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Government & Politics - Functions of Parliament
Transcript of Government & Politics - Functions of Parliament
The Commons is seen to be dominated by the executive and therefore not independent
The electoral system means that the Commons is not politically representative of the electorate
Little time is devoted to private members' legislation
Government is easily able to 'kill' any bill it opposes
It is difficult for MPs and peers to gather enough support to force bills through Limitations: Both Houses lack enough time to consider bills thoroughly
Standing committees are whipped so fall under government control Limitations: Collective government responsibility makes it difficult to examine government decisions
The opposition lacks administrative back-up of the government
Skilful ministers and civil servants can evade questioning by MPs and peers
MPs and peers may lack expertise and knowledge
The power of patronage prevents governing MPs and peers being hostile or too inquisitive
There remains a good deal of government secrecy, especially in the fields of defence, security, and foreign policy Limitations: Parliament is traditionally not expected to challenge government seriously in this area
House of Lords has no jurisdiction at all Limitations: The electoral system makes the Commons highly unrepresentative
The House of Lords is not elected
Both Houses are socially unrepresentative, especially in terms of women or social and ethnic background Limitations: MPs lack time to deal with many constituents' grievances Limitations: Legislative committees are whipped and rarely defy the government