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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…

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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…

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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


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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…

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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…

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An individual who is authorised to act on behalf of others, but who is bound by clear
Democratic deflect

The argument that the transfer of powers from national governments to the EU has eroded the
accountability of decision makers and the control exercised over them by citizens…

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Significant changes in voting patterns from one election to another.
Enabling authorities

Local authorities that set the framework in which other bodies provide local services, but do
not provide all these services themselves

The expansion of the EU to include new member states

Secured; difficult…

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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…

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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.

The process of coordinating the activities of different states through common institutions and
Intergovernmental relations

Relations between…

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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. The UK is generally…




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