Cours du Civi britannique du 24/10/2007
British Parliament is the oldest.
In Parliament :> House of Lords : appointed members.
House of Commons : elected members
The number of elective and non-elective members of Parliament > still under
question ( 50/50 ? 80/20 ? ).
Untill 20th century> only people who had money could vote.
After 20th century> House of Lords became less representative of the
population, became an examining Chamber and an amendement Chamber.
House of Commons became totally representative of
It became like that for two reasons : 2 clashes.
-1911 : major clash : between Prime minister (liberal), & House of Lords
(conservative) over question of budget.
Prime minister wanted a budget more social ( the people’s budget) . The clash
blocked gouvernment. Since this day : House of Lords > no power to oppose to
budget bills ( projet de loi)
-1949 : after 2nd World War> wish for change in Britain. House of Parliament
wanted to delay this. In doing so, they used right of veto.
Since that clash> right of veto of House of Lords can’t exeed 1 year. > forced to
obey House of Commons.
Most legislation are introduced by House of Commons first. Only exception :
when the bill isn’t controversal, technical… > when everybody agrees.
House of Lords : now a 2nd Chamber, instead we still call it
the upper Chamber.
Sovereignty of Parliament because > no president.
The executive depends of the legislators. House of Commons -> very important.
Democracy in this system : justified by the fact that it is elected by people.
It’s why the House of Commons is answerable / accountable to the people
-> must fulfill his promises.
House of Commons : doesn’t govern the country ( it’s the Prime minister ).. But
government is drawn from Parliament. -> All members of government must have a
seat at the House of Commons.
°°°The members can express their wishes through the local MP ( Mber of P ).
Rectangular -> the benches oppose each other> more intimate and crowded.
Right benches : for government
Left benches : against government. ( your place can depend of the issue of the
day ). To speack you just have to stand up.
Front benches : well known members ( as Prime minister )
Back benches : ordinary members.
In 2001 : general election : 413 labour MP.
166 conservative MP
52 liberal democrat MP.
On the left :
In britain : the opposition is officialised.
The leader of 3rd party can’t be officially member of cabinet.
Life of Peers : 5 years between 2 generals elections ( elections of House of
But the Prime minister has the right to call for election when he wants to.
A by-election: when an MP dies or retire, election just for 1 seat.
and address to
the « Speacker ». « Mr Speacker, I am adressing the member of … » To the
Speacker : « My honorable friend ».
This in order not to personalise debates.
ecome act of Parliamnet ( become full law ), when it has been read and
approved by House of Commens & House of Lords
( House of Lords : exept for money bills ).
Then they receive the royal assent.
Government’s bill : announced in the Queen’s speech.
After 2 lectures
of people more interested, more specialised, in charge of discussing it & report.
Report read to full House.
Then 3rd reading.
Bill is send up to House of Lords that can modify it by introducing amendement.
The number of members intending in House of Commons has to reflect opinion of
the issue of the day.
There are people to care about that : the whips.
They will be particularly carrefull that a majority of MPs intends the debate on
an important issue.