Democracy In Scotland Flashcards Preview

National 5: Modern Studies > Democracy In Scotland > Flashcards

Flashcards in Democracy In Scotland Deck (108):
1

Monarchy

Queen Elizabeth II is our head of state

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Central Government

British Parliament and Government, based in London and led by the Prime Minister, Theresa May of the Conservative party

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Devolved Government

Scottish Parliament and Government, based in Edinburgh and led by the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon of the SNP

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Local Government

Local Councils, known as local authorities; Scotland is divided up into 32 of these councils, for example, Dundee City Council or Fife Council

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Right to vote in elections

E.g. British general election 2015, Scottish general election 2016. Must respect the outcome of the election, even if your party loses.

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The right to free speech

E.g. Complain about the Government. Don't engage in hate speech or incite violence e.g. Racism, sexism and homophobia are against the law

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The right to protest

E.g. Junior doctors 2015, independence camp 2014-16 and the Faslane peace camp. Don't turn to violence or riot e.g. Student protests 2010, London Riots 2011

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The right to petition

E.g. 2016 petition to ban Donald Trump from the UK. Don't forge signatures

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Participation - Vote in Elections

We can vote in local council, Scottish and British elections. The last Scottish election was 2016, which the SNP won

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Participation - Vote in Referenda

We can vote on single issues in a referendum. For example. 52% of people in Britain voted to leave the EU in 2016

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Participation - Stand as a candidate in elections

We can stand as a candidate in local, Scottish or British elections. In 2015 SNP candidate Mhairi Black was elected at age 20, making her the youngest ever MP in the House of Commons.

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Participation - Help a candidate campaign

We can also help candidates we support to win their seat in an election. Many people in Dundee West canvassed people at home, handed out leaflets and wore badges in support of local MSP Joe Fitzpatrick.

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Participation - Join a pressure group

We can join a pressure group if we feel strongly about a cause. For example, Greenpeace is an environmental pressure group

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Participation - Join a political party

We can join a political party if we want to help them win. Many people joined the SNP and Conservative parties after the 2014 Scottish independence referendum.

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Single Transferable Vote (STV) - Definition

This system is used in Scotland to elect local councillors and is the most complicated system. Voters can vote as many times as they want by listing their candidates in order of preference eg ranking them 1-10. It is a system of proportional representation

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Single Transferable Vote (STV) - Advantages

Fully Proportional More Choice

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Single Transferable Vote (STV) - Fully Proportional

The result is fully proportional so if a party gets 50% of the votes they’ll get 50% of seats on the council eg in 2012 Labour received 35% of the votes in Dundee City and so won 10 seats (35%) on Dundee City Council

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Single Transferable Vote (STV) - More Choice

As voters rank their candidates they have lots of choice and each vote counts eg they might rank Labour 1, SNP 2, Conservative 3, Green 4 and so on

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Single Transferable Vote (STV) - Disadvantages

Complicated Confusing

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Single Transferable Vote (STV) - Complicated

With such a complicated system it’s really difficult to count the result; lots of complicated maths is involved so it takes time to figure out how many seats each party has won

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Single Transferable Vote (STV) - Confusing

Because there it is easier for smaller parties and independent candidates to be elected the ballot papers can be huge and cause lots of confusion. As a result, in 2012, 2.5% of ballots in Dundee were rejected because they’d been filled out incorrectly!

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Independence - Reasons for No

Poorer Identity History

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Independence - Poorer

Scotland would be poorer if it left the UK as it would not be able to use the British pound

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Independence - Identity

People in Scotland feel British as well as Scottish

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Independence - History

Scotland has been a part of the UK for 300 years

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Independence - Reasons for Yes

Richer Self-Determination Out of Touch

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Independence - Richer

Scotland could be richer if it left the UK; it has oil, tourism and a whisky trade

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Independence - Self-Determination

Independence would allow for ‘self-determination’ – Scots would control the destiny of their country

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Independence - Out of Touch

British parliament in London is too remote and far away to govern Scotland properly.

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Scotland Act 2016

New powers introduced like; Control over some benefits; eg. Disability Living Allowance The power to raise/lower VAT The power for parliament to borrow money to fund projects The power to allow 16-17 year olds to vote

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Scottish Parliament

In total there are 129 seats in Scottish Parliament, one for each of the 129 MSPs. The political party with the most seats after each election gets to form the government whilst the other parties form the opposition

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SNP - Leader

Nicola Sturgeon

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SNP - MSPs

63

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Conservative - Leader

Ruth Davidson

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Conservative - MSPs

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Labour - Leader

Kezia Dugdale

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Labour - MSPs

23

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Green - Leader

Patrick Harvey

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Green - MSPs

6

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Liberal Democrats - Leader

WIllie Rennie

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Liberal Democrats - MSPs

5

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Types of Government

Majority

Minority

Coalition

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Majority Government - Definition

If the largest party has more than half the seats in parliament they can govern alone as a majority.

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Majority Government - Example

In the 2011 election the SNP won 69 seats so worked as a majority government

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Majority Government - Advantage

With a majority of MSPs on their side, it is easy for the government to pass bills into law eg. 2014 Independence Referendum

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Majority Government - Disadvantage

A majority government will not have a strong opposition and therefore there won’t be much scrutiny of government action

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Minority Government - Definition

If the largest party has less than half the seats in parliament they can still govern alone as a minority.

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Minority Government - Example

In 2016 the SNP won 63 seats, 2 less than the 65 needed to form a majority.

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Minority Government - Advantage

With a minority of MSPs on their side the government are forced to work with other parties and take their views into consideration – this means other parties have a say, even though they’re not in government

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Minority Government - Disadvantage

The opposition can have too much power and stop the government from passing laws – this makes the whole process slow

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Coalition Government - Definition

If the largest party has less than half the seats they can work with another party to form a majority.

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Coalition Government - Example

In 2003 the Labour party formed a coalition with the Liberal Democrats; working together gave them a joint majority.

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Coalition Government - Advantage

With two parties working together the views of more people are represented in the actions of government.

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Coalition Government - Disadvantage

Nobody votes for a coalition – it’s not an option in the election. Two parties decide to form one without the consent of the voters.

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Conflicts between Scottish and British Parliaments

Scottish Independence

Brexit

Trident Renewal

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Scottish Independence

In 2014 the SNP Scottish government campaigned for it whilst the Conservative British government campaigned against

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Brexit

In 2016 the Scottish SNP government has tried to stop Scotland from exiting the EU whilst the British Conservative government has argued Scotland will leave with the rest of the UK.

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Trident Renewal

In 2016 the Conservative government voted to renew the Trident nuclear submarine programme whilst the Scottish SNP government wanted the nuclear missiles removed from Scotland.

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Conflicts between Scottish and Local government

Local Government Funding

Cutting School Day

Funding of Free School Meals

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Local Government Funding

In 2016 local government councils complained that the Scottish parliament was not giving them enough money to run services whilst the Scottish government argued that they were.

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Cutting School Day

In 2016 Dumfries council cut the number of hours in the school day to reduce costs whilst the Scottish government argued that they could not do this.

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Funding of Free School Meals

One Scottish government policy has been to give all children in P1-3 a free school meal, however some local councils have argued they don’t have the money to do this.

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MSPs - Parliament days

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thrusday

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MSPs - Parliament Work

Committee work

Question time

First Minister’s Question Time

Debating

Decision Time

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Committee Work

This makes up the bulk of an MSPs work. Committees examine new laws. For example, MSP for the North East Scotland region Liam Kerr is a member of the economy committee and the public audit committee

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Question Time

this happens every Thursday at 12pm. Here, government ministers like Health Secretary Shona Robinson will face questions from MSPs about health in Scotland

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First Minister's Question Time

This happens every Thursday at 12pm. Here FM Nicola Sturgeon will face questions from MSPs about all issues affecting Scotland. Tough questions will come from opposition MSPs like Conservative leader Ruth Davison

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Debating

MSPs will spend much of their time in parliament debating about new laws with other MSPs. MSPs debate devolved issues like health, education and transport.

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Decision Time

This happens at 5pm at the end of each day and involves MSPs voting on laws. For example, in 2015 the Scottish parliament voted to reduce the age at which people can vote in elections to 16.

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MSPs - Constituency Days

Monday, Friday and Saturday

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MSPs - Constituency Work

Hold Surgeries

Public Meetings

Campaign for Election

Meeting with MPs and Councillors

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Hold Surgeries

MSPs hold a weekly surgery where their constituents can meet them and share any problems that they have. For example, a constituent might complain about the quality of meals at Ninewells Hospital. The MSP will bring this problem up with the hospital and maybe discuss it in parliament.

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Public Meetings

Meetings with the public are held at different venues across the city to allow constituents a chance to speak with their MSP. For example, Shona Robison, MSP for Dundee East, holds meetings all over her constituency, including libraries, shopping centres and community centres.

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Campaign for election

every five years MSPs must work hard in their constituency to campaign for re-election if they want to keep their seat! For example, Joe Fitzpatrick could be seen knocking on people’s doors during the 2016 election campaign

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Meeting with MPs and Councillors

Sometimes constituents come to their MSP with a problem that’s better dealt with by the British government or the local council. For example, if a constituent approaches Shona Robinson with a problem about refuse collection she may take the issue up with the local council.

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Raising Money for Council Services

Revenue Support Grant Council Tax Business Rates Service Charges

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Revenue Support Grant

Around 80% of council funding comes from the Scottish government in the form of the revenue support grant. The amount of money each of the 32 councils get depends on their size and the amount of people living there. Councils often complain that this isn’t enough. The Scottish government gives almost £11 billion to councils each year.

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Council Tax

Councils charge the ‘council tax’ on each property, whether it is owned or rented. People living in the council area have to pay it. The more valuable your home, the more you have to pay. Band A properties in Dundee are charged £1089 each year whilst Band H are charged £3269 every year.

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Business Rates

Businesses have to pay a tax, very similar to council tax, for operating their businesses within a council area.

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Service Charges

People pay fees for the council services they use. For example, people pay to use council car parks or council run leisure centres.

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Types of Pressure Groups

Cause Sectional

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Cause Group - Definition

Open to everyone Temporary and only last as long as their issue Have lots of members

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Cause Group - Examples

CND Greenpeace Amnesty International Gurkha Justice Campaign

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Sectional Groups - Definition

Open to members of a specific group only They keep going to further their member’s interests They are exclusive groups so are smaller

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Sectional Groups - Examples

Education Institute of Scotland (teaching union) UNISON (workers union) BMA (doctor’s union)

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Pressure Group Rights

Free Speech Protest Petition

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Pressure Group Methods

Rallies, marches, demonstrations & protests Posters Letter writing/email campaign Websites Social Media Online Petitions Camps

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Rallies, Marches and Protests - Example

Anti-Brexit protests

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Posters - Example

Amnesty International use posters and billboards to spread their message

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Letter Writing/email campaign - Example

Gurkha justice campaign urged people to write to their MP about the issue

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Websites - Example

Survival International use their website to share vidoes/images/stories

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Social Media - Example

PETA used social media to share videos of Angora fur farms

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Online Petitions - Example

Dyce Academy in Aberdeen used an online petition to allow fair trade chocolate to be sold in schools

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Camps - Example

The CND set up a ‘Peace Camp’ at Faslane

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Trade Unions - Purpose

Campaign to protect workers’ rights

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Trade Unions - Examples

EIS (teaching union) BMA (doctor’s union) UNISON, the general worker’s union.

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Trade Unions - Rights

Right to Strike Right to Recruit new members Negotiate changes to pay and conditions

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Right to Strike - Example

Junior Doctor Strikes in 2016

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Right to Strike - Responsability

The members must vote first

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Recruit New Members - Responsability

Don’t force anyone to join

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Negotiate changes to pay and conditions - Example

The BMA negotiated with the government over a new contract for junior doctors in 2016.

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Negotiate changes to pay and conditions - Responsability

Don't make unreasonable demands

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Industrial Action - Definition

Methods trade unions use to get their points across

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Industrial Action - Examples

Strike Go Slow Overtime Ban Work to rule

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Print Media

Newspapers – for example the Sun, the Daily Mail and the Guardian. Papers will often report on what the government has done so the public are kept up to date.

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Broadcast Media

Television and radio – for example BBC news, Channel 4 news

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Social Media

The internet – facebook, twitter, Instagram – politicians have their own social media which they use to keep in touch with constituents.

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