Government and its supporters, and on the other side Her Majestry´s Opposition, composed of all Members who opose the government. The front benches on either side are reserved for members of the Cabinet and other Ministers, and Opposition spokesmen, known as the ”Shadow Cabinet”, respectively.
Behind them sit Mps from their own party, known as ”backbenchers”. The layout implies two features of British political life: that it has traditionally been a two-party system and that the process is essentially adversarial (indeed, a red line on the floor in front of each front bench still marks the swords´ lenghts - beyond which a Member may not approach the opposite benches)
The Speaker is chosen by a vote of the entire House, although in paractice the party leaders
consult their supporters in order to achieve informal agreement beforehand. The Speaker is
responsible for the orderly conduct of buisness, and is required to act with scrupulous
impartiality between Members in the House. In the words of the Speaker in 1988,
”It´s not my duty as a Speaker to bend arguments in any way, but to ensure that everything
that happens here is seen clearly by those who put us here. We are, after all, the servants of
those who put us here: to electorate!”
The Speaker is assister by three deputy speakers. Unlike peers, who can only claim expenses,
Mps are paid salaries, approximately twice the average national wage, but substantially less
than most Mps earn ourside the Commons.

Visual interpretation:
Here is diagramatic representation of the theoretical political hierarchy:

The Crown

The House of The The House of
Lords Government Commons

The people

Westminster - the seat of Parliament:

Her Majestry´s Government, in spite of ist name, derives ist authority and power from
its party representation in Parliament. While the government machinery is frequent referred
to as ”Whitehall”, Parliament is known as ”Westminster”, since it housed in the Place of
Westminster, once a home of the monarchy. Like the monarchy, Parliament is an ancient institution, dating from the middle of the thiteenth century (1265).
The British Parliament is the seat of British democracy, but it is perhaps valuable to remember that while the House of Lords was created in order to provide a council of the nobility of the king, the Commons were summoned originally in order to provide the king with money. The more money a king demanded the more the Commoners questioned its
use. Because of ist financial power, ist ability to raise withhold money, the House of Commons eventually - from the seventeenth century onwards - gained power not only in matters of finance but also of legislation o v e r both, the monarch and also the Lords.

Parliament is the supreme legislative body of the United Kingdom. Free from the constraints of a written constitution Parliament may make any laws it pleases. It could even prolong ist own life without consulting the electorate, if it choses to do so. Thus Parliament, rather than the will of the people, is clearly the real sovereign power in the state. The only guarantee against parliamentary tyranny is the sense of tradition and reasonableness of its members.

Furthermore, in practice it is not Parliament as a whole which is sovereign, but the government of the day and ist supporters, since they almost invariably form a majority in the Commons. For the duration of ist normal term, five years, the government of the day may enact or implement ist policies, so long as it can ensure party support in the Commons.
In the words of one distinguished and long-serving parliamentarian who has sat in both the Commons and the Lords, Britain´s parliamentary system is in practice a form of ”elective dictatorship”, an important qualification on the idea of Britain as a democracy.

Parliamen´s functions today are to pass laws, to raise enough money through taxation to enable the government to function, to examine government policy and administration, particulary ist financial programme, and to debate or discuss important political issues.

The life of a Parliament is not fixed, and the government of the day may call for a general election at any time during the five-year term.
Each Parliament is devided into annual sessions, running normally from October to October with breaks for public holidays and for a long summer ”recess” (usually late July until October).

The electoral and party systems:

For electoral proposes the United Kingdom is divided into constituences, each one of which elects a Member of Parliament to sit in the House of Commons. To ensure equitable representations four permanent Boundary Commissions (for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), make periodic reviews to adjust electoral boundaries and redistribute seats.
Today there are 650 seats in the Commons, one seat on average for every 66,000 electors.

All British citizens (including citizens of the Irish Republic resident in the UK) may vote, provided they are aged eighteen or over, are registered, and are not disqualified by insanity, membership of the House of Lords or being sentenced prisoners.
Voting is not compulsary, and a general election normally attracts about 75 % of the electorate, a decline in participation of about 8 % since 1945.
The canditate in a constitutuency who gains most votes is returned as Member to the Commons. In this ”first-past-the-post” system, other canditates, even if they come close to the winner, will not get a seat in Parliament.

If a Member of Parliament (MP) resigns, dies or is made a peer during the lifetime of a Parliament, a by-election must be held in his or her old constituency to elect a new member. No candidate requires the backing of a political party in order to stand for election, but today no independent candidates succeed in being elected. MPs are normally chosen by the constituency branch of the party, from a list of suitable candidates issued by the party head-
quarters. Where the winning party of an election only just gains the greatest proportion of national vote, this can lead to a substantial ditortion of democratic will in actual represen-
tation in the Commons.

The 1987 election results clearly reveal the problem:

Party % of vote % of Mps
Conservatives 42.2 57.7
Labour 30.8 35.2
Alliance (Liberal/SPD) 22.6 3.4

The political party system has evolved since the 18th century, and since the first half of the 19th century has been essentially a two-party system.
Today, this two-party system contest is between the Conservative Party (still known by their previous nickname, the ”Tories”) and the Labour Party, which emerged at the end of the 19th century as a result of the introduction of universal male suffrage and the decline of the Liberal Party.

The Conservative Party is the party of the Right, identified with the idea of economic freedom and until 1979 with the idea of resistance to change. It has successfully portrayed itself as the party of patriotism. As in the 19th century, it appeals to a ”property-owning democracy”, and as a result ist support tends to lie if the wealthier classes, receiving much money from major buisness and financial institutions. It puts emphasis on the importance og law and order, and the maintenance of strong armed forces to protect British interests.
It is highly disciplined and accepts the direction of the Prime Minister, Conservatives tend to be reluctant to express dissent from the leadership publicly.

The Labour Party is less disciplined but possibly more democratic, with more open disagreements between the leadership and other party members, Labour is the Party of social justice, though its emphasis is less on equality than on achievement of wellbeing of society above individual freedom, in the economic sphere at any rate.
Traditionally it has been committed to puplic ownership of major industries, and to economic planning. The trade union movement, which founded the Labour Party, remains influential in the evolution of party policy. Each union executive is able to cast the vote of his entire membership, with the result that some party resolutions are to some extent a contest between the larger unions.

The Liberal Party, which traces ist origins to the 18th century ”Whigs”, merged with the new Social Democratic Party in 1988 to become the Liberal Democrats, after fighting the 1987 election unsuccessfully as an alliance of both parties. It seeks to attract opponents of the Conservatives, dominant in the south of England, and opponents of the Labour Party, dominant in the north.

Since 1945 the Conservatives have formed seven governments and Labour six, although in practic during the period 1945 to 1990 the Conservatives have governed for 28 years and Labour for only 17 years. Since 1979 the domination of the Commons by the Conservatives reveals the strength and weakness of the first-past-the-post electoral system. They have enjoyed a large majority in the Commons although at the elections of 1979, 1983 and 1987 more people voted against the Conservative Party than for it.

(c) 2003-2018  HD Software & Beratiungs GmbH
  Partnerseiten:Referate Online|Die besten Nachhilfe Videos