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英国生活指南:第二章

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英国生活指南:第二章

翻译:lexie  校对:青云子

尽管你会在报纸上读到“老爷”“爵士”这样的字眼,但英国仍然是最伟大的民主国家之一,也是美国很多自由权益的摇篮。国王独揽大权统治王国的情况在英国早就消亡了近千年,如今国王统而不治。英国人民很喜爱他们的君王,但还是剥夺了他所有的政治实权。在你来往英国时最好记着这些。注意不要批评国王,英国人对此的感觉正如你在有人批评我们的国家或国旗时的感觉。现在的国王女王和他们的人民携手渡过炮火的攻击,他们的家跟普通人的一样也被炸了,为此,英国人民感到无比骄傲。

 

英国——民主的摇篮

如今,旧时国王的权力已归议会、首相和他的内阁所有。英国议会被称作世界议会之母,因为几乎世界上所有的代议制政体都是在复制它的模式。议会由两院组成,众议院和上议院。众议院是最有权力的一部分,由英国的成年男女选举而成,跟我们的国会很像。如今上议院能做的很少,无非是同意已经众议院通过的法律。千百年来,爵爷们的头衔(如男爵,公爵,伯爵)都是父传子承,其他人也能因杰出贡献获得头衔,就像美国的学院和大学会向名人授予荣誉学位一样。这些传统看上去老套而奇怪,但正如我们从熟悉的礼拜仪式中感受到的一样,这些也给他们带去慰藉与安全感。

你得记住的一件重要的事是在这古老的框架内,英国这个二十世纪的民主国家运作高效,在某些方面甚至比我们还能更灵活,更悉心地应对民众的要求。

英文原文:

GOVERNMENT                    

ALTHOUGH you’ll read in the papers about “lords” and “sirs,” England is still one of the great democracies and the cradle of many American liberties. Personal rule by the King has been dead in England for nearly a thousand years. Today the King reigns, but does not govern. The British people have great affection for their monarch but they have stripped him of practically all political power. It is well to remember this in your com-ings and goings about England. Be careful not to criticize the King. The British feel about that the way you would feel if anyone spoke against our country or our flag. Today’s King and Queen stuck with the people through the blitzes and had their home bombed just like anyone else, and the people are proud of them.

 

Britain the Cradle of Democracy.   Today the old power of the King has been shifted to Parliament, the Prime Minis-ter, and his Cabinet. The British Parliament has been called the mother of parliaments, because almost all the representative bodies in the world have been copied from it. It is made up of two houses, the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The House of Commons is the most powerful group and is elected by all adult men and women in the country, much like our Congress. Today the House of Lords can do little more than add its approval to laws passed by the House of Commons. Many of the “tides” held by the lords (such as “baron” and “duke” and “earl”) have been passed from father to son for hundreds of years. Others are granted in reward for outstanding achievement, much as American colleges and universities give honorary degrees to famous men and women. These customs may seem strange and old-fashioned but they give the British the same feeling of security and comfort that many of us get from the familiar ritual of a church service.

The important thing to remember is that within this apparently old-fashioned framework the British enjoy a practical, working twentieth century democracy which is in some ways even more flexible and sensitive to the will of the people than our own.

英国生活指南:第二章
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