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· Influence of back benchers
· Effectiveness of Parliament: roles, whips...
· Executive dominance?
· Scrutiny/representation
· Expenses scandals
· Roles of parties in Parliament

Parliamentary and Presidential government
Parliamentary Presidential
· There is a clear separation of powers
· The executive and legislative branches
between the executive and…

Page 2

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Executive dominance
· There has been a perception of a growth in executive dominance in the UK.
· The effect of this may be a greater marginalisation of Parliament.
· Party dominates the House, and this stranglehold has been worsen as more and more power
has been concentrated in Downing…

Page 3

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· The Parliament Act 1949.
Reduced the veto power to 1 year.
The Lords can propose amendments to bills passed by the Commons (except money bills). If the
Commons refuses the accept the wishes of the Lords, the upper house is faced with the choice of
backing down or blocking…

Page 4

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Similarities and differences between the two houses
· The Commons and the Lords have a similar procedure, spend time passing legislation, the
shape is similar.
· However, the Lords have cross-benchers that are independent from parties and stop a
government from having a majority, even members of parties are more…

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Committees and bills:
· A group of 15-50 MPs and peers
· Considers each bill on a line-by-line basis
· Amendments are made to prospective legislation through vote by
Standing committees majority
(public bill committees) · Once the bill is passed, the committee is disbanded
· Relevant MPs/peers sit on…

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Captures the essence of adversarial politics
Can be seen as political point scoring
Hold the ministers/PM to account - allow questions to be directly presented to the
ministers/PM in which s/he has to answer
Has brought light to some scandals and large issues in the past that have
attracted huge…

Page 7

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individuals with managerial, leadership and organizational skulls, rather just
communications skills. 20% of MPs in 2010 have worked in politics before entering
parliament (as researchers or advisors).
Conformity - reliable MPs have a better chance of rising through the ranks than
trouble maker, who may be offered junior posts to…


Old Sir


A concise, yet comprehensive overview of the workings of parliament, students looking for a starting-point which (briefly) refers to examples which illustrate points of controversy will find this useful. I would also suggest that students read more about the growing profile of some select committees, whose chairs are now elected with very little whips' offices interference.

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