Parliament is an essential part of UK
Its main roles are:
◦ Examining and challenging the work of the
◦ Debating and passing all laws (legislation)
◦ Enabling the government to raise taxes
The business of Parliament takes place in two
◦ 1. House of Commons
◦ 2. House of Lords
It is the role of the citizens in the UK to vote &
elect the members of the House of Commons.
The political party in the House of Commons
with the most votes chooses the Prime
The House of Commons is responsible for
making laws for the country.
The House of Lords is the second
Chamber of the United Kingdom’s
It plays an important part in revising
legislation and keeping a check on
government by scrutinizing its activities.
The House of Lords has little power.
Most members of the House of Lords are
nobles who have inherited their titles.
1. Prime Minister
◦ This role is the real head of government. He or she is the
leader of the Parliament and is the chief executive of the
2. Head of State (King or Queen)
◦ This role is only symbolic; the Head of State holds very
little political power. Although, the Queen is an important
symbol of national unity.
the United States,
Germany is a “federal republic”
◦ a national government and state
governments share powers.
it’s government is
a Federal Parliamentary
◦ This is the real head of government, similar to
the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
◦ He or she is chosen by Parliament, and is the
chief executive of the country.
Germany’s president has very little power, and
mainly carries out ceremonial duties.
President Bush welcomes German Chancellor
Angela Merkel to the Oval Office
She is the 1st woman (and the first East German) to hold
1. Bundesrat (Upper House)
◦ Mainly an advisory council, but must approve laws and
◦ Holds little political power
◦ Representatives are members of the German state
governments and are not elected directly by the people
2. Bundestag (Lower House)
◦ The role of citizens in Germany is to vote for & elect members
to this House.
◦ Holds most of Germany’s political power.
◦ Members elect the Chancellor.
the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia
became a democracy.
The role of the citizens is to freely elect
the nation’s leaders.
Like the United States, Russia is a
◦ the power is divided between national
and state governments with a president
who leads the nation
The 1993 constitution created a dual executive
branch that consists of a Premier (appointed by
president with approval of Duma) and a President,
but the president is the dominant figure.
The Russian president has more power than an
American president - elected by popular vote of
He or she can issue orders that become laws
even if they are not passed by the legislature!
This is the Parliament of the Russian Federation.
It consists of two chambers:
◦ 1. The Federation Council
◦ 2. The State Duma
Russia has seen many changes since the break
up of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Russians have to learn how to function in a
democracy instead of under communism where
most decisions were made for them by the
Government officials need to learn that laws
apply to them just like they apply to all of the
In the past, the Russian government punished those
individuals who criticized their decisions. Now, officials
have to learn to accept disagreements over government