main factors that limit the effectiveness of parliament

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  • 1) the main factors that limit the effectivness of paliament
    • the electoral system
      • First past the post almost always guarantees a majority in the commons
      • this majority tends to be rather large EG: Blair, Thatcher
      • exaggerates even a modest lead in actual votes EG: Labour in 2005 got 3% + votes but 60 more seats
    • Party Unity
      • the party in power is usually quite well held together
        • most evident in 1950's and 60's
      • Party whips make sure MP's vote correctly
      • a unified majority government can usually pass whatever it likes
    • Primeministerial patronage
      • there is only one career path in politcs, towards PM or minister
      • all ministers are selected by the MP thus loyalty is rewarded
      • over 100 members of paliament in both houses are ministers so guaranteed loyalty
    • Sanctions of the whip
      • A whip can exclude or suspend party membership due to lack of loyalty
      • MP's are almost useless without the party (independents have no power neither do small parties
        • EG: George Galloway + Unite
      • Independents will do poorer in elections than if associated with a party
    • PM can call an election
      • John Major brought rebels into line by threatening to call an election
      • this could have lost MP's their jobs
    • Lack of Lords power
      • the power of the Lords has been decreased
      • the Lords cannot stop government bills
      • lack of authority, not elected some not even appointed
      • all though lords is stronger now it will never have the power to stop gov. without major reform


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