Political state of Brain

By Ramon Martinez,2014-07-09 21:51
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monarchy parliament government

    The Brief Introduction of the

    Political State of Britain

    Class 3


    Title: the brief introduction of

     political state of Britain



    Part 1: Monarch

    Part 2: Legislatures

    The UK Parliament:

     House of Commons

     House of Lords

    Part 3: Executive

    The United Kingdom Government:

     The Prim Minister and the Cabinet

     Part 4: Judiciary

     Part 5: Political Parties:



     Liberal Democrats





    The brief introduction of the politics of UK

    The politics of UK has taken place in the framework of a constitutional monarchy, in which the Monarch is head of state and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom is the head of government.Legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of Parliament, the House of Commons and the House of Lord, as well as in the Scottish Parliament and Welsh and Northern Ireland Assemblies s. Executive power is exercised by the UK government, the devolved governments of Scotland and Wales, and the Executive of Northern Ireland. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature, the highest national court being the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. (2)

     Meanwhile, there are two largest parties that is the Conservative Party and the Labour Party, before the Labour Party rose in British politics the Liberal Party was the other major political party along with the Conservatives.

     The political framework

    UK Parliament

    UK government

     Scottish Welsh Northern Irish

     Parliament Assembly Assembly

    Scottish local Welsh local Northern Irish English local

    Government government local government government

    Source: British Civilization: An Introduction, Fifth edition, 2002, by John Oakaland

Key words: political Britain

Part 1: Monarch

     Queen Elizabeth II, the current monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

     Monarch is the head of the states, who holds symbolic title but has no effective political power. The ability to make and pass legislation resides within an elected Parliament. The Sovereign governs according to the constitution or rules, rather than his or her own free will. As a constitutional monarch, the Queen cannot make or pass legislation, and must remain politically neutral. On almost all matters the Queen acts on the advices of ministers. (1) Nominally, the monarch has the right to choose her Prime Minister and the right to call and dissolve Parliament, however, according to the constitution, the Prime minister is the person who is able to command the a majority in the House of the Commons, and Parliament is dissolved at the time suggested by the PM.(2)Although the monarch has not an executive role, he or she still has an important political role as Head of State, meanwhile, she also has the royal prerogative, such as appoints the prime minister, give the grant Royal Assent and bestows honors.

Part 2: Legislatures

     The UK Parliament is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom (i.e., there is parliamentary sovereignty), and Government is drawn from and answerable to it. Parliament is bicameral, consisting of the House of Commons and the House of Lords. There is also a devolved Scottish Parliament and devolved Assemblies in Wales and Northern Ireland, with varying degrees of legislative authority. (2) The UK Parliament

    the main function of Parliament are to pass laws, to provide ----- voting for taxation ------ the means of carrying out the work of the government, to scrutinize Government policy and administration, including proposals for expenditure, and to debate the mayor issues of the day.(1)


    Bicameralism MemberDistribution Main Function Remark

    s Positions

    House 646 529 The Preside over the They are

    of Commons represent chief House, and interprets always the constituencies officer: the rules of the Members of in England Speaker House the House of 40 in Wales and Commons, 59 in Three and elected The most senior one Scotland Deputy by the House holds the title of 18 in Speakers as nominees Chairman of Ways Northern of the and Means,

    Ireland government, the two others are

     but may known as the first

     come from and the second

     the Deputy of it


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     of Is responsible for the the Speaker

     Commons administration of the



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     Chairs the

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    725 “Lords


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    Presiding Announce the Little

    officer results.. power

Part 3: Executive

    Executive power in the United Kingdom is exercised on behalf of the Sovereign, in whom executive power is nominally vested, by the UK government and the Scottish Government, the Welsh Assembly Government and the Northern Ireland Executive.(2)

     The United Kingdom Government:

     The monarch appoints a Prime Minister as the head of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom, guided by the strict convention that the Prime Minister should be the member of the House of Commons most likely to be able to form a Government with the support of that House. In practice, this means that the leader of the political party with an absolute majority of seats in the House of Commons is chosen to be the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister then selects the other Ministers which make up the Government and act as political heads of the various Government Departments. About twenty of the most senior government ministers make up the Cabinet and approximately 100 ministers in total comprise the government. In accordance with constitutional convention, all ministers within the government are either Members of Parliament or peers in the House of Lords.(2)

     The Government runs the country. It has responsibility for developing and implementing policy and for drafting laws. (1)

     The Prime Minister and the Cabinet

    The Cabinet is a small executive body in the government, composed of the most senior government ministers chosen by the Prime Minister who is also the prime or senior minister in the Cabinet. Prime Minister is responsible for chairing Cabinet meetings, selecting Cabinet ministers (and all other positions in Her Majesty's government), and formulating governmental policy. In fact, the Prime Minister is the executive authority in the UK government, since s/he exercises executive functions that are nominally vested in the sovereign (by way of the Royal Prerogatives).

     Theoretically, the Prime Minister is primus inter pares (, i.e. Latin for "first

    among equals") among his/her Cabinet colleagues. While the Prime Minister is the senior Cabinet Minister, her/he is theoretically bound to make executive decisions in a collective fashion with the other Cabinet ministers. The Cabinet, along with the PM, consists of Secretaries of State from the various government departments. Cabinet meetings are typically held weekly, while Parliament is in session. (2)

Part 4: Judiciary

    The United Kingdom does not have a single legal system due to it being created by the political union of previously independent countries with the terms of the Treaty of Union guaranteeing the continued existence of Scotland's separate legal system. Today the UK has three distinct systems of law: English law, Northern Ireland law and Scots law. Recent constitutional changes saw a new Supreme Court of the United Kingdom come into being in October 2009 that took on the appeal functions of the

    [18]Appellate Committee of the House of Lords. The Judicial Committee of the Privy

    Council, comprising the same members as the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords, is the highest court of appeal for several independent Commonwealth countries, the UK overseas territories, and the British crown dependencies.(2)

    Part 5: Political Parties

    2005 election results by age group: voters for Conservative (blue), Labour (red), Lib Dem (yellow), other parties (green); and those who were not voting (grey). Historically, the United Kingdom had two major political parties, though currently three parties dominate the political landscape. Originally, the Conservatives and the Liberals dominated British politics, but the Liberal Party collapsed in the early twentieth century and was largely replaced by the Labour Party. Other parties, often called minor parties (in UK terms at least) contest elections but few except those which are based in single countries of the United Kingdom win seats in Parliament. In the most recent general election in 2010, the result amounted to a hung parliament, and after several days of negotiations, the Labour Party left the government with the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats operating a coalition government.

Conservatives (Tories)

    The history of the Conservative party goes back to 1679 when Tories was established which changed its name to The Conservative Party in 1833.

    Conservatives formed the Government successively in four times from 1979 to 1997 and they took the leader position during the 20 century. But they defeated Labour Party in May, 1997 and June, 2001 during the twice general elections. Luckily, they succeeded in May, 2010, and they entered a formal coalition with the Liberal Democrats to form a majority government.

     The supporters of the Conservatives come from the enterprises and the Wealth class; they advocate the free market’s economy. They take measures to reduce the inflation by control the supply of the money strictly and decrease the expenditure of the public. They also hold that limiting the power of the trade union and

strengthening the “law” and “order”. In recent years they advocate “sympathetic

    Conservatives”, and pay attention to the social problems such as education, medical

    services, poverty etc. They stress to protect sovereignty of the UK, oppose to join the European Union; but they would like to establish the Atlantic Community to strengthen the special relationship between the UK and US. They also underline the

     for the UK security, and stress that NATO is still the importance of the NATO

    cornerstone of the UK security and defense.

    There are more than three hundred thousand Party Members now.


    The history of the Labour party goes back to 1900 when a Labour

    Representation Committee was established which changed its name to The Labour Party in 1906. They formed the Government once in five periods, 1924, from 1929 to 1931, from 1945 to 1951, from 1964 to 1970, from 1974 to 1979. They succeeded in general election in 1997, and then they took the power successively after the general election in June, 2001. But unlucky, they lost the opportunity in the election in May, 2010. In recent years, they tend to protect the interests of the Middle Class, and the relationship between the trade union and the Labour Party become estranged. After Tony Blair to be the leader of the party, in politic ,they pose a slogan: “New Labour,

    New Britain”; in economy, they support to reduce the government intervention;

    control the expenditure of the public each month strictly, maintain the increase of macro-economy stably, and establish the modern welfare system. They advocate taking part in the national cooperation actively, holding the positive attitude toward European integration;joining the euro and keeping the special relationship with US. There are more than four hundred thousand members in the Labour Party which is the first largest Party in Britain.

The Liberal Democrats

    The Liberal Democrats were formed in 1988 by a merger of the Liberal Party with the Social Democratic Party. The Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats operate a coalition government in May, 2010. The Liberal Democrats advocate to keep cooperative relationship with The Labour Party continually, to promote the policy that

    The Labour Party executes proportional representation in local elections and the

    Commons election, to take more progressive policies in the problem of the public service, social justice and environmental protection. There are about one hundred thousand members in the Liberal Democrat Party which is the third largest party in Britain.


    There are also some other Parties, such as Scottish National Party, Plaid Cymru, Ulster Unionist Party, Democratic Unionist Party, Social Democratic and Labour Party, Sinn Fein…(3)


    From the brief introduction of the political state of the Britain in the essay, we may know that The Britain is not the country in the strict sense of the separation of power. Prime Minister is the most powerful person in the political state of the Britain who is the head of the government, the “speaker” of the Cabinet, the representative of the Parliament, and also the supreme political consultant of the Queen. Hence, the relation of the Prime Minister, the Cabinet and the Parliament, we may conclude that


     Government Parliament (majority party)

     Leader lead


     Prime Minister Cabinet


    (1) British society and culture by 苏立昌

    (2) Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


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