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Parliament = the legislature. It is main way in which citizens are represented. It controls the power of
the government, forcing it to be accountable. Above all, Parliament exists to grant formal consent to
legislation even though it is dominated by the government.

Features of a Parliamentary Government:

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The three main parts of Parliament:

House of Commons House of Lords The Monarch
All Mps elected by the All of the peers King/Queen at the time
citizens in the General Nominated experts in their Less power now, but still
Election ­ each MP field have the final sign-off and…

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Whip offices ­ respected MPs who's role is to inform MPs who's role is to inform MPs about
the business of the house, ensure MPs turn up when required

Composition and structure of the House of Lords:
Life Peers
Hereditary Peers
25 Bishops/Archbishops from Church of England
Socially Homogeneous


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Contain between 15-40 backbenchers
Examine proposed laws and to put forward amendments (need approval of whole HoC)
Departmental Committees:
19 such committees (e.g. ­ Health and Home Affairs)
Members are elected, but expected to behave in a non-partisan way
Reports carry significant weight
Have considerable powers, such as calling for…

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Ministers responsible for Every minister to appear in 2 times debate Committees can
all activities including House regularly Ministers must justify question legislation,
themselves Questioned legislation finance and
(e.g. ­ David Blunkett Make an impact Bad to lose votes on bill departments
resigned due to trying to PMQ ­ used…

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Government is rarely removed from office Governments can become dictorial ­
prematurely legislation may not be properly scrutinised
Governments are generally able to carry out Have been times where the government has
virtually all their manifesto lost the confidence of the public, but can still
survive if the whips can…

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Parliament can dismiss a government through a vote Government usually has overall majority ­
of no confidence means that it is very rare for government
legislation not to go through and leaves a
For example: minority of opposition for which cannot control
1979 Callaghan's Labour government was
the executive effectively…

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HoL can extensively Little time to debate Departmental select Don't have to
deliberate in HoC committees have implement the
HoL members have Government controls proved to be amendments
expertise and most of timetable ­ effective in Little time for scrutiny
knowledge possible to avoid and scrutinising the

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Checks for efficiency, guards against wastefulness and ensures that services serve
the public effectively
Looks especially at `front-line' services, such as the NHS
Its reports are often highly critical and are used by government to improve its
performance, and by select committees as a basis for their own investigations


Amal S


this was really helpful, thank you :)

Old Sir


A useful and comprehensive overview of the UK parliament and the issues surrounding it. Students might wish to use the examples given in order to develop case studies that they can use in discussions addressing AO2 (evaluation and analysis).



oh my gosh- to whomever made this I officially love you!!!!

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