Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left political party in the United Kingdom, described as an alliance of social democrats, democratic socialists and trade unionists. The party's platform emphasises greater state intervention, social justice and strengthening workers' rights; the Labour Party was founded in 1900, having grown out of the trade union movement and socialist parties of the nineteenth century. It overtook the Liberal Party to become the main opposition to the Conservative Party in the early 1920s, forming two minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in the 1920s and early 1930s. Labour served in the wartime coalition of 1940-1945, after which Clement Attlee's Labour government established the National Health Service and expanded the welfare state from 1945 to 1951. Under Harold Wilson and James Callaghan, Labour again governed from 1964 to 1970 and 1974 to 1979. In the 1990s Tony Blair took Labour closer to the centre as part of his "New Labour" project, which governed the UK under Blair and Gordon Brown from 1997 to 2010.
After Corbyn took over in 2015, the party has moved leftward. Labour is the Official Opposition in the Parliament of the United Kingdom, having won the second-largest number of seats in the 2017 general election; the Labour Party is the largest party in the Welsh Assembly, forming the main party in the current Welsh government. The party is the third largest in the Scottish Parliament. Labour is a member of the Party of European Socialists and Progressive Alliance, holds observer status in the Socialist International, sits with the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament; the party includes semi-autonomous Scottish and Welsh branches and supports the Social Democratic and Labour Party in Northern Ireland. As of 2017, Labour had the largest membership of any party in Western Europe; the Labour Party originated in the late 19th century, meeting the demand for a new political party to represent the interests and needs of the urban working class, a demographic which had increased in number, many of whom only gained suffrage with the passage of the Representation of the People Act 1884.
Some members of the trades union movement became interested in moving into the political field, after further extensions of the voting franchise in 1867 and 1885, the Liberal Party endorsed some trade-union sponsored candidates. The first Lib–Lab candidate to stand was George Odger in the Southwark by-election of 1870. In addition, several small socialist groups had formed around this time, with the intention of linking the movement to political policies. Among these were the Independent Labour Party, the intellectual and middle-class Fabian Society, the Marxist Social Democratic Federation and the Scottish Labour Party. At the 1895 general election, the Independent Labour Party put up 28 candidates but won only 44,325 votes. Keir Hardie, the leader of the party, believed that to obtain success in parliamentary elections, it would be necessary to join with other left-wing groups. Hardie's roots as a lay preacher contributed to an ethos in the party which led to the comment by 1950s General Secretary Morgan Phillips that "Socialism in Britain owed more to Methodism than Marx".
In 1899, a Doncaster member of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants, Thomas R. Steels, proposed in his union branch that the Trade Union Congress call a special conference to bring together all left-wing organisations and form them into a single body that would sponsor Parliamentary candidates; the motion was passed at all stages by the TUC, the proposed conference was held at the Memorial Hall on Farringdon Street on 26 and 27 February 1900. The meeting was attended by a broad spectrum of working-class and left-wing organisations—trades unions represented about one third of the membership of the TUC delegates. After a debate, the 129 delegates passed Hardie's motion to establish "a distinct Labour group in Parliament, who shall have their own whips, agree upon their policy, which must embrace a readiness to cooperate with any party which for the time being may be engaged in promoting legislation in the direct interests of labour." This created an association called the Labour Representation Committee, meant to co-ordinate attempts to support MPs sponsored by trade unions and represent the working-class population.
It had no single leader, in the absence of one, the Independent Labour Party nominee Ramsay MacDonald was elected as Secretary. He had the difficult task of keeping the various strands of opinions in the LRC united; the October 1900 "Khaki election" came too soon for the new party to campaign effectively. Only 15 candidatures were sponsored. Support for the LRC was boosted by the 1901 Taff Vale Case, a dispute between strikers and a railway company that ended with the union being ordered to pay £23,000 damages for a strike; the judgement made strikes illegal since employers could recoup the cost of lost business from the unions. The apparent acquiescence of the Conservative Government of Arthur Balfour to industrial and business interests intensified support for the LRC against a government that appeared to have little concern for the industrial proletariat and its problems. In the 1906 election, the LRC won 29 seats—helped by a secret 1903 pact between Ramsay MacDonald and Liberal Chief Whip Herbert Gladstone that aimed to avoid splitting the opposition vote between Labour and Liberal candidates in the interest of removing the Conservatives from office.
In their first meeting after the election the group's Members of Parliament decided to adop
Representation of the People Act 1884
In the United Kingdom, the Representation of the People Act 1884 and the Redistribution Act of the following year were laws which further extended the suffrage in the UK after the Derby Government's Reform Act 1867. Taken together, these measures extended the same voting qualifications as existed in the towns to the countryside, established the modern one member constituency as the normal pattern for Parliamentary representation; the Act extended the 1867 concessions from the boroughs to the countryside. All men paying an annual rental of £10 and all those holding land valued at £10 now had the vote; the British electorate now totalled over 5,500,000. The bill was so objectionable to the House of Lords that Gladstone was forced to redistribute the seats, in another bill: the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885 redistributed constituencies, giving more representation to urban areas; the 1884 Reform Act did not establish universal suffrage: although the size of the electorate was increased all women and 40% of adult males were still without the vote.
Male suffrage varied throughout the kingdom, too: in England and Wales, two in three adult males had the vote. Section 2: This extended a uniform household franchise to all parliamentary boroughs and counties in the United Kingdom. Section 3: Men inhabiting a dwelling-house as an employee, whose employer did not live there, were to be treated for franchise purposes as if they were occupying as tenants. Section 4: Prohibition of multiplicity of votes; this was not to stop people acquiring multiple votes in different constituencies, but to restrict sub-division of one property to qualify multiple voters. Section 5a: A man, a £10 occupier in a county or borough was to be a voter in that county or borough; this assimilated the previous county occupation franchise and borough occupation franchise into a uniform occupation franchise. Section 6: Occupation in a borough was not to confer a county franchise; as many crofters in the Scottish Highlands qualified as £10 occupiers, the Act empowered Scottish Gaels to take action against evictions and rent increases at the end of the Highland Clearances.
Their votes led to the formation of the Crofters' Party and Highland Land League, the passage of the Crofters' Holdings Act 1886, which addressed many of their grievances and put an end to the Highland Clearances. Parliamentary Franchise in the United Kingdom 1885–1918 Medical Relief Disqualification Removal Act 1885 The Statutes: Second Revised Edition, Vol. XVI 1884-1886, Cunningham Glen, W; the Representation of the People Act, 1884, with introduction notes and index. Shaw & Sons
A political party is an organized group of people with common views, who come together to contest elections and hold power in the government. The party agrees on some proposed policies and programmes, with a view to promoting the collective good or furthering their supporters' interests. While there is some international commonality in the way political parties are recognized and in how they operate, there are many differences, some are significant. Many political parties have an ideological core, but some do not, many represent ideologies different from their ideology at the time the party was founded. Many countries, such as Germany and India, have several significant political parties, some nations have one-party systems, such as China and Cuba; the United States is in practice a two-party system but with many smaller parties participating and a high degree of autonomy for individual candidates. Political factions have existed in democratic societies since ancient times. Plato writes in his Republic on the formation of political cliques in Classical Athens, the tendency of Athenian citizens to vote according to factional loyalty rather than for the public good.
In the Roman Republic, Polybius coined the term ochlocracy to describe the tendency of politicians to mobilise popular factionalist sentiment against their political rivals. Factional politics remained a part of Roman political life through the Imperial period and beyond, the poet Juvenal coined the phrase "bread and circuses" to describe the political class pandering to the citizenry through diversionary entertainments rather than through arguments about policy. "Bread and circuses" survived as part of Byzantine political life - for example, the Nika revolt during the reign of Justinian was a riot between the "Blues" and the "Greens"—two chariot racing factions at the Hippodrome, who received patronage from different Senatorial factions and religious sects. The patricians who sponsored the Blues and the Greens competed with each other to hold grander games and public entertainments during electoral campaigns, in order to appeal to the citizenry of Constantinople; the first modern political factions, can be said to have originated in early modern Britain.
The first political factions, cohering around a basic, if fluid, set of principles, emerged from the Exclusion Crisis and Glorious Revolution in late 17th century England. The Whigs supported Protestant constitutional monarchy against absolute rule, they were interested in the citizens of United Kingdom being free from the aristocracy and opposed to any tyranny, however they supported the constitutional aristocracy and does not consider the British nobility abusive because of its limits; the leader of the Whigs was Robert Walpole, who maintained control of the government in the period 1721–1742. As the century wore on, the factions began to adopt more coherent political tendencies as the interests of their power bases began to diverge; the Whig party's initial base of support from the great aristocratic families widened to include the emerging industrial interests and wealthy merchants. As well as championing constitutional monarchy with strict limits on the monarch's power, the Whigs adamantly opposed a Catholic king as a threat to liberty, believed in extending toleration to nonconformist Protestants, or dissenters.
A major influence on the Whigs were the liberal political ideas of John Locke, the concepts of universal rights employed by Locke and Algernon Sidney. Although the Tories were out of office for half a century, for most of this period the Tories retained party cohesion, with occasional hopes of regaining office at the accession of George II and the downfall of the ministry of Sir Robert Walpole in 1742, they acted as a united, though unavailing, opposition to Whig corruption and scandals. At times they cooperated with the "Opposition Whigs", Whigs who were in opposition to the Whig government, they regained power with the accession of George III in 1760 under Lord Bute. When they lost power, the old Whig leadership dissolved into a decade of factional chaos with distinct "Grenvillite", "Bedfordite", "Rockinghamite", "Chathamite" factions successively in power, all referring to themselves as "Whigs". Out of this chaos, the first distinctive parties emerged; the first such party was the Rockingham Whigs under the leadership of Charles Watson-Wentworth and the intellectual guidance of the political philosopher Edmund Burke.
Burke laid out a philosophy that described the basic framework of the political party as "a body of men united for promoting by their joint endeavours the national interest, upon some particular principle in which they are all agreed". As opposed to the instability of the earlier factions, which were tied to a particular leader and could disintegrate if removed from power, the party was centred around a set of core principles and remained out of power as a united opposition to government. A coalition including the Rockingham Whigs, led by the Earl of She
Elections in the United Kingdom
There are six types of elections in the United Kingdom: elections to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, elections to devolved parliaments and assemblies, elections to the European Parliament, local elections, mayoral elections and Police and Crime Commissioner elections. Within each of those categories, there may be by-elections as well as general elections. Elections are held on Election Day, conventionally a Thursday. Since the passing of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 for general elections, all six types of elections are held after fixed periods, though early elections to parliament and the devolved assemblies and parliaments can occur in certain situations. Six electoral systems are used: the single member plurality system, the multi member plurality system, party-list proportional representation, the single transferable vote, the additional member system and the supplementary vote. Elections are administered locally: in each lower-tier local authority, the polling procedure is operated by the acting returning officer or returning officer, the compiling and maintenance of the electoral roll by the electoral registration officer.
The Electoral Commission sets standards for and issues guidelines to returning officers and electoral registration officers, is responsible for nationwide electoral administration. The total number of names in the United Kingdom appearing in Electoral Registers published on 1 December 2010 and based on a qualifying date of 15 October 2010 was 45,844,691. In England and Wales, anyone who will be aged 18 or over on polling day and, a national of the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, a Commonwealth country or a European Union Member State, can apply to the electoral registration officer in the local authority area where they reside with a'considerable degree of permanence' to be listed in that area's Electoral Register. In Scotland, those fulfilling the nationality requirements who will be aged 16 or over on polling day can register to vote, as the age for voting in Scottish Parliament and local elections is 16. However, voters in Scotland under 18 are not entitled to vote in European Parliament and UK general elections.
A person can still register at their ordinary address. A person who has two homes may be able to register to vote at both addresses as long as they are not in the same electoral area. In addition, to qualify to appear on the Electoral Register, applicants who are Commonwealth citizens must either possess leave to enter or remain in the UK or not require such leave on the date of their application and no applicant may be a convicted person detained in prison or a mental hospital or a person found guilty of certain corrupt or illegal practices. In Northern Ireland, a further criterion has to be fulfilled to qualify for registration: it is possible for a person to apply to be listed on the Electoral Register only if they have been resident in Northern Ireland for at least three months prior to the date of application. Remand prisoners, voluntary patients in mental hospitals and people without a fixed place of residence can register to vote by making a declaration of local connection. Members of HM Forces and their immediate family members have the option of registering as a service voter, by making a service declaration based on their last UK address.
British citizens residing outside the United Kingdom can register as an overseas voter provided that they were on the Electoral Register in the UK within the previous 15 years. The 15-year period begins when they no longer appeared in the electoral register, not the date they moved abroad. British citizens who moved abroad before they turned 18 years old can still qualify for registration, with the 15-years period calculated from the date their parent/guardian ceased to appear in the Electoral Register. Overseas voters can only vote in European Parliament and UK Parliamentary elections in the constituency of their last registered UK address. British citizens who are away overseas temporarily do not need to register as overseas electors and can register to vote in the usual way at their UK address. Crown servants and British Council employees employed in a post outside the UK can register by making a Crown Servant declaration, allowing them to vote in all UK elections. An individual can register as an anonymous elector if his/her safety would be at risk were his/her name and address to be disclosed publicly on the Electoral Register, but the application needs to be supported by a relevant court order, injunction or an attestation by a chief police officer or a Director of Social Services.
The right of Commonwealth and Irish citizens to vote is a legacy of the Representation of the People Act 1918, which limited the vote to British subjects. At that time, "British subjects" included the people of Ireland — part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland — and
A referendum is a direct vote in which an entire electorate is invited to vote on a particular proposal. This may result in the adoption of a new law. In some countries, it is synonymous with a vote on a ballot question; some definitions of'plebiscite' suggest that it is a type of vote to change the constitution or government of a country. However, some other countries define it differently. For example, Australia defines'referendum' as a vote to change the constitution, and'plebiscite' as a vote that does not affect the constitution. In Ireland, the vote to adopt its constitution was called a "plebiscite", but a subsequent vote to amend the constitution is called a'referendum', so is a poll of the electorate on a non-constitutional bill; the word referendum is a general word used for both legislative referrals and initiatives.'Referendum' is the gerundive form of the Latin verb refero "to carry back". As a gerundive is an adjective, not a noun, it cannot be used alone in Latin and must be contained within a context attached to a noun such as Propositum quod referendum est populo, "A proposal which must be carried back to the people".
The addition of the verb sum to a gerundive, denotes the idea of necessity or compulsion, that which "must" be done, rather than that, "fit for" doing. Its use as a noun in English is thus not a grammatical usage of a foreign word, but is rather a freshly coined English noun, which therefore follows English grammatical usage, not Latin grammatical usage; this determines the form of the plural in English, which according to English grammar should be "referendums". The use of "referenda" as a plural form in English is thus insupportable according to the rules of both Latin and English grammar alike; the use of "referenda" as a plural form is posited hypothetically as either a gerund or a gerundive by the Oxford English Dictionary, which rules out such usage in both cases as follows: Referendums is logically preferable as a plural form meaning'ballots on one issue'. The Latin plural gerundive'referenda', meaning'things to be referred' connotes a plurality of issues, it is related to the political agenda, "those matters which must be driven forward", from ago, to drive.
The name and use of the'referendum' is thought to have originated in the Swiss canton of Graubünden as early as the 16th century. The term'plebiscite' has a similar meaning in modern usage, comes from the Latin plebiscita, which meant a decree of the Concilium Plebis, the popular assembly of the Roman Republic. Today, a referendum can often be referred to as a plebiscite, but in some countries the two terms are used differently to refer to votes with differing types of legal consequences. For example, Australia defines'referendum' as a vote to change the constitution, and'plebiscite' as a vote that does not affect the constitution. In contrast, Ireland has only held one plebiscite, the vote to adopt its constitution, every other vote has been called a referendum. Plebiscite has been used to denote a non-binding vote count such as the one held by Nazi Germany to'approve' in retrospect the so-called Anschluss with Austria, the question being not'Do you permit?' but rather'Do you approve?' of that which has most already occurred.
The term referendum covers a variety of different meanings. A referendum can be advisory. In some countries, different names are used for these two types of referendum. Referendums can be further classified by who initiates them: mandatory referendums prescribed by law, voluntary referendums initiated by the legislature or government, referendums initiated by citizens. A deliberative referendum is a referendum designed to improve the deliberative qualities of the campaign preceding the referendum vote, and/or of the act of voting itself. From a political-philosophical perspective, referendums are an expression of direct democracy. However, in the modern world, most referendums need to be understood within the context of representative democracy. Therefore, they tend to be used quite selectively, covering issues such as changes in voting systems, where elected officials may not have the legitimacy or inclination to implement such changes. Since the end of the 18th century, hundreds of national referendums have been organised in the world.
Italy ranked second with 72 national referendums: 67 popular referendums, 3 constitutional referendums, one institutional referendum and one advisory referendum. A referendum offers the electorate a choice of accepting or rejecting a proposal, but not always; some referendums give voters the choice among multiple choices and some use Transferable voting even. In Switzerland, for example, multiple choice referendums are common. Two multiple choice referendums were held in Sweden, in 1957 and in 1980, in which voters were offered three options. In 1977, a referendum held in Australia to determine a new national anthem was held in which voters had four choices. In 1992, New Zealand held a five-option referendum on their electoral system. In 1982, Guam had referendum that used six options, with an additional blank option for anyone wishing to vote for their own seventh option. A multiple choice referendum pose
House of Lords
The House of Lords known as the House of Peers, is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Membership is else by heredity or official function. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster; the full name of the house is the Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled. Unlike the elected House of Commons, members of the House of Lords are appointed; the membership of the House of Lords is drawn from the peerage and is made up of Lords Spiritual and Lords Temporal. The Lords Spiritual are 26 bishops in the established Church of England. Of the Lords Temporal, the majority are life peers who are appointed by the monarch on the advice of the Prime Minister, or on the advice of the House of Lords Appointments Commission. However, they include some hereditary peers including four dukes. Membership was once an entitlement of all hereditary peers, other than those in the peerage of Ireland, but under the House of Lords Act 1999, the right to membership was restricted to 92 hereditary peers.
Since 2008, only one of them is female. While the House of Commons has a defined number of seats membership, the number of members in the House of Lords is not fixed; the House of Lords is the only upper house of any bicameral parliament in the world to be larger than its lower house. The House of Lords scrutinises bills, it reviews and amends Bills from the Commons. While it is unable to prevent Bills passing into law, except in certain limited circumstances, it can delay Bills and force the Commons to reconsider their decisions. In this capacity, the House of Lords acts as a check on the House of Commons, independent from the electoral process. Bills can be introduced into the House of Commons. While members of the Lords may take on roles as government ministers, high-ranking officials such as cabinet ministers are drawn from the Commons; the House of Lords has its own support services, separate from the Commons, including the House of Lords Library. The Queen's Speech is delivered in the House of Lords during the State Opening of Parliament.
In addition to its role as the upper house, until the establishment of the Supreme Court in 2009, the House of Lords, through the Law Lords, acted as the final court of appeal in the United Kingdom judicial system. The House has a Church of England role, in that Church Measures must be tabled within the House by the Lords Spiritual. Today's Parliament of the United Kingdom descends, in practice, from the Parliament of England, though the Treaty of Union of 1706 and the Acts of Union that ratified the Treaty in 1707 and created a new Parliament of Great Britain to replace the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland; this new parliament was, in effect, the continuation of the Parliament of England with the addition of 45 MPs and 16 Peers to represent Scotland. The House of Lords developed from the "Great Council"; this royal council came to be composed of ecclesiastics and representatives of the counties of England and Wales. The first English Parliament is considered to be the "Model Parliament", which included archbishops, abbots, earls and representatives of the shires and boroughs of it.
The power of Parliament grew fluctuating as the strength of the monarchy grew or declined. For example, during much of the reign of Edward II, the nobility was supreme, the Crown weak, the shire and borough representatives powerless. In 1569, the authority of Parliament was for the first time recognised not by custom or royal charter, but by an authoritative statute, passed by Parliament itself. During the reign of Edward II's successor, Edward III, Parliament separated into two distinct chambers: the House of Commons and the House of Lords; the authority of Parliament continued to grow, during the early 15th century both Houses exercised powers to an extent not seen before. The Lords were far more powerful than the Commons because of the great influence of the great landowners and the prelates of the realm; the power of the nobility declined during the civil wars of the late 15th century, known as the Wars of the Roses. Much of the nobility was killed on the battlefield or executed for participation in the war, many aristocratic estates were lost to the Crown.
Moreover, feudalism was dying, the feudal armies controlled by the barons became obsolete. Henry VII established the supremacy of the monarch, symbolised by the "Crown Imperial"; the domination of the Sovereign continued to grow during the reigns of the Tudor monarchs in the 16th century. The Crown was at the height of its power during the reign of Henry VIII; the House of Lords remained more powerful than the House of Commons, but the Lower House continued to grow in influence, reaching a zenith in relation to the House of Lords during the middle 17th century. Conflicts between the King and the Parliament led to the English Civil War during the 1640s. In 1649, after the defeat and execution of King Charles I, the Commonwealth of England was declared, but the nation was under the overall control of Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England, S
Municipal Corporations (Ireland) Act 1840
The Municipal Corporations Act 1840, An Act for the Regulation of Municipal Corporations in Ireland, was passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom on 10 August 1840. It was one of the Municipal Corporations Acts 1840 to 1888; the Act followed similar lines to the Municipal Corporations Act 1835 which reformed municipal boroughs in England and Wales. Prior to the passing of the Act, there were sixty-eight borough corporations in Ireland, many of them were ineffective, some defunct and none of them in any way representative of their populations; the Act dissolved all but ten of the corporations. The ten reformed corporations, which were named in Schedule A to the Act were to be styled as Mayor and Burgesses, with the exception of Dublin where the title Right Honourable Lord Mayor was retained. Under section 13 of the Act, the remaining 58 borough corporations were dissolved on 25 October 1840; the extinguished boroughs were listed in I of the Act. Boroughs in schedule B could petition for a grant of a charter restoring borough status, as could any town with a population of more than 3,000.
Boroughs in Schedule I were effectively extinct at the time of the passing of the Act, so were not permitted to apply for such a charter. Wexford's application for restoration of its charter was granted in 1846. Cashel applied, but without success. Boroughs in Schedule B Boroughs in Schedule I Many of the extinguished boroughs had an additional form of local government in place, in the form of commissioners appointed under the Lighting of Towns Act, 1828. Where such a body existed, it was deemed to be the successor to the corporation. Section 16 of the Act provided that any borough dissolved with property worth more than £100, which did not have commissioners under the 1828 Act, should have a board of "Municipal Commissioners" established. In most cases, the commissioners appointed under the terms of the 1840 Act adopted the terms of the 1828 Act or its replacement, the Towns Improvement Act 1854. By 1876, only Carrickfergus was still governed by commissioners appointed under the 1840 Act. "Municipal Corporations Act 1840".
The Statutes of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Vol. XV Part II, her Majesty's Printer's. 1840. Pp. 599–669. Retrieved 31 July 2013. Mark Callanan & Justin F Keogan, Local Government in Ireland Inside Out, Dublin, 2003 Desmond Roche, Local Government in Ireland, Dublin, 1982