来源：普特英语听力 2011-09-26 06:00
The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy, the head of state is a king or a queen. The United Kingdom is governed, in the name of the Sovereign by His or Her Majesty's Government. The System of parliamentarygovernment is not based on a written constitution, the British constitution is not set out in any singledocument. It is made up of statute law, common law and conventions. The Judiciary determines common law andinterprets statutes.
1.Elizabeth II, her title in the United Kingdom is "Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God of the UnitedKingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Her Other Realms and Territories, Queen, Head of theCommonwealth, Defender of the Faith.
2.The Queen is the symbol of the whole nation. In law, She is head of the executive, an integral part of thelegislature, head of the judiciary, the commander-in-chief of all the armed forces and the "supreme governor"of the Church of England. She gives Royal Assent to Bills passed by parliament.
3.The monarch actually has no real power. The monarch's power are limited by law and Parliament. Constitutionalmonarchy began after the Glorious Revolution in 1688.
1.The United Kingdom is a unitary, not a federal, state. Parliament consists of the Sovereign, the House ofLords and the House of Commons.
2.The main functions of Parliament are: (1) to pass laws; (2) to provide, by voting for taxation, the means ofcarrying on the work of government; (3) to examine government Policy and administrations, including proposalfor expenditure; and (4) to debate the major issues of the day.
3.The House of Lords is made up of the Lords Spiritual and the Lords Temporal. The main function of the Houseof Lords is to bring the wide experience of its members into the process of lawmaking. In other words, the non-elected House is to act as a chamber of revision, complementing but not rivaling the elect House.
4.The House of Common is elected by universal adult suffrage and consists of 651 Members of Parliament (MPs).It is in the House of Commons that the ultimate authority.
5.Britain is divided 651 constituencies. Each of the constituencies returns one member to the House of Commons.A general Election must be held every five years and is often held at more frequent intervals.
6.Britain has a number of parties, but there are only two major parties. These two parties are the ConservativeParty and the Labour Party. Since 1945, either the Conservative Party or the Labour Party has held power. Theparty which wins sufficient seats at a General Election to command a majority of Government. The leader of themajority party is appointed Prime Minister. The party which wins the second largest number of seats becomes theOfficial Opposition, with its own leader and "shadow cabinet ". The rule of Opposition is to help theformulation of policy. Criticizes the Government and debate with the Government.
III.The Cabinet and Ministry
1. The Prime Minister presides over the Cabinet, is responsible for the allocation of functions among ministersand informs the Queen at regular meetings of general business of the Government. Cabinet members hold meetingsunder the chairmanship of the Prime Minister for a few hours each week to decide Government policy on majorissues.
2. Ministers are responsible collectively to Parliament for all Cabinet decisions; individual Ministers areresponsible to Parliament for the work of their department.
IV．The Privy Council
1. The Privy Council was formerly the chief source of executive power in the state and give private advice tothe King. So the Privy Council was also called the King's Council in history. Today its role is largely formal,advising the sovereign to approve certain government decrees.
2. Its membership is about 400, and includes all Cabinet ministers, the speaker of the House of Common andsenior British and Commonwealth statement.
V.Government Department and the Civil Service
1.Commonwealth office, the Ministry of Defense…
2. Members of the Civil Service are called Civil Services. They staff government departments. Civil Servantsare recruited mainly by competitive examination. Civil servants do not belong to any political party. Changesof Government do not involve changes in departmental staff, There are about 541800 civil servants in Britainnow.
1. There are two main tiers of local authority throughout England and Wales: counties and the smallerdistricts. Now, England and Wales are divided into 53 counties which are sub-divided into 369 districts.
2. Greater London is divided into 32 boroughs.