The Houses of Parliament are the combination of the House of Commons and House of Lords and is the equivalent of our Congress.
Parliament as we know it began in 1327. It is a mixture of Lords, Commons and the Monarch. Our own democratic system is based on the Houses of Parliament.
The House of Commons is comprised of the Members of Parliament (MPs) which are voted in by the people. Check out my blog about voting over here to get an idea how this comes about.
The House of Lords works alongside the House of Commons. Only people who have been given the title Lord can belong to this group but not all Lords are part of the House of Lords. A title used to be passed on to the offspring when the Lord passed away, but that is no longer the practice. They make up laws, check up on the work of the Government and belong to Special Committees. To find out how to become a Lord, go here.
Their functions are the same as our Congress. I like listening to some of the debates that they play on the radio as I am not sure that our Congress behaves in the same way. There are some portions that are not played and they have what they call Parliament privileges where as what they say is not allowed to be released or get in trouble should it be something that might be upsetting.
To read more about the Houses of Parliament, go here.
If you would like to tour the Houses of Parliament, listen to a debate or climb Big Ben, go here for more information.