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BRITISH PARLIAMENT

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The British Parliament is the oldest in the world. It originated in the 12th century as Witenagemot, the body of wise counselors whom the King needed to consult pursuing his policy. The British Parliament consists of the House of Lords and the House of Commons and the Queen as its head. The House of Commons plays the major role in law-making. It consists of Members of Parliament (called MPs for short). Each of them represents an area in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. MPs are elected either at a general election or at a by-election following the death or retirement. Parliamentary elections are held every 5 years and it is the Prime Minister who decides on the exact day of the election. The minimum voting age is 18. And the voting is taken by secret ballot. The election campaign lasts about 3 weeks, The British parliamentary system depends on political parties. The party which wins the majority of seats forms the government and its leader usually becomes Prime Minister. The Prime Minister chooses about 20 MPs from his party to become the cabinet of ministers. Each minister is responsible for a particular area in the government. The second largest party becomes the official opposition with its own leader and "shadow cabinet". The leader of the opposition is a recognized post in the House of Commons. The parliament and the monarch have different roles in the government and they only meet together on symbolic occasions, such as coronation of a new monarch or the opening of the parliament. In reality, the House of Commons is the one of three which has true power. The House of Commons is made up of six hundred and fifty elected members, it is presided over by the speaker, a member acceptable to the whole house. MPs sit on two sides of the hall, one side for the governing party and the other for the opposition. The first 2 rows of seats are occupied by the leading members of both parties (called "front benches") The back benches belong to the rank-and-life MPs. Each session of the House of Commons lasts for 160-175 days. Parliament has intervals during his work. MPs are paid for their parliamentary work and have to attend the sittings. As mention above, the House of Commons plays the major role in law making. The procedure is the following: a proposed law ("a bill") has to go through three stages in order to become an act of parliament; these are called "readings". The first reading is a formality and is simply the publication of the proposal. The second reading involves debate on the principles of the bill, it is examination by parliamentary committee. And the third reading is a report stage, when the work of the committee is reported on to the house. This is usually the most important stage in the process. When the bill passes through the House of Commons, it is sent to the House of Lords for discussion, when the Lords agree it, the bill is taken to the Queen for royal assent, when the Queen sings the bill, it becomes act of the Parliament and the Law of the Land. The House of Lords has more than 1000 members, although only about 250 take an active part in the work in the house. Members of this Upper House are not elected, they sit there because of their rank, and the chairman of the House of Lords is the Lord Chancellor. And he sits on a special seat, called "Woolsack" The members of the House of Lords debate the bill after it has been passed by the House of Commons. Some changes may be recommended and the agreement between the two houses is reached by negotiations.

ART

The Arts play a large role in the expression of inner thoughts and beauty in my life. From dance and music to abstract art our concept of life is shown through the various ways in which we interpret it. We use the Arts as a means of touching that part of us that we cannot reach with Physical Science, Social Science, or any of the Humanities. The arts allow us to be as specific or as abstract as we please. It helps us become closer to ourselves and to others around us. Though there has been a lot of confusion as to what the true definition of “good art” is, how we show others what is going on in our minds and inner souls cannot be judged, graded, criticized or revised by anyone other than ourselves.

The arts play a valued role in creating cultures and developing and documenting civilizations. The arts teach us how to communicate through creative expression. Show us how to understand human experiences, past and present. Prepare us to adapt to and respect the ways others think, work, and express themselves. Music, singing, dancing, poetry, and sketching are just a few of the different forms of art that I use to express myself in a way that I enjoy.

Because each art discipline appeals to different senses and expresses itself through different media, each adds a special richness to the learning environment. Arts help people Learn to identify, appreciate, and participate in the traditional and non-traditional art forms of their own communities and the communities of others. Art teaches us how to be imaginative, creative, and reflective. Different art forms help us develop the verbal and nonverbal abilities necessary for lifelong learning. The intellectual demands of the arts help us develop problem-solving abilities and such powerful thinking skills as analyzing and evaluating. Numerous studies point toward a consistent and positive comparison between concrete education in the arts and student achievement in other subjects. A program in arts education would engage students in a process that helps them develop the self-esteem, self-discipline, cooperation, and self-motivation necessary for success in life. Most important, the arts should be experienced and studied for their own true value.

If art was not present in my life, I know that I would be missing so much. I would not be able to do the things that I love to do each day. The only way to express yourself is through art, and the presence of art in the lives of today’s society plays a big role. People listen to music every day, they dance, and sing. For many people art is a way of life, and without it they would be lost. Art is the only way to express one’s true feelings. Without art the world would be a dull and sad place. People would not be able to communicate in the same sense that art allows them to. Art shows people’s individualism.

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