J’ai eu la chance de poser des questions à un attaché parlementaire anglais. Il travaille pour Mary Macleod (Conservative party) qui représente Brentford et Isleworth. Je n’ai pas pu résister. J’ai donc fait une interview politique pour mieux comprendre nos voisins d’outre-Manche.
So tell me, who are you ?
Joseph Vardon-Hynard, from Suffolk, living in London!
What did you study ?
You work for Mary Macleod, member for Brentford and Isleworth, what are her function and yours exactly?
She represents over 90,000 voters in West London, stretching from Chiswick to Hounslow. I help her to represent these people in the following ways:
– Researching UK policy areas.
– Writing speeches.
– Developing briefings for media appearances and visits.
– Responding to constituents on policy related correspondence.
– Strategic planning.
– Parliamentary questions.
– Supporting her role as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Culture Secretary, Rt Hon. Maria Miller MP.
– Running events.
Is your job interesting ?
Yes – extremely!
What’s the British Parliament’s function ?
To hold the Government to account.
How are the MPs elected ?
Using a “First Past the Post” electoral system. All 650 are elected every 5 years for a fixed term. The candidate with the most votes wins a seat in the House of Commons and the right to represent that area.
What’s the monarchy’s function ? (meaning the people – royal family etc.)
Strictly constitutional when it comes to ‘power’. They are really now mostly ambassadors for Great Britain and have important charitable and constitutional responsibilities that are too numerous to mention!
Is there really a difference between the Conservative party and the Labour party ?
Yes big differences, especially now that Ed Miliband is running Labour.
Is Monarchy important for the British ? (meaning the system of the monarchy as a whole)
Yes – it is part of our heritage. Most British people would prefer it to stay.
What’s the relationship between the Parliament and the Queen ?
Purely constitutional. She opens and dissolves parliament by order of the Prime Minister. She grants Royal Assent to Bills (so they become Acts of Parliament) but this is merely a formality.
What’s the relationship between the Parliament and the government ?
The Government is drawn from Parliament – i.e. the Executive is drawn from the Legislature. The largest party in parliament forms the Government.
Do you think people take part enough in the political life ? Do they vote ? Are they informed, especially the Youth ?
No. They vote a lot less than in the past. They are informed to a degree, but a lot are ambivalent. It is fashionable to hate politics and politicians. In my opinion, people should take the time to be informed. They have the power to kick people out and elect anyone they want – that is a responsibility that should be taken a lot more seriously.
Have you got advice for people who want to take part in politics?
Vote! Keep up with current events. Stay informed. And don’t go into politics unless you’ve done something with your life first, so you can draw on that experience to help improve people’s lives.
Have you got professional projects?
Yes but through my work.
Do you think social networks are important in politics?
Yes, enormously and this is growing.