How effectively does parliament check the power of the executive?

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  • How effective is parliament in checking executive power?
    • The reasons why Parliament is considered so weak
      • The power of the PMs patronage renders many MPs excessively docile and loyal. Hence the term 'lobby fodder'.
      • Defying the party leadership might be seen as a betrayal of the mandate
      • the whips have great influence. The analysis is that they can be both persuasive and threatening
      • Collective responsibility inhabits parliaments ability to call government effectively to account
      • The house of Lords are weak because they lack democratic legitimacy
    • The reasons why Parliament remains effective
      • Select Committees are able to act independently and scrutinise departments effectivly
      • Parliament does ultimately have a veto on legislation
      • The House of Lords has been effective in delaying legislation
      • Ultimately Parliament can dismiss a Goverment
      • Government majority or no majority the effectiveness of parliament may be increassed
    • Conclusion
      • In a parliamentary system, the government will wield great power and the executive does have more power than in other systems. The British Prime Minister is more powerful domestically than a US president.
        • The control over the legislative process means that public bill committees are unlikely to support opposition amendments and the power of Departmental Select Committees renders them as watchdogs without teeth. Governments can reject their findings.
          • That power is however subject to a very real constraint at election time when the people exercise the ultimate power which does then ensure that the executive does not have too much power


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