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The Political System Of England


091513 0210 ThePolitica1 The Political System Of EnglandThe State System of any nation is not an artificial creation of some genius or simply the embodiment of different rational schemes. It is nothing else but a work of many centuries, a product of a national spirit, a political mentality and the consciousness of people.

The organs of government in the United Kingdom of Great Britain are:

  1. the legislature, which consists of the Queen in Parliament, and is the supreme authority of the realm;
  2. the executive, which consist of:
  3. the Cabinet and other ministers of the Crown, who are responsible for initiating and directing national policy;
  4. Government departments, most of them under the control of ministers, and all staffed by civil servants, who are responsible for administration at the national level;
  5. local authorities, who administer and manage many services at the local level;
  6. statutory boards, which are responsible for the operation of particular nationalised industries or public services;
  7. «shadow cabinet» which is the directing and leading body of the oppositional group.

    The most interesting and important aspect of the British political system, its peculiarity, lies in its division of powers.

    It is common knowledge that Great Britain, having the oldest Parliament in the world, has one of the most stable and effective political regimes of our time. Its stability is mostly the result of the division of powers, which, by the way, is not the exeption from the general rule.


    The main idea of this variant lies in the following: the principle of the demarcation (division) is combined with a principle of interaction. And its principle is fixed in the British system of power not as something abstract, but institutionally. I mean a special center, a linking section, which brings together the legislating and executing powers, and at the same time is the center of making important political decisions. Surely, it is the Cabinet and its leader which are at the head of the whole executive system of the state.

    The main 4 principles of division of powers are:

  8. sovereignty of the Parliament, as the highest body of political management;
  9. the leading role of the Cabinet and the government in the legislative process;
  10. a strict Parliamentary and commitee control of the legislative branch;
  11. a special role given to the State Machinery, which not only executes the instructions, but also influences a political process.

    So, as we see, the legislators provide the execution of the laws and resolutions of the Parliament by controlling the State machinery, and in its turn, the state machinery participates in the legislative process, providing its preparatory stage (by doing a spade-work).


    1. The first distinction may seem to be the form of rule:

    Britain, as you probably know, is considered to be a parliamentary monarchy.

    The Queen is the personification of the U.K. By law, she is the head of the executive branch, an integral part of the legislature, the head of the judiciary, the commander-in-chief of all armed forces of the Crown and the temporal head of the established Church of England. But in practice, as a result of a long evolutionary process, these powers have changed. Today, the queen acts only on the advice of her Ministers which she cannot constitutionally ignore. In fact she reigns but she doesn’t rule.

    However, the monarchy has a good deal more power than is commonly supposed. There remain certain discretionary powers in the hands of the monarch, known as the Royal Prerogative


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