Parliament

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What does parliament refer to?
The House of Lords and the House of Commons
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What is the third part of parliament?
The monarchy
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What type of parliamentary system does the UK have?
Bi-cameral
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What does bi-cameral mean?
Two chambers
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How many MPs are there in the HoC?
651
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Which constituency gained an extra seat last year?
Milton Kenes
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How many peers are there in the HoL?
760
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Who is the speaker of the House of Commons?
John Bercow
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Who is the speaker of the House of Lords?
Baroness D'Souza
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What is role of parliament?
To make laws and reform existing ones
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How do MPs get into the House of Commons?
They are directly elected by the public
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How do peers get into the House of Lords?
They get appointed by the Prime Minister
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What types of peers sit in the House of Lords?
Hereditary peers, life peers, clergy and Law Lords
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What are the two types of government?
Presidential or parliamentary
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What does the type of government refer to?
The type of relationship between the executive and the legislature
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What type of government does the UK have?
Parliamentary
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What does a parliamentary government mean?
The executive and the legislature are interconnected
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Is there separation of powers in a parliamentary government?
No
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How is the executive usually chosen in a parliamentary government?
From the legislature
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Who is government dependent on the support of in a parliamentary democracy?
The public
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What is parliamentary sovereignty?
The idea that power rests solely with parliament because they have the power to make laws which cannot be challenged
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What body do many people believe is challenging parliamentary sovereignty?
The EU
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What are the features of a parliamentary democracy?
Interlocking relationship between the executive and the legislature, gov formed after parliamentary elections, cabinet drawn solely from legislature, gov responsible to parliament, gov can dissolve parliament, cabinet leadership, PM head of gov
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What are the features of a presidential government?
Legislature and executive separate, elected separately, president not part of legislature, president accountable to the people and codified constitution
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Where does the legitimacy lie in our government?
House of Commons
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Why does legitimacy lie in the HoC?
Because it is elected
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Which chamber holds a greater scrutiny power?
House of Commons
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Give an example of the House of Lords holding government to account
Tax credits
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Which chamber is the more deliberative chamber?
House of Lords
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What does the House of Lords contain to help scrutinise government?
Experts
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Give an example of an expert sitting in the House of Lords
Baron Krebs zoologist
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Give an example of overlapping functions of the HoC and HoL
Legislative process and scrutiny
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Which chamber in parliament holds greater power?
The HoC
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What are the ways in which the legislature can hold the executive to account?
Debating, question time, select committees, judiciary and media
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What are the powers of the executive over parliament?
Patronage, whips, collective responsibility, government majorities, party loyalty, power of dissolution, tradition
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What is patronage?
Offering someone a position as a peer
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Can a judiciary change law?
No
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How can the judiciary hold the legislature to account?
It can rule on legislation
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How can party dominated governments be held to account for their actions?
They can be voted out in elections
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What percentage of all the MPs elected to the HoC since 1918 have been women?
Six
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In the 2010 election, what percentage of the MPs elected to the HoC were university graduates?
Ninety
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What is an Etonian?
Someone who attended Eton College
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In 2010 how many MPs were old Etonians?
Twenty
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What fraction of the MPs elected in 2010 went to Oxbridge?
One third
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What percentage of MPs elected in 2010 were males?
78%
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How many cabinet members in the 2010 cabinet were females?
Four
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How many cabinet members were there in 2010?
Twenty nine
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What percentage of the cabinet in 2010 was female?
Fourteen
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What percentage of Germany's cabinet is female?
Forty
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What fraction of Canada's cabinet is female?
Half
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Give examples of how Canada's cabinet 'looks like cabinet'
It has two Sikh's, two aboriginals, a muslim, an astronaut, a disabled politician and equal numbers of men and women
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Who is Canada's prime minister?
Justin Trudeau
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How many Muslim MPs were elected in 2010?
Eight
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What does BME mean?
Black or minority ethnic
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How many BME MPs were elected in 2010?
Twenty seven
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How many women did Gordon Brown have in his cabinet?
Eight
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In 2010 on the league of female representation, where did Britain sit?
Sixtieth
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Which country is first on the league table for female democratic representation?
Rwanda
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In Cameron's 2010 cabinet, how many members were millionaires?
Twenty three
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Who are backbenchers?
MPs who do not sit on the front two benches
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What are the government backbenchers not supposed to do?
Criticize government too strongly
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What are the opposition backbenchers expected to do?
Criticise the government strongly
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How can backbenchers represent their constituencies?
They have the right to ask for a written answer to any question, debates, vote on bills, adjournment debates, committees, can refer matters to parliamentary commissioner for admin and raise issues with ministers with reply guaranteed
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What are adjournment debates?
Debates in the House of Commons which are informal and allow backbenchers to establish the views of politicians on certain matters
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What are the ways in which the opposition can make their views heard?
PMQs, adjournment debate, leader of opposition has 6 questions in PMQs, in any debate on a bill the Speaker always looks to shadow spokesperson to challenge minister, can vote against bill, opposition MPs in committees
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How many days a year is the opposition given to raise issues for debate?
Twenty
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Do ministers have to attend debates surrounding their department?
Yes
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What is the most important factor that influences the conduct of MPs?
Their party
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How often do MPs receive instructions from whips?
Weekly
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What is the role of the speaker?
To manage debates to ensure fair representation
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What does loyalty to party lines lead to?
Promotion
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Give an example of an MP being promoted due to party loyalty
Ken Livingstone
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Give an example of an MP being promoted due to party loyalty
Ken Livingstone
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What is the argument of the whips?
That the MP was elected due to their party tie and they therefore should vote accordingly
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Give an example of a backbench rebellion
The prevention of terrorism bill in 2005 where Labour MPs voted against it 27 times
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How many Labour backbench rebellions were there from 2004-05?
Fifty eight
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Why was there Labour party cohesion in 1997?
There had been a shift rightwards in the views of MPs, broad agreement among Labour MPs with much of the government programme, no significant factional opposition in Labour, conscientious effort to appear united, gov willing to consult and negotiate
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Who heads the whips in a party?
The Chief Whip
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What is the role of a whip in the legislative process?
To ensure their party holds a majority over legislation
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Who is the current chief whip of the Conservative Party?
Mark Harper
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Who is the chief whip of the opposition?
Rosie Winterton
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What do the weekly notices from the Whips contain?
Instructions from their party whips indicating when they should attend the House to vote
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What is a three-line whip?
Means attendance is essential
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What is a two line whip?
MPs must attend unless arrangements are made under the pairing system
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What is the pairing system?
When you pair up with a member of an opposing party to neutralise your vote in a whip
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What is a one line whip?
It merely requests the attendance of an MP
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What may happen if an MP votes against the party on a three line whip?
The whip may be withdrawn which is the equivalent of being temporarily expelled
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What type of status does the Chief Whip have?
The status of a senior minister
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What does the average MP claim in expenses per year?
£135,600
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How many times has Philip Hollobone defied the whip?
237
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What kinds of policies has Philip Davies objected to?
Gay marriage, the banning of smoking in cars with children and sending books to prisoners
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Who is the most rebellious MP?
Philip Hollobone
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How much does Philip Hollobone claim in expenses every year?
£40,000
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How many select committees are there in the HoC?
Thirty two
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What is the Liaison Scrutiny Committee?
A committee in the HoC made up of 32 chairs of the select committees
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Who is the chair of the Liaison Scrutiny Committee?
Andrew Tyrie
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What does the Liaison Scrutiny Committee do?
Holds the PM to account three times a year in a hearing where tough questions are asked, choosing topics to debate in the Commons, scrutinising and amending select committees
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What does the Backbench Business Committee do?
Schedules subjects for debates suggested by backbench MPs outside of allocated government time in order to debate a subject of interest or a finding
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Give an example of a Backbench Business Committee hearing
Philip Davies' debate over whether to hold an International Men's Day
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Which MP has continuously campaigned for the power of recall?
Zac Goldsmith
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Do we have the power of recall in the UK?
No
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What is the main issue surrounding the HoL?
It is unelected
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What party has called for HoL reforms?
Labour
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What did the Blair government do to reform the House of Lords?
Cut the number of hereditary peers
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How many hereditary peers remained after Blair's reform?
Ninety two
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When was Blair's HoL reform?
1999
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What are the options for reform of the House of Lords?
No change, fully remove the HoL, an all elected chamber, an all appointed chamber or a partly appointed-partly elected chamber
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What are the arguments for not reforming the HoL?
That it is an effective chamber e.g tax credits etc, it compliments the HoC, expertise in HoL, there is less party influence
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If we removed the HoL what parliamentary system would we be left with?
Unicameral
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Name countries which have a unicameral parliament
Denmark, Sweden, Israel and New Zealand
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Has the HoC ever shown that it favours or disfavours a unicameral parliament?
In 2007 the House of Commons voted in 253 in favour of retaining a second chamber
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What arguments are there for removing the HoL?
A second chamber is not needed and has limited powers, a reformed HoC could give more time for scrutiny and unicameral systems are proven to work
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What are the arguments against removing the HoL?
UK has too big a population for a unicameral parliament, scrutiny should not have party ties and there is little support for this option
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What are the arguments for a fully elected HoL?
Democratic legitimacy, end corruption, move with times, more responsive to public, redress for citizens, representation, better legislation as louder voice, checking commons only elected body can check another elected body and end executive tyranny
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What are the arguments against a fully elected HoL?
Would loose specialist knowledge, voter apathy, similar composition to HoC, debate over primacy, gridlock as seen in US, should be separate and different, danger of partisanship, indecisive gov, if majority in both chambers one party too powerful
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What are the arguments for a fully appointed HoL?
Opportunity to bring people into politics who wouldn't otherwise stand, membership could be controlled to ensure representation, more independents
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What are the arguments against a fully appointed HoL?
Too much power in those who appoint them, could lead to corruption, undemocratic, would lack legitimacy and public support
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What are the arguments for a partly elected, partly appointed HoL?
Legitimacy and democratic representation would be provided without loosing expertise, would ensure representation and it would retain the primacy of the HoC
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What are the arguments against a partly elected partly appointed HoL?
It would still undemocratic and therefore lacking in legitimacy and accountability
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Since 2010 what percentage of parliamentary votes have been rebellions?
Forty four
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How much did Jeremy Hunt profit from the selling of his business?
Seventeen million
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What school did Jeremy Hunt attend?
Charterhouse
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What position does Jeremy Hunt hold in the cabinet?
Minister of health
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What is the net worth of Jeremy Hunt?
Five million
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What fraction of the cabinet in 2014 was a millionaire?
Two thirds
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Who is Samantha Cameron's father?
A Baronet
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What is the estimated inheritance of Samantha Cameron?
Twenty five million
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Name a 2014 cabinet minister who did not attend a private school
William Hague
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What school did Cameron's chief of staff attend?
Eton
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What school did Osbourne's chief economic adviser attend?
Eton
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What percentage of children have been privately educated?
Seven
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What percentage of MPs have been privately educated?
Thirty four
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What percentage of Conservative MPs attended private schools?
Fifty four
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What percentage of Labour MPs attended private schools?
Twelve
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What percentage of voters think that Cameron understands them?
Twenty nine
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Give an example of a pressure group dedicated to combating elitism
Blue Collar Conservatism and Renewal
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What is the aim of Blue Collar Conservatism?
To widen the base of conservative voters
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What is Renewal?
A group of conservatives dedicated to transforming the Conservative Party into the workers party in response to Labour
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Give an example of the Lib Dems rebelling during the coalition
Refusing to pass the proposed boundary review
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What fraction of trials against the rulings of ATOS have won?
A third
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What was the name of the doctor who chose to speak out against ATOS?
Gregg Wood
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Give an example of a question asked by ATOS
Whag
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Give an example of a question asked by ATOS
What stops you from killing yourself?
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Give an example of a select committee playing an important role in government
The education select committee warning that Gove's plan to scrap GCSEs would jeopardise the whole school system
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What was ATOS?
The company hired by the government to assess whether claimants of the sickness benefit can in fact work
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In his first year as PM, how many peerages did David Cameron give?
One hundred and seventeen
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How many peers in the HoL?
790
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How many Conservatives are there in the HoL?
247
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How many Labour peers are there in the HoL?
211
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How many Lib Dem peers are there in the HoL?
107
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How many peers in the HoL are women?
Two hundred and seven
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What was the vote of the Commons in 2007 over the HoL?
They voted in favor of the HoL being reformed to be elected
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What happened to the 2007 HoL reform bill?
The peers refused to pass it
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What was the vote in the HoL in 2007 over whether to have the chamber elected?
361-121
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What type of a HoL would have Blair preferred?
A half elected half appointed HoL
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What type of a HoL do the Lib Dems want?
A fully elected one
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Give an example of a party donor being given a peerage
Bob Edmiston who gave £2m to the tories
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How many bishops and archbishops sit in the HoL?
Twenty six
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Who is the current speaker of the HoL?
Baroness D'Souza
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What is the Westminster Model?
The description of the UK's political system where parliament is central and all power flows from parliament
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What are the joint functions of the HoL and HoC?
Granting formal approval of legislation, calling government to account, scrutinizing legislation and debating
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What are the functions of the HoC?
Representing their constituents, seeking redress for grievances, voting on legislation, vetoing legislation when necessary and removing a government from power if necessary
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What are the functions of the HoC?
Delaying legislation, representing various interests and causes in society and proposing amendments to legislation
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What is separation of powers?
The principle that the powers of the executive and legislature should be separate so they can control one another's actions
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What is fusion of powers?
The opposite to separation of powers i.e. legislature and executive are fused
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What is the government?
The executive branch of parliament
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Why does the government dominate parliament?
It has a mandate to govern from the electorate, majority in the commons, MPs elected due to party ties, manifesto, party loyalty high, patronage keeps MPs loyal, role of whips and limited role of the HoL
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What is the maximum time that the HoL can delay a bill for?
A year
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What act limits the delaying ability of the HoL?
The Parliament Act of 1949
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Who has to approve any amendments to legislation made by the HoL?
The Commons
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What convention means that the HoL cannot block any manifesto legislation?
The Salisbury Convention
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Which branch of government is sovereign?
Parliament
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Who has had the power of the veto taken away from them?
The HoL
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Who was the last prime minister to have a vote of no confidence in him?
James Callaghan in 1979 due to economic problems
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Which party did James Callaghan represent?
Labour
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What bill was the only bill lost by Thatcher's government?
The 1986 Shops Bill
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How many backbench MPs usually sit in select committees?
11-13
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What do select committees do?
Scrutinise departments and hold them to account
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What do select committees often produce?
Reports
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Who always chairs the Public Accounts Committee?
An opposition backbencher
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What does the Political Accounts Committee do?
Scrutinises financial aspects of government
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What do legislative committees do?
They scrutinise proposed amendments to legislation
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What type of a majority is there always in legislative committees?
A majority government one
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What do legislative committees rarely do?
Pass amendments against government wishes
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What type of committees are there in the HoL?
Legislative committees
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What do legislative committees in the HoL often do?
Defy government wishes
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How is the power of the legislative committees in the HoL limited?
Amendments made here are subject to approval in the HoC
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What kind of peers often sit on legislative committees?
Experts in that field
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Who is the head of the backbench business committee?
Margaret Hodge
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What is the junior house?
The HoL
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Is EU law or Parliamentary Law superior?
EU law
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Can UK laws contradict EU laws?
No
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Give examples of areas of policy that have been taken out of parliament's hands
Agriculture and fishing
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Who debates EU laws the most?
The HoL
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Give an example of parliament scrutinising EU law
We have committees to study them but in reality they have little influence
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How does the chair of the backbench business committee come to be chair?
They are elected by other backbench MPs
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How many days of debate in parliament does the backbench business committee get?
Eight
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How are select committee chairs selected?
They are elected
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By how much did the coalition aim to reduce the size of the HoC by?
10%
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Card 2

Front

What is the third part of parliament?

Back

The monarchy

Card 3

Front

What type of parliamentary system does the UK have?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What does bi-cameral mean?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

How many MPs are there in the HoC?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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