A comparison of political systems is done to deepen our understanding of our own institutions, as well as to expand our awareness and views on other political alternatives. But what is a political system. David Easton (A System Analysis of Political Life, 1965) defined a political system as that “behavior or set of interactions through which authoritative allocations are made and implemented for society”. Simply put it’s a set of institutions and agencies that implement goals of a society.
The Westminster system derives its name from the Palace of Westminster, the home of the British House of Parliament. It is a adversarial two party system that utilizes a single member plurality system. The plurality system is easy to understand–voters simply place a mark next to their preferred candidate. The candidate receiving the highest number of votes wins. This allocation rule is referred to as “first past the post. ” The Westminster political model is evident in many Commonwealth countries to include Jamaica; however it is not necessarily exclusive to them.
This presentation examines the Westminster political system in Britain and Jamaica focusing on the separation of powers which according to Professor Vile (Constitutionalism and the Separation of Powers, 1967) divides the institutions of government into three branches: legislative, executive and judicial: the legislature makes the laws; the executive put the laws into operation; and the judiciary interprets the laws. The similarities as well as the differences between Britain and Jamaica are highlighted and consideration is given to the future of the Westminster political model in both states.
BRITAIN The United Kingdom often called Britain consists of England, Scotland and Wales (which make up Great Britain) and Northern Ireland. Britain is a constitutional monarchy in which the monarch (the Queen) is the head of state but whose daily duties requires her to a larger extent to adopt a ceremonial role. Constitution Unlike the constitutions of most other states, the UK constitution is not set out in any single document. Instead of a constitution, Britain has the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty (supremacy). A. V.
Dicey in his Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution says ‘The principle of parliamentary sovereignty means nothing more nor less than this, namely, that Parliament … has, under the English constitution, the right to make or unmake any law whatever; and, further, that no person or body is recognized by the law as having a right to override or set aside the legislation of Parliament. ’ In layman terms it is a system in which parliament is allowed to change any law and its legislation cannot be challenged in the UK courts.
The constitution is made up of statute law, common law and conventions. Conventions are rules and practices which are not legally enforceable but which are regarded as indispensable to the working of government; many are derived from the historical events through which the UK’s system of government has evolved. The constitution can be altered by Act of Parliament, or by general agreement to alter a convention. It is thus adaptable to changing political conditions. The Legislature The Parliament at Westminster is the legislature and the supreme authority.
It is called a “bicameral parliament” because it comprises of two legislative bodies: some members who are elected by popular vote and others who are appointed. A parliament has a maximum duration of five years but general elections are often held before the end of this term. The three elements which make up parliament (the Queen, the House of Lords and the elected House of Commons) are constituted on different principles. House of Lords Made up of about 720 Peers, who are generally chosen based on their expertise in a certain area.
Those appointed by the monarch on the advice of the Prime Minister are called Life peers. “Hereditary Peers” is the name given to those who inherit their titles from their family. (Though an act in 1999 removed the right of Hereditary Peers to pass on their titles to their children; only 92 Hereditary Peers remain) Law Lords are the country’s most senior judges and Bishops are the most senior leaders of the Church of England. The House of Lords processes and revises legislation and acts as a check on the government and the House of Commons through oral and written uestions and policy debates.
The Peers’ expertise allows them to deal with broad issues related to science, economy, and the constitution. The House of Commons The House of Commons is made up of 650 Members of Parliament (MPs), all of whom are elected by voters to represent them and their interests. No special training or background is necessary to become an MP, though any person running for a seat in the House of Commons must be at least 21 years old. The Executive The executive branch consists of the head of state, the head of Government known as the Prime Minister and the Cabinet.
The Cabinet is composed of approximately 20 Members who are chosen by the Prime Minister from the House of Commons. It is this element that creates a fusion of power of the legislative and the executive. The functions of the Cabinet are to initiate and decide on policy, the supreme control of government and the co-ordination of government departments. The exercise of these functions is vitally affected since Cabinet depends upon majority support in the House of Commons. Majority governments based on a single party are typically stable, as long as their majority can be maintained.
The Judiciary Laws passed through parliament are then upheld by the UK Court of Law. The UK legal system is independent and self-regulating, with Judges picked by committees of senior judges/lawyers. The UK Supreme Court has no power to quash parliament’s laws on constitutional grounds. However, they are able to hold government accountable when it fails to act within the law. JAMAICA Jamaica’s 1962 constitution established a parliamentary democracy system based on the Westminster model. As a unitary state, it is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.
Jamaica government is a constitutional monarchy and as chief of state, Queen Elizabeth II appoints a Governor General, on the advice of the prime minister, as her representative in Jamaica. The governor general’s role is largely ceremonial. Legislative Branch The Jamaican Parliament consists of two Houses, the Senate and the House of Representatives; and the Queen. The Governor-General represents the Queen in Parliament and his role is strictly formal. The maximum life of a Parliament is five years at the end of which Parliament must be dissolved and a general election held. The Senate/Upper House
The Senate or “Upper House” is a nominated House made up of 21 Senators. Thirteen Senators are appointed by the Governor-General on the advice of the Prime Minister. The other eight are appointed on the advice of the Leader of the Opposition. The Senate usually functions as a review Chamber, considering Bills passed by the House of Representatives. However, the Senate may also initiate legislation, excepting money Bills. House of Representative/Lower House The House of Representative consists of 60 members (the maximum allowed by the Constitution) elected under universal adult suffrage.
The members are elected by single-member constituencies on the first-past-the-post basis. Executive Branch Executive authority in Jamaica is formally vested in the queen and is to be exercised on her behalf by the governor general. In practice, the prime minister and the cabinet exercise executive control over the administration. The cabinet, which consists of the prime minister and no fewer than 11 other ministers, is the principal policy instrument of Jamaica. It is in charge of the general direction and control of the government and is collectively responsible to Parliament.
Judiciary Branch The Jamaican legal and judicial system is based on the English common law tradition. The Constitution guarantees judicial independence. The Chief Justice is the head of the judiciary and presides over the Judicial Services Commission. The Chief Justice is nominated by the Governor General with the Prime Minister’s approval, after consultation with the Opposition Leader. With Jamaica’s political system modelled from that of the British, it is not surprising that the two have much in common.
The essential structure and partial separation of power is still evident in both countries. Over the years the previous ruling party in Britain, the Labour Party, made changes that would suggest a move to reform the Westminster system. A devolved government (power given to a subnational unit) was created following simple majority referendums in Wales and Scotland in September 1997 and in 1998, the Scottish Parliament, National Assembly for Wales and Northern Ireland Assembly were established by law.
A. J Nicolson stated in an article in the Sunday Gleaner dated 26 Sep 2010 “N. W. Manley’s Questions” that “the present administration now seeks to introduce and engraft upon our system a change which forms part of the presidential model”. Does this mean that we are moving from a parliamentarian to a presidential model? Could this end the adversarial two-party basis of the Westminster system? Only time will tell.
Software Engineering – Capacity Planning Case Study
IntroductionYou are in the DevOps group at a government agency where the organization runs a case management application. They are having performance problems running the application in-house (a web server in their own data center), and there is too much downtime. They are looking to your advice about whether they need to procure one or more new web servers (Dell) or they should move to a cloud service.
There are about 1200 concurrent users on the application each day, most of them at remote locations.
Details of the application The application has a major web interface with a menu allowing the user to create a new case, update a case, find a specific case, or search for a case by a variety of terms.
Main MenuThe current front-end application requires 0.5 GB of memory to run each instance and each instance can handle a maximum of 300 concurrent users.
New Cases20% of the users create a new case when they access the system. The “new case” component calls 4 different services to collect different parts of the required information. Each service is called sequentially so only 1 service is in memory at any one time. The new case component stays in memory and takes 1.2 GB of memory. The maximum load it can take is 150 users. The maximum size of each of the services called is 0.5 GB and it can handle 50 users at the same time.
Update CasesAbout 30% of the users are simply updating one or more of the pages created as above. Again,the component has 4 different services representing each of the different parts of the information. As above, each service is called sequentially so only 1 service is in memory at only one time.
The “update case” component stays in memory and takes 0.75 GB of memory. The maximum load it can take is 300 users. The maximum size of each of the services called is 0.4GB and it can handle 300 users at one time.
Find Specific Case About 30% of the users merely use the application to retrieve data on a specific case. The component is a stand-alone application. The maximum load is 80 users and the size of the component is 0.5 GB of memory.
Search Cases The remaining 20% of users are performing searches to identify one or more relevant cases. The search system has a service to handle each of the five different search terms (e.g. topic, name, location, date, and prosecution status).
Searches can involve 2 of these topics at the same time so 2 service instance can be in memory at the same time. The search case outer module stays in memory (1.5GB) and so does 2 of the 5 services (0.4 MB) each. The module and services have maximum local factor of 100 users.
Non-Functional ConsiderationsDowntime has been a factor so the government organization wants to have at least 2 different VMs or servers. Each VM/server must have enough memory to carry the entire load in the case of failure of one of the machines (e.g., a hard disk failure).
Draw a component diagram of the application making for each module the number of instance that are necessary to adequately support the estimated workload.
Prepare a spreadsheet identifying the various component memory requirements and calculate the total memory requirements, allowing for the multiple instances necessary to support the anticipated concurrent users.
Prepare a memo to the CIO (Elizabeth Jones) with a copy to the CFO (Nathan Andrews) which summarizes the features of the 2 options, including the time it might take to provision them.
Include information on the urgency of the requests as the inspector general will be doing an audit in 3 months’ time.
In the last paragraph detail your recommendation, attached a spreadsheet showing your calculations, and the component diagram.
In addition, the application requires a Registry/Load Balancer and this is a 1.2 GB application and should be in memory at all times.
The application will require about 3 TB of data and has a service to retrieve data for each part of the system which requires 2GB of memory. It has capacity of handling 600 users.
You may recommend the cloud service of your choice but your memo should justify why you selected the cloud provider, there should be at least 3 justifications.