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The Education and Political Systems of Mexico and the United Kingdom

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In Mexico the primary language is Spanish, the population is of approximately 129.2 million people, and traditional foods includes tacos, enchiladas, and pozole. On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean the primary language of the United Kingdom is English, the population is of 66.02 million people, and traditional foods include fish and chips, bangers and smash, and shepherds pie. Mexico and the United Kingdom are two countries whose culture, history, political and education systems, really show how different they both are. The Atlantic Ocean separates both of these countries with Mexico relying in North America and the United Kingdom in Europe. Each of these countries has an independent strategy of how they organize their systems of politics and education. In this essay, the education and political systems of both of these countries will be outlined. The differences and similarities if any, of each of these two systems within the two countries will also be explained.

Mexico like the United States has had various editions of their constitution. Mexico first achieved its independence from Spain in the year 1812 and ever since then various editions of constitutions have existed. The current Mexican constitution has existed since 1917. The people of Mexico originally took pride in constitutionalism and what it represented by naming streets, cities, and city squares after certain articles of the constitution. Particularly one of the most important articles of the Mexican constitution includes Article 83, which outlines the term of a Mexican president. Each president is allowed to be elected for one term which totals in 6 years in office. In 1934 the policy that outlined being able to serve only one six year term expanded to deputies as well. This change allowed for deputies to have a limit of the authority and influence they could build up within their term. On the other hand, the limit allowed for deputies to lack in accountability due to the fact that they knew they would not be re-elected in the next election.

Finally, in order to make changes to the constitution both houses of the legislature must approve the change. In addition, a total of 17 out of 32 states must also agree and approve the change. Throughout time the constitution of Mexico has been amended a total of 500 times within the course of 100 years.

The role of the Mexican President is not only a powerful position but it has a strong ability to influence. The elected president of Mexico is the head of the government and also the head of state. Unlike the United States, the president is responsible for executing and enforcing laws. The ability to veto bills, standing as the commander-in-chief of the Mexican military forces, and appointing the cabinet outlines the strong powers the presidency carries. The president of Mexico also stands alone as there is no official vice president unlike the U.S. The legislature of Mexico is bicameral system as it has two houses “La Camara de Diputados” and “La Camara de Senadores”. La Camara de Diputados is translated to “The Chamber of Deputie”s and is one of the two houses in the Mexican legislature. A total of 500 members make up the Chamber of Deputies, 300 of those members are elected by plurality vote per each of the single- member districts. The other 200 members are elected per proportional representation with closed party list. Each of these 500 members serve for a total of 3 years per term and are limited to no more than 2 terms. La Camara de Senadores or The Senate of the Republic is the second house that makes up the Mexican legislature. The Senate of the Republic consist of 128 members known at senators. For each of the 32 states of Mexico, 2 senators are elected by plurality vote. The other 32 senators are the first-runner up’s of each of the 32 states and the last 32 senators are elected from a national close party list.

Mexico like the United States has political parties who are groups of people who share ideas of political goals and opinions. Although there are three existing political parties, the longevity of one political party has created a continues, strong, and monopoly like feel toMexican politics. The first political party is The Institutional Revolutionary Party also known as PRI. The PRI was first created in the year 1929 by former president Plutacaro Elias Calles. Calles feared for the stability of Mexican politics after elected successor Alvaro Obregon was killed before he took office. The PRI carried a strong leadership role in Mexican politics for 71 long years during the years 1929 to 2000. The second political party is The National Action Party also known as PAN. This political party was created in 1939 by politicians of government who wished for a substitute to the oldest political party known as PRI. This political party has won with president Felippe Calderon and Vicente Fox from the years 2000 to 2006. The third political party is The Party of the Democratic Revolution also known as PRD. The PRD is the youngest of the three biggest political parties as it was created in 1988. Members of this political party demanded democratic elections that were fair and more social programs for its citizens. During the 2006 and 2012 presidential elections Lopez Obrador a controversial polititian was close to a victory in the year 2006 but lost to both the PAN and PRI parties in both elections.

government has experienced a slow movement to a more democratic form of government which allows the people of this country to feel strong in that their elected officials are representing them in the best ways possible. Overall the federal government has failed to regulate monopolies, provide successful social programs for those who live in poverty, and assure accountability for those who are found in act of corruption. The high levels of corruption can be seen in one the countries most controversial and saddening cases the unresolved disappearance of 43 students in Ayotzinapa. The case remains unresolved and leads and suspicions that involvement of The Mexican municipal, state, and federal police in the case due to the profit of drugs broke the country.

The history of the United Kingdom is a crucial contribution to the political system that exist today. In 1606, William the Conqueror defeated King Harold and successfully conquered what is known today as England. This achievement began a massive move for expansion of Normans. They continued this expansion by conquering Ireland, Wales, and eventually Scotland. Although Ireland was conquered there was a great division withing the people. Those who lived in southern Ireland mostly consisting of catholics did not accept to be ruled by the English. In 1916, they fought and rebelled against England and eventually gained its independence. The northern part of Ireland however consisting of mostly protestants believe they would benefit from the English power and agreed to join the union of Great Britain. Thus, the British have never experienced a revolution in order to achieve independence nor separation of power due to lack of invasion or occupation by other countries or powers. This is a huge contribution as to why Britain does not have a formal written constitution.

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Unlike other large countries constitutionally the head of state is a monarch who is a member of the royal family. Currently Queen Elizabeth II rules North Ireland and Great Britain. Although the role of Kings and Queens continue to exist these roles can be viewed as a culture infused practice that continue as a way to hold on to the history and identity of the historically rich culture of England. The Queen or King has few formal powers in government and stays above politics for the most part. There also isn’t a president in this system of government, however there is a Prime Minister. The Prime Minister can be viewed as the equivalency of other countries president’s with strong roles in government. The Prime Minister appoints all other

ministers and they report to him. The United Kingdom has what is known as a Parliament which can be viewed as a legislature. Like other large countries the U.K. Parliament consist of two separate houses known as the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The House of Commons has approximately 650 members however this number changes from time to time as the number of members reflects the current population. Each member of the House of Commons is held to represent a geographical constituency. Members of this house have a chaired speaker however unlike in the United States, the speaker of this house does not stand for a particular political party and should remain neutral. Members of this house don’t actually vote instead members cast their vote with “aye” or “nay” to state their approval or disapproval. They do this by walking through one of two lobbies which cast their vote, the votes are then counted by tellers who then report to the speaker of the house. The second house is The House of Lords which is unique and unlike any other house of other governments around the world. The House of Lords consist of around 800 members who are in charge of revising the legislation and look over government activities, thus this house has less authority. Historically most of the members that make up the House of Lords are members whose family have passed down the position and who were originally nominated by a king or queen.

In the political system of the United Kingdom there are four political parties that exist. The first political party is The Conservative Party which is the most conservative group that tends to fight for a more patriotic government. The second party is The Labour Party which is the centre-left party and which was last in office from 1997 to 2010. The third party is The Scottish National Party which heavily supports an independence for Scotland. The fourth political party is The Liberal Democratic Party that consist of member who believe in a more liberal government.

In the recent years however, the U.K. has seen an increase of a fifth political party known as the Independence Party. It was formed in 1993 and has had its up’s and down’s in popularity with winning 12.6% of vote in a May 2015 election. The independent goals for the country of each of these political parties differ in areas of taxation, finding balance between collective rights and right for individuals. There are however many areas in which these political parties agree with and many of their ideas overlap, this has caused for large political parties to dissolve and slowly grow into separate political parties. Finally, since the United Kingdom covers an entity that consist of England, Northern Ireland, Wales, and Scotland it would make sense that they have a unique system of government. In order to represent the citizens of all three of these countries three institutions have been developed. The Scottish Parliament was created in May 1999. The Welsh Assembly was also create around the same year of the Scottish Parliament. Lastly, The Northern Ireland Assembly is the newest of these institutions which was created in 2007.

Like many other countries around the world education is an important and crucial factor that not only helps the future generations develop and change the future of their country, but it should be attainable for all including the rich and poor. In the previous years the education system in Mexico has experienced a large growth of enrolled students. From 1950 to 2000 the total number of students who have enrolled in basic and higher education has increased from 3.25 to 28.22 million. The large amount of growth of students has enacted a large pressure on the Mexican education system. A large increase in the amount of students enrolled to both private and public institutions has created a financial strain on the Mexican government. This financial strain has in hand caused a diminishing quality of education in public school. Although there has been an increase in enrolled students the quality of Mexican education has been and continues to

be extremely low compared to other countries. Mexico ranked last in education among the 35 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries (OECD) amongst Greece, Germany, and Chile to name a few. According to a Gallup poll only 56% of Mexicans believe that everyone who lives in Mexico has access to proper education. There are various reasons as to why Mexicans face the challenge of not being able to receive a quality education. First, poverty is not only a country wide dilemma but it’s a one of the biggest contributions to Mexican children having access to a basic and fair chance to education. Approximately 18% of Mexicans live in extreme poverty which causes school dropouts, absences, and grade repetition. Poverty effects children actually being able to attend school because although private education is free for grades K-12 there are other mandatory factors that can determine a child from attending. Most if not all public institutions require school uniforms, students to provide their own lunch, and school supplies such as backpacks, books, and journals are not provided. This creates a restraint because uniforms, lunches, and school supplies are unattainable for poor families. The issue of indigeneity is the second factor that contributes to receiving a quality education. Indigenous communities are disproportionately more poor than non-indigenous communities which in hand effects their access to a simple education. The education systems in Mexico are not designed around indigenous cultures thus there are few teachers who speak indigenous languages which makes it difficult for indigenous children to experience and learn at the pace of their fellow students. There is also a high level of discrimination towards indigenous people which leads to a low performance from indigenous children in grade school. Gender inequality within the Mexican culture contributes to the increase of Mexican girls being more likely to drop our than boys by the age of 12. Finally, the federal government has done a poor job in creating a suitable and balanced budget towards education. In the last 3 years, the Mexican government has reduced the budged for education by 11%, the textbook budged reduced by one-third, and training programs for educators reduced by nearly 40%. The level of poverty within the country and the excessive budged cuts toward education are all vital contributions to barriers that Mexicans face in attempting to receive a public and basic education.

The United Kingdom ranks #6 in Pearson’s latest Learning Curve study, while the United States ranks #17. In certain areas of the U.K. there is no public transportation and mostly students rely on there parents to arrive and leave school daily. In 2018 the Times Higher Education World Rankings stated that the United Kingdom’s holds the honor of having 3 of the worlds top 10 universities in the world. Overall the systematic organization of education funds has lead the United Kingdom to spends approximately $85,000 per student. The amount that the U.K. spends on education per student shows that only seven other countries spend more per student than the U.K. across the OECD countries. High school students however rank fairly average in areas such as reading and mathematics however they do rank slightly above average in areas of science. Although the U.K. spends a fairly larger amount per student than the United States, the education system also has its fair share of dilemmas. Teachers are seen responding to the issues of the education by making parents aware through letters sent home with the students that share the details of the dilemma. The letters indicate that there isn’t enough money in the system to allow each and every student to perform effectively.

This creates problems of expenses for parents in early stages of the kids education which is an economic issue because most parents plan to invest in their child’s university education not in primary education. Its crucial that parents pick up the slack and begin to invest in the their child’s education earlier in order for them to properly perform in academics. Other outstanding issues of the education system in the U.K. include the areas of study in which teachers are choosing to focus less on. With a dysfunctional dispersement of educational funds teachers prioritize what subjects their curriculum will focus on. Subjects such as sex education have received less attention in public school to some schools not offering any sex education at all. The lack of sex education is believed to have created an increase in amount of sexual offenses committed by individuals below the age of 18 by 71% between the years 2013 and 2017. In the United States the focus of determining a students understanding of the material taught per course based on final exam grades has moved to performance throughout the course. In the United Kingdom however the evaluation of students performance lies heavily on final exams. The high amount of workload has created a large issue of mental stress that children experience due to the high levels of stress.

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The Education and Political Systems of Mexico and the United Kingdom. (2022, September 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 1, 2023, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-education-and-political-systems-of-mexico-and-the-united-kingdom/
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The Education and Political Systems of Mexico and the United Kingdom. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-education-and-political-systems-of-mexico-and-the-united-kingdom/> [Accessed 1 Feb. 2023].
The Education and Political Systems of Mexico and the United Kingdom [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Sept 15 [cited 2023 Feb 1]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-education-and-political-systems-of-mexico-and-the-united-kingdom/
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