2. The main part:
a system of power - what is it ?
the political system of Great Britain;
the comparison of British and Ukrainian political systems.
The State System of any nation is not an artificial creation of some genius or simply the embodiment of different rational schemes. It is nothing else but a work of many centuries, a product of a national spirit, a political mentality and the consciousness of people.
I have chosen the topic because of its obvious importance. Ukraine is building a sovereign state and it is encountering a lot of problems. Ukraine is suffering an overall deep crisis, trying to set herself free from the persistent inheritance of totalitarianism preying upon economic, politic, national self-consciousness. There is no universally efficient remedy to help the Ukrainian society out of this grave condition. The process of recovery will be long and arduous. Moreover, the country's eventual deliverance from totalitarian inheritance and its harmonious entry into civilised world community remain for that matter, hardly practicable at all, unless political culture is humanised, and political education of such a kind propagated that would help society overcome the backwardness, the pre-modernity of prevailing visions of justice, democracy, law and order, and the relationship of the individual and the state.
It is quite clear that in the process of democracy formation a lot of problems connected with it will inevitably appear. Many of them already exist. In this solution, a considered usage of foreign experience can help the Ukrainian community to optimise the processes essential for the transitional period from one political system to another, and not to allow the social prevailing tensions to develop into a national civil crisis. And it will also help to save time and resources.
The Main Part.
A system of power is a complex of organically connected and bonded together governmental bodies, establishments and persons given the highest authority, and also political parties and organisations, directly having the power and putting it into life. The sources of power in a democratically organised community are its people, and its system. First of all, key figures within this structure should be under control of the people. This system is the core of legal functioning and serves as the foundation of state and public life. Its main parts are legislative and executive power.
If we want finally to live as normal people, we should seriously think which system of power we subject to and how is it possible to improve it, how to make it suitable for the interests of our people and what can be taken from foreign, world experience. But one of the main problems is that we are not the only ones, who don't have a good system of modern power. Humanity hasn't yet worked out a suitable and ideal system. That is why we should build our own power by considering all positive and negative aspects of the world's system and our one. But we should not forget that a power works well only when its authority is clearly and definitely determined. Let's compare our system of power with the British one to see whether it is competent enough and how well organised it is.
The Political System Of England
The organs of government in the United Kingdom of Great Britain are:
the legislature, which consists of the Queen in Parliament, and is the supreme authority of the realm;
the executive, which consist of:
the Cabinet and other ministers of the Crown, who are responsible for initiating and directing national policy;
Government departments, most of them under the control of ministers, and all staffed by civil servants, who are responsible for administration at the national level;
local authorities, who administer and manage many services at the local level;
statutory boards, which are responsible for the operation of particular nationalised industries or public services;
“shadow cabinet” which is the directing and leading body of the oppositional group.
The most interesting and important aspect of the British political system, its peculiarity, lies in its division of powers.
It is common knowledge that Great Britain, having the oldest Parliament in the world, has one of the most stable and effective political regimes of our time. Its stability is mostly the result of the division of powers, which, by the way, is not the exeption from the general rule.
The main idea of this variant lies in the following: the principle of the demarcation (division) is combined with a principle of interaction. And its principle is fixed in the British system of power not as something abstract, but institutionally. I mean a special center, a linking section, which brings together the legislating and executing powers, and at the same time is the center of making important political decisions. Surely, it is the Cabinet and its leader which are at the head of the whole executive system of the state.
The main 4 principles of division of powers are:
sovereignty of the Parliament, as the highest body of political management;
the leading role of the Cabinet and the government in the legislative process;
a strict Parliamentary and commitee control of the legislative branch;
a special role given to the State Machinery, which not only executes the instructions, but also influences a political process.
So, as we see, the legislators provide the execution of the laws and resolutions of the Parliament by controlling the State machinery, and in its turn, the state machinery participates in the legislative process, providing its preparatory stage (by doing a spade-work).
The Comparison Of Two Political Systems: Ukrainian And British Ones.
1. The first distinction may seem to be the form of rule:
Ukraine is a republic. And Britain, as you probably know, is considered to be a parliamentary monarchy.
The Queen is the personification of the U.K. By law, she is the head of the executive branch, an integral part of the legislature, the head of the judiciary, the commander-in-chief of all armed forces of the Crown and the temporal head of the established Church of England. But in practice, as a result of a long evolutionary process, these powers have changed. Today, the queen acts only on the advice of her Ministers which she cannot constitutionally ignore. In fact she reigns but she doesn't rule.
However, the monarchy has a good deal more power than is commonly supposed. There remain certain discretionary powers in the hands of the monarch, known as the Royal Prerogative.
2. The Ukrainian and the British Parliaments have at least four similar functions:
to work out legislation, including the creation of a budget;
to control the government;
to represent and respond to public opinion;
to influence actively the people by acquainting them openly with the facts, concerning the accepted decisions.
The difference lies in the electoral systems and the rules for recalling the government.
But there is also one more remarkable peculiarity of the Ukrainian Parliament: the political history of Ukraine does not know any potent legislative bodies (we can hardly take into account the experience of the Soviet Congress ).
3. Both Ukraine and Britain are countries with the representative democracy (which means that the people delegate power to the bodies, which act on their behalf).
The difference is, that Britain has a parliamentary form of government, and Ukraine, in its turn, has a so-called “semi-presidential” form. The main distinctions of this forms are shown in the table, given below.
|The British parliamentary form ||The Ukrainian “semi-presidential” form |
|1.The election solves two questions: On one hand, the forming of the Parliament. And on the other hand, the creation of the Government and different coalitions. ||1.The election solves just one question: Either the problem of forming the Parliament or the creation of the Government. |
|2.The Government is formed only by the Parliament. ||2.The Government is formed by both the President and the Parliament. |
|3.The executive Power is separated. ||3.The executive Power is not separated. |
4. Unlike Britain, Ukraine has different bodies of legislative and executive power, and one body doesn't interfere with the activity of the other.
5. The negative features of the British system may seem to be too much power in the hands of Prime Minister and rather uncontrolled local government. Summary
Having compared two political systems, I have come to the conclusion that the form and the level of development of the systems are influenced greatly by the history of the State. The second factor is that of evolutionary progress, which usually improves the existing order and makes it more democratic.
Having analysed two state systems, I have noticed the tendency towards the reinforcement of the executive power and a lessening of the legislative power. But still, parliament remains an integral institution in a democratic society.
I have studied the British political experience concerning the division of powers and I can say that with all its originality, the British System is not something unique or exceptional. This system should be taken as the foundation stone of the co-operation of two powers in countries with a representative democracy.
The reason for the lasting discussion of this problem in the Ukrainian Parliament lies not only in involving the interests of powerful persons. Actually, it is the result of the “amateur” level to understand this problem.
A list of used literature:
Основи держави і права України, 1993
M.Y.Mezey Comparative Legislatures, Durham, 1979
Политические исследования, Полис, 1992
П.О.Бех Англійська мова, Либідь, 1992
A book of Britain, Просвещение, 1977
Деловая жизнь // Правда, 1991
Entony Sempson Anatomy of Britain, 1992
Мировая экономика и международные отношения, Наука, 1993