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.
MP’s are given the opportunity to debate a Bill before a vote. However, from source to quote, “whips have a lot of influence and much seems to be unofficially decided ‘behind the Speaker’s Chair’”. Whips ensure party discipline and MP’s are expected to vote the way to which government wants them too, quote from source 2 “Backbench MP’s have few powers and most of Parliament’s time is controlled by the government.” This ensures that if a government has a majority of seats in the House of
The House Rules Committee is a very important body of the United States Congress and helps promote the efficiency of the legislature in its everyday workings. Some of the responsibilities of the House Rules Committee include: set the amount of time a bill will be considered in the House, and determine whether amendments can be offered and under what conditions. This allows the House Rules Committee to have a lot of power and some may feel that the power may be too much. The House Rules Committee is comprised of nine members of the majority party and four members of the minority party. I believe the House Rules Committee has too much power and exceedingly boosts the majority 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. The main sources of power that political parties have are through committees, debates, the voting system, the whipping system, and through scrutiny. Each of these plays a huge role in enabling political parties to exercise their power in parliament. The most evident source of power that political parties have in parliament is through the whipping system. Each party has a chief whip, a deputy chief whip and a number of junior whips.
To what extent does parliament control executive power? (40 marks) A parliament is a body that has several roles, including legitimising legislation, passing laws, scrutinising or amending legislation, calling government to account and representing voters. Emphasis is placed that the government branch in the UK (the government) normally dominates the parliament due to various reasons such as high majorities, MPs loyalty to the party manifesto, influence of PM on MPs, existence of party whips and the limitations of the House of Lords. However, some may argue that the government does not have it all its own way as parliament can control the government in a number of ways including, dismissing large majoritarian governments, sovereignty of the parliament, public accountability, barriers set by select committees and the House of Lords. Parliament may face difficulties in controlling executive power as the government usually has an overall majority.
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
Parliamentary sovereignty is the most important part of the UK constitution. People often refer to the UK having an 'unwritten constitution' but that's not strictly true, large parts of it are written down, much of it in the laws passed in Parliament - known as statute law. Therefore, the UK constitution is often described as 'partly written and wholly uncodified' (Uncodified means that the UK does not have a single, written constitution.). Over the years, Parliament has passed laws that limit parliamentary sovereignty. These laws reflect political developments both within and outside the UK.
Assemblies which are also known as parliaments or legislatures provide a key role in government. They act as national debating chambers and public forums in which government polices and major issues can be discussed and analysed. In most cases they are invested with formal law-making power giving them some capacity to shape and influence public policy. However, assemblies have been criticised by Heywood (2002, p. 311) as being no more than “talking shops” that do little more than rubber stamp decisions that have effectively been made elsewhere. This essay will firstly discuss how parliamentary and presidential systems differ, the different types of legislature and their main functions.
c) The cabinet is made up of the senior ministers in the Government in power; most of its members are heads of government departments such as Home office, Treasury, Foreign office. The cabinet members must be members of Parliament and most are drawn from the House of Commons and are appointed by the Prime Minister. The main functions of the cabinet are to discuss and decide on major issues, receiving reports on key developments and determining government business, register and ratify decisions made elsewhere in the cabinet and settling disputes between government departments. Even though the cabinet has these key roles it could be argued that the cabinet is now more of a formality and the actual powers belong to the Prime Minister suggesting that the cabinet is to a rather large extent no longer an important body. The importance of the cabinet could begin to be question right from the selection process as the Prime Minister also known as ‘primus inter pares’ which means first among equals, selects the ministers and could be dismissed at anytime as was seen in the cabinet reshuffle under Tony Blair in 2006 which saw Charles Clarke dismissed, therefore suggesting that the cabinet ministers would show some form of loyalty to the Prime minister and could be likely to support the Prime minister in order to keep their job and could have no major impact on any policy or action.
Legislative Branch We have talked about how the powers of our government are fragmented between the 3 branches. Within the legislative branch, there is further fragmentation. We have a bicameral legislature. Look at the Constitution in the back of the book, what is your 1st impression, Article 1 is much larger than 2 and 3. Therefore, the legislative branch is the most important, this is the coup de grace of representative government.