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Parliament. Information about parliament

Parliament means 'talking'. Elected representatives of the people meet to talk over and pass laws. The British parliament has a House of Commons with 630 elected members and anon-elected House of Lords (with about 100 regular attenders). The U.S. Congress has a House of Representatives with 435 elected Representatives, and a Senate which is made up of two elected senators from each State, whatever its size.

By information about parliament the oldest parliament is the Icelandic 'Thing', but the 'Mother of Parliaments' is Britain's, which is at least seven hundred years old. Parliaments in many countries have been copied from Britain's, ' or have begun by trying to improve on it. The House of Commons meets in a rectangular building. The supporters of the Government sit on one side and the Opposition on the other. Most parliaments meet in a semicircular building: conservatives sit on the right and radicals and socialists on the left. So 'right' in politics has come to mean conservatives, and 'left' to mean radical (wanting reform).

Information about parliament: Australia's parliament

Information about parliament:

Australia's parliament is in Canberra, the capital. Canberra lies in the Australian Capital Territory.

Parliaments are places in which laws (legislation) are passed; parliament is the legislature. The government (President, or Prime Minister, and Cabinet) is called the executive. In most parliamentary systems, as in Great Britain, the Prime Minister is the leader of the largest political party in Parliament. His Cabinet members are also members of Parliament. If Parliament refuses to support the Prime Minister he and his government must resign and a new election is held.
In the United States, the powers of the legislature (Congress) and the executive (the President, his Cabinet and other assistants) are much more clearly separated. Although the President can propose laws, only Congress can debate and pass them or reject them. Much of the work in Congress is done in the powerful committees.

In the British Parliament, most of the work is directed and controlled by the Prime Minister and his Cabinet. Committees work out the details of certain laws, but they are much less important than Congressional committees.

Most democratic countries have parliamentary systems closer to the British than the American, but every country has variations designed for its own particular form of government.

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