Key Terms Unit 2 - The Parliament


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Accountablity
Related to the system of control and answerability which is seen as a key element of democratic and representative government. By various mechanisms, ministers have to account for their stewardship of the nation’s affairs to the elected HoC
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Life Peerages Act 1958
Permitted men and women to be created as peers for the duration of their lives. The purpose was to diversify membership of the chamber by bringing in people from various walks of life.
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The Parliament Act 1911
Removed the power of permanent veto over legislation, so that the Lords could not indefinitely delay legislation in future, any bill which passed the Commons in three successive sessions would automatically become law. The HoL lost permanent veto
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The Parliament Act 1949
Further limited the delaying power of the Lords. Any bill that passed two successive sessions became law. This effectively curtailed the delaying power to 8-9 months. 1949 Act still applies.
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Hereditary Peerages
Peerages that came about as a result of a title inherited within a family within the family.
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Public Bills
Bills which change the law as it applies to the whole community, being binding on everyone. They are the most common type of bill introduced in parliament.
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Private Peers’ Bills/ Private Member’s Bills
Bills introduced by peers in the Lords. They go through the same stages as every other public bill.
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Less Partisan
They can vote based on policy rather than party loyalty.
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Green Paper
A document laid before the House of Commons by ministers, setting out the options that might be pursued in a given policy area; a consultative paper which invites opinions
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White Paper
A document issued by ministers, setting out their proposals on a topic of current concern, prior to the production of a bill.
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Standing Committees/ Public Bills Committees
Committees of the House of Commons which scrutinise and amend the details of bills, class by clause. Made of back bench MPs from all parties, the number from each party depending on its relevant strength within the chamber
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Departmental Select Committees
19 parliamentary scrutiny committees responsible for examining the expenditure, administration and policy of their relevant department, e.g. defence. Made up of back bench MPs of all parties
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Public Accounts Committee
The committee that examines the accounts, showing how much money granted by parliament has been used in programmes involving public expenditure
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Westland Affair 1986
A highly contentious political issue that had to be handled by the Thatcher government, concerning the future ownership of the Westland helicopter company
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Career Politicians
People committed to politics which they regard as their vocation. They know little else beyond the world of politics, policy making and elections.
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Political Staffers
Those who have served a political apprenticeship working as assistants for MPs or at a party’s headquarters
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International Monetary Fund
An international organisation of 185 member countries, established to promote international monetary cooperation, encourage economic growth and provide temporary financial assistance to countries to help ease balance of payment difficulties
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Private members’ motions on the adjournment
Half-hour debates at the end of the day’s sitting in the chamber. MPs can initiate a debate and speak for 10-15 minutes, perhaps allowing an intervention by another MP for a few minutes before the minister responds.
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Delegated (or secondary) Legislation
Related to laws made by ministers, under powers granted to them by parliament, e.g. to ministers. Such laws are technically known as statutory instruments.
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Statutory Instruments
Many acts are passed in outline form, allowing ministers (and other public bodies such as local authorities) to introduce the necessary orders or regulations, e.g. increasing levels of benefit payment, as authorised by Social Security legislation.
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Whipping System
The system - enforced by the party whips - by which party discipline is ensured, with MPs being expected to stay loyal in parliamentary votes.
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Early Day Motions
MPs may table motions for debate ‘on an early day’ which in most cases never comes, the purpose being to draw attention to an issue. Other MPs add their names to the motion, so making known to the gov the extent of parliamentary feeling on the matter
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Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition/ The Official Opposition
The second largest party in the House of Commons and a recognised part of the constitution. Since May 1997, the Official Opposition has been the Conservative Party until the election in 2010.
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Westminster Hall
Opened as an additional location for parliamentary debates in December 1999. It is aimed at introducing a different style of debate. Seating is in a horse shoe arrangement intended to encourage constructive rather than confrontational debate.
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Motion for the Adjournment
Takes place prior to the recess, at the end of each day’s sitting and in timed slots in the Tuesday and Wednesday morning sittings in West Minster. MPs seek to adjourn the House in order to raise topics of constituency interest or public concern.
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Catch the Speaker’s Eye
MPs signal that they wish to speak in a debate by standing up from their seat or by notifying the speaker in writing in advance.
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The Demands of Party Loyalty
The expectation by the party leadership that party MPs will ‘toe the line’ (conform)
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Mavericks
Individualists, in this case MPs, willing to act according to their own priorities rather than those of their party.
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Managed Economy
A situation in which there is a high degree of government intervention in the economy. The public expects that, among many other things, ministers will act to combat unemployment, keep inflation down and protect consumers.
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Pairing
An arrangement where an MP of one party agrees with an MP of an opposing party not to vote in a particular division. This gives both MPs the opportunity to absent themselves from Commons proceedings. Arrangements must be registered with the whips
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1922 Committee
Made up of all Conservative back bench MPs, although front bench MPs, although front benchers, except the leader, can attend when the party is in opposition.
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Parliamentary Labour Party
The body of Labour MPs in parliament, the equivalent to the Conservatives’ 1922 Committee
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The Commons’ Liaison Committee
Includes the 30 chairmen of select committees. It is appointed to consider general matters relating to the work of select committees and to report them to the House.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Permitted men and women to be created as peers for the duration of their lives. The purpose was to diversify membership of the chamber by bringing in people from various walks of life.

Back

Life Peerages Act 1958

Card 3

Front

Removed the power of permanent veto over legislation, so that the Lords could not indefinitely delay legislation in future, any bill which passed the Commons in three successive sessions would automatically become law. The HoL lost permanent veto

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

Further limited the delaying power of the Lords. Any bill that passed two successive sessions became law. This effectively curtailed the delaying power to 8-9 months. 1949 Act still applies.

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

Peerages that came about as a result of a title inherited within a family within the family.

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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