A-Z Key terms for AQA AS Government and politics - GOVP1 and GOVP2

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  • Created on: 04-06-14 15:59
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A legislative proposal that has completed the legislative process and entered into law
Adversarial politics
A situation typical of two-party systems, where the governing part is faced by an opposition
that provides a contrasting policy programme and tries to gain political advantage from
government difficulties
Alternative vote
A majoritarian system: a candidate must win an overall majority of votes to be elected.
Voting is preferential: electors indicate their preferences among candidates by writing 1, 2, 3
etc. beside the name of their first, second and third choice candidates on the ballot paper. If
no candidate achieves an absolute majority of first preferences, the lowest-placed candidate
drops out and the second preferences of his or her voters are transferred to the remaining
candidates. The process continues until one candidate achieves an overall majority.
Asymmetric devolution
A form of devolution in which the political arrangements are not uniform, but differ from
region to region
An MP who does not hold a ministerial or shadow ministerial position
Barnett formula
A formula devised by Joel Barnett MP in 1978 which determines the relative levels of public
spending in England Scotland , Wales and northern Ireland
Bilateral meeting
A meeting between the prime minister and a departmental minister in which policy is agreed.
a legislative proposal that has yet to complete the parliamentary legislation and inviting
Bill of rights

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An authoritative statement of the rights of citizens', often entrenched as part of a codified
The meeting of senior ministers and heads of government departments. It is formally the key
decision-making body in UK government.
Cabinet committees
Committees appointed by the prime minister to consider aspects of government business.
They include standing committees and ad hoc committees.…read more

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Civil Society
This refers to voluntary organisations within a state, such as political parties, pressure groups,
charities and clubs. Within the general boundaries of the law, they establish their own rules
and conventions. In liberal democracies they are seen as an essential element of a free
A social group defined by social and economic status, the key groups being the working class
(manual workers) and middle class (non-manual).…read more

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Committee of the whole house
A meeting in which the full house of commons considers the committee stage of a public bill
Common law
Law derived from decisions in court cases and from general costumes
Community law
The laws of European Union, contained primarily in treaties and secondary legalisation
Compulsory competitive tendering
The policy that public bodies are compelled to open up contracts to provide services to
outside bodies.…read more

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Constitutional government
Government that operates with an agreed set of legal and political constraints
Constitutional monarchy
A political system in which the monarch is the formal head of state but the monarchs legal
powers are exercised by government ministers
Control order
A form of close house arrest allowed under the prevention of terrorism act (2005).…read more

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An individual who is authorised to act on behalf of others, but who is bound by clear
instructions.…read more

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Significant changes in voting patterns from one election to another.…read more

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Focus group
A small sample group of people asked to voice their opinions in an open discussion
An MP who holds a ministerial or shadow ministerial position
Fundamental law
Law derived from decisions in court cases and from general customs
Fusion of powers
A feature of UK government in which the three branches of government (the executive, the
legislature and the judiciary) do not operate independently of each other.…read more

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Individual ministerial responsibility
The convention that ministers are responsible to parliament for the policy of their department,
the actions of officials within it, and their own personal conduct.…read more

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The branch of government responsible for passing laws
Liberaral Democracies
Countries that are governed in accordance with certain `core' liberal principles, such as the
right to free and fair elections, freedom of expression at all times, and the impartial
administration of justice.…read more


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