How effective is Parliament in controlling the Executive?

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How effective is parliament in controlling the executive? In no sense in the UK does parliament control the executive, since we normally have single party government in the House of Commons, which with the use of the party whipping system can normally ensure the passage of government legislation, simply because the government has a majority of seats. The House of Lords by convention normally does not reject government bills that were announced in their election manifesto; in any event its delaying powers are restricted to one year, after which time bills automatically become law, regardless of Lords objections. Parliament does, however, have important scrutiny functions. In other words, the executive has to explain and justify their policies and actions to parliament. Ministers answer questions by backbenchers during the daily Question time, while the prime minister answers questions every Wednesday. It is often suggested that the media provide a more effective form of scrutiny than does parliament. MPs take up issues raised by their
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constituents, such as immigration rules. In this way MPs try to protect them from undesirable policy outcomes, Commons Select committees have the key role of strengthening the scrutiny role of parliament, though they have no input whatever into legislation.; there are 16 in all in the Commons. Most shadow government departments, though a small number are concerned with broader government issues. Their main work involves undertaking inquiries on specific issues and publishing reports for the House to consider, to which the government normally issues a reply, though the committees have no power to insist that their reports are debated or ...

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