Presentation on theme: "The British Political System. Who runs the country? Britain is a parliamentary monarchy where Queen Elizabeth II is the official Head of State. However,"— Presentation transcript:
Who runs the country? Britain is a parliamentary monarchy where Queen Elizabeth II is the official Head of State. However, it is the government (currently led by the Prime Minister, David Cameron) which has the power to make new laws.
What does the Queen actually do? The Queen maintains a neutral political position and, although she can advise the PM, she cannot change or introduce laws. She represents the UK meeting foreign Heads of State. She performs constitutional duties such as the State Opening of Parliament, formally signing bills and meeting the PM every week. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=tBtILHOVhGM http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=tBtILHOVhGM
Who are the main political parties? Conservatives Labour Liberal Democrats SNP/Plaid Cymru/DUP/Sinn Fein/SDLP Independents
Where do the politicians meet? MPs (Members of Parliament) meet daily at Westminster Palace in central London http://www.inlondonguide.co.uk/ images/stories/1_TopMenu/map _london_b.jpg http://www.inlondonguide.co.uk/ images/stories/1_TopMenu/map _london_b.jpg The original building was destroyed by a fire in the mid-19 th century. It was restored by architect Charles Barry and the current structure is of neo-gothic style. Parliament is divided into two chambers: the House of Commons and the House of Lords
The House of Commons Consists of 650 MPs, elected by the public every 5 years to represent their constituency. The government sit on the right and the opposition on the left. MPs debate and vote on whether to pass bills drawn up by the cabinet. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=X-mC4obeDhg http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=X-mC4obeDhg
The House of Lords Consists of 760 members (although much fewer usually attend) About 90 are hereditary lords, 25 are important figures in the Church of England The rest are ‘life peers’: experts in various fields or people who have contributed greatly to British society; they are appointed by the Queen on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. The role of the Lords is to review bills introduced by the Commons.
What are the differences between the two chambers? The House of Lords cannot block bills passed by the government – it can only delay or amend them. The Commons is used for passing laws regarding money, such as new taxes. The House of Lords is not elected by the public – this issue has always been a controversial part of British politics.
Devolved Power In the late 1990s regional governments were established in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. They have autonomous power over issues such as education, health and transport; issues such as foreign policy, defence and taxation are still decided in London. The West Lothian Issue
Things to think about! 1.Do you think it is right for the Queen to remain neutral or should she have the power to introduce laws herself? 2.In your opinion, what are the advantages and disadvantages of the House of Lords? 3.Are there any similarities between the Spanish and British systems?