Overview of the British Parliament

british-parliamentIt is a well-known fact that Britain has a constitutional monarchy, which means the monarch is the head of state and the Prime Minister is the head of government. At the same time, the parliament is supposed to stand for the people’s will.

Long ago, it was stated in England that the almighty monarch would occasionally resort to a parliament at their convenience to evaluate different situations and make decisions. In the English Civil War, Oliver Cromwell defeated the Crown and established what was called the Commonwealth (1653). Some years after his death, the restoration of the Crown took place and it was eventually determined that both the monarchy and the parliament should work together.

From those days, the parliamentary system has evolved into a far more complex structure of over 1,400 people as a result of different political changes in the state, such as the Act of Union.

The British Parliament is divided into two entities, one of them is the House of Commons (650 seats).The Members of the Parliament (MP’s) conforming this house are chosen regionally by the people through general elections. In one half of their meeting room, the seats are occupied by the Government’s MP’s and the other by the MP’s opposition parties.

The House of Lords (811 seats) is composed of representatives of the Church of England, Lords who gained their title by inheritance or peerage, and other people appointed by the monarchy with the help of the Prime Minister. 180 Seats are for the “crossbenchers” those who may choose to switch from the government to the opposition side and vice-versa.

The Prime Minister is appointed by the monarch to represent the parliament; this person is usually a member of the party or coalition that obtained majority of votes during the general elections. Theoretically, the Prime Minister’s term is determined by the monarch, but they may also choose to resign beforehand. This position is rather new and not stated in the constitution; however, it has continued as part of a tradition that began about 200 years ago.