This video clearly demonstrates what a By Election is. We have just had two by-elections in the UK. One saw a Labour hold for Corbyn's Labour party at Stoke. The other saw a shock loss of Labour of the Copeland seat in Cumbria. The Conservative party won. This was a massive blow to Labour. They have held the seat for over 80 years! It is also the first loss of a seat to the governing party since 1981. By elections tend to be a good opportunity to punish a Government for their record.
This short video helps explain what an Ad Hoc Committee is and what its role is. It also provides examples
This short video helps to explain what an Adjournment debate is in Northern Ireland.
This article from the Guardian is an excellent insight into the NI Elections and its current pitfalls and dangers.
This is a very good article and clip on the House of Lords - including claims made about its abuse of power in some respects. Watch the new documentary on the Lords on Monday night
This seems an apt time for this discussion. There is LOTS going on for AS2 British Politics and A2 Comparative US Politics. Please make sure you don't miss out!
In the United States: Obviously President Trump has created a media storm in his first weeks in office and is not afraid of rattling previously sacred institutions. His criticism and almost rejection of the Judiciary's decision to stop his ban led to a tirade of invective challenging one of the pillars of the US Constitution. It will be interesting to monitor how he proceeds with this in the future as this could fundamentally alter the relationship between the three branches of power in the US and not necessarily for the better.
In the United Kingdom there is a much more reserved debate but certainly with the same implications. The Supreme Court now has a very specific remit to interpret the laws and make sure the Executive and public bodies are not overriding those laws. Therefore the recent decision in the Supreme Court that Theresa May did not have the prerogative power to simply trigger Article 50 and Parliament MUST have a say was a big test of this independence. The Executive is not used to being told what to do.. and the right wing elements in the Press were also not shrinking violets when it came to criticism of the Judges decisions. This has prompted a rebuke from the President of the Supreme Court: Lord Neuberger. This article is essential reading and is fantastic for any Judiciary answer on your exam.
Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow has caused a furore of comment over his statement to the House that suggested it would not welcome President Trump to address Parliament due to the nature of his comments in the run up to the election and his subsequent ban on Muslims from 7 nations entering the USA.
WHY IS THIS CONTROVERSIAL?
Well his supporters see his views as representing the views of the majority of Britons - and giving a voice to those who feel that the Prime Minister is instead cosying up to Trump amid potential Brexit ramifications. They see the invitation to Trump to come to the UK on a state visit as much too premature. The Speaker in their view represents the views of many
His critics however, point out a number of problems with his statement:
HOW DOES IT FIT IN TO YOUR COURSE?
This timely overview goes through the key things to remember about the upcoming election. You should all be aware by this stage that there will no longer be 108 MLAs but 90. There will be five in each of Northern Ireland's 18 constituencies.
Mr John Wishart -