Democracy is a very wide subject such that one can easy be challenged especially when making comparisons between two power houses like Britain and America. The definition of democracy is a government for the people, by the people. A government is said to be democratic if it is all-inclusive; it represents the interests of every citizen in equal measures. Attaining this status is not quite easy and most governments have often failed to acquire it. Read through the points below to help you decide on how democratic Britain and America are.
In making comparisons between British and American democratic systems, one of the areas that we can look at is the executive. In fact, this is considered the most visible difference in the democracy of the two super powers. In America, there is a presidential system of government whereby the powers rest with the elected president.
Britain on the other hand is governed through a parliamentary system with the seat of power bestowed to the Prime minister provided that he or she commands the largest percentage of votes in the House of Commons. This means that the American president is more powerful than the British Prime Minister, in theory.
In America, the president is the Commander in Chief and reserves all the powers of issuing executive orders which bear the full force of the law. However, his powers to push legislations through Congress are highly prejudiced by the checks and balances that exist in the constitutional system.
In Britain, the Prime Minister is the head of the government with the majority of sets in the House of Commons, thus, his or her ability to pass legislations is often not hindered. In fact, he or she can pass almost any legislation that he wishes due to the majority of seats under his command.
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American and British democracy can also be contrasted based on the transition period between the election and inauguration of a new president. In America, it takes two and a half months while in Britain; the change is usually effected immediately. After the election results are officially announced, the successor takes over within just a matter of hours.
In the United States of America, the incoming president and his aides have the powers of solely making political appointments that sum up to a total of about 7,000 positions. In Britain, the Prime Ministers appointments are highly limited. He only appoints 100 members of the Government. Each member of the Cabinet is allowed to appoint special advisors whose number is around 50, meaning that Britain only gives the Prime Minister and his aides the power to appoint only about 150 people for political positions.
The constitution is yet another aspect of comparison between Britain and America. The United States has got a written constitution just like most nations around the world. However, the United Kingdom does not have any document called a constitution; its constitutional provisions are contained in different Acts of Parliament.
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