(3) The seven Role of MPs


A level Governing the UK - 2C ( Parliament) Mind Map on (3) The seven Role of MPs, created by Marcus Danvers on 10/24/2013.
Marcus  Danvers
Mind Map by Marcus Danvers, updated more than 1 year ago
Marcus  Danvers
Created by Marcus Danvers over 9 years ago

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(3) The seven Role of MPs
  1. Representing their constituents
    1. MPs are expected to raise issues of particular concern for the people who live in their constituencies, whether they voted for the MP’s party or not.
      1. EG: If a local factory closes, the MP is expected to raise the matter with a relevant minister, even if nothing can be done about it.
    2. Serving constituents
      1. Apart from their work at Westminster, MPs make regular visits to their constituencies, where they can be approached by the residents for advice and, where possible, practical help.
      2. Voting on legislation
        1. Every MP is entitled to cast a vote on a bill.
        2. Debates
          1. Backbench MPs can speak in the most important debate on any bill – the second reading.
            1. Backbench MPs can speak in the most important debate on any bill – the second reading.
              1. The speaker who presides over debates, normally gives preference to ex-ministers, especially on important issues.
                1. But in most cases an MP will enjoy the right to be heard if he or she wishes to say anything.
                  1. MPs enjoy parliamentary privilege; that is, they cannot be sued for anything mentioned during a speech within the confines of Westminster.
                    1. They can also initiate adjournment debates, which give them a chance to win publicity for their views on subjects important to them.
                      1. They can put down early day motions for the same purpose, giving their views in writing in the hope that enough MPs will offer supporting signatures to win publicity for the cause.
                      2. Committee work
                        1. MPs with an enthusiasm for a particular subject can be chosen to serve on a standing committee, which deals with legislation in a specific area, or a select committee, which keeps an eye on the work of a department, or several departments.
                          1. The prestigious Public Accounts Committee, which was founded as long ago as 1862, oversees spending across Whitehall.
                          2. Private members’ bills
                            1. Although backbench MPs cannot hope to pass their own ideas into legislation without government support, if they are successful in a ballot they can introduce a bill.
                              1. Again, the goal here is usually to win publicity for a favourite cause (or to impress constituents) because in most circumstances the bill fails through lack of time.
                                1. But sometimes a private member’s bill will be given either open or tacit support by the government and eventually reach the statute book.
                                  1. Some important social legislation of the 1960s, including the Abortion Act, originate in this way.
                                    1. It is a convenient way for governments to allow the passage of controversial legislation without being blamed by its opponents for having introduced the bill in the first place.
                                    2. Executive scrutiny
                                      1. Conscientious backbenchers of all parties can dredge useful (and sometimes embarrassing) information out of the government.
                                        1. Apart from the regular Question Times, MPs can submit questions in writing and the relevant ministers answer is published in the Hansard – the official record of parliamentary debates.
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