The Functions of Parliament

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What are the Functions of Parliament?
Legislation, Representation, Scrutiny/Oversight, Recruitment and training of Ministers, Legitimacy.
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What is the Legislature?
The branch of government that has the power to make laws through the formal enactment of legislation.
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In theory, why is Parliament unrestricted?
There is no codified constitution and no other law making body can challenge there authority.
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Who does Parliament ALLOW to make laws?
Devolved Assemblies, Local Authorities, Ministers
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Why are only a small number of Private Members Bills effective?
They are only successful if they have government support.
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What is the bulk of Parliaments time spent on?
Considering the governments legislative programme.
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Why are government bills rarely defeated?
Party control of the House of Commons
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Legislation is passed through Parliament, rather than by it?
True
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What is the Lords role in the legislative process?
A subordinate one, 'cleaning up' Bills not adequately scrutinized in Commons.
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How is the representative function of Parliament carried out?
By the elected HOC, and operating through the relationship between an MP and their consituents.
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What does the Burkean view of representation suggest MP's do.
Use their own judgement in acting on behalf of their consituents.
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How does the doctrine of the mandate suggest MP's should work.
Toeing the party line.
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Why are MP's and Peers not entirely effective in there representative function?
They are not socially representative of the wider society.
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What two things prevent Parliament from being a effective representative body?
An unelected HOL and a FPTP voting system.
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What is Parliaments Role in Scrutiny and Oversight?
Its role is to check or constrain the government of the day
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How does Parliament check or constrain government?
By calling the government to account. forcing ministers to explain their actions and justify their policies.
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How does Parliament act as a 'watchdog'
It exposes any blunders/mistakes Parliament might make.
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How does most MP's belonging to the governing party prevent scrutiny?
Their Primary role becomes supporting the government , not criticizing it.
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Why is Question Time considered weak and ineffective?
Oral questions seldom produce detailed response and are used more to embarrass ministers.
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What do PMQ's generally degenerate into?
A party political battle between the PM and the Opposition leader.
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What are the disadvantages of Select Commitees?
The government has a majority on each of the committees; they are influenced by whips; they have no executive power.
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What do Whips ensure on Select Commitees?
That loyal backbenchers sit on the key commitees and are appointed influential posts of commitee chairs.
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What must all ministers be?
All ministers from PM downwards must be MP's or Peers;
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How do ministers gain an understanding of how government works and how policy is developed?
They learn the ropes from the backbenches; learn to participate in debate, ask Parliamentary questions and sit on committees to learn the Political Trade.
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Why is the pool of talent of minsters limited?
They are mainly from the largest party in the Commons; and fewer and fewer ministers have experiences careers outside of Politics.
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What are Parliamentarians accused of being?
Good speechmakers who can deliver soundbites but not good bureaucrats with no managements skills to run a government dept.
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What is Parliamentary approval based on?
The assumption that the governments actions have been properly debated and scrutinized with any weaknesses or problems being properly exposed.
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As Parliament is a representative assembly what does it imply when it approves a measure?
That the public has approved it.
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How does the HOL reduce legitimacy of Parliament?
They are unelected
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Why has respect for Parliament been undermined?
Scandals eg Cash for Questions
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What is the Legislature?

Back

The branch of government that has the power to make laws through the formal enactment of legislation.

Card 3

Front

In theory, why is Parliament unrestricted?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Who does Parliament ALLOW to make laws?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Why are only a small number of Private Members Bills effective?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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