The Parliament of the UK
General voting in the UK
In the UK, there are 650 geographical areas called constituencies. Registered voters in each area vote for an MP (member of parliament) to represent them in the House of Commons. To be able to vote in a UK parliamentary general election you must be 18 years old or more. You also have to be a British citizen, a Commonwealth citizen or a citizen of the Irish Republic. A person in prison can also vote if not legally excluded from voting. Hence, people under the age of 18 cannot vote. Neither can a member of the House of Lords, a European Union citizen or those in prison who are legally excluded.
How the Parliament works
The parliament is divided into two houses; House of Commons and House of Lords. They do all the lawmaking and economic questions, along with other political issues. The laws must be taken by the queen for approval. She has the right to veto the laws passing through. The queen asks the leader of the largest party to become prime minister.
House of Lords and the House of Commons
The work of the two houses is similar. Even though only one of them make laws, they both check the work of the government and debate current issues. These two houses together make up the House of Parliament. Since they are in a two-chamber system, generally, the decisions made by one House have to be approved by the other.
The House of Lords is a chamber of the UK Parliament, and is independent from the House of Commons. They complement the work of the Commons, but have less power. The House of Lords has a task of checking and challenging the work of the government. They do not have the power to stop laws, but they can postpone it. You do not get elected into this house, you are made a Lord either by heritage or the Queen.
Both the Chancellor and the President, in addition to other figures of political parties, work in the House of Commons. They are voted for by the public, and all the chosen people from the election (MPs), also work here. Their job is to meet with the opposition, discuss the most important issues for the day and proposals for new laws. The Commons is responsible for making decisions on financial Bills, like tax-changing.
Hung Parliament - Minority government
A term used in the two-party system, where none of the two big parties have the majority of MPs after an election. Results are, they cannot make a government alone. This situation has occurred two times in modern time. Once in 1974 and then in 2010, making the government a minority or a coalition government. In 2010, the government was made a coalition government.
This document was the first one to challenge the king's authority. By protecting his people from feudal abuse and subjecting him to the rule of the law his power faded greatly. In the year 1215 the barons pushed the king into signing the document, after generations of answering directly to him and the feudal system ruining their life. Magna Carta has been very influential when it comes to human rights.
Today's coalition government
The government now, with David Cameron as the prime minister, is the first coalition government since World War II. At that time, the Churchill War ministry was the government. Today, the government is composed of members from both the Liberal Democrats and the Conservative Party. Nick Klegg is today's deputy prime minister.Their Cabinet is made up of 16 Conservatives and 5 Liberal Democrats. A total of 9 people from both parties attend cabinet, but are not members.