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.
This argument shows that the leader of the Labour Party may have restrictions on his or her powers when in opposition as they are made to work with a shadow cabinet hence delegating power. Also it isn’t just the shadow cabinet ministers who have a say, but also the party leader must attend back-bench meetings which allows less prominent members of the parliamentary party to voice their opinions which may influence the party’s next manifesto. Yes the Labour Party leader may delegate some power whilst in opposition, however when in government, it may be an entirely
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.
They include the power of commander-in-chief of the armed forces and chief foreign policy maker, and the power to appoint or dismiss government ministers. These powers are especially important because they are not under the control of Parliament. A second source of prime-ministerial power is his position as leader of the governing party. This effectively means that he is chief policy-maker. This is especially true since the role of parties as policy-making machines has gradually declined.
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.
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.
They’ll have less time in office to develop money ties to lobbyists and other special interest groups, thereby weakening the threat of lobbyists being able to influence legislation. The current system in Congress tends to lead to a system of seniority, meaning those who have spent the most time in office have the most power (in committees, procedures, etc. ); so, politicians focus on staying in office. Districts & states don't receive equal power in Congress, and fresh new elected officials have limited ability to make changes. If Congress has term limits in place, their power will also be limited.
It has discussed the different types and styles of assemblies and the chief functions such as to enact legislation, act as a representative body and oversee and scrutinise the executive. It has shown how the role of parliaments is changing and the reality is that legislatures do not initiate many policies, more usually they influence or are executive-dominated. The emergence of disciplined political parties, the growth in the role of government and the increasing strength of interest groups and the mass media has changed the way parliaments and assemblies carry out their roles. However, parliaments possess a unique authority to force politicians and civil servants to account for their actions before a body which still represents the nation and remains an essential element in the architecture of democracy. Bibliography Axford, B., Browning, G.K., Huggings, R., Rosamond, B., (2002), Politics an introduction, 2nd ed.
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.
However, there are also informal powers which make Prime Minister much more important than their ‘constitutional’ role suggests. The Prime Minister has three important relationships: the cabinet, individual ministers and government departments, the Prime Minister’s party and, through it with Parliament and the people often through the mass media. These relationships explain how Prime Minsters can influence the government but also explains why the influence is provisional and subject to constraints. The Prime Minister does dominate the political system in the U.K as they chair the Cabinet where they can organise and make appointments to Cabinet committees. The Prime Minister can determine the number of cabinet meetings.