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To what extent does Parliament control executive power?

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Introduction

Transfer-Encoding: chunked ´╗┐To what extent does Parliament control executive power? Executive is the branch of government that is responsible for the implementation of laws and policies made by parliament. They hold a substantial amount of authority and responsibility and have the ability to enforce legislation, formulate government policies and govern general maintenance. Alongside the PM, the cabinet and all the ministers form an alliance together to form this exclusive body of executive power. The parliament consists of the House of Lords and the House of Commons, which includes various party representatives, Lord Hailsham stated that the UK has an ?elective dictatorship?, implying that executive is able to dominate the legislature, meaning that they used to have more power than parliament, but many things have changed so has parliaments power, but it can be improved. There has been a strong argument that parliament does control executive efficiently. Standing and select committees, are chosen by an independent body as of 2010 under the Bercow and Wright reforms, which are able to act by an independently from the executive, often giving greater power to backbenchers, junior ministers and the H.O.L committees peers and therefore scrutinising department effectively; the H.O.L committees perhaps to an even greater extent given the greater time and expertise involved. The Bercow and Wright reforms created a membership of the committees which are now being voted for by parties, not awarded by the party ...read more.

Middle

It could be argued that parliament does control executive power because parliament has scrutiny features similar to Prime Minister?s Question, Ministerial question time and select committees, which all make the government and its executive?s powers accountable for their decision making. However, there has been a strong argument presented that to some extent parliament does not control executive power effectively, due to the fact that the government naturally has an in built majority within the H.O.C, as well as that the whipping system and the ideology of ?toeing the party lines? results in the executive powers having the ability to regularly gain a majority of support from the H.O.C. Furthermore, the increase in prime ministerial or even ?presidential? government in the UK, with the leader of the executives having accumulated more power, makes it more difficult for parliament to control executive power. The government usually has an overall majority. This is due to our voting system of FPTP which gives preference to a two party system, normally they have the majority (and usually large ones) as opposed to coalition and minority government which are produced through voting systems such as AMS in Scotland and Wales. The government still has a majority of 12 seats, 331 in total. This therefore often renders the opposition form of scrutiny as less effective, as the majority of MP?s in the H.O.C, belong to the governing party, their primary role is ...read more.

Conclusion

By having whips who ensure that MPs behave in accordance to the decisions of the executive make; both parliaments ability to scrutinise and hold the executive to account is diminished, but also their role as representatives of their individual constituency is also compromised. For example with Europe and the conservatives and David Cameron, because the issue caused such a divide within the party and cabinet that they differ on issues, however in the EU referendum they have been given a free vote by the PM. Nevertheless it still shows that the executives hold far greater power over parliament that it should because if they do not, they are punished due to their disloyalty, ultimately leading to ?withdrawing? the whip however if they heed to the whip, due to the power of patronage the PM has, they are rewarded through promotions. In conclusion, there are arguments for and against the view that the parliament has control over the executive. Those who say that parliament does have control because of the committees and view parliament powerful because they are able to call a vote of no confidence. On the other hand the people who disagree see that whips, and party loyalty making the majority of parliament on the executive?s side, showing that executive are in power. However, my view is that parliament is strong and can control executive better than they once could, but executives still over rule due to one reason; they are the majority that?s why they are government. ...read more.

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