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

"Debates, Question Time, and Select Committees all give Parliament Teeth." Do you agree?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

"Debates, Question Time, and Select Committees all give Parliament Teeth." Do you agree? I don't agree with this statement because in general I don't think that Parliament is able to complete one of its main functions, to scrutinise the Government - or get its teeth into Government - very effectively. Parliament's other main function is to pass bills, yet I don't think that it can do this very well either. First of all, there are a number of reasons which prevent Parliament from being very effective and getting its teeth into Government during debates. For instances, questions are expected from MPs, so they already have answers prepared. Also, going into a debate an MP cant expect to change anyone's opinion, at best they can just hope to higher their profile and get noticed. What's more, backbench MPs, who will be aiming to raise awareness of a problem bought to their attention by constituents, hardly get the opportunity to speak, especially during great debates. Furthermore, the Whips tell MPs what to say and when to attend, so debates are very much under their control, yet sometimes debates can just turn into slanging matches between MPs. Finally, there is generally a poor attendance in debates, so often there are deals done in the corridors, as private conversations appear to be more effective. ...read more.

Middle

These have the right to call any one up for questioning, and they will be asked to give evidence and answer questions, much like in a court. This gives Parliament the opportunity to scrutinise by questioning Government's decisions, as they have the right to ask whatever they want to, they have "Parliamentary Privilege". Also Government Whips, Ministers, and the Opposition Front Benchers aren't allowed to be part of a Select Committee, which means there is less control over what is said by committee members. Furthermore, although committees are made up in proportion to the representation of Parties in the House of Commons, meaning that there is a majority of Government MPs here, they feel that it is there responsibility and duty as a member of a Select Committee to hold the Government accountable and scrutinise them to the best of their ability. What's more, people who are called up to be questioned by a select committee are expected to tell the truth and bring any required documents, so that the committees always get the evidence that they need. However, despite this power that the select committees may have, much of it is in vein, as although any MP has the right to apply to join a Select Committee and influence which one they would like to join, ...read more.

Conclusion

There are also factors that undermine Parliament that reduce its ability to scrutinise Government, for example Special Interest Groups, who get listened to more than the electorate. Also, the media has a huge influence on both Policies and the reputation of Parliament, which can often prevent Parliament from getting on with its job. What's more, Party Politics dominate Parliament, as MPs are generally more concerned with supporting their Party than with supporting Parliament. Finally, Europe has a strong influence over what goes on in Parliament, and the Executive has a great amount of power. In conclusion, despite some opportunities for Parliament to carry out arguably its main job, to scrutinise the Government, effectively, these are often ignored by the Government or undermined by outside influences, meaning that the Government has a huge amount of power that Parliament can do almost nothing about. As one Parliamentary commentator, Brick, showed through a famous cartoon, Parliament is just a big theatre performance that is staged by the Whips, but is generally of no interest to the electorate. Another Parliamentary commentator, Wright, said that it was nobody's job, not even Parliament's, to scrutinise the Government, but that there is merely a never-ending election campaign between Government and the Opposition. Therefore, in my opinion, I disagree with the statement, as I believe that Debates, Question Time, nor Select Committees give Parliament Teeth with which they can get into Government. Andrew Edwards ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

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

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 GCSE Politics essays

  1. How effectively does Parliament carry out its functions?

    There is always a government majority on these committees, but often these committees are independent from Government intrusion and can reveal significant information. However, a lot of information remains under a veil for select committees and ministers have the opportunity to deny them information.

  2. Legislators have three essential functions: representation, law-making and control of the executive. How does ...

    covered by the bill; they increase public awareness of the issues at stake and give members of the public and interested organizations another chance to participate in the discussions. * During the second and third readings in the plenary of the Bundestag, arguments for and against the bill are debated

  1. Consider the contribution of select committees to the House of Commons' scrutiny of government ...

    Her husband wanted to claim back. The Commission thought no power for sale and decline to investigate his request. This matter brought to Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Agriculture and the Parliamentary Secretary request report from Land Commission. The official in charge was instructed not to approach previous owner

  2. How effective are M.P.'s at scrutinising the Government?

    Also question time has been criticised for being too stage-managed and ritualised. This is because of the use of 'planted questions'. This is where the Prime Minister gets sympathetic M.P.'s to ask him questions, which he already has a planed answer to.

  1. To what extent does executive dominance over parliament prevent M.P.'s from carrying out their ...

    These M.P.'s also hold surgeries where their constituents can air their problems. In addition M.P.'s have to answer mail from their constituents, this mail load is much more than in previous years, thus adding more work onto their already bulging schedule.

  2. Politics and Parliament - What's it all about?

    One of the by-products of Western influence in other parts of the world has been the spread of the idea of parliamentary government, though some non-Western states had their own assemblies in pre-colonial times. This was particularly true of the British Commonwealth.

  1. How effectively do select committees perform their functions?

    Select committees shadow the work of every Government department. Their main function is to carry out checks and balances to maintain democracy. Having chosen a topic to discuss, the committes have the power to call witnesses (ministers, civil servants, MPs and representatives of interested groups)

  2. 'The government controls parliament but it cannot always rely on getting its own way.' ...

    The first of these, and the most basic, is a working majority. It is one of the very most basic principles of the British parliamentary system that the majority party in the House of Commons forms a government. A majority provides the means by which a government may govern in

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