Flashcards in Democray In Scotland And The Uk Deck (70):
What is the UK constitutional arrangement?
Parliamentary democracy with a constitutional monarch who has no political power.
Who is the Queen head of state of?
The people of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales and to the people of the fifteen realms of the commonwealth.
What does Parliamentary sovereignty ensure?
That all powers are vested in the UK parliament and the powers granted to the devolved governments can be returned and devolved parliaments abolished
What is the UK central governments responsibility?
National Affairs - economy, defence, foreign policy and the environment.
In the UK who leads the government?
The prime minster with the support of the cabinet and ministers.
Departments and their agencies responsibilities
Putting the government policy into practice
When was the scottish Parliament, National Assembly for Wales and the Northern Ireland assembly established?
What does devolved mean?
Powers that have been transferred from central government to local or regional administration
What are the UK government still responsible for?
National policy on all matters that have not been devolved
e.g foreign affairs, defence, social security and trade
• Constitutional matters
• UK foreign policy
• UK defence and national security
• Fiscal, economic and monetary system
• Social security
• Gambling and the national lottery
• Data protection
• Trade and industry
• Education and training
• Local government
• Social Work
• Police and the fire service
• Sport and the arts
• Agriculture, forestry and fishing
What is the Scottish Parliaments job?
• Debates topical issues and passed laws on devolved matters that affect Scotland
• Scrutinises the work and polices of the Scottish Government
• Made up of 129 elected as MSPs
What did the 2012 Scotland act means for Scotland?
• Responsible for -
~ some tax powers
~ air guns
~ drinking driving limits (into force in dec2014)
What happened on 18th September 2014?
Scottish electorate voted to remain part of the UK by 55% to 45%
What is the Welsh Assembly jobs?
• Representative body that holds law-making powers on devolved matters.
• Debates and approves legislation.
• Scrutinise and monitor the Welsh Assembly Government.
• 60 elected members
What is Northern Ireland Assembly job?
• Established as part of the Belfast Agreement in 1998
• Devolution to Northern Ireland was suspended in October 2002 and restored on 8 May 2007
When did the UK become a member of the EU?
If a law is passed by Parliament that conflicts with EU law are?
What is the higher court of the judges?
The European Court of Justice
The UK parliament should be sovereign. What does this mean?
Possessing supreme power
How is the prime minister involved in the EU
European Council or Summit meetings with other EU leaders
What do the UK Government keep control of (powers)
• Most areas of public expenditure
• Social security
What UK’s decision-making Powers are kept by EU membership
•single-market regulation ( free movement of goods, capital
Why is the EU membership a main reserved power of Westminster?
The Scottish Parliament and the Welsh and Northern Irish Assemblies have a limited engagement with the EU. They must implement EU laws if it’s a devolved power to them.
Better together campaign
• Pro- union and anti independence campaign
• Launched 25/06/12
•Supported by - Labour, Conservatives and Liberal Democrat’s
• Convince people to vote NO on independence
• Slogans - ‘no thanks’ ‘We get the best of both worlds as part of the UK’
Yes Scotland Campaign
• Headed by Alex Salmond
• Launched 25/05/12
• Supported by- SNP, Scottish Green Party and the Scottish Socialist Party
• Aim to persuade to vote for independence
Arguments FOR independence
• National Debt
~ Would honour its share of the UK national debts but only given a share of assets, like the pound
• The NHS
~ Sir Harry Burns (chief medical officer of Scotland) said Scotland would necessary secure the future of the NHS. As they make cuts privatisation is increasing
~ Alex Salmond that Scotland could form an oil fund due to having £1 billion (one-tenth) of oil revenues. Would make Scotland a successful independent country
~ The Scottish Government said sharing the pound would be beneficial for both countries to share the pound and keep Bank of England as a lender for last resorts to bail out Scottish banks if needed. Luxembourg and Belgium are examples of how it works
• The EU
~ Nationalists day Scotland would have to reapply to join the EU. Citizens would still be part after negotiation.
• Nuclear weapons/ defence
~ Yes Scotland said that Scotland would be free from nuclear weapons which are currently stored at Clyde. Scotland would also join NATO but focus new Scottish army’s effort on humanitarian work.
Arguments AGAINST independence
• National Debt
~ Alistair Darling said that a current Union could not demand ‘the best of both worlds’
• The NHS
~ Health is a devolved issue so Scotland would always be able to protect the NHS from privatisation (better together said)
~ Yes Scotland overestimated the wealth that could be created in the North Sea Oil. Sir Ian Wood (oil billionaire) said there’s about 15/16 billion barrels left not 24 like the Yes campaign said.
~ UK coalition government ruled out the possibility of a currency union with Scotland. Instead they could use the pound like panama uses the dollar or set up a new currency of use the euro.
• The EU
~ Unionists say that if Scotland want independence then they leave the EU member state too. They would have to reapply and rely of support from governments such as Spain which wouldn’t support
• Nuclear Weapons/ defence
~ Having Nuclear weapons in Clyde produces jobs for people in local areas. Would be expensive to relocate and a nuclear free Scotland wouldn’t be granted by NATO.
Result of the 2014 Scottish independence Referendum
• 85% turned up to vote
• 45% voted for independence
• 55% voted to remain part of the UK
What regions had a turnout of over 90%?
East Dunbartonshire and Stirling
(Highest turnout ever recorded in a UK election or referendum)
What were the four councils which saw a majority vote ‘Yes’
• North Lanarkshire
• West Dunbartonshire
How poorest in society compared with affluent areas voted for independence
Affluent areas- remain
What did the Scottish people demand during the independence?
Who stood down from party leader and first minister after independence?
Who was elected as party leader and became the first woman first minister?
How many party leaders are woman?
What was a positive outcome of the independence with the Scottish people?
The people of Scotland had become better engaged with politics.
What did the referring guarantee majors changes to?
UK’s constitutional structure, with immediate calls for an English parliament from some sections of society and a general consensus on the need for more regional powers to be granted across the UK.
What is a coalition Government?
When two or more political parties form a government
What is a Referendum?
The electorate, not their representatives, vote to accept or reject a proposal
What was the problem of powers from Scotland?
Lord Smith of Kelvin assumed responsibility for overseeing the new Scottish Devolution Commission to give more powers to Scotland
How did the Referendum affect people living in other parts of the union?
David Cameron said he would use the outcome to make plans to reform Commons fumes to stop English MPs being overruled on English-only matters by the votes of Scottish MSPs, settling the West Lothian Questions.
What is West Lothian Questions?
Asked by Tam Dal in 1977. It asked why Scottish MPs have the same right to vote at Westminster as any English MP now that larger areas of policy are devolved to the Scottish Parliament
What did all 3 main parties agree on for Scotland’s powers after Referendum?
More powers for Scotland
Why is the ‘English votes for English laws’ highly controversial?
Danger of Parliament having two classes of MP
When are UK general elections held?
Every 5 years
What is the UK Election system that is used?
First Past The Post (FPTP)
When do Scotland elections take place?
Every 4 years
What system is used for scottish Parliament elections?
Additional Member System (AMS)
What system is used for Scottish local councils elections?
Single Transferable Vote (STV)
Background on FPTP
• Used in UK general elections
• Simple majority system
• Candidate with the most votes wins the seat and becomes the MP in that constituency
Arguments for FPTP
• Easy to understand
~ voters choose the candidate which they think will represent them the best.
~ good for elderly and first time voters
• Clear link between voter and representative
~ Person elected becomes spokesperson for the area
~ Quickly becoming aware of the people and their problems
~ Build up contacts
• Usually leads to a decisive result
~ Usually one parties wins
~ Clear strong government for set period of time
~ voters will be able to make a decision for next election based on previous party
• Speedy results
~ who every gets most votes wins
~ results could be announced same day or next day
Arguments against FPTP
• No individual mandate for an MP or for a Government
~ winning candidate are often selected on a minority vote
• Does not lead to a representative government
~ Conservatives won 51% of votes but on 37% if seats in 2015 general election
~ In Scotland in 2015, the SNP won 95% of seats but only 50% of vote
• Smaller parties don’t gain fair representation
~ Liberal Democrat’s and Greens have been traditionally under represented
•Many Votes are wasted
~ ‘winner takes all’ means that people who voted for 2nd and 3rd candidates are not represented, no matter how close
• Encourages negative tactical voting
~ Voting for what you don’t support
Statistics on FPTP
• Sunderland South Constituency declared a result after just 50 minutes in 2015
• Newcastle upon Tyne central first in 2017 in 1 hour and 3 minutes
• Stewart Hosie is MP for Dundee East and Chris Law is MP for Dundee West
• Conservatives won a majority over all parties of 12 seats in 2015
• Stewart Hosie won Dundee East for the SNP with only 43% of vote in 2017
• Conservatives won 51% of the seats on only 37% of vote in 2025 general election
• Scotland in 2015, the SNP won 95% seats but only 50% of vote
• Liberal Democrat’s gained 8% of votes hit only 1.2% seats (2015)
• UKIP won’t 13% votes and only 0.15% seats (2015)
• Turnout in the 2017 general election was 68.7% in some constituencies turnout fell below 50%
What is voter apathy?
A lack of interest or engagement in the political process
• Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly and London Assembly all use it
• Mixture of FPTP and PR
• First Vote- elect 73 Constituency MSPS
• Second Vote- Parties to represent them in their region
• 8 regions and each region elects 7 MSPs which = 129 MSPs
What system was introduced for elections to the European Parliament in 1999?
PL system this is when each party draws up a list of candidates ranked according to Party preference, with more important candidates ranked at the top of this list. Electors then vote for a party rather than a person. In 2014 Scotland elected 6 MEPs
~ Long-term Factors
• Social Class
~ 1945-1970 there was a clear link between a persons voting behaviour and their class
~ 65% of working class voted for labour
~ 85% of middle class voted for Conservatives
~ Always have people who voted conservative and middle class labour voters
~ Been a decline in the important of class as main reason for their vote
~ Recent elections have shown that social class is no longer an impact in vote
~ determines who a person votes for or if they will vote at all
~ Young voters- Labour
~ Older voters- Conservatives (traditional values)
~ 2005 UK General Election- voting much higher in elderly group (65 and over) than than 18-26 year olds. 75% old versus 37% young
~ Woman are more likely to vote conservative and make up the majority of their vote
~ changes happened in 1997 election when New Labour overcame this gender gap through the female friendly policies
~ After this there were more woman candidates and 101 labour woman MPs were elected
~ As woman become more middle class and better educated they are more likely to move left
~ Black and Asian voters are more likely to vote for Labour but can also be due to social Class as they tend to be from lower socio-Economic groups
~ However many affluent black and Asian voters who do not identify with Labour
• Party Leadership and Policies
~ Become an important factor
~ Often influences other long and short term factors
~ Young people may be more likely to vote SNP as they use new media such as twitter to influence people
~ Younger people tend to use media more than older voters
~ 2010 General Election, 9.4 million people watched the first live TV debate
~ Sun newspaper- read by 8 million people every day (many people’s on source of info)
Party leadership and polices
• 2011 Scottish Election
~ Alex Salmond appeared as a strong leader on TV
~ Labour leader Iain Gray appeared weak as he was ambushed and left
~ As a result SNP became the country’s first majority government
~ Labour experiences severe losses from places like Glasgow and the West
• 2010 UK General Election
~ Gordon Brown appeared to be dull and boring
~ David Cameron appeared stronger and inspirational
~ Different leadership has impact on voting
Voters choose by the party leaders and by the party manifesto and stance on issues. (Closest to their own values)
What is a pressure group?
A group of individuals who come together, through common belief or passion to put pressure on the government to introduce or change something
What is a cause group (pressure group)
• Campaign to raise awareness of specific causes
• Can campaign for others who cannot for themselves
• Attempt to influence the public opinion
- Shelter is an example of a cause group
- Greenpeace is an environmental group that puts pressure on the government for a greener world
What is an interest group? (Pressure group)
• Work to promote a particular interest often to advance economic or professional status of their members
- e.g British Medical Association
Arguments for AMS
• Maintains the representative
~ Constituency link for the majority of representatives
~ MSPs are elected using FPTP as Constituency MSPs (1 MSP)
~ Local people have a say over elected MSP and the person to stand as parties candidate