Political system in the United Kingdom




НазваниеPolitical system in the United Kingdom
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POLITICAL SYSTEM in the United Kingdom



Great Britain is a constitutional monarchy. This means that the official head of the State is the monarch ( a king or a queen) but his or her powers are limited by the constitution. For years it has been Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.


The Queen

(Her full title is Her Most Excellent Majesty Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith)
Her surname (if she had any) would be Windsor.

The Queen is only a formal and symbolic head of State.

Her duties are, e.g,.- she holds receptions and State banquets, she visits various parts of Britain every year, she gives audiences to the Prime Minister and other important persons, she pays state visits and undertakes tours in other countries of the Commonwealth, she formally summons and dissolves Parliament.(„The Queen´s speech“, with which the Queen opens each session of Parliament is prepared by the government and read by the Queen). Besides she is commander-in-chief of all armed forces and the head of the Church of England. She also awards various titles and orders, etc.

But in reality, the Queen acts only on the advice of her ministers. The monarch´s power of veto, which is not clearly defined, has not been used for over two hundred years, and so it has become a tradition that the royal power of veto doe not really exist at all.
Queen Elizabeth II was born on 21st April, 1926. She ascended the throne on 6th February 1952, after her father´s death (King George VI) and was crowned on 2nd June, 1953. The Queen´s husband is H.R.H. (Hir Royal Highness) Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. She has four children, three sons (Charles,Andrew, Edward) and a daughter(Anne). The eldest son, H.R.H. Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, is the heir to the throne. In Britain a daughter succeeds only if there are no sons in the royal family. (Therefore of the 40 monarchs since the Norman Conquest only six have been queens: Mary I, Elizabeth I, Mary II, Anne, Victoria, Elizabeth II.)

The Queen´s residence in London is Buckingham Palace, in Scotland Balmoral. Officially Queen´s birthday is celebrated on June 6th.

Despite the scandals in recent years, the Royal Family is still loved by many people. The most popular member of the family is now Prince William.

The Constitution


of the UK is unwritten. It is based on custom, tradition and common law.


The Parliament


is the supreme legislative body and the highest authority in the UK. It consists of the House of Commons and the House of Lords. British parliamentary system is one of the oldest in the world, it developed slowly during the 13th century after King John´s signature of Magna Carta in 1215. The two Houses of Parliament share the same building, the Palace of Westminster on the left bank of the Thames.
The Queen formally summons and dissolves Parliament and opens each new session with a „speech from the throne“.
The House of Lords is made up of hereditary and life peers and peeresses, two archbishops and 24 bishops of the Church of England. Its main function is law-making.
The House of Commons consists of 650 paid members (MPs) who are elected at a General Election, which must be held every five years. Voting is not compulsory and is from the age of 18.
Another important parliamentary task is answering the questions. From Monday to Thursday all ministers must answer MPs´questions for one hour (questionig time). Two days a week the Prime Minister must answer MPs´questions.

All speeches in the House of Commons are addressed to the Speaker who is elected at the beginning of each new Parliament to preside over the House. In the House of the Lords it is the Lord Chancellor.
Scottish Parliament. A new Scottish Parliament was elected in 1999 and sits in Edinburgh. This is the first time Scotland has had its own parliament in 300 years.


The Government
is formed by the party which has the majority in Parliament and the Queen appoints its leader as the Prime Minister. The Cabinet is the executive organ of government. It´s made up by the leading ministers and heads of government departments (about 20 people). So the Government is a larger body (about 80 peple)
The second largest party forms the official Opposition with its own leader and „shadow cabinet“.

The present Prime Minister is …….., the head of the ……….. Party. The Prime Minister´s official residence is 10 Downing Street.


Political Parties.
In present-day Britain there are two big political parites, the Labour Party and the Conservative Party (they are still referred to as Tories). In foreign policy, the Conservatives and Labourists usually agree on the main issues and there is not much difference between the two parties.


The Political System in the USA.



The USA is a federation consisting of 50 states. In the American democratic system, rights and powers are divided between the individual states and federal government. The U.S. system of government is based on the Constitution adopted in 1789.
The federal government has three branches:

the executive ( the President and Executive office)
the legislative (both houses of Congress)
the judiciary (the Supreme Court and all other federal courts)


The three branches are designed to check and balance the others. (it is called a system of „cheks and balances“)


The U.S. were formed from 13 colonies. This is also represented on the American flag by 7 red and 6 white stripes.

The nation´s governing documents are the Constitution of the U.S. and its first 10 Amendments- also called the Bill of Rights- that were ratified in 1787. These documents encompass fundamental democratic freedoms such as the freedom of speech, press, assembly as well as the right to your own religion.

Altogether there have been 26 Amendments to the Constitution. For example the 13th Amendment prohibits slavery and grants black people the right to vote, the 19th Amendment gives franchise to women.

The U.S. has a federal form of government, where powers are divided between the federal government and the states. The legislative powers of the federal government belong to the Congress, which consits of the House of Representatives with its 435 members and the Senate with two representatives from each state.

A member of the House of Representatives must be at least 25 years old, must be a resident of the represented state and must have been a citizen of this state for at least 7 years. Members get elected for a term of two years every even-numbered year.

The Senate consists of two senators from each state who are elected for a period of six years. Senators have to be at least 30 years old, must have residency in the concerned state and must have been citizens of the USA for at least nine years.

The Congress issues laws dealing with taxes, international and domestic business, bankruptcy, weights and measures, post offices and roads, armed forces etc.

All bills passed by both houses are forwarded to the president, who has the right to veto them. If the president chooses to veto a bill however, it may still be passed by a two-thirds vote in both houses.

The building in Washington,D.C.,in which Congress meets, is called the Capitol.


The president has to be a „natural born citizen“ who is at least 35 years old and has been a US resident for at least 14 years. He is elected for a period of four years and under the 22nd Amendment this period can be renewed once. (i.e. he or she cannot be elected mote than twice) The only President who served three terms and was elected to the fourth was F.D.Roosevelt (elected in 1932,1936,1940 and 1944)

The President´s official residence is the White House in Washington.
He is the Commander- in- Chief of the armed forces. Unlike our President the U.S. President has wide powers.
Each year in January, the President presents a report to Congress in which he reviews events and the work of the government for the past year. It is known as the State of the Union Address.
The President is also assisted in his work by the White House Staff.


The Vice-President presides over the Senate. He automatically succeeds to the presidency if the President dies, resignes, or is unable to carry out his functions during his elected term.
Since the foundation of the USA several presidents have died while in office, four have been assassinated (Lincoln 1865, Garfield 1883, McKinley 1899 and Kennedy 1963) and one had resigned (Nixon in 1974- Watergate affair)


The president assigns secretaries to lead departments including agriculture, commerce, defense, education, energy, health and human srvices, housing and human development, interior, justice, labor, transportation, treasury and veterans´affairs. Perhaps the most important are the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense.

The current President is George W.Bush.( a Republican)

Each state has its own government and makes its own laws concerning sales taxes, education, speed limits, gambling, drinking and divorce.They have the same three departments of government: executive, legislative and judiciary. The executive department is headed by the Governor.

There are two major political parties in the USA, the Republican Party and the Democratic Party.
The symbol of the Democrats is the donkey, of the Republicans is the elephant.


The Political System in the Czech Republic


The Czech Republic was established on January 1st, 1993, as one of the successors to the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic.

The CR is a democratic state, governed according to the constitution of 1992.

The head of the state is the president. He is elected for a period of 5 years by the Parliament at an assembly of both parliament chambers. The president can be elected for two terms of office. The president appoints the chairman and other members of the government. The Government is the supreme executive authority of state power in the CR. It consists of the Prime Minister and ministers. The parliament of the CR is called the Assembly. It consists of two chambers -the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. The right to vote is given to every citizen who is more than 18 years old. Every citizen who is more than 21 years old can be elected a deputy, every citizen over 40 can be elected a senator. The Senate consists of 81 senators, who are elected for the period of 6 years. Every two years one third of the senators is elected. The Chamber of deputies consists of 200 deputies, who are elected for 4 years. The candidates for deputies are nominated by political parties. There are four main political parties in the republic - the Civic Democratic Party, the Social Democratic Party, the Communist Party and the Four-Coalition, consisting of four smaller parties.

State holidays: 8th May.............................................................................................................
5th July ..............................................................................................................

6th July .............................................................................................................

28th September ....................................................................................................

28th October .........................................................................................................

17th November .......................................................................................................






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