Although we are currently in a coalition the government still has a majority through the combination of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. This therefore often renders opposition as a form of scrutiny meaningless and also means that it is difficult for the executive to be held to account. Party loyalty is also very strong. The power of prime ministerial patronage renders many MPs excessively docile and loyal, hence the term ‘lobby fodder’. With the rise in the professional politician many prefer to remain loyal in order to gain power and move up in the hierarchy as opposed to become a rebel who remains in the back benchers.
Analyse the view that the Labour and Conservative parties are dominated by their respective leaders. In recent years there has been much debate as to whether party leaders have too much power over their parties. Many do believe that the two main party leaders in the UK do not dominate their parties as the structure of their party does not allow them to do so, but many more believe that party leaders have great authority over their parties and are fully committed to driving their parties policy with little delegation or use of their cabinet ministers. Historically the Conservative Party leader has been more powerful than the Labour Party leader. People believe this is down to the party’s history; the Labour Party originated from the trade union movement at the turn of the 20th century and originally had a chairman of the Labour MPs in the House of Commons, but no leader.
Should the Westminster electoral system be reformed? The Westminster electoral system has been a target for reform for a long time. Despite the loss in the 2011 referendum, reform is still wanted by a number of people especially the Liberal Democrats who will benefit the most. First Past the Post is the system that Westminster uses for election to the Houses of Commons it is a simple majority or plurality system that requires a candidate to get more votes than anyone else. One argument that the Westminster electoral system should be reformed is that First Past the Post doesn't give the social representation that other system gives, for example in the Parliament elected in 2010, women, 51% of the population, are represented by 22% of Parliament therefore an under representation, however, university educated are overrepresented, 91% of the Houses of Commons represent 31% of the population but having PR doesn't guarantee that the social composition of Parliament only making the percentage of votes more proportional towards the seats.
The committee was extremely sneaky in changing the rules and looking for loopholes that other members typically would not look for. This action was overreaching the committee’s boundaries and goes against the typical procedures it would carry out. Furthering the fact that the committee is abusing its power and is focusing its energy on things it should not. This is a glittering example as to why there needs to be changes made in the power of the House Rules Committee. There are many other bills in the house that need to be given a rule and the committee continues to focus its endeavors to favor the party that already has most of the power in the house.
It succeeds in this as if a party is not representing the people in the way they said or are not fulfilling their promises then the people can choose another party who they think can represent them in a better way than the previous party. Elections also hold individual MPs to account as well based on their record, and example of this is the 2009 expenses scandal in which many MPs stepped down rather than face the verdict of the voters and so elections fulfil their purpose as they succeed at holding parties and MPs to account. However elections don’t fulfil their purpose as they are failing in the area of participation from the public as the level of turnout over recent times has gradually fallen as in the 2001 general election the turnout was 59.4%, is the lowest it has been since 1918. In the 2005 general election the turnout was 61.4% and in the 2010 general election the turnout
As PM Cameron, in this case, can dismiss and appoint any cabinet members without the constraints of parliament. The only people he consults are his current senior ministers who tend to side with any decision the PM makes. An example of his appointments and dismissals in his cabinet is where Cameron reshuffled his cabinet earlier in the year. He appointed several females to important roles and even demoted Michael Gove to a ‘Whip’. One of the women he appointed was Nicky Morgan, who replaced Gove as Education Secretary.
This is especially true since the role of parties as policy-making machines has gradually declined. As party leader the prime minister is also leader of his party in Parliament, so Parliament is also a source of his power. Finally, we can also say today that the prime minister enjoys the people’s mandate from the previous general election. The electorate, after all, vote for a leader as well as a party. All this means that a modern prime minister has great powers.
Despite of this, Labour decided not to move ahead with the reforms. This shows that first past the post benefits the government in power because the party has majority of the votes in parliament in which makes it difficult for the other party to be heard if they want changes. Furthermore, tactical voting on first past the post encourages voters to vote for a candidate who has a better chance of winning. It prevents the election of a candidate representing the most disliked party. Example for this is in 1997 many Lib Dem and Labour voter tactically voted to get sitting Conservative
Advisers have always received less accountability than MP’s as advisers do not represent constituencies which provide scrutiny, advisers on the other hand funnel accountability onto the Prime Minister such as Tony Blair. With this done, there is increased media attention on the Prime Minister. With increased attention on Prime Ministers, presidential factors such as style of leadership and charm come into play which are not requirements for Prime Ministers. These spin doctors have also been placed as advisers such as Steve Hilton who was known for working for David Cameron as a think tank. By replacing experienced civil servants with appointed advisers David Cameron created a customised department which suits him.
Sovereignty is in essence ultimate and unchallengeable power, the location of sovereignty in the UK in recent years has changed from one single power and devolved into many unions, treaties and nations within the UK and EU. Parliament is the only body that can make law in the UK. No other authority can overrule or change the laws which the parliament has made. This, then gives the statute law more power and priority over the other sources of the constitutions. This then allows the parliament to change or repeal any law it wants and is also not bounded by the laws made by the previous parliaments.