Due to the increasing presidential style of recent prime ministers and the party loyalty of the executive one can consider Parliament’s control of executive power minimal. However, due to the development of independent bodies surrounding Select Committees and the delaying of legislation by the House of Lords it can still be argued to be effective. The government usually has an overall majority. This is due to our voting system of FPTP which gives preference to the two main parties, normally giving them majorities (and increasingly large ones) as opposed to coalitions and minority governments which are produced through other voting systems such as AV in Scotland and Wales. Although we are currently in a coalition the government still has a majority through the combination of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.
It is difficult for a Backbench MP to influence government policy if a government has a large majority in Parliament. The power of individual backbench MPs is reduced making it harder to challenge the government. Also, the PM has powers of patronage which demand loyalty; few MPs want to cause a general election by defeating the government. Thus accepting their fate as lobby
Overtime, the role of the cabinet may have increasingly been seen to be less and this may have changed peoples’ perception on the system of government used in the UK. The fact that a Prime Minister can dominate parliamentary proceedings gives him/her great power, and this has been linked to the concept of an ‘elective dictatorship’. Prime Minister dominance has occurred in recent years, with the leadership styles of Thatcher and Blair being of particular significance. Blair as prime minister used bilateral meetings with ministers, to discuss important policy decisions. This led to dominance over the cabinet and Blair being seen more as a ‘President’ than a Prime Minister.
B) Explain the divisions that exist within the conservative party over ideas and policies. (10 marks) Due to changing policies in the face of different leaders division exist with the party over ideas and policies. The party may contain division in the way to move forward from their Thatcher past. Traditionalists hold a belief in an ordered society and a belief in a strong heavily involved government. The more liberal section of the party hold views in more environmental protection and those who seek to modernise the party, which was Cameron’s initiative, by promoting strong social justice.
A voter could switch from voting for the Conservatives to vote for the Labour Party at the next election because they decide according to single issues. In general the public today is not really aligned to parties anymore. I would say that party allegiance is something which is nearly vanished in Britain’s voting behavior. There are still groups which are strongly related to one or the other party but that is not as common as was in the 50s and 60s. The important things today are which party has at the moment the right promises for the single voter and which party is better in delivering policy goals.
Although, on the other hand the soveriegnty of parliament does widely interfere with the judicarys ability to protect civil liberties in britain. Acts of parliament are binding on everyone within the UK including the supreme court. The soveriegn status and power of Parliament puts it above the judicary. This means that if a ruling is passed and the government do not approve they are able to avoid the ruling. This was seen in 2005 when in response to the Belmarsh case the government passed the 2005 'Prevention of Terrorism Act'.
However with reference to the source it was Gordon Brown. There are many factors the prime minister takes into account when appointing cabinet ministers Firstly he takes into consideration if he/she is a close ally. For example in the cabinet today a close ally/friend of the PM(David Cameron) is George Osborne who is the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Similarly, Gordon Brown appointed Darling and Straw who was close ally’s to him. Furthermore, another factor the prime minister takes into account when appointing cabinet ministers is expertise.
n Great Britain laws are made in Parliament at Westminster. Its law-making status makes Parliament Great Britain's main legislative body - though the Welsh Assembly and the Scottish Parliament do have legislative capabilities. However, it is difficult to estimate what the impact of law making by the European Union will be in future years. To date, most EU laws that have been imposed on the UK (and other members off the EU) have concerned environmental issues. Some political parties in the UK, such as the UK Independence Party, fear that the EU will broaden its net with regards to areas where it will impose legislation.
Democracy may be defined as a political system in which people exercise power over the decisions which affect their lives. In the case of the UK, there is much evidence to support the claim that it is democratic, but there are features which undermine this claim and this essay will attempt to examine the evidence. One of the strongest arguments in support of the claim that the UK is a genuine democracy is that we have universal adult suffrage, which means that all UK citizens aged 18 or above have the right to vote for representatives to make decisions on their behalf. In addition, democracy is also strengthened by the fact that the electorate can choose representatives at local, regional, national and international (EU Parliament) levels. In addition, the elections are held at regular intervals, which ensures that the representatives are accountable to the electorate.
Proponents of the UK and US voting methods also often cite the lack of a credible alternative as a reason for the retention of the current systems. In the UK, national elections are held when the incumbent government chooses to call an election. This differs significantly from the USA where political office is held on a fixed term basis. When a general election is called each constituency holds an election to decide their Member of Parliament (MP) using the first past the post system. If a party gains a majority it will be offered the chance to form government by the Queen.