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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…

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· 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.…

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· 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…

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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…

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· 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…

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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…

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· 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…

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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
them.
· Legitimation by granting authority and approval to government to allow it to
govern legitimately.
· Legislative role by improving, revising, amending…

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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…

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· Legislation is therefore passed through by Parliament rather than actually made by
Parliament.
· 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…

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