How Well Does Parliament Perform Its Various Functions? Essay

1646 Words May 3rd, 2012 7 Pages
How well does Parliament perform its various functions? There are several important functions that Parliament must perform. The word Parliament derived from the Latin ‘parliamentum’ and the French word ‘parler’ which originally meant a talk- which is what Parliament does most of the time. Parliament consists of the House of Commons, the House of Lords and the Monarchy. Parliament is the highest judicial, legislative and executive body in Britain. A parliamentary form of government acknowledges that it derives its power directly from the consent of the people. This sort of system ensures democracy and an active interaction between the people and their representatives. The three functions that I am going to focus on are Scrutiny, …show more content…
This was especially pushed by Tony Blair as it was obvious to him that the UK was far behind the US in being diverse, he started by pushing for there to be more women in government and these became known as “Blair’s babes”. The Lords are also a large part in representing the ‘national interest’ as they are less party political and many have had long careers in public service, business, arts and culture, or another area of activity. Therefore the members of the House of Lords contribute their expertise and knowledge to Parliament and its work and consequently able to take the bigger picture into account. However there are many downfalls in representation in the government. The most often referred to is how First Past the Post (FPTP) does not produce a very accurate representation in the House of Commons as it produces many ‘wasted votes’. In the Institute for Public Policy Research report, which looks at the ratio of votes to MPs under FPTP for the main parties in the 2010 general election, it was shown that it took 33,468 votes to elect a Labour MP, 35,028 votes to elect a Conservative MP and 119,780 votes to elect a Liberal Democrat MP. This therefore is an interesting piece of evidence showing the unfairness of the FPTP system as it strongly favours some parties over others. However there was a referendum in May 2011 which asked the public whether the Alternative Vote (AV) system should be used for general elections

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