Political Systems of France and Britain Essay

3103 WordsJun 11, 200513 Pages
COMPARITIVE POLITICS SEMINAR II – A DESCRIPTION OF TWO WESTERN EUROPEAN POLITICAL SYSTEMS FRANCE AND GREAT BRITAIN INTRODUCTION I chose these two systems, which interest me for different reasons. The British system is one that has evolved over many centuries, with both small and large adjustments along the way to keep in on course. In contrast to this, the French model has changed dramatically on several occasions, and can rarely have been described as stable. However, in 1958 Charles de Gaulle made some brave changes to the constitution, which after being approved by the French public, set the scene for the classic semi-presidential system that we see today. Despite these opposing histories, there are many similarities between…show more content…
The House of Commons, on the other hand, is a democratically elected chamber. The House of Lords and the House of Commons meet in separate chambers in the Palace of Westminster (the Houses of Parliament), in central London. The British Parliament is often called the "Mother of Parliaments," as the legislative bodies of many nations—most notably, those of the members of the Commonwealth—are modelled on it. However, it is a misquotation of John Bright, who had actually remarked on 18 January 1865 that "England is the Mother of Parliaments", in the context of supporting demands for expanded voting rights in a country which had pioneered Parliamentary government. The differences between the constituent members of the UK are interesting, England, despite being the most developed, populous and richest member, is the only one without its own devolved government. House of Commons The UK is divided into parliamentary constituencies of broadly equal population (decided by the Boundaries Commission), each of which elects a Member of Parliament to the House of Commons. The leader of the party with the largest number of MPs is invited by the monarch to form a government, and becomes the Prime Minister. The leader of the second largest party becomes the Leader of the Opposition. There is usually a majority in Parliament, thanks to the First Past the Post electoral system so coalitions are rare. The monarch normally asks a person commissioned to form a government
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