• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

In this essay I will explain the distinctive features of the Scottish political system, describe the voting behaviour in Scotland and the future constitutional relationship between Scotland and Westminster.

Extracts from this document...


Unlike Wales, which was subdued by conquest in the thirteenth century, Scotland was never permanently incorporated into the United Kingdom by force of arms. In 1603 the succession of James I to the throne of England united the crowns of England and Scotland. However, the union was only a personal one and Scotland retained its own political and legal system and its own church. In this essay I will explain the distinctive features of the Scottish political system, describe the voting behaviour in Scotland and the future constitutional relationship between Scotland and Westminster. The establishment of a common Parliament occurred as a result of the Treaty of Union of union of 1707, whereby the Scots gained political representation at Westminster but were guaranteed that certain features of their administrative system would remain inviolate and Scotland would retain for all time key institutions. The legal system, Church of Scotland, Education System and Royal Burghs. Nationalism is an important element in Scottish politics. This reflects the belief in the nation being a group of people with shared values, customs, language, history and traditions. Nationalism as a concept is a political doctrine believing in the idea that the nation is the central principle for political organisation. Patriotism is different from nationalism and can be classed as "cultural" nationalism" in which there is a desire to maintain a distinctive culture or way of live. ...read more.


Their poverty was compounded by the large families which the Church encouraged. Once the Church accepted that the Labour Party was not hostile to religion, the social circumstances of Catholics pushed them overwhelmingly into voting Labour. At the same time their religious ties made them less susceptible either to Conservative appeals to support the (Protestant) British state or to nationalists harking back to the traditions of a largely Presbyterian Scotland. The concentration of Catholics in the West of Scotland makes the habit of Labour voting hard to break and Labour is, as a result, the dominant party in Scotland. Opinion polls indicated that one third of the electorate within Scotland favoured some form of independence and that over 40% wanted a devolved assembly with some taxation and spending power with support for the status quo rarely exceeding 20%. In the run up to the 1992 election opinion polls recorded an increase in constitutional change and one poll in the Scotsman showed that 50% of the population favoured independence. Psychologists estimated that the nationalists might increase their share of seats from 3 to 9 and the Conservatives to drop around 3. The main complaint from Scots was about the nature of policies being decided at Westminster which were being imposed upon them but were in fact not voted for by the Scottish MP's. ...read more.


One Scottish Executive Minister commented: "Westminster has no impact on Scotland; the separation is quite astonishing [it is] much more so than anyone would have realised." It is clear that many councillors still retain significant levels of contact with Westminster MPs. This indicates the continuing importance of UK party political contact within Scottish political networks. Although the Scottish Parliament has many responsibilities the bank of England still decides Scotland's economic fate and the central UK government dictate how key policies should proceed and the UK parliament Prime Minister determines Scotland's future. The Scottish parliament deals with devolved matters and the UK Parliament with reserved matters. The 1707 Act of Union did not create a unitary state as often assumed. The common Parliament was central to the union but its role was limited as much of Scotland's decisions were made through the separate institutions so therefore there were many reasons why Scotland should function as an independent country. Problems still exist however within a back lash from English Citizens claiming that Scottish MP's still vote in Westminster but English MP's have no say in Scottish affairs. While there are tensions in the complex relationship between the tiers of government, the general view is that things have improved for local government since devolution. "Things are better than they were before devolution. They are not as good as they could be but I think that is a development issue; things will improve. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Politics essays

  1. What impact did Mao have on the lives of the Chinese people from 1949 ...

    Propaganda was used to try to influence the Chinese people towards the Communist Party's views and ideas. Mao did not want people to think independently and used his loyal Party workers as 'propagandists' to spread Communist ideas. Overall, there were 1.5 million propagandists in workplaces such as factories, up to 10 per cent of the workforce were propagandists.

  2. "Critically evaluate the relationship between Members of Parliament, political parties and pressure groups in ...

    Pressure groups in the formation of legislation A pressure group can be described as an organisational group that does not put up candidates for election, but seeks to influence government policy and legislation. In Britain the number of political parties is very small, whereas there are thousands of pressure groups.

  1. Minority Rights, Identity Politics and Gender in Bangladesh: Current Problems and Issues

    However from a politician's perspective diplomatic cautiousness may be the order of the day. In the Bosnian crisis feminist scholars and activists alike has been especially concerned about the mental health of women raped, tortured or affected by the militia.

  2. The development of nationalist movements in Southeast Asia

    The Nationalist Movement from 1917-1927 At the outbreak of the First World War, the French recruited about 100,000 Vietnamese for military service on France's western front. The Vietnamese expected some reward for their services but were disappointed. Some Vietnamese had also met Chinese revolutionaries who taught them the value of organised political parties.

  1. Influences on Voting Behaviour

    o Party image: In addition to the other factors influencing voting behaviour, we must also consider party image- that is, our image of what the political parties stand for. Although, such images are not necessarily totally accurate, they do affect the way people view the political parties and their policies.

  2. For my creative piece I have written a short story set in the future, ...

    I have posted many letters to magazines, even yours, all of which have not been published through fear of breaking the law." "Wait a minute. Something doesn't add up! What happened to the wig you bought?" "Erm, well you see. Oh what the heck I'll just tell you the truth.

  1. This assignment identifies and discusses the major social and political trends expected to affect ...

    The problem is further compounded by American and European countries that rape the continent of it's valuable natural resources. Environment The following all affect business at large: * Water-pollution * Air-pollution * Forestry * Preservation of natural habitats (wild-life )

  2. The Impact of Electoral Design on the Legislature.

    which did not win any single member seats outright, are topped up until they have 10 per cent of all the seats in Parliament. It is possible for a party to be allocated 'surplus' seats when it wins more district seats in the single-member district vote than it is entitled to under the result of the list vote.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work