How Effective Is Parliament in Carrying Out Its Representative Role?

1219 Words Dec 21st, 2010 5 Pages
Government in the UK is a representative body elected for and by the people. The UK uses the parliamentary system as its model of representation; this means the different areas of government which are the legislative, judiciary and executive branches work in and through each other as opposed to the Presidential model which separates the powers. Westminster Parliament is the acting microcosm for the UK society; it is a small group of 365 MPs who are chosen to represent their constituencies. Each MP is given power through trusteeship when voted in, this meaning that they will try to carry out what is best for their constituency. They are also once voted in known as a mandate, the authority granted by a constituency to an MP to act as its …show more content…
Another more proportional electoral system is single transferable vote (STV). By this system a party can field as many candidates as there is seats to fill and each voter gets one vote which can transfer to a second or even third preference of their choice of candidate reaches a predetermined quota of votes. This would create multi-member constituencies perhaps undermining the accountability of MPs and is also questionable as the proportionality it brings about can greatly vary.
When examining Parliament’s representative role you must examine the role of several groups who are severely misrepresented at Parliament. This is particularly for valid for women who make up half of the UK’s population. However, despite this there are only 143 female MPs as of the 2010 election which is only a paltry 22%; 28% less than the percentage of women in society. Much of this is down to a policy of positive discrimination employed by the Labour Party prior to the 1997 election. In this landslide victory they had installed women candidates in safe seats to ensure more women were elected. This smacks of patronisation and is not an accurate way of telling what voters truly want but still underlines the gross misrepresentation of women at Parliament. Another severely misrepresented group is that of ethnic minority groups who at this current point make up about 10% of the national population. However, again in

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