"Political System of Great Britain"
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The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a constitutional monarchy. The present sovereign is Queen Elizabeth II. She was crowned in Westminster Abbey in 1953. Monarch serves formally as head of state. But the monarch is expected to be politically neutral and should not make political decisions.
Parliament is the most important authority in Britain. Technically Parliament is made up of three parts: the Monarch, the House of Lords; and the House of Commons. In reality the House of Commons is the only one of the three which has true power. Britain does not have a written constitution, but a set of laws.
The House of Commons consists of Members of Parliament. There are 650 of them in the House of Commons. They are elected by secret ballot. General elections are held every five years. The country is divided into 650 constituencies.
There are few political parties in Britain thanks to the British electoral system. The main ones are: the Conservative Party, the Labour Party and the Liberal / Social Democratic Alliance. The party which wins the most seats in Parliament forms the Government. Its leader becomes the Prime Minister. His first job is to choose his Cabinet. The Prime Minister usually takes policy decisions with the agreement of the Cabinet. Prime Minister David Cameron
The functions of the House of Commons are legislation and scrutiny of government activities. The House of Commons is presided over by the Speaker. The Speaker is appointed by the Government. Speaker of the House of Commons of the Parliament of Great Britain John Berkou
The House of Lords comprises about 1,200 peers. It is presided by the Lord Chancellor. The House of Lords has no real power. It acts rather as anadvisory council. It's in the House of Commons that new bills are introduced and debated. If the majority of the members are in favour of a bill, it goes to the House of Lords to be debated. The House of Lords has the right to reject a new bill twice.
But after two rejections they are obliged to accept it. And finally a bill goes to the monarch to be signed. Only then it becomes law. Parliament is responsible for British national policy. Local governments are responsible for organizing of education, police and many others.