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The House of Commons and the House of Lords The British parliament consists of the Queen and two chambers the House of Commons and the House of Lords The functions of the parliament are to pass laws to provide taxes and to control the actions of the government The Queen still plays a role but only a formal one In law she is the head of the executive a part of the legislative and the head of the judiciary The house of commons The members of the house of commons are elected directly by general majority in geographically defined parliamentary constituenciesThe minimum age for franchise is 18 since 1969 At present the house of commons is consisting of 659 MPs which are distributed on the base of the number of inhabitants around 60000 in each constituency in the United Kingdom and the total number of MPs which is fixed only by the house of commons itself The parliament has a quorum when 40 MPs are present The legislative period lasts 5 years by law in case of special national crisis for example war there can be exceptional decisions to break up the period earlier or lengthen it All of the members of the house of commons can be elected again It is not possible for any member of the house of lords certain clericals employees of the government peace lawyers or officers charged with realization of elections to be candidate for the house of commons Theoretically every member of parliament can initialize bills of law practically most of the bills are initalized by the ministers in chargeThe bills passed by parliament are mostly rather general they get passed more detailed either through royal prescriptionsdecrets or are prepared by the ministries in charge and then proclaimed by the crown The cabinet appears along the pinciple of collective responsibility as a unit If the parliament votes against an important legislative intiative
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