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  • Created by: Amy Ryan
  • Created on: 10-12-11 12:14

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Parliamentary and presidential government
Parliamentary government
Parliament is the main source of political
authority in the UK
Government must be drawn from
Powers of govt and legislature are `fused'
Govt must be accountable to parliament
Presidential government
Legislature and executive have separate
sources of power, they are elected
President is not part of legislature
Executive is accountable to people
Clear separation of powers
Codified constitutional agreement to
Plenary sessions Standing committees
These are where the house meets in full usually Each new piece of legislation is looked at by a
during prime ministers question or when a great group of 15 50 MP's and peers in order to make
topic of the day arises such as the hunting with any amendments needed. A relevant minister and
dogs, anti terrorism act 2001 and the war in Iraq specialist spokesperson for each other party sits
2003. on the committee. For an amendment to be made
the committee has to vote by majority. However
Party members have to vote on government party loyalty still applies and members are
legislation but this does not mean that they have expected to "toe the party line"
to be there for the debates.
In the Lords it is common to have such plenary
standing committees but in the commons it hardly
ever occurs
Departmental select committees The role of a select committee
There are 18 select committees normally made Investigate the work of government departments
up of 11 members that shadow each government and insure they have acted effectively and
department. Party whipps influence the liaison efficiently
committee to get who they want on it, and the Consider major departmental policies and
chair is usually a significant parliamentary whether they have taken into account relevant
personality. Members are expected to behave in opinions
a neutral way, and when reports are published Consider if proposed legislation will be effective
Consider matters of major public concern
They have significant powers and can call for investigate serious errors or omissions made by
ministers, civil servants, external witnesses and the department and recommend how to correct it
official papers for their investigations. propose future legislation where there is an
overwhelming need

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Example of select committees The speaker
Health The speakers role is to manage the house by
Culture, media and sport selecting members to speak during debates and
Defence arranging the business of thee house with party
Transport leaders. The speaker is supposed to be fully
neutral and not be influenced by party politics
The home affairs committee ­ detention of allowing all parties to have an equal amount of
terrorist suspects 2006 rejected the time.…read more

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Functions of parliament (5) Why has the House of Lords become more
Financial control ­ any changes to the tax system
or funding allocation need to be passed by Governments have large majorities in the
parliament and the financial powers of the commons, the House of Lords therefore balances
government have to be renewed each year. If this as opposition
parliament was to withhold consent government
would cease to function.…read more

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Why government dominates parliament (1) Why government dominates parliament (2)
The electoral system almost guarantees that one The prime minister can threaten to call a general
party will win and with a strong majority election to bring MP's into line
Party loyalty in the UK is strong as political parties The House of Lords lacks authority and will
are ideologically united the government can rely eventually have to listen to the commons and
on it therefore government
Prime ministerial patronage as most MP's wish However…read more

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Parliamentary reform House of Commons House of Commons browns possible
PMQ's changed from two short sessions to one
longer session, New offices for MP's, allowances Commons should have more of a say in
for secretarial and research backing, select appointment of senior government appointments
committee appointments are in the hands of
MP's.…read more

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The government
Although this figure changes in general the
government consists of 25 peers and 90 MP's
The Prime 23 cabinet members the head of government the
prime minister and secretaries of state,
15 senior non cabinet posts ­ people who are not
Minister and important enough to be in the cabinet but still
important i.e. the attorney general,
60 junior ministers ­ ministers of state working
under members of the cabinet,
17 part whipps running the administration and
ensuring MP's stay in line.…read more

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Other forms of government Cabinet government
Minority government ­ winning party fails to win
an absolute majority, find it difficult to pass The cabinet represented the collective identity of
legislation and financial budgets, they are the government
therefore short lived
All important domestic and many foreign policies
Coalition government shared appointment of were made within the cabinet
posts and shared policies between two or more
parties.…read more

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Functions of the cabinet today Formation of a cabinet
Settling disputes between ministers Vital part of PM's powers of patronage, he
appoints and can dismiss senior members of
Making decisions that cannot be made elsewhere government
­ gain cabinet support, to save the PM
embarrassment The PM must decide if he wants a balanced
cabinet or an ideologically united cabinet. And
Dealing with domestic emergencies ­ it is good which individuals he should choose.…read more

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Limits on Prime ministerial power Presidential government
effectively head of state the country unites
The size of the majority in the House of Commons behind the PM in times of national emergency ­
­ john major just 21, tony blairs majority of over Diana
Large amount of personal advisors ­ cabinet
Having a united party ­ as seen with Cameron office serves the PM not government, policy
and brown over the expenses issue directorate and strategy unit playing key parts.…read more

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Features of a ministers job Features of a civil servants job
Politically committed to one party Must display no political allegiance
Temporary only hold office as long as PM Permanent wish to move up through the ranks
wishes Keep their jobs when the party changes
Will lose office if party loses power May only suggest alternative in a neutral way
Are expected to make political decisions Identify possible outcomes in a neutral way
Make judgements about outcomes of those Largely anonymous
decisions Cannot be held…read more


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