Political system in the UK
I’d like to talk to you about the British monarchy today, about the
Head of State, the Government and the main political parties in the
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 Queen’s 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
The Queen is very rich. In addition, the government pays for her expenses
as head of State. The Queen’s 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
The House of Commons is made up of 659 elected members, known as Members
of Parliament. It is presided over by the Speaker. MP’s have to catch
the Speaker’s 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 isn’t
very convenient for MP’s 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 MP’s 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
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
The Labour Party , formed in 1900, was the one which drew away working
people’s 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 it’s very interesting.