Parliament

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What system do we have for our parliament?
A bi-cameral one
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What does bi-cameral mean?
That there are two chambers
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What two chambers do we have in our parliament?
The House of Lords and the House of Commons
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What do we refer to when talking about parliament?
Both the HoL and HoC
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How many MP's do we have?
650
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How many peers are there in the House of Lords?
738
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Who is the current speaker of the house?
John Bercow
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Who is the current speaker of the House of Lords?
Baroness D'Souza
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In the 2010 government, how many cabinet members were millionaires?
23/27
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What is the main role of parliament?
To form legislation and reform existing legislature
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What is the make up of the House of Commons?
650 elected representatives
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What is the make up of the House of Lords?
It is made up of all unelected members- hereditary peers, appointed peers, life peers, the clergy and the law lords
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Who appoints members to the HoL?
The Prime Minister
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What religion is the clergy?
Church of England
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How many members are there of the clergy are there?
9 bishops
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Is the clergy representative?
No because it is solely made up of members of the Church of England
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What type of government do we have?
A parliamentary government
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What two types of government exist in the world?
Parliamentary and presidential
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What does the type of government refer to?
The relationship between the executive and the legislature
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What does having a parliamentary government mean with regard to the relationship between the executive and the legislature?
That they are interconnected, the executive is scrutinised by them and relies on them, and that there is no separation of powers
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In a parliamentary system, where is the executive usually chosen from?
The legislature
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What are the features of a parliamentary system?
Interacting executive and legislature, governments formed after parliamentary elections, executive comes from legislature, government is responsible to parliament, government can dissolve parliament, PM= head of government and based on cabinet gov i
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What are the features of a presidential system?
legislature and executive have different sources of authority & elected separately, the president is not part of the legislature & is accountable to people not legislature, clear separation of powers and has a codified constitution
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The commons is elected which therefore makes it..
Legitimate and representative
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Which house in parliament has the ability to scrutinise most?
The commons as it is elected
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Which house in parliament has greater deliberation?
The House of Lords
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Which house can delay the passing of a bill?
The HoL
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Which house has a greater authority of power?
The HoC
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What are backbenchers?
Anybody who is not in the executive (including the executive of the opposition)
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What position in the commons do most MPs have?
As a backbencher
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What are backbenchers from the governing party NOT expected to do?
Scrutinise the government strongly
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What are backbenchers of the opposition expected to do?
Play a vital role in scrutinising government
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Why would you be a backbencher?
You may be new and therefore inexperienced and are working towards being in cabinet or you may be a rebel that goes against your party
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Who rebelled against Blair?
Jeremy Corbin and Dennis Skinner
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What is the biggest group in parliament?
The backbenchers
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How can backbenchers represent their constituencies and scrutinise government?
Participate in PMQs, debates, they can legally ask for a written responses to questions, vote on bills, adjournment debates, backbenchers committees, have the right to raise a question with a minister & are ensured a reply.
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What are adjournment debates?
Debates that provide an opportunity to debate matters of constituencies
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In what ways can the opposition make their voice heard?
PMQs, adjournment debates, question time, challenge ministers in debates over bills, voting against a bill, raise topics for debate and opposition always has members on all governmentt committees
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What two types of question time exists?
Ministerial and Prime Ministerial
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What is the most important factor that affects the behaviour of all MPs?
Their party status
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What is a common debate about party and MPs?
Whether MPs are constituency representatives or party delegates
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What are party delegates?
Someone committed to obeying the instructions of their party
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Most of the time, who do MPs stay loyal to- their party or their constituency?
Their party
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Do you have to be a member of a party to be an MP?
No you can be independent
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What do the whips do to MPs weekly?
Send them weekly instructions on how and when to vote
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What is a free vote?
A vote in the HoC that the party whips do not influence and MPs can vote as they see fit
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How does the speaker allow for fair representation in debates?
They ensure that all parties are heard in debates
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How are committees organised?
Along the party lines
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Can MPs not attend certain votes?
Yes
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Roughly how many MPs have been sacked or had to resign over not following the party whips?
Roughly 100
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What do the whips say about the role and actions of MPs?
That they were elected and chosen as a representative of a party and therefore it is the peoples will that the MPs act according to the whips and wishes of the party
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Was Blair good at controlling the backbenchers?
Yes so the party appeared to maintain unity
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When was Blair's first defeat?
In 2005 after 8 years in office
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What was the cause of Blair's first defeat in government?
The prevention of terrorism bill
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What is another cause of party support and cohesion?
Public support
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Give an example of public support causing party cohesion?
When Labour won in 1997 they were immensely popular
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Why did the labour party have cohesion in 1997?
There was a shift towards the right in the beliefs of its MPs and a sense of agreement, there were very few factions in the party, desire among labour to look united and a government willingness to listen and compromise with the backbenchers
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What percentage of MPs went to private schools?
34%
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What percentage of children are privately educated?
7%
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What is the most high profile method of holding the government to account?
Through voting against bills
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What are select committees?
There is a government select committee for every governmental department- these scrutinise government and hold the government to account through deciding a line of inquiry and then gathering written and oral evidence. Findings are shown to commons.
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What is the minimum amount of members for any select committee?
11
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Does the government have to reply to the committees recomendations?
Yes
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How long does government have to reply to select committees?
60 days
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What other things can select committees analyse?
The conduct of certain MPs, allegations against government and crossing departmental topics.
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Give examples of select committees
The backbench business committee, defence committee and European scrutiny committee
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How many peerages had Cameron carried out in under a year?
117
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What reform did many peers vote against that lead to conflict with MPs?
A fully elected HoL
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How many combinations of HoL reforms were suggested by the commons?
6
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How many HoL reforms were voted in favour for by the commons?
None
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What is evidence that the HoL is unrepresentative?
They are unelected and the prime minister has been found to appoint party donors such as Bob Edmiston (who gave £2m to the conservatives)
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What are the three foundations of the traditional Westminster model?
Parliamentary sovereignty, concentration of power in the executive and a single party government
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List the functions of parliament
Recruiting of the executive, creating legislature, expressing issues and teaching the public
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What are the different roles played by MPs in parliament?
Sitting on select committees, helping develop legislature, being a party activist, representing their constituency and being a government MP
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List the structural failures of government
Overriding power of the whips, power of the executive, failing to produce effective legislature, transfer of powers to European institutions, unrepresentative distribution of MPs, career politicians, more scandals & lack of scrutiny over spending
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What does bi-cameral mean?

Back

That there are two chambers

Card 3

Front

What two chambers do we have in our parliament?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What do we refer to when talking about parliament?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

How many MP's do we have?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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