As we all know that Britain has adopted parliamentary system of governance. Under this governance system, government or executive has two types of head-one is nominal constitutional head and the other is the real head of the governance. The nominal head of Britain is the emperor, whereas the real head is the prime minister. The British prime minister is appointed by the emperor with the leaders of the party in majority in the House of Commons. It has tenure of five years, and can also be re-appointed. If any of the political party does not get a majority, then the emperor or the king may appoint any member of the British parliament as the prime minister. But in practice, all parties use this power together.
.1 1Qualifications- 1) Must be a citizen of Britain, 2) Must be a member of British Parliament, 3) Must not be insane or insolvent etc.
Responsibility and Powers- The British prime minister has an infinitely important role in British governance system. It is because of this importance that the famous scholar Jennings has called it ‘half of the whole.’ In the British governance system, the Prime Minister enjoys wide powers, on the basis of which he works as following-
1) Formation of ministerial council- On the advice of British prime minister, a cabinet is formed and ministers are appointed. He appoints people from the list of his collaborators in front of the emperor on the Council. In fact, the position of different people within their partners takes care of the representations of different geographical regions and communities, the ability or experience of the members, the spirit and popularity of its social service, etc. But at the end, his wish is omnipresent.
2) Distribution of administrative departments-The British prime minister distributes the departments among their colleagues on the basis of their qualifications, skills, efficiency and experience etc. The prime minister has to take care of the interest and governance of the party. The same portfolios are accepted by the general ministers.
3) Conduction of the cabinet-The Prime Minister handles all the cabinet. The chairman heads his meetings and controls its functioning. Every minister has to take his permission before putting any proposal in parliament. He is the surveyor of the cabinet and his decision is considered as the decision of the cabinet.
4) Link between King and Cabinet-The British prime minister act as a strong link between emperor or crown and cabinet. He provides all the information to the king regarding governance. He is and advisor to the crown and he advices on all governance matters, sub-disciplines, and subordinate countries. Each minister can communicate with the king only through the prime minister.
5) Control on international affairs- The prime minister also has complete control over international affairs. The foreign minister advises with the prime minister in all important foreign matters. In this way, the prime minister plays an important role in the implementation of international associations and agreement etc. In international conferences, he meets the head of the state of other countries as the head of the country.
6) Control over governance- He has complete control over the governance of the country. Though the King (Crown) is the head of complete governance and state in many principles, but in practice, the prime minister acts as the head of governance. From this point of view, all the major functions of the governance are conducted according to his advice and control.
7) Leading the party- Prime minister is the leader of the party. Following this, he communicates to the public through radio and telecast in the election manifesto. Making contact with other party leaders and workers, coordinating with them and on the basis of party programs, and declaration letters, they get the mandate from the public to get re-elected to the government.
8) As a leader of the House of Commons- The prime minister is the leader of the council of ministers and also leads the parliament. He explains all the policies and announces them into House of Commons. He is the chief spokesperson of the government. He represents parliament in the council of ministers. On his advice, the session of House of Commons and the Lord’s Assembly begins and the earlier can be dissolved.
9) Relations with Commonwealth countries- In the international arena, where the country operates as a UN and international organization, like other countries, the British prime minister also maintains a special kind of relationship. With this view, he advices the member countries. He also conducts and presides over the conferences from time to time. Maintenance and handling of Commonwealth topics is a special responsibility of the British prime minister.
10) Control over finance- The important function of the prime minister is also to control over finance. Although the head of the finance is different, but the finance related policy and assessment is decided by the prime minister. Accordingly, the finance minister presents the budget of the country in parliament every year.
Conclusion- From the above facts and studies, it is clear that the position and power of the British prime minister is very important. He has strong connection with the emperor and the cabinet. Being the leader of the parliament, he gets control of the parliamentary affairs as per his wish. As the best executive head of the world, the position of the British prime minister is clear and in many cases he has wider powers than the US president.
As we know, the position and power of the British emperor or Crown, is a system of parliamentary governance in Britain. In this type of system, there are two types of heads- one is the nominal head, the other is the actual head. It is clear from the study of the situation of Britain that the real head of the governance is the prime minister and the Emperor or Crown is the nominal constitutional head.
The rule of the successor of the emperor- In relation to the successor of the emperor, the same rule prevails that the eldest son or daughter of the emperor or empress is the heir. But if the king has no son or if the king is removed, then the parliament arranges his successor. For example, in 1689 AD, when the king of Stuart dynasty, King James 2nd left the country, the British Parliament made William and Mary as King and Queen and the rule of succession is passed by the parliament in 1701 and assigned the status of emperor to the king of Hanover dynasty, King George I, because Queen Anne had no children. In the present times also, the rules of succession of the emperor are determined by the rule of succession of 1702. The parliament holds the right to change these rules.
Salary and allowances for State post- At present, 1,90,00,000 pounds are given annually to the emperor. The entire salary if tax free and once passed by the parliament, this cannot be changed and he receives the amount throughout his life. The other members of the royal family also receive annual grants in the form of salary, allowances and expenses from the state fund. This grant is decided by the parliament on the basis of statute and this grant is called ‘Civil List’. The amount of civil list is passed on the accumulated fund.
Emperor and Crown- An emperor is a person who used to be the head of the British state at a particular time. The Crown is the symbol of the State power that the emperor wears on his head. Such a practice has been going on since ancient times when the Crown was worn by the emperor, after the ceremonial program, he gets all the powers of governance. An emperor is a person who holds the state post at a particular time. On the contrary, Crown is an institution and it is a symbol of governmental power, having all the three types of powers, legislative, administrative and judicial. As a person, the emperor born and dies. In contrast, the Crown, which is a symbol of power, never takes birth and never dies. In the past, the emperor was the most powerful in the administration. But after the glorious revolution of 1688 AD, in relation to the democratic system, the power of emperor was reduced along with the constitutional development, and the emperor lost the power of governance to the cabinet and parliament. At present, the emperor has no power in the actual administration. But Crown is an institution, which includes the cabinet and the parliament, in addition to the emperor and all the powers have been attained by the Crown.
Powers and Functions-
1) 1) Executive related- The emperor is the constitutional head of the governance and has the responsibility to make sure that the national laws are to be followed. The prime minister, a member of the cabinet or other prominent officer is appointed by the emperor, but in practice, these powers are used by the British cabinet.
2) 2) Administration related work- The emperor has the power in context to the formation of the second house (House of Lords) from both the houses of parliament. The emperor has the right to make a peer. Those who are made peers by the emperor, they are the members of the House of Lords only. Apart from this, the emperor also holds the right to call or adjourn the session of both the houses of parliament. The House of Lords is a permanent parliament, but the emperor has the right to dissolve the House of Commons. At the beginning of the parliament, the emperor gives a speech, which describes the policies of the country. The king also has the authority in all legislative and financial issues. The emperor is empowered to promulgate ordinances in relation to the overlords. But in practice, the emperor uses these powers only according to the opinion of the cabinet.
3) Judicial Powers- The emperor is called the source of justice and he also has some powers in judicial system. All the courts of Britain is called the royal courts of the emperor. It is the emperor who appoints judges and can also be removed at the request of the parliament. He can increase or decrease the punishment of the criminals.
4) Religious Powers- The emperor also hold some powers in the religious sphere. He appoints all the church officials, Archbishops and Bishop Deans. He calls religious conventions of the emperor and Mark, and the emperor’s signature is mandatory on the rules passed by the conventions. It is because of the emperor’s position in the religious field that he is called ‘Guard of Religion’.
5) Source of Honour-The emperor has the right to grant honorable titles to the British citizens. The main titles are Duke, Vairan, Earl, Knight and Lord.
Conclusion- At last, we can say that the powers of the emperor mentioned here are used by the cabinet in practice and not by the emperor. The emperor is the formal head of the executive, who rules, but not governs. The conclusion of the powers of the emperor can be stated in the words of as scholar Pfizer as, “It is a gigantic and energetic skyscraper, in which there is no place for political power.”
As we know that the origin of the parliamentary system of governance was from Britain, and from there it was very much propagated in the other countries of the world. Under this rule, the executive and the administration both complement each other and as long as there is a majority of any political party under the popular house, the rule of only that party lasts. The British parliament has two parts-the first house is known as the House of Commons and the second house is called House of Lords. The House of Commons is the most powerful first and lowest house in the world. The functions, rights and organization of the House of Commons can be described as follows-
British House of Commons- The House of Commons is the lowest house of the British parliament. The British parliament has become most powerful now because of the decrease in the strength of the upper house of the British parliament, the House of Lords. In the words of Newman- “The sovereignty of the parliament exists in the House of Commons.”
Organization or Structure- The number of members of House of Commons changes from time to time. Its membership was 659 for about two decades. The boundaries of the constituency were re-established in 2003-2004 and based on this rescheduling; the House of Commons has been fixed at 649. The division of places in various regions is as follows- Britain-529, Scotland-59, Vensava-40, and North Ireland-18. The number of representatives from Scotland was 72 for two decades, now it has been reduced to 59. The remaining areas are represented as unchanged. These members are directly elected by the adult franchise.
Essential Qualifications- The qualifications of the members of the House of Commons are as follows-
1) He should be a citizen of Great Britain. 2) His name should be mentioned in the voter list. 3) He should be declared insane or insolvent by any court. 4) He should not be a peer of England, Scotland and Ireland. 5) Aglicans, clergyman of the Scottish, and Catholic (Roman) churches, members of the House of Lords, government officials, officials of the Crown, etc., cannot be the members of the house. 6) Age must be at least 21 years.
Tenure- Like the Indian House of the People popularly known as Lok Sabha, the tenure of the members of the British Parliament is for five years. But even before consultation with the council of ministers, the emperor can dissolve this House. During this crises period, its tenure may increase.
Salaries, Allowances and Privileges- The members of the House of Commons were paid for the very first time in 1912 AD. The salary amount was 400 pounds per year. This salary was increased from time to time and at present, they are being paid 45,066 pounds per year. In 1965, pension was arranged for the members of the House of Commons. Those who have been members of the House of Commons for at least 10 years get pension after attaining the age of 65 years. Apart from the salary or pension, members are given ‘office expenses’, subsistence allowance to stay in the capital and free travel by rail. Besides this, its members have the following privileges-
1) They cannot be detained in any civil suit till 40 days before and after the commencement of the session.
2) Members have complete freedom of speech in the House and no action can be taken against them for anything said in the House.
3) The members of the House of Commons have the right to collectively approach to the British emperor, which means through the speaker, they can convey their talk or word.
4) The members of the House of Commons have the right of control on their proceedings. If the House wants, it can adopt the status of secret proceedings.
5) If a person violates the privilege of the House, then the House can punish it itself.
6) The House can pass a decision regarding the disqualifications of a member and cancel the election on that basis.
Officials of House of Commons-The most important officer of the House of Commons is the Chairman, who is elected by the members of the House after the formation of the new parliament and the Chairman is also called ‘Speaker’. The other parliamentary officers are headed by the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the ‘Instrument Committee’, who are also elected by the members of the House of Commons and the House is administered by its head in the absence of the Speaker. It is through the Speaker that the operation of the House, the maintenance of the discipline in the House, the interpretation of rules, the deciding vote in the case of tie and the work of certifying the finance bills are done. The Speaker holds an important status here.
Session and Quorum of the House- The session of the House of Commons starts with that of House of Lords. It is mandatory to have its session once in a year. The number of the members for quorum has been fixed at 40.
Rights and Functions- The House of Commons enjoy wide powers and is actually the most powerful House. Its rights and functions can be described in the following parts-
1) As an administrator- The most common function of the House of Commons is law making. The general bill can be introduced in any house of the parliament, and both the houses have the right to debate it. But if the House of Lords does not agree with any of the bills passed by the House of Commons and the later wants to give it the form of law, then the House of Lords cannot stop it, it can be delayed for only one year. After this period, the bill passed by the House of Commons is deemed to have been passed in the same manner. There is no right to call a joint session of parliament in case of differences.
2) Control over Executive- The House of Commons has wide powers in this regard. The House of Commons supervises and controls the British administration. The members of the cabinet are individually and collectively accountable to the House of Commons itself. It is the House of Commons only which can pass a resolution of demagogue against the council of ministers and can dismiss it. Apart from this, the House of Commons works to control the executive by reducing the proposed government expenditure, by the work-stop proposal and by criticizing the actions of government policies and departments.
3) Finance related work-The House of Commons also has wide control over British’s state finances. The annual budget of income and expenditure can be presented in the House of Commons itself and the House of Lords cannot stop the finance bill passed by the House of Commons for more than one month. The council of ministers can perform various financial functions in Britain only with the permission of the House of Commons.
Conclusion- In conclusion, we can say that House of Commons is the most powerful ‘First House’ in the world. The American First House of Representatives or any other first house in the world does not enjoy the same wide authority as the House of Commons.
House of Lords-The oldest bicameral proceeding in the world was in Britain. The Britain parliament consists of two houses, the first lower and house and the second is the House of Lords. The first is the lower and popular house i.e., House of Commons, which is similar to the Indian Rajya Sabha. Both the houses of parliament in Britain are the result of historical development. Initially, the House of lords was also powerful, but democratic limits made it the second house. Today, the House of Commons rules. Sometimes, it is often heard that the House of Lords can be dissolved and arguments are made in favour and opposition of its existence.
Composition of the House of Commons-The number of the members of the House of Commons is not fixed, because the emperor can appoint as many new members on the recommendation of the prime minister. The members of the House of Lords are granted membership by the emperor on the recommendation of the prime minister only to the retired prime ministers, retired president, retired general and force, the high court justice, and those famous personalities in literature, science and arts. The House of Lords can be called an elite system in the democratic system of Britain, because its base of membership is hereditary. At present time (March 2010) the total strength of the House of Lords is 743. After the ‘Constitutional Reform Act 2005’ came into existence, there are now only three types of members in the House of Lords. These members are-
1) Spiritual Lord-The number of Spiritual Lord is 26 and it is fixed. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of Mark, the Bishop of Durham and the Bishop of Investor must be included in it. The remaining 21 are senior Bishop of Britain. When a religious post becomes vacant due to lack of renunciation, the next senior Archbishop takes it over.
2) Hereditary or Ancestral peer-According to the Act passed in December 1999, there are three categories of annual peer. They are-I fellow party peers, ii-officers elected by the entire house, iii-as a member of the royal family. These members are presently 75 elected party members and 16 incumbent members,
3) Lifelong Peer-The Lifelong Peerage Act of 1958 AD empowered the emperor to appoint lifelong peers. The number of lifelong peers in the act has not been determined. The emperor can appoint eminent and experienced personalities of social and political life as lifelong peers. Presently, the number of peers is 561, of which 121 are females.
Apart from these three types of House of Lords members, till 2005, there were fourth type of its member-‘Lords of Appeal’. The ‘Law of Lords’ has been abolished by the Constitutional Reform Act of 2005. In fact, in the last two years, there has been a constructive change in the system in addition to the members of the House of Lords. First one is- prior to 1958, the House of Lords was completely male dominated and women cannot be its members. Under the Lifetime Peer Act, 1958, it was arranged that the emperor could appoint women as lifelong peer and provide membership of the House of Lords. Today the number of women members is 126. The second change is that by the end of 1958 AD, about 90% of the members of the House of Commons were matriarchal and there was a majority of conservatives among these members. But now only 12% of the members belong to dynasty. The remaining peers mentioned in about four decades. Another fact is that, from the last eight years the Britain has been ruled by the Labour party. Thus, if the studies are done on the party basis the position of 707 members of the House of Lords are as follows- 1) Conservative Party-195(155 lifetime peer and 40 yearly), 2) Labour Party-199 (197 lifetime peers and two from dynasty), 3) Liberal Democrat- 66 (64 lifetime peer and two from dynasty). The remaining 247 members are not associated with any political party.
Privileges- The members of the House of Lords have freedom of language and expression. They also have the privilege of meeting the emperor. No peer can be arrested during the ongoing session of the House of Lords. These members also get some daily allowances and honorarium.
Speaker of the House of Lords- Till 2006 AD, there was the arrangement that the prime minister was presided over the ‘Lord Chancellor’ appointed by the emperor, but through the Amendment Act 2005 in the constitution some important changes have been made in the position of Lord Chancellor and one of the major change is that the Lord Chancellor does not preside over the House of Lords. The post of ‘Speaker of the House of Lords’ has been arranged to preside over the House. It is stated in the ‘Constitutional Reform Act 2005’ that ‘All the arrangements related to the post of the Speaker of the House of Lords will be determined by the House itself. The election of the speaker has been arranged. In this way, the House of Commons now has the elected president, not the nominee, for functioning of the parliament, just like House of Commons. Even after this law, the post of ‘Lord Chancellor’ remains, but now he is the only member of the British Cabinet. Its position is almost the same as that of the law minister in other countries. Now the Lord Chancellor neither presides over the House of Lords nor is he the president of the British judiciary like Lord Chairman of Committees, .clerks, gentlemen of the black end, sergeant arms etc.
The Session- The House of Lords is assembled in the Westminster building and its session runs concurrently with the House of Commons. It calls on Tuesday, Wednesday and sometimes of Monday. Seating can be simple and can lasts for 1.2 hours and its attendance is generally less. There should be three members for quorum for the meeting. But for passing a bill, it is mandatory to have 30 members.
Rights and Work- When we look at the strengths and works of the House of Lords, we find it weaker than all the other houses of the world. It was the main House of the first parliament in 1911. But by the act of 1911 and 1949 AD, it was made completely faithless. The disinterest is also behind the political activities in some of the peers behind its faithlessness. The rights of the House of Lords can be explained by dividing it into the following parts-
1) Legal Rights-The legislative powers of the House of Lords are nominal, and only of delay nature. First of all, in relation to the ordinary bill, it has the right to propose a bill like that of House of Commons, but it is not comprehensive as that of House of Commons. Earlier, the House of Lords could ban the ordinary bill for two years, but according to the legal provisions of 1949 AD, now it can put stay for one year. In addition, its powers in relation to the Finance Bills are limited. The finance bills cannot be proposed in the House of Lords. The finance bills are passed by the House of Commons can be withheld for only one month. After this period, it is deemed to have passed automatically.
2) Executive Power- The second power of the House of Lords is the executive power, which is absolutely unimportant. Initially the House of Lords had complete control over the executive, but now it is not even at all. Now the cabinet is responsible only for the House of Commons and only the council can overthrow the cabinet. The House of Lords can partially affect the meeting of the cabinet by asking supplementary questions and arguing.
3) Right to Consult- It is often noticed that the learned peers of the House of Lords are given importance by the Crown in deliberations. The fact is that the House of Lords have more bright scholars than the House of Commons.
4) Judicial Powers- The House of Lords hold some powers not only in the administration but also in the judicial field. The judicial power is more widespread than the administrator. It serves as the highest court of appeal for Britain and Northern Ireland. When the House of Lords functions as a Court of Appeal, all its members do not participate in this proceeding, but at that time nine legal Lords and other judicial specialists serve as justice committee headed by the Lord Chancellor of the House of Lords. The decision of the House of Lords is final, which can be changed by the parliament only through law, and no court can change them.
Conclusion- In conclusion, we can say that the House of Lords is a powerless House. The critics see it as an undemocratic institution, a vested self-interest organization, a delaying institution etc. But the British people feel that the House of Lords is of ancient importance and should not be treated like this. It has become so faithless that no further harm can be done to it. In relation to its status, the famous British Scholar Raymzemior has rightly said that ‘The House of Lords is now left as only reconsideration and revision house and it is not even capable of doing so.’ Likewise, we can say that, ‘The House of Lords is the world’s second weakest house’. According to the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, that came into force from 24th March 2005 after the approval of the British Empire, according to which the judicial arrangements and Supreme Court were formed in Britain. Earlier, Lord Chancellor and Priti Kausil of the House of Lords used to bear the judicial obligations in Britain.
Composition of the Supreme Court-Article 23 of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, it is arranged that there will be a Supreme Court of Britain (England, Wales and Northern Ireland), consisting of 12 judges including the chief justice. These judges are appointed by the queen. The queen has increased their numbers from time to time since the party needed to broaden itself and for this it abandoned the Left and adopted the Middle way and gained power for three consecutive7, times from 1947 to 2005. But the ‘Iraq Policy’ adopted in Tony Blair’s US support has reduced the reputation of its Prime Minister Tony Blair and after his resignation in June 2007, the finance minister of his government, Gorden Brown was the prime minster. Several other parties are also active in Britain such as-Liberal Democratic Party, Communist Party, and Fascist Party etc. But they are less effective than Conservative Party and Labour Party.
Conclusion-In conclusion, we can say that in Britain, there is basically a two party system and almost these two parties have been continuously in power. Apart from Britain, America has also a two party system of democracy; the stability of government is more than that of multi-party system. The importance of these parties is of paramount importance in Britain due to the parliamentary governance system.
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