- Political System of Britain
Britain is a parliamentary democracy. Its formal title is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Parliament consists of the House of Lords and the House of Commons. The membership in the House of Lords is hereditary. The Commons is the elected House. It consists of 635 members of Parliament. The power of Queen is strongly restricted by Parliament.
The voting is by secret ballot and is from the age of 18.
Government is formed by the party which has the majority in the Commons. It is the party that wins the elections.
The Prime Minister is the leader of the Government. He chooses a number of ministers in the cabinet. The second largest party forms the official opposition with its «shadow cabinet».
There are two main parties — Conservative and Labour.
The orientation of the Conservative party is center-right, with pragmatic policies. The Labour Party is a democratic socialist party. Its aim is to bring about wealth and power in favour of working people»
The party which is called the Liberal Democrats is an influential center.
Another center party is the Socialist Democratic Party (SDP). There are also nationalist parties from Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
- It is rather difficult to understand the British way of ruling the country. In Britain the Queen is the Head of the State, but in fact she doesn’t rule the country as she has no power. The Queen is the Head of the country history and its traditions. She is very rich. She travels about the United Kingdom, meets different people and visits schools, hospitals and other special places. So do all members of the Royal family.
At the beginning of the century many countries all over the wourld were ruled by Britain. All of them were included into the British Empire and were its colonies. Now these are independent states. But in 1949 Britain and the former colonies founded the Commonwealth.
The real power in the country belongs to the British Parliament and to the British Government. The British Parliament has two «houses»: the House of Lords and the House of Commons. The House of Lords doesn’t have much power, but it is very important as it can offer and change laws, it can delay laws too. The House of Commons makes laws about the policy of the country, taxes and many other things.
The members of the House of Lords are not elected. These members are permanent.
The members of the House of Commons are elected. The British people elect 650 members of the House of Commons every five years.
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