To What Extent Is the House of Commons Effective in Carrying Out Its Functions? Essay

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Anna Mitakos To what extent is the House Of Commons effective in carrying out its functions? The House of Commons holds legislative functions and is designed to hold the executive to account. On the one hand it can be argued that it is effective through the use of regular questioning of ministers, the introduction of select committees and also reforms. However it can be argued that MPs are not socially representative of the general population. A function that demonstrates that the House of Commons is effective is because ministers are regularly questioned and held accountable. An advantage of this is that it increases constituency representation and scrutinises legislation. For example during Prime Minister question time MPs can bring different examples forward from their own constituencies which can allow them to demonstrates problems with a Bill, thereby representing people within their constituencies more. At election times the government becomes directly accountable to the people; for example in 2007 the Labour government saw popular support fall from 41%. In the House of Commons, Bills introduced under the ten-minute rule are one of the ways in which backbench MPs (private Members) can introduce legislation. The ten minute rule allows a brief introductory speech of no more than ten minutes and one of the same length opposing the motion. Therefore this is another way in which the House of Commons is held to account. Another way in which the House of Commons are effective in carrying out its functions is due to Select Committees; this is because they hold the government to account. Select Committees in the House of Commons are the modern way of parliamentary scrutiny. The House of Commons is now a committee based legislature and detailed scrutiny of government conducted by parliament occurs inside committee rooms. Select Committees, which are usually made
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