• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what extent does Parliament control executive power?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

To what extent does Parliament control executive power? Although Parliament to some extent controls executive power, there are limitations to the extent of this control. Government usually has an overall majority. The electoral systems put in place by parliament as a whole usually guarantee this, with the exception of May 2010. In the circumstances of a small government majority, the effectiveness of parliament can be increased due to the fact that normal voting patterns and predictable outcomes for government votes may not apply, meaning that governments power is reduced. A majority can mean that to a certain extent, Government can pass any law it wants to. However, the fptp voting system can undermine representation in the commons because it can mean that certain parties are over represented. This means that Parliament's control over certain parties can be limited. The power of prime ministerial patronage renders many Mps excessively docile and loyal. This means that as opposed to the Burkean view which suggests that MPs use their own judgement in acting on behalf of their constituents. The doctrine of the mandate, by contrast, suggests that MPs serve their constituents by 'toeing a party line'. ...read more.

Middle

They attempt to force MPs to vote the way that the party would like them to. This can be seen as both persuasive and threatening. This can have great influence over careers. This is because ignoring the whip can be seen as party betrayal and can be very harmful to the future career of the MP within the party, depending on the severity of the whip which has been ignored. In extreme circumstances, this can lead to suspension from the party or can persuade a party to 'de-select' them. The whips therefore reduce the power of parliament because the votes, again, can be fairly predictable and a majority government's preferred outcome often occurs when back bench rebellion does not occur. MPs can often lack research back up, expertise and political support. This has been exaggerated in recent years with an increasing number of MPs and politicians following politics as their only career. In previous years, it has been more common for MPs to have other careers (usually within Law and Business), this would mean that their expertise would be greater. ...read more.

Conclusion

They also cut across party lines which means they can be said to be independent. They report their findings and recommendations back to the commons. In recent years they have begun to assert themselves more strongly. Eg select committees produced a critical report on the privatisation of air traffic control in 2000. The government usually acts on their recommendations. However, the committees do not also have a great amount of time in which to operate. They can also lack the expertise, resources, staff, power and often the will to be more than an irritant to the government. The House of Lords, despite its lack of democratic legitimacy, has effectively blocked amended legislation when it saw fit. This means that parliamentary power is increased. The balance of power between government and parliament is variable in that a government majority can increase government power but a small majority can increase parliament power. The executive government does however act in an environment when it is constantly under scrutiny and constraints. The strength of these depends on the context of the situation. Simply, the government cannot do what it wants without the approval of parliament which means that effectively, parliament holds power and remains the central institution of the Great British political system. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level United Kingdom section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

4 Stars - The strengths of this essay lie in its competent command and explanation of the subject matter and the precise, analytical conclusion.
Where the essay could be improved is with a more coherent structure - points are not effectively grouped together, consequently the essay 'jumps around' and revisits earlier themes in a confusing way. In places points would be strengthened with a greater use of concrete examples.

Marked by teacher Dan Carter 26/09/2013

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level United Kingdom essays

  1. The comparison of the US President and the British Prime Minister appears from the ...

    The power of each office can also be measured by the degree of control they exercise over their cabinet and executive. In theory, the British Prime Minister is merely regarded as the 'first among equals' within the cabinet, and is usually expected to meet with cabinet, which is a formal unit.

  2. How effective is Parliament in checking Executive Power?

    This not only allows scrutiny of the work of the Minister but also scrutinises the political skill of them. Select Committees also serve an important role in scrutinising the Goverment.

  1. To what extent are judges neutral and independent?

    This prevents political pressure being placed on judges by the executive or legislative and therefore allows them to make a just decision. If they believe there has been too much govt. influence, they may release the defendant citing a mistrial, another incentive for the government to stay out of affairs so judges can make a fair and uninfluenced decision.

  2. To what extent is Labour still a Socialist Party?

    Economic management is another policy area which, surprisingly, they don't differ much on: (the New Right think state intervention in the economy should be reduced to a 'bare minimum' and that inflation should be controlled) Third Way have similar beliefs to the New Right, but they also feel that its

  1. How effective is parliament at holding the executive to account?

    Also they are not always successful. An example of this is the Foreign Affairs Committee over Iraq. There was still a huge Labour majority and the UK went to war anyway. The fourth way in which the executive is held to account is by standing committees.

  2. How effective are backbencher MPs?

    For example, Tom Watson, in his first year of being an MP for Labour in 2001, launched a campaign to ban album sales of convicted sex offender Gary Glitter, proving that backbenchers are effective. A key function of Backbencher MPs is that they scrutinise the proposed work of the PM,

  1. Discuss the view that there should be more state funding for political ...

    political parties to undertake certain reforms, hold internal elections or field a certain number of women candidates, youth or persons from an ethnic minority on their ballots, for example, as it is all their own choice, due to the fact that it is them that paid the government, and so

  2. Assess the view that since 2007 the Northern Ireland Assembly has been a legislative ...

    even though Sinn Fein believe it was promised to them in the St Andrew?s Agreement. However, it is not just the DUP that use Petition of Concern. The Northern Ireland Welfare Reform Act 2015 introduces a range of changes to the benefits system.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work