Complete revision notes on the UK parliament

Unit 2 of AQA GOVP2

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Revision notes- parliament
A legislature is the body that makes laws, this is parliament in the UK and is split into 3; The house of
lords, the house of commons and the monarchy. The queens powers are ability symbolic such as
giving bill royal assent and appointing the government. Parliaments 3 main roles are to represent,
pass bills to become laws and to provide scrutiny of the government y giving them somewhere to be
accountable to (select committees and procedures like PMQs are how this is achieved). Two other
roles are to Legitimise government as they are not elected directly and so they can vote to remove
governments. It also provides the recruiting pool for the core executive. All of these roles have at
some point been criticised .
Evaluation of bi cameral systems
Advantages Disadvantages
Provides check on the first chamber Takes longer
A check on the executive Costs a lot more
Allows scrutiny of bills Doesn't represent the electorate in the
Allows for delay of bills and more case of the HOL
debate Encourages conflict between the two
Broadens the basis of representation chambers
The house of lords is made up of different types of lords;
Life peers- Sit in the house of lords for their whole life and were created by the life peers act
in 1958. They are appointed by the PM or HOL appointments commission. They account for
605 of the peers
Hereditary peers- ones who have their titles passed down to them. There are now only 91
after the HOL reform act 1999
Lords spiritual- The COE bishops appointed by the PM, there are 26 of them
What do the lords do?
They can consider and revise bills from the HOC by rejecting, amending or simply passing
legislation from the commons (HOC eventually get their way)
Cab initiate non controversial legislation
Can invoke the power of delay- can hold up legislation for a year for further debate.
established in the parliament act 1949 but they cannot do this to money bills or bills from the
party manifesto.
Can hold general debates
Scrutinize EU legislation through the large (70 member) select committee

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It has been said that the house of lords is unrepresentative due to all hereditary peers having similar
backgrounds and having similar ages yet the life peerages act has diversified the chamber.…read more

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Legitimisation- Stand for people, the respect of MPs has been undermined by scandals
Political recruitment- Future executive members are taken from parliament however many of
these are ones who have been good by not spoken their true opinion to please the whips
and also might not have the right expertise if they are career politicians
Representation- Voted for by the electorate- Socially unrepresentative and FPTP
undermines the effectiveness
The two chambers have unequal powers, the Salisbury convention states that they should not
oppose government bills…read more

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IMF on monetary issues
The activities of pressure groups
The media
The electorate which has the ultimate sovereignty
Devolved powers
Parliamentary government is the system we have in this country where the executive govern in and
through the legislature. Over time they have become more merged so the legislature now maintains
government power through large majorities rather than challenges it.…read more

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opposition are the main HOC opposition and key members get official government salaries)
The departmental select committees made up of between 11 and 16 members with expertise on
the topic is where the most effective scrutiny takes place. They have the power to call people from
outside and look at papers and records from departments.…read more


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