/ / Political system in the UK /
 

Political system in the UK

Id like to talk to you about the British monarchy today, about the Head of State, the Government and the main political parties in the United Kingdom.

The UK is a constitutional monarchy. This means that it has a monarch as its Head of State. The monarch reigns with the support of Parliament. The powers of the monarch are non defined precisely. Everything today is done in the Queens name. She appoints all the ministers, including the Prime Minister. Everything is done, however, on the advice of the elected Government, and the monarch takes no part in the decision-making process.
The Queen is very rich. In addition, the government pays for her expenses as head of State. The Queens image appears on stamps, notes and coins.
Parliament consists of two chambers known as the House of Lords and the House of Commons. Parliament and the monarch have different roles in the government of the country and they only meet together on symbolic occasions.

The House of Commons is made up of 659 elected members, known as Members of Parliament. It is presided over by the Speaker. MPs have to catch the Speakers eye, when they want to speak, then they rise from where they have been sitting to address the House and must do so without either reading a prepared speech or consulting notes. I think that it isnt very convenient for MPs and they can forget some important facts.

In reality, the House of Commons is the only one of the three which has true power. It is here that new bills are introduced and debated. If the majority of the members are in favor of a bill it goes to the House of Lords to be debated and finally to the monarch to be signed. Only then it becomes law.

The House of lords is the upper house of the Parliament, but the less powerful part of it. It consisted of non-elected members : hereditary peers, Bishops, who are leaders of the Church of England, life peers they are those people who were given a title as a reward for important public service. Also there are about 30 Law Lords. In 1999 hereditary peers were abolished. Some people call the House of lords the best club in London. I think that in the future it will be abolished.

The British parliamentary system depends on political parties. They choose candidates in elections. The party which wins the majority of seats forms the Government and its leader usually becomes Prime Minister. He chooses about 20 MPs to become the Cabinet of Ministers. Each minister is responsible for a particular area of the government. The second largest party becomes the official opposition with its own leader and Shadow cabinet.
The Conservative Party, often called Tory Party, is that of big business, industry, commerce and landowners. It is the most powerful party and is often called a party of business directors. The word Tory means an Irish highwayman and was applied to the conservatives by their opponents but later they adopted the name to describe themselves.
The Liberal Party is more than 3 hundred years old. In 1988 it made an alliance with Social Democrats and the Party of Liberal Democrats was formed.
The Labour Party , formed in 1900, was the one which drew away working peoples support. There are also some other parties: the Scottish National and Welsh Nationalist parties, the Communist party of Britain and the Communist party of Great Britain.

The political system in Russia has differences from the British one. The Russia is a parliamentary republic. The Head of State is the President and there are a lot of political parties in our country like in Britain. The legislative powers are exercised by the Duma. Each minister is responsible for a particular area of the government.

So, as you see, the political system of Great Britain is rather difficult to understand, but its very interesting.