AS AQA GOVP2 Governing Modern Britain Revision Notes

Simplified revision notes on AQA's AS Governing Modern Britain (GOVP2) 

*EXCLUDING: Constitution and Judicary 

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2.3 Parliament, Roles and Legislation
Structure of Parliament
- House of Commons ­ 650 elected representatives
- House of Lords ­ Hereditary peers
Role of House of Commons
- Create legislation
- Represent general public
- Scrutinise Core Executive and House of Lords
How is legislation passed?
- Initial consultation ­ gather opinions and ideas
- Green paper ­ first draft
- White paper ­ released into Parliament
- First reading
- Second reading ­ post amendment, MP's vote
- Committee stage ­ MP's consult special groups
- Report committee writes a long papers
- Third reading ­ read out in parliament and passed
- Lords ­ discuss and can delay
What types of bills are passed
- public ­ affect whole country/proposed by Cabinet/
- private ­ only affect minority
What are committees?
- set up to scrutinise legislation
What types of committees are there?
- Commons select committees ­ each Gov department, scrutinise policy/administration/finanace
- Commons standing/public committees ­ approach for every parliamentary session
What role do MPs have in the Houses of Commons?
- debate
- argue for their department
- bring up political issues
What is the opposition?
- The opposition is the leader of the rival party (Ed Miliband)
Purpose of the Opposition?
Create a Shadow Cabinet which examines the work of Gov departments
Role of the House of Lords
- make laws
- check and challenge the actions of the government, and
- provide a forum of independent expertise
How has the House of Lords changed?
- House of Lords Act 1999: Voted in 92 hereditary peers, ended their right to sit & vote
2.4 Parliament Reform

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Why should Parliament be reformed?
- Government tackle its business more quickly = efficiency
- Improved working environment and time for MPs
- Removed outdates practices
- Needs to be strengthened to provide a better check on Gov
Problem with House of Commons
Increase power
- More influential
- Hold Gov accountable
- Scrutinise the Executive
Decrease Power
- Vent arguments as oppose to scrutinise power
- Debating chamber
Problems with House of Lords
- Non elected
- Non representative of society
- Bias towards…read more

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Resources available to the PM
Prime Minister Office
- Handles engagements, relationship with Parliament & Gov departments
- Policy Unit: help of specific aspect of polcy
- Press Office: Handles media
- Strategic Communications Unit: spot pitfalls and coordinate announcements
Prime Minister approaches
Prime-Ministerial Presidential
Strength of Gov dependant on strength of Mouthpiece of party
Strong Gov departments Pass policies without informing Cabinet (Tony
Scrutinise PM Personal advisers (Tony Blair)
Not Head of State Small Cabinet
Not all strong enough (Gordon Brown)
2.…read more

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Cabinet Prime Minister
They are heads of departments Leader of cabinet meetings sets the
(knowledge of policy for those agenda
departments) Decides who is in the cabinet
Collegiate style of government under (patronage)
John Major Collective cabinet responsibility
Collective cabinet responsibility Reduced cabinet times under Blair
They are involved in the relevant "rubber stamps decisions made
bilaterals so even if decisions are made elsewhere"
elsewhere the relevant ministers are
Main tasks of Cabinet Office
- Support PM as leader
- Support the Cabinet
-…read more

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Powerful Minister vs Powerful Civil Service
Powerful Minister Powerful Civil Service
- Representative of electorate ­ give them a - Permanence, no fear of losing job
mandate to be in power
- PM backing & support - Experienced
- Responsible towards Parliament - MP's serve minimum 5yrs
- Policy making rose, advise/influence policy - Only serve for a year (if reshuffled)
- Cabinet secretary has an overarching role over
the whole civil service & supported by the PM
The Models
Model Meaning
Adversarial Model Social…read more


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