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

Parliament has many roles - Identify and discuss its roles.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Hina Safdar Parliament has many roles. Identify and discuss its roles. This essay discusses the major roles in Parliament by referring to both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The roles include Law Making, Scrutiny and Representation. It will then discuss whether the roles are effective or not. Legitimation is a main role of Parliament. Legitimating means that Parliament has the right to make laws. All policy proposals that come from the government must be legitimised by Parliament as a whole; this includes both the Commons and the Lords voting for or against policy. For the proposal to become a law it needs to have the majority of votes. In 2001 the Labour party only received 41% of the vote, where as the Conservative party received 33% percent of the vote, which shows with the Labour government being in power not everyone is represented, in fact on 41% of the people are represented. So it can be argued that the Labour Government today lacks legitimacy, as only 1 in 4 people voted for a Labour Government. Not everyone voted for certain MPs and most of the law passed comes from the government itself and cannot be changed by individual MPs because they are controlled by the Whip system. This shows that the House of Commons does lack legitimacy. However the House of Lords also lack legitimacy because it is an unelected body therefore it is undemocratic, unaccountable and unrepresentative. There is no link between the people and the Lords. The Lords are constrained in power by something known as "democratic deficit". ...read more.

Middle

The House of Lords is very good at scrutinising the government because they have plenty of time to look through proposed policy and analyse it, making amendments where they feel necessary. Overall I think that this role is quite effective because select committees can break party lines and act independently, Ministers and civil servants do appear in Parliament and the government is compelled to present all policies to parliament. However a lot of information is hidden away by the government, so it is difficult to scrutinise. Party loyalty can stop proper criticisms and Parliament lacks in research facilities. Representation is another role of Parliament. Representation is about representing the people of Britain in parliament effectively, because they voted for certain people to be there on their behalf. The House of Commons has to represent their constituency. This is not very effective at all because half the House of Commons come from a professional background whereas only 10% of the people come from professional background. This is disproportionate. However most of the House of Commons are middle aged, middle classed white men because selectors are unlikely to choose candidates who do not conform to the stereotypical voter. The job is well educated therefore it needs a well educated person to do it. It requires many skills like good communication. The House of Commons should be fairly represented because it means that policy is approved by the country as a whole. Policy is legitimate. It would improve political participation. The government's power would be decreased and there would be a better redress of grievances for the minority groups. ...read more.

Conclusion

A role which is carried out by only the House of Lords is the Judiciary function. The law Lords accept cases that have been referred to them by the Court of Appeal. This is a reactive court not a proactive one. The Supreme Court looks at about 1,500 cases a year by 5 Law Lords out of a total 12 each time. The Judiciaries can be argued as in being neutral and fair because it looks after the rights of the people and freedoms. It can also be said that it is independent because the decisions made are not based on policy they are based on law. However the law lords are politically appointed by the Prime Minister or the Lord Chancellor. So some appeals could be biased depending on the type of people they are for example, because most judges' senior judges are whit, elite and elderly they will naturally be harsher towards different sections of society. Overall I think that the judicial function of the House of Lords is biased, unfair and ineffective. Overall I think that Parliaments roles are carried out effectively because both Houses of Parliament have the rights to object to law proposals to scrutinize and to represent the people effectively. But it is obvious that the UK is not ran democratically because it is not the party with the majority of votes that rules it, parliament does not scrutinise effectively because of loyalty. It is heavily controlled by the whip system and there is not enough time for everything to be done properly. I think that if the people in the Houses of parliament acted independently and were not controlled by whips, the UK would be more democratic. ...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. "The British Parliament is weak whereas the US Congress is powerful." Discuss.

    Many Trade and Industry issues, for example, are subject to QMV. Because of QMV, Germany and the UK may be forced to adopt legislation that the minister voted against. European laws are not debated in the House of Commons. (They are, however, sometimes debated in the House of Lords).

  2. How effective is Parliament? The effectiveness of Parliament can only be ascertained by evaluating ...

    The select committees also have no power to enforce any recommendations and therefore the most they can do is argue their point but they can take it no further. Fourthly, standing committees. Standing committees are larger than select committees as they have up to 40 members.

  1. Assess the effectiveness of Parliaments Scrutiny of Government.

    The Departmental committees were the first attempted to regularise the scrutiny system committees that could examine ' the expenditure, administration and policy' of the main government departments. Around 17 department committees exist today. Committees have substantial powers given to them by Parliament and can call for persons, papers and records.

  2. What means are available to parliament and how effective is its scrutiny of the ...

    Thus it would be fair to say that although standing committees do allow opposition MP's the chance to scrutinize the legislative functions of the government of the day, because of the fact that the government is likely to have an inbuilt majority's in each of the committees, the extent to which this is likely to be effective is compromised.

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

    Furthermore many M.P.'s leave Select Committees in order to take up jobs in government. Consequently their replacements often have an amateurish approach to scrutinising the government. These M.P.'s do not have the necessary training in order to extract accurate information.

  2. What are the roles of political parties and how effectively do they carry this ...

    In 1986 Labour was clearly a socialist party with very little appeal to capitalist organisations. This had changed by 1995 with 'new' Labour and in response to this the donation charter changed. The party is gaining more capitalist donators for example Bernie Ecclestone, a well-known donator to the Labour party after its transformation.

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

    Another extremely important part of the role of an M.P. is to redress grievances of the M.P.'s constituency. They are expected to meet with local pressure groups and businesses, visit local schools and hospitals etc. Therefore they should know the problems within their constituency for real.

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

    Time and show up the Prime Minister, much like William Hague was able to do to Tony Blair. One area that Parliament does have some ability to carry out one of its main functions of scrutinising the Government effectively is with Select Committees.

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