The political system in Britain and USA
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19 The political system in Britain and USA a) Britain Great Britain:England Scotland Wales United Kingdom:Great Britain Northern Island British Commonwealth of Nations:United Kingdom New Zealand Australia Canada + other territories Politic:- set with the constitution1 - unwritten laws, based on traditions and common law - it’s easy to change it - 1215 - Magna Carta – King John – start of parliament - can be altered by an Act of Parliament Political system: -parliamentary and democratic system - constitutional monarch as a head of State. - Government interrupted only once – 1649 – 1660 - during the reign of Oliver Cromwel Queen:- Elizabeth II - born April 1926 (first birthday) - June (second birthday) - 1947 – married with Prince Philip - 1952 – acceded to the throne - 1953 – crowned - impartial, acts on advice of ministers (she reign not rule) - has:- right to be consulted2 - right to encourage - right to warn - executive power - head of legislative - head of a church of England - she appoints many officials - ceremonial function -chooses the leader from majority party in House of Commons. He is called Prime Minister. - week work:- sees Prime Minister each week - speak to other Ministries - receives copies from Government - each year:- she summons3 and dissolves4 Parliament.- she must say a speech, which is prepared by the Government Parliament:- four countries:England Scotland Wales Northern Island - consists:Sovereign5 House of Lords House of Commons - work:- revising6 the Government work - law making - new law - proposal7 is abill go through both houses sent to queen for Royal Assent she can’t refuse - parliament session:- 1st day – queen reads speech of a Government policy (in the House of Lords) - Monday to Thursday - Ministers answer MP’s questions for one hour –questioning time - Two days a week - Prime Minister answer MP’s questions -House of Lords:- made up - for about 1203 members (hereditary) Lords Temporal- of peers and peeresses - usually former8 members of House of Com. - their sons and daughters can’t be members - law lords – judicial duties of the house Lords Spiritual-archbishops of Canterbury and York ( two archbishops ) - 24 bishops of the church of England - function - bring experience of law making - they can only complement9 not rival house of commons - they can also ask to rewrite the bill before it became law -House of Commons:- elected by voters in one region - consists of 651 members of parliament (MPs) - there is only 59 women (1994) - 651 seats:- 524 England - 38 Wales - 72 Scotland - 17 Northern Island - Speaker – the chief officer - elected by MPs to preside over the house - parliamentary power, decide national policy - Elections:- must be every 5 years (also shorter periods) - minimum voting age – 18 – secret ballot - candidates must be 21 or over. - more political parties:Liberal-Democratic (centre) Labour (left wing) Conservative(right wing)- the voting system is called –first past the post system - the party which win sufficient10 seats form theGovernment - the leader of the party is Prime Minister - its leading members are chosen by Prime Minister - its calledCabinet–twenty leading ministers take decision on major policy - the second party in elections is the official opposition - it hasShadow cabinet - Prime Minister- the most important person - the PM lived at 10 Downing Street but in 1994 it was changed by Tony Blair - the PM lives now at 11 Downing Street - 10 Downing Street is a flat for Chancellor of the Exchequer he is responsible for money and financials - Ministries- Lord Chancellor - head of judiciary - preside House of Lords - Home Secretary - Minister of Health Royal family:- surname of the family is Winsdor - ancestors were German - scandals- effect on their popularity - all the queen’s children were divorced or separated - problems between Diana and Charles Political parties:Conservativedeveloped11 from the group known as Tories and still called Tories in newspapers (shorter) outlook- right of center - want minimal government interference12 in economy - likes to reduce income tax - priority to defense, internal law and order since 1779- education reform - welfare13 - good economy leader- big freedom to direct policy - John Major voters- rich people + working classesmoney-from business people Labourformed 20th century, 1st government in 1923 outlook- left of center - wants equality14 for weaker people - wants to involve in economy - full social services but no decrease of income taxes since 1979- opposition to Conservatives leader- more power than other policies - Tony Blair voters- working class, middle- class money- from trade unions Liberal Democratsformed 1980’s fromWhigs(liberals) and Social Democrats outlook- in the middle or slightly left - in favour of the EU - emphasis15 on the environment - wants reform of electoral system and greater power to local government leader- Paddy Ashdown voters- from all classes - more from middle class money- private donations b) USA - federal republic, 50 states and District of Columbia (D:C.) - each state is different - own state government, laws, education, taxes, etc. - the federal government responsible - matters concerning the country as a whole - foreign affairs, defence and finance - each state has Governor, Legislature and State Judiciary Government-Federal Government - established byconstitution - ratified 1788 by thirteen colonies - consists- Preamble16 - Articles I - VII - 26 Amendments17 American bill of right 1791 - no new unconstitutional law can pass - controlled with checks18 and balances19 - composed20 of three branches:Legislative21 (Congress) Executive22 (President) Judicial23 (Supreme Court24) - none of them have ultimate power - it belongs to the people Congress - today two main parties - Democratic and Republican - two bodies:1. Senate 2. House of Representatives - function jointly- drafting25 and passing26 laws - matters around national finance (coining money, setting taxes) -