Discuss the View That the House of Commons Is an Ineffective Check on the Government Essay

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PMQs is held for half an hour every Wednesday and has a high level of media coverage, which puts a lot of pressure on the Prime Minister or whoever is answering the question. It is a perfect opportunity for backbench MPs to challenge the government on an important and topical issue and they often speak on behalf of the nation. Questions to ministers can also be written, but PMQs is particularly good because it puts the Prime Minister on the spot and makes them answer questions on policies and current issues. However PMQs does a weak side, as the Prime Minister is often asked pointless questions from his own side and he is usually expecting these questions so has an answer planned, which makes him look very good. The Prime Minister also tends to avoid answering topical questions directly by quoting complicated statistics to confuse the MPs. The biggest disadvantage of PMQs would have to be the theatrical, over excited atmosphere. It often appears that it is not taken seriously enough and the rowdy ambiance gives it more of a pantomime feeling than political. Debates are another key way of holding the government to account and can be said to make the House of Commons a very effective parliamentary chamber. There are a number of different types of debate, Emergency debates, are seen as the most useful and important ones. These are held in response to a particular crisis, for example the debate held on possibly military action against Iraq in September 2002, and a more recent example would be the 2010 rioting debates held in August and the 2014 ISIS debates. Another type is called half-hour adjournment debates. These are debates held at the end of each day which allow individual MPs to raise matters of concern. There are also 20 "Opposition Days" per year, which is an opportunity for the main opposition parties to select the topic for debate. These can often have

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