Parliament can make laws on any matter due to Dicey in ‘Law of the Constitution (1885).’ He said that ‘in theory Parliament has total power. It is sovereign'. He states a number of reasons as to how this is possible. Firstly Dicey points out that Parliament can pass laws on any subject without legal restriction therefore it is sovereign. This principle is a result of the election of the Members of Parliament (MPs), by the electorate which gives them authority to represent and pass legislation on their behalf.
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.
However, the Lords have always had a strong hold on the Commons, overriding them more times than the government’s own backbenchers. The greatest number of Lords defeats suffered by any government was 126 inflicted on Labour during the 1975-76 government. The changes in the Lords also meant that there is no party majority in the Lords and many of the members are apolitical, not taking a party stance. This makes the Lords more representative than the commons some suggest, as the Lords do not toe a party line as forcefully as the Commons. The Lords has also become more legitimate since the reforms because it’s influence has increased, the Lords are now looked to by the Commons to see what they think of what the government is doing more and more.
c) Make out a case in favour of retaining the F.P.T.P electoral system for the House of Commons? (25) F.P.T.P is an electoral system used at Westminster, a ‘plurality of votes’ need to be acquired to be elected and this has to be one more than their nearest opponent. You have one vote for one MP of a single member constituency. The system on the whole is pretty broad and representative and consists of a group of people chosen to act and speak on behalf of a wider group. This system works because it produces strong, stable, decisive governments, this means that they can carry out their manifestos and have clear mandates, this means that voters have a clear understanding of the leading parties policies.
The Party system in the UK has existed in some form since the 18th century. Political parties are an extremely powerful force in the legislative process, and government in general. Without an efficient party structure, a government would find it incredibly hard to carry out their work and to pass bills through parliament. Around 100 government MPs have some kind of ministerial role whilst being aligned to a political party. The government need to be able to rely on the MPs support for bills in parliament and regardless of the majority, there could more than 200 backbench MPs that need to be organised by a political party.
This shows the House Rules Committee can have a monumental effect on the entire nation. Just thirteen people can affect the daily lives of million of Americans, and it was not difficult to do. According to the article on talking points memo, the House Rules Committee added language to a House rule that any motion may be offered only by the majority leader or his designee. In result, this would prevent the Democrats from getting the spending bill on the floor. The committee was extremely sneaky in changing the rules and looking for loopholes that other members typically would not look for.
This led to the passing of key legislation such as The prevention of terrorism act 2005 and the Criminal justice act 2003 both of which made a great impact on the electorate. Another constitutional reform which was less impacting was the freedom of information act n 2000. This was originally set up so that the electorate would have the right to any information held by large Public bodies or organisations. However this failed to be of little impact. Citizens can now access the information held on them by some 100,000 organisations.
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.
At a glance it is obvious that a major part of UK democracy is parliamentary democracy as this is our chosen form of government, having the houses of parliament which consist of the house of commons and the house of lords. In the UK we have the government which is drawn from parliament as well as the monarchy who are now concerned primarily with ceremonial roles within governing the country. However it is key to note that although the monarchy does have a part in the governing of the UK it is not elected and so this damages the argument of the UK being fully democratic. However the majority of parliament is elected at least. In the UK parliament all members of the house of commons are elected in free and fair elections by their local
Most of the UK’s legislation originates from the government. It is presented to parliament in the form of a draft Bill. The Bill must pass through a number of stages. Amendments can be made to a Bill or it can be rejected by the Commons. MP’s are given the opportunity to debate a Bill before a vote.