The House of Lords Is Now More Effective Than the House of Commons in Checking Government Power. Discuss

In: People

Submitted By Dom101
Words 1305
Pages 6
'The House of Lords is now more effective than the House of Commons in checking government power'. Discuss

In theory the House of Commons is the dominant chamber as it is elected while the House of Lords plays more of a revising role, issues to be considered include the powers of each chambers, the fact the House of Lords is more independently minded and the impact of the whips. It will ultimately be argued that the House of Commons remains far more effective due to having greater powers in checking the government power.

Firstly, the House of Commons has the ultimate check on government power via a vote of no confidence, this last happened in 1979 when Margaret Thatcher was able to be elected due to the Labour government's failure. The vote of no confidence allows the House of Commons to directly confront the government which creates a mutual respect between the government and the House of Commons as they can get rid of a government if they believe the government is failing to use its power correctly and effectively. Also, only the House of Commons has the power to reject legislation compared to the House of Lords which can only suspend the legislation for a maximum of 2 years. For example, in 2001 the House of Lords voted 317-68 against a fox hunting ban, and in 2004 they again threw out the plans for a complete ban, however in November 2004 the parliamentary act was invoked and the bill came into force in 2005.

However, the fact the House of Lords is more independently minded they are willing to check the executive. Crucially, there are a large number of cross benchers such as Lord Best which allows for personal opinions to be heard as most of them don't need to stick with their party. Also, whips have far less impact on the peers careers as most them have been part of parliament or government meaning they don't care if they raise a few eyebrows in their…...

Similar Documents

Is the House of Commons “Socially Representative”? Should It Be?

...There is no doubt that whether the House of Commons really represent community or not has become controversial. In my opinion, the House of Commons not really represent the community in the UK due to MPs are not diversified. Matt Walker (October 21, 2009) pointed out that: “In 2005 only 23% of the House of Commons were women, despite making up over half the UK population. Furthermore, ethnic minorities constitute only 2.3% of the House of Commons, despite being 9% of the entire UK population.” Therefore, how can the House of Commons becomes more socially representative is an important problem which parliament must deal with. As is well-known that most MPs are male with middle-age and high educated, apart from this, most part of them are middle class and white. Here has some information shown about MPs: There are approximately 90% of MPs had studied in universities; even most of them came from Oxford or Cambridge. There are about 4% of MPs represent ethnic minority groups. Besides, almost half of MPs are drawn from three professions—business finance and law. So it is obvious that MPs are not representing the nation as a whole. How can the parliament change this situation? In my point of view, the House of Commons should increase more females, people whose educational level is not high or low-yield class, and some young ethnic people. If there are more female MPs in the House of Commons, the more attention will be pay on the women than before. For example, there......

Words: 769 - Pages: 4

The House of Lords

...the House of Lords has existed for about six centuries without reform, some alterations have become necessary in order to bring it into conformity with the changed institutions by which it is surrounded.” – Lord Rosebery, 1884.1 Since Lord Rosebery’s well-known speech there has been much debate about changes in the composition of the House of Lords. Major reforms included the Life Peerages Act 1958 and later the House of Lords Act 1999, which reduced the hereditary members to 92.2 Nevertheless, constitutional experts such as Rodney Brazier argue that the House of Lords continues to be “unelected, unrepresentative and unaccountable.”3 The Coalition Government is therefore working on another reform bill to provide for a wholly or largely elected second chamber. This essay will argue that such a drastic change from a largely appointed to an elected system is too unrealistic to be implemented. Instead, the Government should seek to abolish Prime Ministerial patronage as well as the remaining hereditary members and adopt an independent Appointments Commission that appoints all the members of the upper chamber. To arrive at this conclusion, we will need to analyse which selection method best retains the Lords’ expertise, as well as their independence and representativeness. Then, a discussion follows whether the Lords necessarily ought to be democratically elected to provide a legitimate chamber. Lastly, the possibility of a mixed chamber will be considered. The House of Lords is......

Words: 2512 - Pages: 11

Discuss the View That Fixed Date Elections for the House of Commons Are a Good Idea (30 Marks)

...Discuss the view that fixed date elections for the House of Commons are a good idea (30 marks) On 15th September 2011, the Fixed Term Parliament Act was given royal assent. Under the provisions of the Act, parliamentary elections must be held every five years. Previously the Prime Minister had the power to call a general election whenever he/she wanted, as long as there was at least one every five years. This act has numerous advantages, including electoral fairness, prevention of needless speculation and greater stability. However there are also many disadvantages, such as benefits to the government of the day, longer campaigns and prolonged terms. The major criticism of the traditional system of flexible-term elections is that they gave the prime minister a significant and unfair advantage at election time. This is because the PM could dissolve Parliament to call an election at a time that is most favourable to their own party, as indicated by polling trends, as done so by Tony Blair in 2001. Fixed date elections remove the element of surprise for the opposition, since all parties know when the election will be held, and not just the Prime Minister and the governing party. Furthermore, fixed date elections prevents the media from speculating and stops the diversion of serious business in government. This leads to more stability in the government, politically and economically. The government tends to lose direction in regard to policies and the implementation of......

Words: 884 - Pages: 4

The House of Lords Is Now More Effective Than the House of Commons in Checking Government Power.’ Discuss.

...Powers of House of Commons and the House of Lords The House of Commons has, theoretically, a massive amount of formal power. It has a sovereign legislature, and can make, amend or un-make any law it wishes, and can be only delayed by the House of Lords. Can remove the government of the day in a vote of confidence. E.g. 1979 vote of no confidence in James Callaghan's Labour government. However, in reality it has only a limited influence over legislation due to executive domination of the House of Commons: the Westminster voting system offers the government majority control over the Commons and the party discipline system allows ministers to control backbenchers. Formal mechanisms to ensure accountability like Question Time and select committees are often relatively weak. But, declining levels of party unity have led to more independent, educated and assertive backbenchers, who are able to exert a greater influence. E.g. Conservative backbench rebellion 2011 on having an EU membership referendum, where a massive 81 conservative MPs voted for having it. However, counterbalancing this is a growing trend for landslide majorites, which allows governments to resist pressure from backbenchers and opposition. The formal powers of the House of Lords are, in contrast, quite unimpressive. Lords can only delay legislation from the Commons for a year maximum. Cannot delay money-related bills. Cannot remove the government of the day and can only veto a very limited range of......

Words: 441 - Pages: 2

House of Commons Revision

...House of Commons Most powerful of the two Houses of Parliament. Made up of 650 MPs, each elected in one of 650 constituencies throughout the UK. Almost all MPs are elected as members of a political party. Functions of The House of Commons Representation: MPs represent constituents and may represent 'interests' such as trade unions, or particular professions, provided these interests are declared. Almost all MPs represent political parties, and usually vote according to the party line (the whipping system). Government Personnel: Although parliament does not appoint the government, it provides a forum in which budding ministers can demonstrate and hone their political skills, while serving ministers can make or break their career depending on their performance at the Commons' dispatch box. Legitimisation: Permits the elected assembly, acting on the people's behalf, to grant (or withhold) its approval for most actions of the government, including legislation and the grant of money. Scrutiny of the Executive: The role in scrutinising the policies and actions of the government, in debates, parliamentary questions and within the influential cross-party select committees. The Powers of the Prime Ministers Power to appoint, reshuffle or dismiss ministers Power to create peers Power to give out honours Power to appoint chairs of nationalised industries Power to make other appointments (e.g. top civil servants, ambassadors, bishops, judges). Power over ministerial......

Words: 1292 - Pages: 6

The House of Lords No Longer Has a Useful Role, Samaniego Mary

...While the word ‘Lord’ is generally related to power, the term power is contrary to the reality of the Upper Chamber. In spite of the considerable number of reforms which have been applied by the Government to make it representative, the question of whether to get rid of the House of Lords or not, has been a controversial issue for more than a century. Nevertheless, it is irrefutable that the Lower House has more power due to its legitimacy obtained from citizens voting for its members (MPs). Despite, the House of Lords has increased its influence and it continues to do so. The present clamour for a constitutional reform in the political field demands a close examination of the role and work of the House of Lords. This essay will analyse the advantages and drawbacks of the House of Lords. Firstly, the function of the Upper Chamber will be taken into account and analysed, followed by an evaluation of its unsuccessful reforms. The goal of this essay is to find an answer to the question whether the House of Lords should be reformed or not. As an essential part of the Westminster model, the House of Lords complements the work of the House of Commons, analysing laws from the Commons, scrutinising the decisions taken by the government and bringing a breadth of knowledge and experience to solve matters of public interest. The House of Lords plays a major role in legislation even with the limitations of the Parliament Act (it can only delay non-money Bills for one year)......

Words: 1228 - Pages: 5

Discuss About the Miracle in a Doll’s House

...FORE120009.01 现代欧美戏剧名篇赏析 Discuss about the Miracle in A Doll’s House 院 系:经济学院 专 业:国际金融系 姓 名:陈卓佩 学 号:11307100212 日 期:2013年6月6日 Abstract This article focuses on the miracle Nora mentions in Act Three of A Doll’s House. The miracle Nora hopes for “in terror and hope” is for her husband to change and accept responsibility. But Torvald’s initial reaction towards her sacrifice is panic, then incomprehension. This makes Nora realize that she is only a doll dependent on man. The miracle she has always been waiting for never comes. However, I think the fact that Nora decides to leave and live independently itself is a miracle in that social and historical context. Some people doubt about whether Nora will succeed in becoming independent. Judging from her personality and what she has done, I believe she will. This miracle then spread to the whole Europe, China and other countries, which greatly affected the feminist movement. Key Words:A Doll’s House, miracle, Nora, feminist movement 摘要 本文重点分析了《玩偶之家》女主人公娜拉在第三幕中提及的“奇迹”。娜拉所盼望又害怕的奇迹是她的丈夫能做出改变并承担责任,但当托伐知道真相时,他的反应是惊惧和不理解。这让娜拉意识到她只是一个依附于丈夫的玩偶,从而毅然出走。娜拉所企盼的奇迹没有发生,但我认为在那样的时代背景下,她出走的事实本身就是最大的奇迹。有人质疑娜拉出走后是否能实现真正的独立,我认为就她的性格和所作所为而言,这一点是毋庸置疑的。随后,这种女性宣告独立的“奇迹”逐渐蔓延至整个欧洲乃至中国,并深刻地影响了女权主义运动的进程。 关键词:玩偶之家;奇迹;娜拉;女权运动 Discuss about the Miracle in A Doll’s House 1. Introduction As A Doll’s House opens, Torvald and Nora are at a point of......

Words: 2137 - Pages: 9

The Separation of Powers Hinders Effective Government in the United States. Discuss

...‘The separation of powers hinders effective government in the United States’. Discuss The ‘separation of powers’ is a theory – adopted from Montesquieu in 1748 – where political power is distributed over the 3 branches of government. This was put in place to create a limited government which would essentially help to avoid tyranny and protect the liberty of citizens. Neustradt stated that it was the institutions that are separate and not the powers. If the branches were totally separate, power would be difficult to exercise especially with the use of checks and balances. Instead there is a separation of personnel, where not one member of one branch can work within another branch. So all in all, the US government created a doctrine of ‘shared powers’, where checks and balances are needed. Madison agreed with this, and said: ‘you must first enable the government to control the governed, and in the next place oblige it to control itself’. Some of the checks and balances include: the president checking congress by presidential veto; the presidential veto is checked by congressional override; the supreme court uses judicial review to decide whether legislation or actions are unconstitutional; presidential appointments are confirmed, and treaties ratified by the Senate; and finally the president is the Commander in Chief of the armed forces, but only congress can declare war. Checks and balances are needed alongside the separation of powers. Checks and balances are......

Words: 1064 - Pages: 5

House of Lords More Effective?

...xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx c v c ccccc cdd c fcdf fddf fd ffd When the House of Lords is discussed, the discussion is almost inevitably in connection with its reform, which is seen as incomplete following the removal of most hereditary peers from the chamber in 1999. But the House of Lords is perpetually seen as “unreformed", with proposals for change having been made for over a century. This means the opportunity has often been missed to study the chamber as it is, and its impact on the policy process. Given that the next stage of reform may, like previous ones, be long delayed, such study is important. This project therefore focuses on the contemporary House, and particularly on how it has changed since the 1999 reform. Publications in the first phase of the project (2004-2007) asked questions about the strength and confidence of the House of Lords, perceptions of its "legitimacy", and the real policy impact of government defeats. Research methods included study of parliamentary records, questionnaire surveys and interviews with peers, and public opinion surveys. A complete record of all members and all "divisions" (votes) in the chamber since November 1999 has been compiled in database form. The second phase of the project (2008-2011) continued the collection of some of this data, and generated new publications. These included broader analyses of the impact of Lords reform in 1999 on the British parliament, and its lessons for bicameralism in a......

Words: 308 - Pages: 2

Should Fptp Continue to Be Used for Elections to the House of Commons?

...Should FPTP continue to be used for elections to the House of Commons? The first reason that FPTP should continue to be used for elections to the House of Commons is that it produces effective constituency representation because there are single member constituencies, meaning that people know which MP represents them in the House of Commons, and thus who they can take their grievances to. This is a strength because it results in a strong working link between an MP and a geographical area, thus connecting communities to central politics. For example, Greg Barker, the Conservative MP for Bexhill and Battle, has worked with his constituents, since he won 51.6% of the vote and was thus elected to the House of Commons in 2010, to represent their need in Parliament. For instance, in September 2014, Barker advocated for the expansion of free childcare for 2,200 two-year-olds in East Sussex, as a result of the 2006 childcare act. Moreover, due to the fact that under FPTP only one MP is elected per constituency, the public can easily hold their representative directly accountable for their actions, and consequently can vote them out of power at the next general election. For example, the labour MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, Oona King, lost her seat in the 2010 general election, when her predominantly Muslim constituents voted her out of power, after her support for the Iraq war. Consequently, since under PR systems the link between constituents and representatives is significantly......

Words: 1394 - Pages: 6

H.O.L More Effective Than H.O.C

...'The House of Lords is now more effective than the House of Commons in checking government power.' Discuss. (40) The House of Commons and the House of Lords both check government power and together they form our dual chamber system. They both share the task of making and shaping laws and checking and challenging the work of the government but have different features which has led to debate as to which is the most effective. With the reforms to the House of Lords being a much discussed issue recently, debate as to which chamber is more effective has been heightened further. The House of Lords are appointed based on their expertise. You could argue that this makes them more effective at checking government power because they each specialise in certain areas and posses large amounts of knowledge on certain aspects that would allow them to hold government to account. For example, one lord may be a former Prime Minister whilst one may specialise in business. This knowledge and expertise could be seen as making the House of Lords more well rounded and therefore more effective than the House of Commons in checking government power. This is because in the House of Commons they could be elected for reasons other than their expertise, for example, if a party holds a safe seat then the skill set of their MP might not even be taken into consideration by citizens who are just voting for the party. However, some people may say that because 26 of the most senior bishops are in the......

Words: 937 - Pages: 4

House of Commons

...Write a review of the following public report: House of Commons Home Affairs Committee Undercover Policing: Interim Report (2013) This review will examine the report from the House of Commons, home affairs committee undercover policing (2013), in response to key issues for the police and public, what the report addresses and finally if the report illuminate’s our understanding of the police and if so in what ways. Many undercover operations are of short durations, others can last for months and as the report considers here even years. These operations are vital for the gaining information about usually serious organised crimes and also to reduce terrorism. At the beginning of 2011, criminal proceedings against six people standing trial for charges related to a ‘conspiracy to sabotage a coal-fired power station’, at Nottingham Crown Court were Halted by the crown prosecution service. The material in the report primarily focuses on the work of an undercover police officer, Mark Kennedy. Kennedy had spent several years undercover among environmental and other activist groups. In the present report by the House of Commons the relationship the police played within the protest groups was investigated, one specific question was addressed for guiding the main report, what are the key issues for the police and for the public? The focus on the reports investigation was on officers that were directly involved with gathering information for the police. Undercover operations place a......

Words: 266 - Pages: 2

Wal-Mart: the Economic Power House

...Abstract Wal-Mart is the United States largest retailer and the largest employer. It has more revenue and more employees than any other company in America. The growth is unmatched by competitors and is a dominant force in the retail space. It has insignificant operating costs that let the retailer set low prices on a range of goods. The paper will examine theses economical burdens of this practice. There are concerns about Walmart’s growth, along with the financial impact it has on its workers, the environment, surrounding communities, and its competitors. This paper will examine these concerns by answering the following questions: Was there a correlational relationship between the leadership’s decisions make abilities and the events that led to employees rights? Was there a connection between Walmart’s business practices and the practices of senior leadership that effect the environment? How has the public’s perception of Walmart caused a reduction in the work force, and effecting surround communities? This paper will look deep into these issues and describe possible solutions   Wal-Mart: The Economic Power House Walmart runs on small operating costs, it has low prices, it’s a gigantic company, the world’s second largest employer, families spend thousands of dollars a year there, and it has everything from apples to glue, and most people live within 20 miles of one. These facts represent an organization that has had expansive growth since its inception. With this......

Words: 3221 - Pages: 13

House of Lords

...The House of Lords an effective institution? an effective institution? Introduction Since the reform of the House of Lords in 1999 by Tony Blair’s ‘New Labour’ government, the status and legislative scope of the ‘upper house’ has steadily risen. Its role as a ‘revising chamber’, scrutinising bills sent to it from the House of Commons, is an important one. However, unlike upper houses in many modern democracies such as the Senate in the USA, theoretically it cannot stop, and at best can only delay, legislation sent from the Commons. As a largely appointed chamber, doubts remain as to its legitimacy and as recently as 2012 the government tried to replace the Lords with a largely elected chamber. This initiative however failed, perhaps partly because MPs were worried that a wholly elected Lords might in the future question the primacy of the Commons. Task Objective * This task requires you to explore the workings of the Lords and consider how effective it is as a parliamentary body. * It will ask you to consider whether the House of Lords should be reformed further. * It will guide you through a range of reading material and pose key questions for you to post on as you complete each section of reading. Task 1: Overview of Functions____________________________________________________________________ You can get a very quick overview of the role and work of the House of Lords by skim reading the following pamphlet and watching the YouTube......

Words: 4252 - Pages: 18

The Separation of Powers Hinders Effective Government in the Usa. Discuss.

...The separation of powers hinders effective government in the USA. Discuss. (30 marks) The ‘separation of powers’ is a theory where political power is distributed over the 3 branches of government. This was put in place to create a limited government which would essentially help to avoid tyranny and protect the liberty of citizens. Some of the checks and balances include: the president checking congress by presidential veto; the presidential veto is checked by congressional override; the supreme court uses judicial review to decide whether legislation or actions are unconstitutional; presidential appointments are confirmed, and treaties ratified by the Senate; and finally the president is the Commander in Chief of the armed forces, but only congress can declare war. Checks and balances are needed alongside the separation of powers. Checks and balances are essential for the scrutiny of the three branches of government, however they come with some disadvantages. One reason as to why the separation of powers hinders effective government in the USA is because there is often a divided house within government which subsequently results in gridlock when passing legislation or when each branch exercises their powers. It is not uncommon that the majority party in congress is the opposite of the party that the President belongs to. This usually means that the legislative and executive have contrasting views. Most recent presidents have accused the Senate of either rejecting or......

Words: 920 - Pages: 4