What Use Is the Westminster Model of British Government?

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What use is the Westminster Model of British Government?

The Westminster model for centuries has always been the face of British politics. “Traditionally British political scientists tended to believe that the Westminster model provided democratic and effective government” and “was well suited to gradual and evolutionary change, capable of adapting where appropriate but conserving traditions and conventions that had proven themselves to be effective over a long period” (McAulla, 2006, p. 14). However, within recent decades the debate of whether the Westminster model is of use to the British government was created. This can largely be a result to the United Kingdom joining the European Union and aspects of devolution. To answer the question of what use is the Westminster model of British government, the Westminster model must firstly be understood. Thus, I will first explain the core features of the Westminster model and then assess its use of British government.
The Westminster model is a unique one and parliamentary sovereignty exemplifies this. Under the Westminster system, power resides exclusively in a single national authority; parliament with no entrenched and autonomous powers being vested in any other body (Norton, 2004, p. 324). As such, no national body can question the legitimacy of its decisions, however, theoretically, the monarch holds the power to dissolve parliament. Other than that, parliament can pass any bill it wishes in theory and can remove any previously made law as parliament cannot bind their successors to existing legislation. Though, it should be noted that the judiciary can question legislation on legal grounds but it cannot block or overturn any legislation. As such, parliament has the ultimate power. This is completely different from the United States where the American Constitution provides for and the establishment of the…...

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