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What are the differences in British and us government?

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September 13, 2011 8:13PM

In the UK, there is a separate Head of State and Head of

Government. The Queen is the Head of State and represents the

country, but the Prime Minister is the Head of Government and is in

charge of running it. In the US, the President does both roles.

In the UK, the Executive Branch (consisting of the Departments)

comes under direct control of the Legislative Branch. Each

Department has an MP in charge and the Prime Minister is in charge

of the whole Executive Branch. In the US, the Executive and

Legislative Branches are separate.

In the UK the House of Lords are mostly appointed and don't have

the power to block legislation, only to delay it. In the US, the

Senate is fully elected and can block new laws.

The UK has an unwritten constitution, so is slightly more

flexible. Recently, the Judicial Branch was moved out of the House

of Lords and into a new Supreme Court. The US has a written

constitution and is not really changed that much.

In the UK, the government is very centralised although some

independence has been given to Scotland, Wales and Northern

Ireland. In the US, the government is in two layers: Federal and


In the UK the Prime Minister is the leader of the winning party

in the House of Commons, like the Speaker of the House. In the US,

the President is elected seperately.

In the UK the left-wing party is the Labour Party and the

right-wing party is the Conservatives, with the Liberal Democrats

standing in between. The Democrats of the US are more like the

Liberal Democrats than the Labour Party, and the Republicans

support businesses and libertarianism far more than the

Conservatives in the UK.

The UK Government turns over less and after a turnover, the new

government is less likely to reverse the old government's

decisions. The Conservatives were in charge throughout the 1980s

and it wasn't until 1997 that a dramatically reformed Labour Party

took over again. In the US, the government usually changes every 8


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