当前位置:首页 >> 其它课程 >>

British Government and Politics


British Government and Politics
制作:黄增辉 何 东

House of parliament

I. Overview on British Government
? Britain is the oldest representative democracy(代 议民主制度) in the world. Other countries also have long political histories but these histories are marked by periods of sudden, and often violent, change. Although Britain too has had its periods of politic instability, in contrast to France, the United States, or China, the process of statebuilding has been one of evolution rather than revolution. This long and unbroken history is still apparent in Britain's current political institutions and in its political culture.

? From this brief history, we can see that British government today is deeply influenced by its long past. Britain is both a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy. While the official head of state is the Queen, her powers are largely traditional and symbolic. The government at national and locals levels is elected by the people and governs according to British constitutional principles.

? Because of Britain's imperial past, when many other corners of the globe were ruled from London, we find similar systems of government in many former colonies. Other countries which are governed according to the principles of British parliamentary democracy are Australia, Canada, New Zealand and India. All but India recognize the Queen as their head of state, and a representative of the Crown, called the Governor-General, is present in such constitutional monarchies in order to fulfill the role of the monarch.

? II. Monarchy
? The power was largely derived from the ancient doctrine of the "divine right of kings". It was held that the sovereign derived his authority from God, not from his subjects.

? While the King in theory had God on his side, in practice even in medieval times it was thought that he should not exercise absolute power. Instead, the sovereign should be willing to receive advice from prominent men. The monarch's willingness led to many battles between the king and other powerful groups like the Church and powerful, land-owning feudal barons. Until Magna Carta (Great Charter, 1215 ) and the Bill of Rights(1689) was valid, they placed some limits on the king’s ability to abuse his royal power.

? They are still regarded as Britain's key expression of the rights of citizens against the Crown. ? The role of the monarch today is primarily to symbolize the tradition and unity of the British state. Obviously the prime minister and governing party at any given time will only represent the part of the population that voted in their favor. The Queen, however, because she is non-political, belongs to everybody. Her other roles are as follows: she is legally head of executive, an integral part of the legislature, head of the judiciary, commander in chief of the armed forces and "supreme governor" of the Church of England.

?

?

In a 1988 poll, most Britons felt the Queen's most important job was to represent Britain at home and abroad, her second most impartment job was to set standards of good citizenship and family life. While the Queen has indeed led an exemplary life, her children have been criticized for their poor behavior. A less well known role of the Queen, which is nevertheless very important to British politics, is that of a confidante to the Prime Minister. Every Tuesday the Prime Minister attends the Queen privately at Buckingham Palace. In her 57 years on the throne, the Queen has had weekly chats with 10 different Prime Ministers and they have said that her long experience and her political neutrality make her a good source of informed observation on the day to day problems of governance.

III. Parliament

? The word "parliament" comes from the verb “to parley", that is, to discuss or talk. The term was first used officially in 1236 to describe the gathering of feudal barons and representatives from counties and towns which the king occasionally summoned if he wanted to raise money. ? By the 13th Century, kings found they could not make ends meet by asking for money from this quite small group, and so they widened it to include representatives of counties, cities and towns, to get them to contribute to his projects. ? It was in this way that the Great Council came to include both those who were summoned “by name“(世袭贵族) (the House of Lords) and representatives of communities (the House of Commons). These two houses exist today and collectively we call them the Parliament.

? Strictly speaking, the Parliament today consists of the Queen, the House of Lords and the House of Commons. These three institutions must all agree to pass any given legislation.

? The House of Lords (Upper House)
? Below the Queen is the House of Lords which is the oldest part of Parliament. It consists of the Lords Spiritual, who are the most prominent bishops of the Church of England; and other noble people, usually called peers, sit in the Lords either because they have inherited the seat from their forefathers or because they have been appointed by the sovereign, at the suggestion of the Prime Minister. These latter are called life peers. Unlike those who serve in the House of Commons, they do not receive salaries .

? The House of Commons (Lower House )

? The House of Commons which is where the real power lies. The members of the House of Commons are not appointed, but elected at the present time. The Commons consists of 659 Members of Parliament (MPs) (2001) who are elected from the 659 electoral districts of the U. K. called constituencies. Its members hold their seats for a maximum period of five years, although the government can hold a General Election at any time during its term. When a member of the Commons dies, another is elected at a by-election to occupy his seat in the House of Commons.

? IV. The Prime Minister and Cabinet
? To ensure good relations between Crown and Parliament, the king or queen met regularly with a group of important Parliamentarians, a group which became known as the Cabinet.

? To ensure good relations between Crown and Parliament, the king or queen met regularly with a group of important Parliamentarians, a group which became known as the Cabinet.

? In 1714, Britain "imported" a member of the royal family from Germany to rule Britain. The new King George 1 spoke English very badly and was not very interested in politics anyway, so he left the job of chairing cabinet meetings to one of his ministers. In time he came to be called the prime minister. ? The Parliament was slowly becoming more powerful, especially as it became more organized. In 1832,when a system for choosing the House of Commons by popular election placed the monarch’s job of appointing representatives the modem political system was born. Members of Parliament (MPs) assembled themselves into groups which eventually became political parties. Most MPs belong to political parties ―Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats are the major ones. The Prime Minister is the leader of the political party which wins the most seats in a general election.

? Around 20 MPs in the governing party who are chosen by the Prime Minister will become government ministers in the Cabinet. The Cabinet carries out the functions of policy-making, coordination of government departments and the supreme control of government. ? IV. General Elections ? Periodic national elections are very important in the western model of democracy. The election is seen as an opportunity to influence future government policy ― or, less positively, that whatever else the failings of the political system, at least the election provides the opportunity to "kick the rascals out"! ? After a government has been in power for five years, it has to resign and hold a general election in which all British adults are given the chance to vote again for their constituency’s MP.

? A government cannot stand for longer than five years except in exceptional circumstances (it has happened twice this century, when elections were delayed until the end of the First and Second World Wars).


相关文章:
unit 3-4 government of UK, politics
unit 3-4 government of UK, politics_英语学习_外语学习_教育专区。英国政治经济文化介绍 Unit 3 The Government Of The United Kingdom ? System of government...
Chapter 8 Canadian Government and politics
Chapter 8 Canadian Government and politics_其它_高等教育_教育专区。Chapter 8...(Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova ...
Government and Politics in the United States
Government and Politics in the United States_英语学习_外语学习_教育专区。...These men believed that the government of Great Britain was determined to ...
government and politics in the united states
government and politics in the united states_其它_高等教育_教育专区。美国...These men believed the government of Great Britain wanted to excessive taxes...
英语国家概况答案
28. Is the British press free from the government control and censorship? What is the relationship between the British press and politics or business? 29...
politics
Politics and Government System in the United Kingdom The politics of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has taken place in the ...
American_Government_and_Politics
American_Government_and_Politics_法律资料_人文社科_专业资料。American Government... British Government and... 52页 1下载券 喜欢此文档的还喜欢 -home-...
American Government & Politics(相关题目问答...
American Government & Politics(相关题目问答)_军事/政治_人文社科_专业资料。美国政策and政治 相关内容 这是作者的“美国政治政策”的考试题目,旨在让...
American Politics and Government System
American Politics and Government System_英语学习_外语学习_教育专区。American ... American Government an... 6页 免费 American and British E... 40页...
...of What the Bible Says about Government and...
A3. Overview of What the Bible Says about Government and Politics_英语学习_外语学习_教育专区。CVCS GOVERNMENT PROJECT Overview of What the Bible Says ...
更多相关标签: