(11) How is the relationship between government and parliament influenced?


A level Governing the UK - 2C ( Parliament) Mind Map on (11) How is the relationship between government and parliament influenced?, created by Marcus Danvers on 11/27/2013.
Marcus  Danvers
Mind Map by Marcus Danvers, updated more than 1 year ago
Marcus  Danvers
Created by Marcus Danvers over 9 years ago

Resource summary

(11) How is the relationship between government and parliament influenced?
  1. Extent of party unity
    1. How is party unity maintained
      1. Whipping system
        1. the whips ensure that MPs know how their parties want them to vote and defying this can lead to the MP losing their ‘whip’ – sits as an independent MP and not as a member of the party until the ‘whip’ is reinstated.
        2. Ideological unity
          1. most long-standing MPs ‘toe the party line’. They believe in their party or government.
          2. Convention of collective responsibility
            1. referred to as the ‘payroll vote’ – ensures the loyalty of 100-110 frontbench government MPs.
            2. Promotion prospects
              1. backbench MPs want to be ministers & loyalty ensures support of ministers & whips.
            3. Why has party unity declined?
              1. Long term
                1. MPs better educated than in 1950/60s – more critical & independent minded
                  1. MPs are ‘career politicians’ – time & resources to take political issues more seriously
                  2. Short term
                    1. Public standing of government & likelihood of winning re-elections
                      1. Personal authority of the Prime Minister
                        1. Radicalism of the government’s legislative programme
                    2. Size of majority
                      1. Majority control of the Commons occurs due to the ‘first-past-the-post’ voting system over-representing large parties – NOT due to voting patterns (no party has won a majority of votes in a general election since 1935). This is a reliable outcome – only one general election since 1945 (Feb 1974) has failed to produce a single-party majority government.
                        1. Why is the size of a government’s majority vital in gaining parliamentary power?
                          1. The larger the government majority, the weaker backbencher will usally be
                            1. For instance with majority of 178 after the 1997 GE it would have taken 90 labour MPs to defet the Blair government. Once Blairs majorty had fallen to 65 after the 2005 GE this could be done by just 34 labour MP's. the contrasted between small and large majority can be stark
                        2. Advent of a coalition government
                          1. How might a coalition goverment challenge the effectivenes of Parliament
                            1. A coalition government will radically alter the dynamic of executive parliament relation in the UK.
                              1. Coalitions are forced to manage the commons not simply maintaining a single partly unity, because they establish and maintain unity across two or more parties.
                                1. Coalitions means that it support of back bench MP's for government policy cannot simply be taken for granted
                                2. 'Rejuvenate' Parliament?
                                  1. A coalition government is expected to ‘rejuvenate’ Parliament due to the very nature of altering the dynamics of an executive-Parliament (two parties rather than a single party in the executive). This is because rather than a single party executive (which ensures its power through party unity, substantial majority & control of backbenchers), a coalition has to manage party unity across TWO parties (inter-party debate, negotiation & conciliation) making LEGISLATURE a key focus of policy
                                  2. How might a coaltion goverment maintain party unity in the commons?
                                    1. Coaltion resolve may of policy issues that may otherwise have dogged the government and perhs threatened it existence
                                      1. Extensive use of commission and forums, allowed sensitive issues to be effectively "buried" or to be resolved though a "neutral" process
                                        1. Lib dems prominent represention in government. NIck Clegg as Dep PM, with four other in the cabinet. The lib dems are also marginally 'over-repersented in government 5:1 compared with 6:1 of MP's
                                          1. Ideological shift in both coalition party before 2010 GE , so policy diffrents between the Con and Lib Dem had been signifficanly reduced
                                            1. Having entering into a coalition, there maybe a significant electoral cost for pullign out. The Con Lib Dem MP's ahev no realistic option other than to make the coaltion work
                                          2. Impact of the Lords
                                            1. Party unity is RELAXED
                                              1. Non-elected and so no need for party machine to keep post. Peers are for life and cannot be disciplined by government through the whip system.
                                              2. No guarantee of majority control
                                                1. Until 2000, dominance of hereditary peers meant that Conservatives had ‘in-built’ majority in Lords, and Labour confronted hostile second chamber. Thus, the Lords’ checking power was used in a highly partisan way.
                                                2. Why might it be argued that the impact of the HoL on checking government has increased?
                                                  1. No majority party in the Lords
                                                    1. Each party has abour 29 per cent support. All parties have toseek support from other parties and from crossbenchers in order to det legislation passed
                                                    2. More assertive Lords
                                                      1. Removal of most of the hereditary peers has encouraged the members of the House of Lords to believe that they have a right to assert their authority.
                                                      2. Landslide majorities in the commons
                                                        1. Some peers argued that they had a duty to check the government of the day because the commons had become so ineffective to this respect due to landslide majorities
                                                        2. The politices of the parliament act
                                                          1. this act allow the commons to overrule the lords, thier use is very time-consuming as it means that bills get regularly passed back and forth between the the house
                                                            1. Government are therefore often more anxious to reach a compromise with the lords than to 'streamroller' a bill through using the 1949 Parliament Act
                                                          2. How has the coalition government threatened increased control of the House of Lords?
                                                            1. Reform of the HoL is still planned by the coalition government – however, more recent actions have strengthened executive control over the chamber, rather than weakening it. For instance, 117 new peers were appointed between May 2010 to January 2011 and the majority were Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. With further appointments scheduled, this will increase the number in the chamber to over 800. This approach has been accepted in line with the coalition’s aim of representing all major parties within the Lords to reflect the popular vote at the previous general election.
                                                            2. How would this influence the effectiveness of Parliament?
                                                              1. Loosing party unity in the Lords compared with the commons continues to impose a major constraint on the executive. by mid-may 2011, the coalition had been defeated in the House of Lords on 16 occasions , while it had suffered no such reverses in the House of Commons
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