Political system in USA, GB, CZ
Great Britain is a constitutional monarchy with the Queen as the head of state. Britain is divided into four parts: England (London capital), Wales (Cardiff), Scotland (Edinburgh) and Northern Ireland (Belfast). Locally is Britain divided into counties. The capital of the whole Britain is London. Other big cities are e. g. Birmingham, Glasgow, Manchester and Bristol.
The head of state is Queen but she can act only on the advice of her ministers. Queen Elizabeth II. lives in Buckingham Palace in London. She has four children – Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward.
The Constitution of the United Kingdom is unwritten, it is based on custom, tradition and common law. The supreme law-making body in the country is Parliament. Parliament consists of: the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The Houses of Parliament are the centre of British government. They were built in last century. British parliamentary system is one of the oldest in the world, it developed slowly during 13th century after King John’s signature of Magna Carta in 1215.
The Commons has 650 Members of Parliament (MPs) – 523 from England, 72 from Scotland, 38 from Wales and 17 from Northern Ireland. The Lords is made up of hereditary
and life peers (Lords Temporal), 2 archbishops and 24 bishops of the Church of England. (Lords Spiritual).
From Monday to Thursday all ministers must answer MPs´ questions for one hour. It is called Questioning time. Two days a week the Prime minister must answer MPs´ questions. Another important parliamentary task is law-making. A proposal of some new law – a bill – must pass through both Houses and then is sent to the Queen for Royal Assent.
General elections to choose MPs are every five years. Voting is not compulsory and is from the age of 18. In the elections of June 1987 the Conservative Party gained an overall majority. In the election held in April 1992 the Conservative Party won for the third time. Hades by John Major the Conservatives gained 336 seats in the House of Commons.
The Government is formed by the party which has the majority in Parliament and the Queen appoints its leader as the Prime Minister. The present Prime Minister is a conservative David Cameron who replaced John Major. John Major replaced Margaret Thatcher who had been in this office for 11 years.
British national flag symbolises the Union of England, Scotland and Ireland. Each country has its cross in the flag.
The name of national anthem is „God Save the Queen!“ British national flag is sometimes called Union Jack. The origin of the name is uncertain. Each country has its cross in the flag. England – St. George’s Cross, Scotland – St. Andrew’s Cross, Ireland – St. Patrick’s Cross. Each part ha its own symbol, England has the red rose, Wales has the leek and daffodil (pórek a narcis), Scotland ha the thistle (bodlák) and Ireland has the shamrock (jetel).
The constitution is unwritten, it is based on custom traditional and common law.
The USA with the President as a head of state is a federation of 50 states with 48 on the continent, Alaska in the North and Hawaii in the Mid – Pacific. There is also one district DC – district of Columbia – this territory is not a state, the state capital is situated here.
The constitution: It went into effect in March 1787. The Bill of rights was added in 1791. This document guarantees freedom of religion(náboženství) free speech (projevu), free press the right to fair trial (právo na soud)etc. It gave the USA the principle of a balance power divided into three ranches (částí) – legislative, executive and judicial.
The legislative branch is made up of elected representatives. The Congress is divided into two parts: The house of Representatives consists of lawmakers who are elected according to the population of each state. Second part is senate – its seat is in the Capitol. The senate have 100 members – 2 of each state. The executive branch is represented by the President and 13 executive departments. He is elected every 4 years.
The judicial branch is made up of Federal districts Courts, 11 Federal courts of Appeals and at the top the Supreme Court.
Political parties: The democratic Party is more liberal – they think that the government should provide wide social and economic programmes for those who need them. Their symbol is donkey. The republican Party puts more emphasis (důraz) on private enterprise (podnikání) and individual initiative. Their symbol is Elephant.
Flag and Anthem: The flag consist (sestává) of two parts – one smaller blue oblong (obdélník) with 50 white stars symbolising 50 American states and one larger oblong consisting of 6 white and 7 red stripes symbolising the original 13 states which use to be the British colonies. The flag is sometimes called “Old Glory” or “Stars and stripes.” The American Anthem is called “The Star – Spangled Banner.”
The Czech republic is a sovereign, united and democratic state. Its government is divided into three branches – The legislative, represented by the parliament, the executive, represented mainly by the president and the government, and the judicial, represented by courts at various levels.
The parliament consist of two chambers – the Chamber of Deputies (poslanecká sněmovna) and the Senate. Although according to the constitution both chambers should be working, our parliament at present still lacks (postrádat) the Senate. It was supposed (předpokládat) to be formed subsequently (následující) while the chamber of Deputies was composed of the members of the former Czech national Council from the times of federation. The 200 Deputies and 81 Senators have the exclusive duty of making laws. These two groups of members of the Parliament differ in the way in which they are elected and in the length of the terms they serve. The elections to the Chamber of Deputies take place every four years while every two years one third of the Senators is renewed (obnoven). When these times come, every citizen (občan) from the age of 18 can exercise the universal, equal (rovnoprávné), direct (přímý) and secret right to vote. The Parliament’s main task is to pass laws, ratify (ratifikovat) international treaties, and decide (rozhodnout) on sending troops abroad.
The parliament is a law – making body. A new law-to-be, a bill can be proposed (navrhnuto)by a deputy a group of deputies the Senate, the government, or higher-level (local) authorities. The bill first goes to the Chamber of Deputies which debates and ultimately votes on it. A bill that has been passed by the Chamber of Deputies is then submitted (předkládáno) to the senate Where the process begins anew. The law (act) must be approved (schvalovat) by the government. A law must be signed by the head of the Chamber of Deputies, the prime minister, and the president.
The president is elected every Five years by the Parliament but no one can serve more than two terms in office in a row. The president represents the state abroad and concludes (uzavírat) foreign treatise (dohody). He has also many duties in relation to the other bodies of government: appointment (jmenování) of all judges, generals of the army, ambassadors and other officials. The president is also the commander-in-chief of the army.
The government is composed of the premier, the vice –premiers and the ministers. The hierarchy of the executive branch goes further down to the local authorities where the municipality (městská správa) is the smallest unit. The several ministries headed (v čele) by ministers, enforce (prosadit) laws made by the Parliament. Some of the ministries are: Interior, Foreign affairs, Defence, Justice, Industry, Commerce, Agriculture, Finance, Transport, Labour and Social affairs, Education, Culture and Health.
The judicial power is divided into a system of courts (dvory), starting with the constitutional Court and the supreme Court and going down to the courts at all levels of regional government. The courts check the constitutionaly of existing laws. They apply the law in practice in individual case. They can nullify (zrušit) a law except for a constitutional one. Judges serve for an unlimited period of time, must have a good reputation, and must be professional lawyers.