11 Pages, Grade: B
According to Wikipedia the term parliament:
“[…] is derived from French parlement, the action of parler (to speak). A parlement is a talk, a discussion, hence a meeting ( an assembly, a court ) where people discuss matters. The British Parliament is often referred to as the “Mother of Parliaments” because it has been a model for most other parliamentary systems”.
Political systems can be distinguished into three different kinds. Presidential systems as in the United States, parliamentary systems as in the United Kingdom and Germany and semi-presidential systems as in France. The different systems have many similarities and are based on democracy. Although the political system of the United Kingdom and Germany both have a parliamentary system, they vary in many ways. This essay aims to show some of the significant differences between the German and British Parliament. First, the two parliamentary systems will be presented in terms of composition, function and tasks. Second, the consequences resulting in the difference in aforementioned properties will be considered. Undoubtedly, there is more to consider when discussing political systems and the point of view regarding to the task of this essay just allows a narrow consideration.
Germany is a constitutional federal republic and the German constitution dates back to 1949. The country is cut in sixteen regional areas that are called the federals states (Bundesländer) which have restricted personal responsibility and independency from the state. Germany has a parliamentary system where the Head of Government is the Bundeskanzler, (Federal Chancellor), elected by the parliament. Whereas the Head of State is the Bundespräsident (Federal President) elected by the Bundesversammlung, Federal Assembly. The Federal Assembly is made up by members of the federal parliament (Bundestag) and members of the federal states parliament (Bundesrat). The role of the Federal President is more or less restricted to representative and formal functions.
At federal level the German Parliament is made up of the Bundestag (lower house of parliament) and the Bundesrat (in a sense the upper house of parliament). Under constitutional law the Bundesrat does not belong to the parliament, although the Bundesrat takes on parliamentary functions. Another Parliament exists at the Federal States level. Each Bundesland (Federal State) has its own Landesparlament (Federal States Parliament) that decides on laws and budget concerning the federal states. Laws concerning the country cross national are discussed in the Bundestag and Bundesrat.
The Bundestag as the statutory parliament consists of 598 members which are elected by the people for an election period of four years. The chairman of the Bundestag is the Bundestagspräsident (Federal Parliament President) who is officially the second important person behind the Federal President. He is elected for the same period of time as the Bundestag. Mostly the leading party appoint the Bundestagspräsident.
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