lecture notes-2

lecture notes-2 - ThursdayWeek2 17:03

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Thursday Week 2 17:03 American system of checks and balances  may lead to government shut down House of Lords: unelected—so is the British system un-democratic? Democratic Functions of Parliament: 1. Public education—media coverage 2. Recruiting ground for higher leaders 3. Barometer of public opinion 4. Preservation of a feudal culture 5. Parliament as opposition: The House of Lords - public education : proceeding of House of Commons and House of Lords are  carried on television and other forms of media informs and alerts public of the issues on the table o well-informed public - recruiting ground for higher leaders : must have had many years of previous  experience, must be devoted member and active volunteer, must have political  intelligence labor and conservative elite populated by talented individuals Darwinian struggle to get to the top, tends to weed on uninformed individuals - parliament as a barometer of public opinion : long intervals between  elections, House of Commons not a cross-section of British society HoC comprised to a very large degree of males Overwhelmingly older males
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o Also overwhelmingly white o Die off more rapidly than the British population as a whole Healthy thing from the standpoint of Democracy Leads to interim election to fill seat o Tend to me monitored very closely by British press and public o *Give a sense of the directions of shifts in public opinion, parliamentary  process responds to shifts—democratic aspect - preservation of a feudal political culture : Britain never suffered a violent  revolution that overthrew the aristocracy aristocracy has been able to continue un-interrupted as a powerful political  force in British society - parliament as opposition: House of Lords : serve as some sort of check and  balance system legal/constitutional powers of the House of Lords are quite limited o non-budget legislation o most it can do is delay a law for one year’s time o if a bill is introduced first in the Lords than goes to the House of Commons  and the Lords vote against it, it cannot go to the House of Commons pretty rare point of view: value of an unelected branch of government in times when the  public mood is one of fear and hysteria o our patriot act compromised individual rights and liberties on the  justification that this was necessary to expose terrorism pervasive atmosphere of fear terrorist activity has been going on in Britain since the very early 1920’s— familiar with atmosphere of fear o did pass anti-terrorism act—not about to give up freedoms defined by the  Magna Carta however Lords: everyone is a peer (or equal) o Woolsack
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This note was uploaded on 09/23/2011 for the course POLI SCI 50 taught by Professor Lofchie during the Spring '11 term at UCLA.

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lecture notes-2 - ThursdayWeek2 17:03

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