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Explain how the Opposition can hold the Government to account.

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Transfer-Encoding: chunked ´╗┐Explain how the Opposition can hold the government to account. [16] The role of opposition is extremely important as they always stand against the executive, picking holes in their manifesto and proposed new legislation. The ?opposition? are all the parties which don?t make up the government, as they aim to expose the weaknesses within government. Their role is more of a ritualised process, but one which nevertheless plays an important role. The opposition exert a great deal of scrutiny, as they are constantly analysing and dissecting the work of the executive, in order to render them incompetent and unworthy of their place in government. Scrutiny from the opposition is especially important in the run up to elections, as other parties need to prove they are more capable than the current government in power. ...read more.


The job of members of the Shadow Cabinet is to closely monitor the work of individual departments and ministers and to highlight failures. Members of a shadow cabinet are often but not always appointed to a Cabinet post if and when their party gets into government. It is the Shadow Cabinet's responsibility to criticise the policies and actions of the government, as well as offering an alternative programme. The first shadow cabinet was instituted by UK leader of the opposition Hugh Gaitskell in 1951 to assist in opposing the policies of the government of Winston Churchill. A current example is the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, John McDonnell MP, who shadows George Osborne. ...read more.


For example, the chair of the Public Accounts Committee must be from the Official Opposition. This is the oldest and most influential Select Committee. They have the aim of making Government departments account for their expenditure ensuring wastage is kept to a minimum and gaining maximum value for money from public organisations and government spending programmes. Outside of Parliament the Opposition can use the media in all its forms to question government policy and to point out failings. For example, John McDonnell used the Guardian to write that he believes George Osborne is unfit to hold office. To conclude, the Opposition is key to maintaining scrutiny within and outside of Parliament. Lawfully elected representatives of the people must be able to present and discuss alternative policy options even if they are not part of the government and do not have an immediate way of making their plans succeed. ...read more.

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