Pages in this set

Page 1

Preview of page 1
HOUSE OF COMMONS - Composition, Powers and Role
Composition of the H of C
· The House of Commons is the democratically elected chamber in our Parliamentary system where
important matters are debated and decisions reached. Together with the House of Lords and the
Monarch it forms Parliament.
· The…

Page 2

Preview of page 2
· Bills which are considered in the Commons include Government Bills and Private Members' Bills.
Both of which are Public Bills, i.e. they are designed to affect the public as a whole.
· Government Bills are sponsored by the Government
· Private Members' Bills are promoted by individual back-bench MPs.…

Page 3

Preview of page 3
· Archbishops = 2

Party strength May 2010
· Conservative = 186
· Labour = 211
· Crossbenchers (no party support) = 186
· Liberal Democrat = 72
· Bishops (no party) = 26
· Total = 681
· Labour still dominate the Lords despite the Conservative/ Liberal Democrat coalition…

Page 4

Preview of page 4
financial measures, as determined by the Speaker of the House of Commons). They also cannot
defeat measures outlined in the government's manifesto, under the Salisbury convention.
· Although the House of Lords can only delay a bill for one year of parliament, it forces the
government to think again about…

Page 5

Preview of page 5
· The government must be members of Parliament (eg either the H of C or the H of L)
· Due to this, there is no separation of powers between the legislature (law making body) and the
executive (body responsible for implementing laws and policies made by Parliament). The powers…

Page 6

Preview of page 6
Fusion of powers Separation of powers

Govt formed through parliamentary elections Govt separately elected

Overlap of personnel (members of Parliament) Separation of personnel

Govt removable by legislature Govt not removable by legislature

Flexible term elections Fixed term elections

Cabinet government Presidentialism

Head of govt separate from head of state President…

Page 7

Preview of page 7
· In reality though, the House of Commons holds legal sovereignty because the House
of Lords can only delay bills, not make new laws.

Parliamentary sovereignty is based on four conditions:
· The lack of `higher' law, found in a codified constitution
· Statute law (Acts of Parliament) being supreme…

Page 8

Preview of page 8
Functions of Parliament
· Representation of constituents by ensuring that the grievances of citizens are
expressed to government and forcing government ministers and officials to listen to
· Legitimation by granting authority and approval to government to allow it to
govern legitimately.
· Legislative role by improving, revising, amending…

Page 9

Preview of page 9
How could representation be improved in Parliament?
· Elected H of L would make Parliament more responsive of various groups needs and
give the H of L a representative role.
· Reform the electoral system. Lib Dems argue that STV would allow the electorate to
choose their candidate from a…

Page 10

Preview of page 10
· Legislation is therefore passed through by Parliament rather than actually made by
· The H of L is merely a `revising chamber' and spends most of its time making H of C
bills better instead of actually scrutinising them.

Legislative: Private members bills
· Backbench MP's from the…


No comments have yet been made

Similar Government & Politics resources:

See all Government & Politics resources »