In Britain Parliament Is Dominated by the Political Power of Government

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In Britain Parliament is dominated by the political power of government… In no sense in the UK does parliament CONTROL the executive, since we normally have single party government in the House of Commons, which with the use of the party whipping system can normally ensure the passage of government legislation, simply because the government has a majority of seats. The House of Lords by convention normally does not reject government bills that were announced in their election manifesto; in any event its delaying powers are restricted to one year, after which time bills automatically become law, regardless of Lords objections. For a government to remain in power, it must continue to command the confidence of the Commons. A government with a majority of seats will always do this since even if all the other parties vote together they cannot amass as many votes as the government. A government with a minority of seats in the Commons might however lose a vote of No Confidence and would then have to resign - this last happened to the minority Labour government of Callaghan in 1979. Parliament does, however, have important SCRUTINY functions. In other words, the executive (the prime minister and all other ministers) have to explain and justify their policies and actions to parliament. Ministers (by rotation) answer questions by backbenchers during the daily Question Time (both orally and in writing), while the prime minister answers questions every Wednesday. The oral questions are sometimes dominated by loyal backbench government supporters, and it is often suggested that the media provide a more effective form of scrutiny than does parliament. MPs have remarkably limited access to resources, partly because of the largely secretive nature of UK government. They can sometimes contribute to the pressure that might ultimately lead to the resignation of an incompetent
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