AS Government and Politics revision cards - Parliament

  • Created by: Jessica
  • Created on: 06-05-12 14:38


- normally known as the legislature

- makes laws legitimate

- approves the governments finances

- makes government legitimate and supports government

- able to dismiss a government through a vote of no confidence

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Parliamentary government

- Parliament is the highest source of political authority

- Government is drawn from parliament - Commons or Lords

- Powers of government and legislature are fused

- Government must be accountable to Parliament

- Parliament is at the centre of the British political system

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Presidential government

- Legislature and executive (presidency) have separate sources of authority and are elected separately

- President is not part of the legislature

- President and government are accountable to the people not the legislature

- Powers of executive and legislature are separated

- There is a codified constitution that contains the rules for the separation of these powers

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Parliamentary sovereignty

- Parliament is the source of all legal power

- No one can exercise power unless it has been granted by parliament

- Parliament delegates most of its powers e.g to devolved governments in Scotland

- Parliament can make any law it wants to and everyone has to enforce it

- There is no restrictions on what laws Parliament can make

- Parliament is not bound by its predecessors and cannot bind its successors

- Most political power lies with government

- Parliament can dismiss a government by passing a vote of no confidence

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Erosion of parliamentary sovereignty

- Lots of legislature power has moved to the EU. EU law is superior to British law. Parliament cannot pass any laws that conflicts with EU law

- Executive power has increased. This means they hold more political sovereignty, but not legal sovereignty

- Increase in referendums means the people hold some sovereignty. They are not legally binding but it is unlikely that Parliament would go against the people in a democracy

- European Convention on Human Rights is not legally binding on Parliament. Parliament has sovereignty but it is unlikely that Parliament would ever act against the ECHR

- Devolution. Parliament can regain the powers it has delegated e.g to Scotland but it is unlikely to

- Britain can leave the EU at any time and restore its sovereignty

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Structure of Parliament

- Parliament contains 3 parts - House of Lords, House of Commons and Queen in Parliament

- Queen is not welcome in Westminster apart from the ceremonial opening of a new session of Parliament

- Monarch is never allowed in the House of Commons

- Monarch plays no active role in parliamentary politics

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Plenary sessions

- Neither the Commons or Lords ever has all members presents

- Prime Ministers question time usually has high attendance, held every Wednesday

- All members are expected to vote on government legislation but they do not HAVE to be present during debates

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General committees

- A lot of the legislature business of the 2 houses is carried out through general committees

- General committees have 20 - 40 members

- They deal with secondary legislation and regional issues

- Sometimes a general committee conducts a debate on the general principles of a bill

- Main kind of general committee is a public bill committee

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Public bill committee

- Formed to consider proposed amendments to government legislation

- The committees discuss important amendments and cast a vote to decide whether it is to be included

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It's good but basically exactly the same as what's written in my textbook, may be coincidental though :) 

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