European governments
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  • 1. United Kingdom, Germany, & Russia
  • 2.  Parliament is an essential part of UK politics.  Its main roles are: ◦ Examining and challenging the work of the government ◦ Debating and passing all laws (legislation) ◦ Enabling the government to raise taxes
  • 3.  The business of Parliament takes place in two Houses: ◦ 1. House of Commons ◦ 2. House of Lords
  • 4.  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 Minister.  The House of Commons is responsible for making laws for the country.
  • 5. • The House of Lords is the second Chamber of the United Kingdom’s Parliament. • 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.
  • 6.  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 country.  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.
  • 7.  Like the United States, Germany is a “federal republic” ◦ a national government and state governments share powers.  Technically, it’s government is a Federal Parliamentary Representative Democratic Republic…whew!
  • 8.  1. Chancellor: ◦ 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.  2. President: Germany’s president has very little power, and mainly carries out ceremonial duties. •
  • 9. President Bush welcomes German Chancellor Angela Merkel to the Oval Office • • She is the 1st woman (and the first East German) to hold this position
  • 10.  1. Bundesrat (Upper House) ◦ Mainly an advisory council, but must approve laws and amendments ◦ 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.
  • 11.  After 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 “federal republic” ◦ the power is divided between national and state governments with a president who leads the nation
  • 12. 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 the citizens  He or she can issue orders that become laws even if they are not passed by the legislature! 
  • 13. This is the Parliament of the Russian Federation.  It consists of two chambers:  ◦ 1. The Federation Council ◦ 2. The State Duma
  • 14. 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. Government officials need to learn that laws apply to them just like they apply to all of the people.     In the past, the Russian government punished those individuals who criticized their decisions. Now, officials have to learn to accept disagreements over government policies.