Government, Social And Political Issues Essay

1360 words - 5 pages

Governmental set-ups and politics
France and the UK both have distinct characteristics in terms of their governmental set-ups and politics. The UK uses a parliamentary legislative-executive system, where as France uses a semi-presidential legislative-executive system. Both have Prime ministers, however, they have completely different roles in their respective government. The UK Prime minister is the head of government with the Crown as the head of state in most respects (mostly symbolic). Power is concentrated in the Prime minister and must be an elected member of legislature. France’s Prime minster is the head of government and appointed by the President. The French constitution appears to make the Prime minster more powerful than the President, but in reality the President has more power in legislature. French Prime minister’s main responsibility is to gain support for the President’s policies. Both the UK and France can remove their Prime minsters, the UK uses a “vote of no confidence”, which is rarely used. France’s removal is through “motion of censure”. Both countries division of power is unitary. The UK has highly majoritarian features and the parliament powers are relatively unchecked. There are few checks and balances between the UK’s governmental branches with few judicial restraints.
One of the major differences between the UK and France is the UK does not have a formal written Constitution. There is no single document but a number of written and unwritten rules; this has caused concerns with human rights. The UK has since adopted the European Convention on Human Rights basic set of constitutional liberties. Although, any constitutional changes can be accomplished quickly without any long political battles. France does have a written Constitution created through the current regime of the 5th Republic. The Constitution was codified in 1958 by Charles de Gaulles. Gaulles concentrated the power in an executive to eliminate a purely parliamentary systems. There are differences in both countries judicial system as well. The UK’s judicial system is based on common law, which are local customs and precedents. France’s judicial system is the opposite, based on European code law, which are detailed legal codes.

Political economy
The UK was once know as “the workshop of the world” during the industrial revolution. However, since WWII their economy has been in a constant decline for three reasons. First, early industrialization, the technology from the industrial revolution soon became obsolete and the UK failed to adapt to the new economic environment. Secondly, the Empire is a financial strain, which has caused most of the economic opportunities available to the UK to pass. Thirdly, the UK just flat ignored the needs to modernize their economy. France’s economic history is similar in which it has been in a decline over the last 50 years. After WWII, France’s government wanted to rapidly transform their economy. Dirigisme is the French...

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