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Comparison of the US Political System with France and the UK

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Politics
Wordcount: 1782 words Published: 7th Aug 2019

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The Political System in the US Favors the President to succeed in Solving Crisis


The political system in the US makes it more likely for President Trump to alleviate or solve the US-Mexico border crisis, for the reason that the executive-legislative is more stable and democratic; the Congress has power and is more functional to balance the power; and the two parties in the US is more likely to work together for a common goal. Besides, the President in the US has more power than in the UK and in the France.

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Evidence and Reasoning

Executive-legislative Relations

In the view of the founding sages of the United States, the best way to prevent power corruption and abuse is decentralization and checks and balances. The establishment of the system of administrative, legislative and judicial powers has guaranteed the political stability and development of the United States for hundreds of years. Among these three powers, judicature, because of its particularity, often goes beyond administrative legislation, so it seldom participates in the disputes of administrative legislation.

In the United States, anyone can draft legislation, but only members of Congress can formally present any new draft legislation in Congress. Normally, draft legislation is prepared by members of Congress and their assistants, who will understand voters’ views on certain issues during their electoral campaigns and assure voters that if elected, they will present voter-supported draft legislation in Congress in the future. At the same time, the executive branch of the United States, including the President of the United States and members of the Cabinet, can also submit draft legislation to the Speaker of the House of Representatives or the President of the Senate, which is called administrative communication. According to the Constitution of the United States, the President of the United States must report to Congress on the “State of the Union Address”, which is why the President must address the Congress every year. The President usually makes proposals to Congress at this time. After the State of the Union Address is issued, the President formally submits his draft legislation to the relevant congressional committees. The chairman of the committee usually submits the original form or revised version to Congress immediately.

Article 2 of the Constitution entrusts “executive power” to the President of the United States. During the presidency of Washington, the entire executive branch consisted of “the President, the Vice President, the State Department, the Treasury, the Defense Department and the Justice Department” (Petersen, 16). With the development of the country, the administrative departments also grow up. There are now 15 ministries at the Cabinet level, with several bureaus, departments and other agencies under their jurisdiction. There are also parts that do not belong to these 15 cabinet-level departments. Each unit of the executive branch exercises the executive power appointed by the President, so it must ultimately be accountable to the President. Therefore, the President has more power to alleviate or solve crisis.

The Power of Congress

The Constitution gives the US Congress the power to pass legislation. Proposals considered by Congress are called bills. If a majority of both houses of Congress (two-thirds if the President vetoes it) votes to pass a bill, it is a formal law. Federal law is statutory law. The Federal Code of the United States is the codification of federal statute law. The Code itself is not a law, but a written law compiled logically. For example, Article 20 covers various statutory laws relating to education, while Article 22 covers diplomacy.

In brief, the United States Congress enjoys the legislative power, the supreme decision-making power and the supreme supervision power within the framework of the Constitution. It is the real “emperor” of the United States. In the political and military spheres, the President has temporary decision-making power, but it must be approved by Congress within a certain period of time after the event. If it goes beyond the Constitution, a referendum or a constitutional amendment will be required.

The Parties

In the US, legislative proposals of the ruling party and the president are often restricted and obstructed by opposition parties that manipulate Congress. However, the opposition parties in the United States do not always play an opposition role, nor do they play a “destructive role” in Congress. They often cooperate with the President to support their legislative proposals and play a “constructive role”. In order to smoothly implement its programs and policies, the President of the United States often holds joint meetings with the Speakers of the House and the Senate, leaders of the two parties and some well-known members of the House of Representatives to consult on Legislative Issues concerning major domestic and foreign affairs and seek concerted action by both parties. In fact, the vast majority of Congressional bills were passed without dispute between the two parties. Therefore, in fact, the relationship between the majority party and the minority party in the United States Congress does not constitute the relationship between the ruling party and the opposition party.

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Comparison between the US and the UK

Responsible Cabinet System is launched in the UK. The political system in the UK is the “classic majoritarian Westminster system” (Russell, 1). The characteristic of Responsible Cabinet System is that the executive head is elected by parliament, and the prime minister is appointed by the leader of the political party who has won the majority of seats in the general election and formed a cabinet by him or her. The cabinet is collectively responsible to Parliament. When parliament votes more than half of the vote of no confidence in the cabinet, the cabinet should resign collectively. Under this system, if a party wants to come to power, it must win the majority position in parliament. In the UK, the distinction between the ruling party and the opposition party is very strict. As long as a party obtains a majority in parliamentary elections, it has the right to organize the cabinet, take office and become the ruling party; the party that fails to obtain a majority is in an opposition position. Therefore, in countries with responsible cabinet system, the main objective of all parties is to run for parliamentary members and compete for a majority of seats in parliament.

In the US, the President is the center of politics and the most important political representative of the American ruling class in the national institutions of the separation of powers. Centering on the President is the most fundamental feature of the American political system. As far as the status of President is concerned, he has six identities: Head of State, Supreme Executive Head, Marshal of the United States, Supreme Policymaker of Foreign Policy and Leader of Political Parties. As far as the nature of President’s power is concerned, he has not only executive power (law enforcement power), but also legislative power, military power, diplomatic power and political power. Therefore, the President of the United States is known as the “President of the King”. Under this system, if a political party holds the presidency and occupies the White House, it means that it holds the state power. Therefore, with more power in hand, President Trump is easily than Prime Minister May to solve the crisis.

Comparison between the US and France

France is a typical semi-presidential and semi-parliamentary Democratic Republican country. One of the main characteristics is that it has the features of presidential system. The president is the head of state, elected by voters, not responsible for parliament. He has the highest executive power in practice. He has the power to appoint government prime ministers and ministers, chair cabinet meetings, and publish laws. He has the power to ask parliament to reconsider laws passed, command the army and so on. Obviously, these are very similar to the American presidency. But unlike the presidential system of the United States, the French president also has the right to submit important draft laws to a referendum, to announce the dissolution of the National Assembly after consulting the Prime Minister and the Speakers of both houses of Parliament, and to take emergency measures. Second, it has the characteristics of parliamentary system. The prime minister is the head of government, leading the government’s activities, deciding and guiding the country’s policies, the government is in charge of the executive branch, and the government is responsible to the parliament. When the National Assembly passes a no-confidence bill or expresses its disapproval of the government’s policy agenda or general policy statement, the prime minister must submit his resignation to the president. This is clearly the same as the cabinet system (parliamentary system). But there are also some differences from the cabinet system (parliamentary system). Government members cannot serve as parliamentary members concurrently. The initiative to dissolve parliament is mainly the president rather than the prime minister. Moreover, the parliament’s vote of no confidence in the government is stricter than the cabinet system.


After the introduction and analysis of the political system of the US, and the comparison between the US and the UK, and the US and the France, the conclusion could be drawn that the comparatively stable and democratic political system of the US is more favorable for the President to solve political crisis. Besides, the President could have more power and more initiatives to make changes, pass laws, and make final decisions.

Works Cited

  • Petersen, R. Eric. “Parliament and Congress: A Brief Comparison of the British House of Commons and the U.S. House of Representatives”. Congressional Research Service, 2017.
  • Russell, Meg & Cowley, Philip. “Modes of UK Executive-Legislative Relations Revisited”. The Political Quarterly, Vol. 89, No. 1, January-March, 2018.


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