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History Unplugged Podcast

with Scott Rank

A Vote of No Confidence: How to Obliterate Your Current Government

00:00 42:14
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Americans and Europeans are confused by much about each other, especially their respective governmental systems. Europeans are baffled by American elections, the powers of the president, and most of all, the electoral college (how again is the popular vote winner not the president?). Americans are even more baffled by parliamentary politics, especially how the prime minister and even the entire ruling party can be removed before election time by this mystical tool of government called a “vote of no confidence.”

What on earth does that mean? Scott's first encounter with this term was, sadly, in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, in which Natalie Portman's Queen Amidala removes the current chancellor for power for his failure to stop the Trade Federation's invasion of Naboo by such a vote. Getting beyond bad filmmaking and Jar Jar Binks, what does a vote of no confidence actually mean? Where does it come from? And how has it been used in the past?

This episode goes over much more, especially the main differences with the British House of Commons vs. the American House of Representatives. Moreover, it looks at the differences between politicians being loyal to the nation vs. being loyal to their political party.
August 01, 2019
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Meet Your Host
Scott Rank is the host of the History Unplugged Podcast and a PhD in history who specialized in the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey. Before going down the academic route he worked as a journalist in Istanbul. He has written 12 history books on topics ranging from lost Bronze Age civilizations to the Age of Discovery. Some of his books include The Age of Illumination: Science, Technology, and Reason in the Middle Ages and History’s 9 Most Insane Rulers.. Learn more about him by going to scottrankphd.com.
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