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AS Government and Politics
Unit 2 ­ Retake Notes



Parliament
What is Legislature?
The law making body of Government ­ Parliament in the UK
Almost all political systems operate on the basis of two legislative chambers, in the context of the
UK, Parliament is a term used to depict both…

Page 2

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AS Government and Politics
Unit 2 ­ Retake Notes



For example, there is a small number of backbenchers resigned to the status of a maverick or rebel
and an even smaller group of ex-front benchers demoted from the Cabinet/shadow Cabinet who
often prove sometimes to be a thorn in the…

Page 3

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AS Government and Politics
Unit 2 ­ Retake Notes




Influence and scrutiny
­ The term Parliament derives from the French word "parler" (to speak) and as such the importance of
discussion and deliberation is self-evident
­ MP's and peers spend a great deal of their time discussing issues of interest…

Page 4

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AS Government and Politics
Unit 2 ­ Retake Notes



The Burkean Notion and the role of party Whips
­ Edmund Burke 1729-97 argued that an elected representative was to follow his conscience when
reaching a decisions, rather than slavishly follow public opinion
­ The Burkean notion remains the theoretical basis…

Page 5

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AS Government and Politics
Unit 2 ­ Retake Notes



o Ministers are at no obligation to attend and some ministers (including Brown in his time as
chancellor) have simply refused to attend the select committee hearing
o As the Whips ultimately decide who sits in a select committee, rebellious MP's…

Page 6

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AS Government and Politics
Unit 2 ­ Retake Notes



o If the Lords continue to reject proposed legislation form the Commons, the 1949 Parliament
Act can be used and the Commons will get its way. Since 1999, it has been used 4 times
o They have no say over the…

Page 7

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AS Government and Politics
Unit 2 ­ Retake Notes



3. The length of time set aside for debates is usually arranged by an informal cross-party
agreement. However, the House of Commons may put an end to a debate by pasting a motion
of closure. This is quite rare, and must…

Page 8

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AS Government and Politics
Unit 2 ­ Retake Notes



­ Members of the Legislature are therefore those made to the 2001 anti-terrorism crime
reduced to an essentially revising role and security bill on the issue of police powers,
­ This is particularly notable in the case of the and the…

Page 9

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AS Government and Politics
Unit 2 ­ Retake Notes



2. Parliament can ignore and even withdraw from any of its international commitments, including those
obligations associated with members of NATO and the UN
3. Parliament can claim back devolved powers at any time, as they did in 2002 in the…

Page 10

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AS Government and Politics
Unit 2 ­ Retake Notes



­ After a decade of new Labour, the Lords remains an unelected body with no democratic legitimacy
or mandate from the people
­ However, at the time of writing the future of the Lords is uncertain ­ and we could be…

Comments

Old Sir

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A very comprehensive and well-organised set of notes which pre-dates the 2010 general election and the reforms which have occurred since then, so students must be aware that important stuff is missing in relation to the Commons, although much of what is there might be useful. Students should not neglect the role of the parties in the business of the Commons either. Nevertheless, many students might find the section on the House of Lords particularly useful.

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