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Old November 22nd, 2012, 05:08 PM   #1

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The British government system


As an american I've never really looked into the british system. How does it work? How do elections operate? What are the different branches? What are the main parties? Who are the most influential politicians? And stuff of the like.
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Old November 23rd, 2012, 10:11 AM   #2

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The British system of government manages to be a palrimentary democracy whilst at the same time being an elected dictatorship and comprises a two chamber system situated ln London at the palace of Westminster.
The upper house known as the house of lords is the lesser of the two legaslative bodies and comprises a mixture of hereditery peers and bishops and a much larger contingent of life members who are political appointees. One might be excused for thinking these political appointees are puppets in the hands of their political appointers, but that is far from the case. These life members are in the mainstay intellectual heavyweights who are experts in one field or another and their vast pool of knowledge has more than once been used to embarress and frustrate their creators. The upper house does not propose legaslation but does scrutanise, debate and suggest ammendments before returning proposed legaslation back to the senior house for its consideration.
This senior house is known as the house of commons and comprises 650 mrmbers from across the political spectrum with the overwhelming majority coming from the two main political parties. Upon election the largest and usualy majority party forms a government comprising a Pime minister and departmental ministers. With their overall parliamentary majority government proposes legislation that is voted on, scrutinised and ammended by both houses over a period of weeks before a final vote is taken to either throw out or accept the proposed legislation.
the british constitution is unwritten in as much as it does not exist in a single document, instead it has been built law by law from the time of Magna Carta in 1215.
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Old November 23rd, 2012, 10:23 AM   #3
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The main election is the General Election, held every 4 or 5 years. Though that has been changed to a fixed term. Unlike in the US were you directly vote for the President, we vote for our local MP. The winning MP from that Constituency then gets a seat in the House of Commons. To form a Government, a party needs a certain number of MP's. We currently operate a first past the post system. And the party with 356 seats or more wins. If no party gets that number, then we end up with a Coalition, as we have now. But that is rare.

There are 3 main parties. The top two are labour and the Conservatives. The third is the Liberal Democrats. There are a number of other smaller parties. Some areas, namely N Ireland, Scotland and Wales have parties unique to them that have seats in westminster.
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Old November 23rd, 2012, 10:36 AM   #4

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There are a lot of things I like about the British form of government, but
having and supporting a figurehead monarch, and all their titles, is the one
thing that could be jettisoned.
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Old November 23rd, 2012, 10:39 AM   #5

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Each political party chooses a leader at times of their own choosing and the leader of the largest party after an election is invited to form a government with the leader of that party automaticaly becoming prime minister.

( If there is abything else i can do to confuse you please let me know)
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Old November 23rd, 2012, 10:58 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjadams View Post
There are a lot of things I like about the British form of government, but
having and supporting a figurehead monarch, and all their titles, is the one
thing that could be jettisoned.
Well, most of us are quite happy with it. So thankfully its one thing we will be keeping.
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Old November 23rd, 2012, 11:04 AM   #7

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bish View Post
Well, most of us are quite happy with it. So thankfully its one thing we will be keeping.


(Furiously waving my order paper about in support and shouting).

"Here Here"
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Old November 23rd, 2012, 11:06 AM   #8

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I don't know as much about British government as I should, but I do love how heated the arguments get in the House of Commons.
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Old November 23rd, 2012, 11:13 AM   #9

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Yes, it's very adversarial, with the governing party and opposition sitting on opposite benches in a relatively small chamber. Though the debates in the upper chamber tend to be calm and thoughtful.
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Old November 23rd, 2012, 11:17 AM   #10

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Don't they address each other as Righteous Gentlemen or some ridiculous title?
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