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why do we have a prime minister

Did you know that different countries have different kinds of leaders? Here in Canada, we have a prime minister, but in the United States, their leader is a president. While both jobs are positions of power, there are quite a few differences between our prime minister and the States president. Learn all about prime ministers and presidents with these fun facts and wow your friends! Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images) Who? Justin Trudeau is Canada s 23rd prime minister, elected on October 19, 2015. As prime minister, Trudeau is the leader of the party in power, which in this case is the Liberal Party, and the head of government. (P. S. You can also call him the Right Honourable or the Prime Minister of Canada. )
What? It is the prime minister s job to lead cabinet meetings, answer questions in the House of Commons and meet with official foreign delegates, which is someone who is representing another country. When? Canada elects a prime minister on the third Monday in October, four years after the election before it. Once elected, the prime minister serves at Her Majesty s pleasure (that s the Queen! ) that means there s no time limit for how long someone can be prime minister. How? You don t have to be a certain age, but you do have to be a Canadian citizen (though not necessarily born in the country) to be prime minister, so better get your campaign ready! President Donald Trump. Pool/Getty Images News) Who? Donald Trump is the United States 45th president, elected on November 8, 2016. What? It is the president s job to lead the executive branch of the federal government, which is a system that directs all the states, and act as commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces but there s a whole committee of people who help make the big decisions.

When? The United States elects a president every four years, on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. (We know, it s a bit confusing! ) Once elected, the president can serve for no longer than two terms, each of which has a maximum length of four years. How? To be president, you must be a United States citizen who was either born in the country or received citizenship at birth. You must also be at least 35 years old and have lived in the States for at least 14 years. The president gets to live and work in the White House. The prime minister only works on Parliament Hill, but they get to live in a big house at 24 Sussex Drive in Ottawa. Women rule! The United States have yet to elect their very first woman as president, but here in Canada, we had our first female prime minister way back in the nineties when she took over for Brian Mulroney who was retiring from politics. Young presidents aren t really Prime ministers and presidents may be able to be elected young, but the youngest ones are still as old as your parents! And the oldest elected prime minister and president are as old as your grandparents! Prime ministers can only be on paper money, not on coins. Sir Robert Borden, the 8th prime minister of Canada, is on the $100 bill. He did a lot of great things during his time as PM including a bill for the right of women to vote.

Presidents can be on paper money and coins but you will find other important people on there as well such as Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of the U. S. , who is on the $100 bill. This seems like a pretty good reason to be on the bill, but he also invented many things including lightning rods and bifocal glasses. art background by BSGStudio What is a general election? A general election is an opportunity for people in every part of the UK to choose their MP - the person who will represent their local area (constituency) in the House of Commons for up to five years. There is normally a choice of several candidates in each constituency, some of which are the local candidates for national political parties. People can only vote for one of the candidates and the candidate that receives most votes becomes their MP. When was the last general election? The date of the last general election was 8 June 2017. The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 sets the interval between general elections at five years. At the end of this time a new House of Commons must be elected. However, there are two provisions that trigger an election other than at five year intervals: The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 provides for general elections to be held on the first Thursday in May every five years. Previous to this Act, the Prime Minister could call a general election at any time within the five year period and not all Parliaments lasted the full five years. Before 2011 a general election could be called earlier for a number of reasons.

For example, the Prime Minister could decide to call an election at a time when he or she was most confident of winning the election (getting more MPs than any other party) or if a government was defeated on a confidence motion, a general election could follow. Do general elections have to be held on Thursdays? Not necessarily. The Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 set the date of the last general election at Thursday 7 May 2015 and subsequent elections to be held on the first Thursday of May at five year intervals. However, if an earlier general election is triggered the Act does not state that the election has to be held on a Thursday. Before the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 the Prime Minister could choose any weekday for a general election, according to a fixed electoral timetable. However, Thursday has become the traditional day for general elections. The last general election not to be held on a Thursday was on Tuesday 27 October 1931. Where can I find the results of the general election? Election results are widely reported in the local and national media, with many providing rolling coverage of the results as they are announced. Each local authority with responsibility for running elections publishes the results for parliamentary constituencies in their area. The Electoral Commission publishes the overall election results as well as those for individual constituencies. Who becomes Prime Minister? Can I vote for a new Prime Minister? No. You can only vote to elect your local MP in a general election.

Even if you live in the constituency represented by the current Prime Minister or the leader of another political party, you are still only voting on whether he or she will be your local MP in the next Parliament. Who chooses the Prime Minister? The Prime Minister is appointed by the Queen, who is guided by constitutional conventions. The Cabinet Manual sets out the main laws, rules and conventions affecting the conduct and operation of government, including the role of the Sovereign. Usually the political party that wins the most seats in the House of Commons at a general election forms the new government and its leader becomes Prime Minister. If no party wins a majority of the seats, a situation which is known as a 'hung Parliament', then the largest party may form a minority government or there may be a coalition government of two or more parties. The Prime Minister appoints ministers who work in the government departments, the most senior of these sit in Cabinet. The House of Commons Library produces briefing papers to inform MPs and their staff of key issues. The papers contain factual information and a range of opinions on each subject, and aim to be politically impartial. The Library has published the following briefing papers on general elections and the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011: Read current parliamentary material available on general elections, including select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services.

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