The Government The most powerful person is the Prime Minister. He is the leader of his party, he is the head of the government and has a seat in the House of Commons. He chooses the Cabinet- Ministers, who are the Foreign-, Home- and Defense- Secretary and the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He recommends a number of appointments to the monarch. The Cabinet takes decisions about new policies, the implementation of existing policies and the running of the various government departments. The most popular Prime Ministers are Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, John Major and present one, Tony Blair.
In countries like England which have a two- party- system there`s often a so- called shadow- cabinet. This is the group of politicians which would become ministers if their party was in government. They`re the speakers of the main opposition party.
The Electoral System of Great Britain Elections to the House of Commons, known as parliamentary elections, form the basis of Britain's democratic system. First universal suffrage was demanded by the British working people in 1837 in the petition known as People's Charter. Now each British citizen over eighteen has the right to vote (except prisoners, lords and mentally ill). General election to choose MPs must be held at least every five years. Voting is by secret ballot.
The foundations of the British electoral system were laid in the Middle Ages. The system still has its old form with each community electing one representative to serve as its MP until the next general election. The whole country is divided into 650 parliamentary constituencies everyone of which is supposed to choose a single member. Any number of candidates from all parties can stand for election in each constituency.
A relative majority system of voting is used. In a constituency where a single member is supposed to be elected, the candidate who gets more votes than each other candidate separately taken wins. A candidate, for example, might get only 11% of votes but if it is more than each of his rivals gets separately taken he is elected, though 89% of voters didn't support him and the party he represents. An absolute majority system is more democratic. It means that a candidate is elected if he gets 50% of votes and one vote more.