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Hello, and welcome to our second lesson in this unit.

Today, we are going to look at how different systems of government compare to each other.

So throughout today's lesson, we are going to have a look at different democratic systems and looking at how they compare with each other, and the pros and cons with each of these systems. Now, for today's lesson, you are going to need an exercise book or some paper to write on, and a pen to write with.

I'll give you a couple of seconds now to grab that material, and also find yourself a nice quiet working space so that you have the full attention of today's lesson and that you are fully able to learn.

Give the video a quick pause here.

And once you are ready to learn, hit Resume, and we can continue with today's lesson.

So we've got a couple of focal points for today, and we're going to look at each of these questions in turn.

So we're going first to have a look at what is meant by the word government.

Then we're going to have look at how the UK political system works.

Then we're going to have a look at a word called devolution and how that operates and who it involves.

Then we're going to have a comparison of the devolved states and have a look at how that compares to the organisation setup of the United Kingdom parliament.

And then we're going to have a look at how other governments are different from the UK government system.

Then we'll test your knowledge in the exit quiz at the end of today's lesson.

So for the very first task what I would like you to do is to think of the word government.

And you can do this as a mind map, you can do this as some bullet points.

It's completely up to you how you set this up.

But I want you to just make a list of all of the words that you think of when you think of the word government.

So hit Pause on the video now.

This should only take you a couple of moments to do.

Try and get maybe four or five words at least so that we can have a talk about it.

And then we'll have a discussion about what these words mean.

But if you want a challenge, think back to last lesson that you looked at with Mrs. Shoreland, where you looked at features of the democratic and non-democratic countries, and you had a look at the pros and cons of different government forms. So really trying to build on all of these words that we're using within our lessons.

So, as I said, hit Pause in the video now and once you are complete with today's task number one, you can then resume the video.

So when I thought of government, I thought of the word parliament, and we know that government or you will know that government is part of Parliament.

Then government, they are made up of something called cabinet ministers.

There also are people who make decisions on people who have power.

And currently it's led by the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.

So you may have more words than me.

You may have less words.

You may have different words.


But it's starting to think about how the government operates within the UK.

So how exactly does the political system of the United Kingdom work? So the UK Parliament makes decisions for the entirety of the UK.

That includes England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

We will look at devolution later on in today's lesson, but the UK Parliament decides on each of those four countries.

Now, the UK Parliament itself is made up of three different parts.

We have the House of Commons, the House of Lords, and the monarchy, so the King, Queen.

So Commons are elected officials.

They are elected to the general election, and they are made up of 650 Members of Parliament.

The house of Lords are unelected.

And we'll discuss that later in another lesson.

And the monarchy, so the King or Queen, which is an inherited title.

Having a look then, the House of Commons, as we've said, is the elected chamber, and the MPs mean to discuss and debate issues that impact everybody in everyday life.

The political parties with the most selected MPS form the government.

So whoever wins the general election, whoever has the most votes will be invited to form the government.

And the leader of that government, whoever may that be at the time, then speaks to the monarchy, the King or the Queen of that day, and they after form the government in their name.

And the government make key decisions about things that affect our lives, like transport and education, and they set up various departments with people in charge of those departments.

Now, as we mentioned before, the House of Lords is the second chamber.

And although they're not elected as such, they are made up of people who are considered to be experts in certain fields.

So you might have experts in science, you might have experts in technology, in healthcare.

And what they do is they provide a second opinion on the laws and information that comes from the House of commons.

They're also there to scrutinise and to ask questions of the House of Commons, just to make sure that every decision that is made is made properly.

Then we have the monarchy.

And although the Queen has power, in modern day, it's only really a ceremonial role.

So it's only a title as such, because the Queen currently gives her power to Parliament who do it on her behalf.

The only real issues that she deals with is giving Royal Assent to a bill.

So that is the piece of legislation before it is signed off.

That goes to the House of Commons and the House of Lords before it arrives at the Queen for her to sign off, and only then will it become a law.

But most of the powers that she could have is passed down to the elected Prime Minister, whoever that may be at the time.

So when we're looking at the House of Commons and the House of Lords, there is some overlap between the Commons and the Lords in terms of the government.

Now, both houses help to create new laws.

So both houses can start off a bill and both houses then check and scrutinise the bill as it goes through.

Now, together they are called the Legislature.

And this is the legislative part of Parliament, people who decide on the legislation, the laws that go through our country.

Now, in the United Kingdom, we have something called a bicameral system.

Bi coming from two and cameral coming from chamber.

It's made up of two chambers, and they are there to perform checks upon each other.

The overlap in the middle then, where the House of Lords and the House of Commons meet, represents the government.

And the government are in charge of making key decisions.

Now, you can have ministers in the House of Commons and you can have ministers in the House of Lords, and together, they are known as the Executive.

So you have the Legislature and you have the Executive.

And you also have the Judiciary, but we're not going to talk about that.

Because they are the three branches of power that exist within the UK Parliament setup, but today we're only focused on the Legislature and the Executive.

So when we're looking at the Executive, we need to know who they are.

Now, the government, as we've said there, are the MPS who are part of the political party who win the most seats under the general election.

Now, the House of Commons has 650 seats that are available.

So to get a majority, you would need half, 325, plus one, to give you that overriding majority.

So you need 326 seats to win, and you need that to get your majority in the House of Commons.

And that makes it easier for the current government to put laws and bills through Parliament.

Now, the current government as of February 2021 is the Conservative Party.

Now, not all Members of Parliament in the Conservative Party are part of the government.

The government is formed up of ministerial roles, roles like people in charge of the education system, health system, transport, business, home office, et cetera.

If they're not part of the government, if they're not part of this part of the process, then they are known as something called backbenches.

They sit on the backbench metaphorically and they are on the outskirts of that government.

They are still part of the ruling party but they don't make the big decisions that are made by the Secretary of State for health or the home office, et cetera.

When we then look at Prime Minister then, it's worth noting here that we don't directly vote for the Prime Minister.

We have a constitutional voting system and we have something called a constituency vote, where each part of our country is split up into like a little jigsaw and those 650 constituents and constituencies vote to come together.

So the Prime Minister will stand as a candidate for a constituency, just not as the country as a whole.

If that Prime Minister's party that the leader of that party wins they will then be invited to form that government.

One of the main rules that the Prime Minister will do upon receiving that order from the Queen that they can form a government in her name is to form a cabinet.

And these are people who will lead different governmental departments, as we've said, for instance, like health or education.

And these people have the title of minister.

So they help the Prime Minister lead the country and they make decisions on his or her behalf given whatever department they are in.

Now, the cabinet is also supported by junior ministers, people who work under those senior ministers.

And what I'd like you to do now is taking all that information in together to produce an infographic to illustrate the key information about the workings of parliament.

Now, it's worth noting here, if you have never seen the word infographic, an infographic is a diagram with some key words to help explain a process or event.

So you might have some pictures on there and you have some key bite-size information.

So what I'd like you to do is take the information about the features of the UK Parliament, both the Executive and the Legislature, and I'd like you to produce a little infographic which states everything that you have just learned.

So if you need a little bit more help, what I've got on the next slide for you is just six keywords that I would like you to include.

And if you really want a challenge, try to do this task without looking back at any of the slides, just rely on the notes that you have got so far.

As a guide, this should take you about 20 minutes to complete.

So it needs to be detailed enough and it would be a great resource for you in terms of revision for the future.

So the six words I've got for you are: government, bicameral, cabinet minister, parliament, legislative, and executive.

So just to recap, I'd like you to create an infographic.

Show me what you've learned from the previous slides on the UK Parliament makeup.

And I want you to challenge yourself by using and explaining the words on the previous slide that I've just shown you.

So pause the video now to complete that task.

And once you're ready, come back to me and we will have a look at devolution.

Okay, when we look at devolve or devolution, we are looking at making something smaller.

If you think of the word evolution meaning something to grow, devolution is that transferring of power to the smaller countries that make up the United Kingdom.

Now, this process really started in 1997 and the labour government began the official process known as devolution, where it gave power from the UK Parliament in Westminster across to the Scottish Parliament, to the Northern Ireland Assembly, and what's now known as the Welsh Parliament.

Now, devolved powers vary between the assemblies and parliaments, but they do allow for local issues to be explored at a local level.

So if there's something about agriculture in the Scottish Parliament, it can be dealt with by local people who know the local area.

Issues also are devolved on matters of health and education.

And we will have a look at a case study about that shortly.

Now, what they can't do is debate about matters that are something called reserved powers.

Now, reserve powers are only made by those in Westminster, so those that make up the UK Parliament.

Now, issues like defence and policies around energy fall into this category.

So the Scottish Parliament, the Northern Ireland Assembly, or the Welsh Parliament cannot debate these matters in their own individual assemblies or parliaments.

Now, the countries making decisions on devolved issues mean that local people can make local decisions that affect them for a place of real understanding.

So they create their identity.

Which is why in 1997, this whole process started to make those countries feel like they were dealing with their national issues themselves rather than relying on the UK Parliament to make that decision on their behalf.

To put this into context, and if we have a look at the COVID-19 response, across the four nations, both in Westminster and the Welsh, Northern Ireland, and Scottish areas, we have seen the four nations taking different approaches to how the COVID 19 pandemic has turned out.

Now, this is because they are allowed to debate these issues, because it's a devolved matter, not a reserved matter, and they are allowed to look at how that would affect their own population in their relevant countries, and then the aftermath and decisions made from that.

Now we've looked at things how the healthcare has been affected.

We've had to look at travel restrictions.

We've had to look at lockdowns, and also the way that their education system is compared to the ones in the United Kingdom.

And they're allowed to do that.

And some people may like it and some people may disagree with it but the current states, they are allowed to do that as we've said, because it's a devolved issue.

If we then really zoom in on Wales, in May of 2020, the Welsh Assembly changed from the Welsh Assembly to the Welsh Parliament.

They renamed it as the Senedd and this is where decisions are made for Wales by Wales.

So the Welsh Parliament can make laws and agree on taxes.

Now, what's really worth noting here is that there are 60 members who are voted into the Senedd.

And the 60 members are broken down into two different votes.

The first 40 members are used using the first past the post method, which is very similar, sorry, not very similar, it is identical to the system that we use to elect the Members of Parliament in the United Kingdom Parliament.

The other 20 members of those 60 are split into electoral regions.

This is then elected using the Additional Member system.

And what that does is put seven or nine constituencies together, and that is used using an alternative method known as proportional representation.

So together they have 60, and they have 60 members which debate issues that are devolved matters.

And when we look at that then, the pros of that is that everyone has five representatives in the Welsh Parliament.

So what that means is it's more likely for you to have somebody who represents your own views.

The downsize that then is the Welsh Parliament rarely gets a result because there's that many people in power.

So there isn't necessarily a majority of people that can get a decision through their parliament system.

Now, the Welsh Government makes decisions on devolved matters, and they come up with ideas for new laws, and the rest of the members debate and explore these suggestions much like we do in the UK Parliament.

So it is very similar in that respect.

What I'd like you to do now is use the information you've just received there about a devolved government, I'd like you to be able to explain the similarities and the differences between that and what we have in the UK Parliament.

So you can do this as a table in your books and identify some similarities, maybe one or two, and some differences about how the UK's government as a whole compares to regional governments like Wales.

So again, pause your video here to complete this task, draw up a table of similarities and differences.

And I'd like you to challenge yourself by using examples from the previous slide.

So if you do need to rewind slightly, please do so and grab those similarities and differences.

This is also relying upon knowledge that you already have.

So hit Pause and complete that task.

And once you are complete with that one, press Resume, and I'll go through some answers that I have come up with in relation to the task here.

So if I'm looking at the similarities and differences between national and devolved governments, in relation to the Welsh system, some similarities I've got is that we both use the first past the post voting method, and this represents the views of the people living in our areas.

So each of the constituencies get to vote for that Member of Parliament.

The governments are there to hold people to account and keep a check on of people within their parliaments.

So again, it's a very similar setup to the United Kingdom Parliament.

And both the UK Parliament and the Welsh Parliament can both make laws about key issues affecting people's everyday lives.

Because remember that the Welsh Parliament can discuss matters on devolved matters, where the UK can still do that whilst having to look at reserve powers also, but all of those decisions in all are made about people's lives and how that would affect each of them.

Some differences then is under the parliamentary election, the Welsh system uses an additional member system.

So remember that is the electoral regions that are made up between seven or nine constituencies.

And they use the alternative method of voting.

As we've said there, Wales has regional members.

So those come from the additional member system.

So that 20 remaining votes are made up under that additional member system for regional members.

Now, the differences are, as we've just mentioned, the UK Parliament can make decisions on reserved powers, and no decisions on reserved matters can be discussed in the Welsh Parliament.

So they are not allowed to discuss issues like national security.

As a task then, just to put this into some writing for you, now that you've explored the UK and its government, could you complete the following three sentences using examples to justify your answer? So you are really starting to think about how this would look in an exam type response.

So the three sentences that I want you to complete is that 'I believe that the UK 'is governed in a positive way because,' and I'd like you to give an example and explain why.

'I believe we can further improve 'how the UK is governed by,' and again give me an example and a response.

And then really starting to zoom in and focus specifically about how you would try and improve that.

So, as we've said, reflect on what we've learned so far about the way the UK is governed and complete those three sentences, which I'll leave on the screen now for you, really starting to think about how you would explain that and giving it justification because that's one of the key skills that you must have when you are looking at citizenship lessons itself.

So I believe the UK is governed in a positive way because, I believe we can further improve how the UK is governed by, and specifically, I would improve it by.

I'm going to give you a little bit of feedback.

So again, my answers might differ to you, but hit Pause and complete those three statements for me, and then hit Resume once you're finished, and we'll go through some feedback.


So I believe that the UK is governed in a positive way because it allows for local people to make key decisions about issues that affect them through the process of devolution.

However, I believe we can further improve how the UK is governed by increasing the amount of decisions that can be made at a local level with even more local devolution, so perhaps taking away some of those reserved matters and further strengthening the idea of devolution.

Specifically, I would improve it by introducing opportunities for local politicians to visit schools and discuss issues with young people.

So really strengthening the idea of local democracy.


And when we look at this idea of democracy, we can have a look at four different ways that democracy could be split up.

So you have something called a full democracy, a flawed democracy, a hybrid regime, and an authoritarian regime.

The full democracy allows full political freedoms and rights, and they are not only respected, but they're also enforced by a political culture.

So they might have some form of human rights that are embedded into their democracy.

Things like having a right to a free speech, having regular and fair elections, and having a free media that is not censored in any way, shape or form.

A flawed democracy, as you can probably tell from the title, has some flaws in that there may be elections that are free and fair.

So they may have regular elections that are discussed and voted for by the people.

And they may have basic human rights that are honoured.

But there may be some issues within that country.

So they may have some issues in terms of the media, and sometimes some outlets may be restricted and/or they may be sensitive in what they can or cannot publish.

If we then have a look at hybrid regime, this is kind of like a mix and match.

So there may be nations that have elections but there may be issues with them.

So there may be some questions regarding the validity of them or whether or not they are actually free and fair.

And then if we're having a look at governments that apply political pressure on the opposition.

If you have a look at their judiciary, the way that the court systems are set up, if you have a look at maybe allegations of corruption or harassment, if there's no particular emphasis on the rule of law, where there isn't equality amongst all of its people, or if there's particular pressure placed on the media, then you may be considered to be a hybrid regime.

And then, last but not least, we'll look at the authoritarian regime.

And this is where there may be a lack of an oppositional government.

So you may only have one party in charge.

And these nations might be absolute monarchies or dictatorships.

So that's a key word that we might use to describe an authoritarian regime.

There may be allegations of abuses of power.

So there may be no human rights in place at all.

There may ever not be any elections.

And if they do take place, they may not be free or they may not be fair.

The media may be controlled purely by the people who are running it, so by the monarchies or the dictators that are in charge of that country.

And the judiciary is certainly not independent, and open to corruption.

To put that into a table for you so you can see it clearly, in a full democracy we'd expect elections to be there, that they are fair and free, that you could vote for who you want, that the media does not have any restrictions or censorship at all, that you have a freedom of speech and you have human rights, and that the judiciary, the court system, is completely independent from any interference of political nature.

In a flawed democracy, we might have questions or the sum of those things.

For instance, the free media.

They might have some censorship or not being able to print or have access to material.

Hybrid regime.

You may have questions about more statements there or there may not be any evidence of them at all.

And under an authoritarian regime, there is certainly no evidence of any of those statements being true.

Well, I'd like to show you that using this democracy index.

Now, this is taken from 2019, and I want you to write three statements based on that.

One statement that says 'I see' and I want you to tell me what you see from that world map.

So use the colours and use the scale there.

So the higher the number, the more of a democracy it is, and the lower the number, the less of a democracy it is.

Putting that into colours, the more green that a country is, the more it is considered to be a full democracy.

And then as you go into the yellows, into the reds, into the browns, that's when it starts to be a more authoritarian regime.

So just a statement that says 'I see'.

Then I want you to tell me what you think, what do you think by that image? And then one question that leaves you wondering, so a statement that says 'I wonder'.

So one statement that says 'I see', one statement that says 'I think', and one statement that says 'I wonder'.

Give the video a quick pause here, complete those three statements, and then we'll have a look at examples of a flawed democracy, a hybrid regime, and an authoritarian regime.

So believe it or not, the example we've got for a flawed democracy is the United States of America.

Now, for the first time in 2019, the USA was considered to be a flawed democracy by the EIU, the Economist Intelligence Unit, which produced that democracy index.

And the reason why it was considered to be a flawed democracy is that yes, they have free and fair elections, and yes, there is enforcement and advocation of human rights, but there were question marks about the banning of some media outlets.

So former president Trump banned certain news outlets from attending the White House press briefings, which then led them to class the United States as a flawed democracy because not every media outlet was getting the same information.

If we have a look then at Turkey, we can consider Turkey to be under a hybrid regime.

Now, this is because there are doubts about elections being free and doubts about elections being fair.

There is also interference in terms of judiciary in that the president can appoint 12 of the 15 members.

So that is a high percentage of people that are appointed from the president, which makes us doubt whether or not those decisions are made with good intentions or whether or not there is any bias there.

Now, there is also within Turkey state-controlled media.

So the information that is published through the media may not necessarily be the whole truth.

So there are some question marks with regards to that.

Last but not least, if we have a look at an authoritarian regime, we use the example here of North Korea.

Now, North Korea, if you have a look at the graphic on the top right-hand side of your screen, is considered to be in the bottom five countries in the democracy index.

And in fact, you see that it ranks at number 167, it ranks at the bottom.

And the reason for that is that there is control.

They live under something called an oligarchy, which is a group of people who have maintained power.

So they do not vote for their supreme leader.

There are no human rights.

There is state control of media so the outlets run through the government.

And there is very few and where there is political parties that form an opposition, they are heavily much controlled.

So they're just examples of how democracy exists or perhaps doesn't exist across the world.

And what I'd like to do is taking that information for our final task today, is to just draw an outline of a megaphone, as you see on the screen there.

And what I'd like you to do is inside that megaphone, is list all of the things where people who do not live in a full democracy, so those that may live in a flawed democracy, in a hybrid regime, or in an authoritarian regime, I'd like you to write what they might be unhappy about.

So what might they be unhappy with the government about? And then on the outside, just like a mind map, drawing from those issues, can you then write a statement about how they would fix that issue? So inside you are looking at all of the reasons why people might be unhappy if they do not live in a full democracy.

And then from that on the outside, looking at how people would then go about change.

Hit Pause in the video now for the final time and complete that task.

And then I'll give you some quick examples before we wrap up today's lesson.

Okay, so two things that I thought of might be that there is no right to vote in an election or there is no freedom of speech.

So in terms of vote elections, it might be an easy fix where we get an elections where everybody can vote.

So that's a quick change to make us more democratic.

In terms of no freedom of speech, we might look at perhaps enforcing human rights and making sure that they are protected.

So making sure that freedom of speech is allowed and protected in law.

So those really strengthen the idea of democracy in practise.

What I'd like you to do now is if you are happy with today's work, if you want to show off your today's work, please ask your parent or carer to show your work on Twitter using the tag @OakNational and using the hashtag LearnwithOak.

The only thing that I have to ask you to do now is to make sure you complete our exit quiz for today's lesson, just really to look at strengthening your understanding of all those key words that we've looked at and all of those key topics.

Thank you for joining me today.

I'm sure I'll see you again soon.

But if you'd like to, please make sure you share that work on Twitter, asking your parent or carer.

So head over and complete the exit quiz and I'll see you again next time.