Parliament: who makes it up

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Parliament 1: Who makes up Parliament?

Cabinet: A body of persons appointed by a head of state or a prime minister to head the executive departments of the government and to act as official advisers.

Select Committee: A small committee composed of members of parliament, set up by House of Parliament to investigate and report back on a specified matter of interest

650: The UK is divided into 650 areas called constituencies. During an election everyone eligible to cast a vote in a constituency selects one candidate to be their MP.

Coalition: An alliance for combined action, especially a temporary alliance of political parties forming a government or of states.

First past the post: A first-past-the-post election is one that is won by the candidate with more votes than any other(s).

Two Party Dominance: A system where two major political parties dominate voting in nearly all elections and as a result, all or nearly all elected offices are members of one of the two major parties.

Backbencher: A member of the House of Commons who is not a party leader.

Crossbencher: A member of the House of Commons who does not vote regularly with either the government or the Opposition.

Life Peer: A peer (member of the Houses of Lords) whose title cannot be inherited.

4-5 years: A UK Government is elected for a period of five years. The five years run from the first meeting of Parliament following the general election. The Prime Minister can stay in office as long as he a) wins the election b) has the backing of his party to remain as leader.

Pluralism: The theory that a multitude of groups, not the people as a whole, govern the US. E.g.: Environmentalists, unionists, businesses.

Standing committee: A permanent committee that meets regularly.

Overall majority: The difference between the number of votes gained by the winning party and the total votes gained by all the other parties.

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