Parliament

Katie Mortley
Mind Map by , created over 6 years ago

Politics (Mr Edmunds) Mind Map on Parliament, created by Katie Mortley on 04/18/2013.

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Katie Mortley
Created by Katie Mortley over 6 years ago
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Parliament
1 Sovereignty
1.1 Legally UK Parliament is sovereign
1.1.1 Source of all political power, no body can exercise power unless parliament authoriese
1.1.2 recall any power it had delegated to others
1.1.2.1 e.g devolution or the EU
1.1.3 it can make any laws it wishes
1.1.4 its not bound by the actions of previous parliaments
1.1.4.1 therefore cannot be bind its successors
1.2 Parliaments political sovereignty has decreased
1.2.1 power passed to the EU
1.2.1.1 EU law is superior to British law, therefore Parliament may not pass any law that contravenes the EU
1.2.1.2 however there are areas that the EU have no influence over at all
1.2.1.2.1 e.g health, transport, tax, education
1.2.1.3 some areas the EU has great influence
1.2.1.3.1 e.g agriculture, fisheries, trade and employment rights
1.2.1.4 in theory Parliament could withdraw but unlikely
1.2.2 power of executive has grown
1.2.2.1 PM in particular
1.2.2.2 especially those with large majorities
1.2.2.2.1 e.g Thatcher + Blair
1.2.3 Use of referendums
1.2.3.1 have taken one of parliaments role
1.2.3.1.1 to make significant changes to constitution
1.2.3.2 results are not binding but it would be politically unwise to ignore them
1.2.4 Following 1998 Human Rights Act, parliament has accepted European Convention on Human Rights
1.2.4.1 act could be repealed, but parliament treats ECHR as supreme
1.2.4.2 would take extraordinary circumstances to abolish the Act or ignore ECHR
1.2.5 Devolution
1.2.5.1 powers have devolved to Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland
1.2.5.2 could be reclaimed, but highly unlikely in practice
1.2.5.2.1 apart from Northern Ireland due to security circumstances there
2 Structure of Parliament
2.1 Plenary Sessions
2.1.1 whole house meets
2.1.2 normally Commons is only full once a week at PMQs
2.1.3 can also be full for controversial bills
2.1.3.1 e.g tutition fees/ fox hunting
2.1.4 often Gvt will expect backbenchers to vote
2.1.4.1 doesn't mean they'll take part in relevant debate
2.2 Legislative Committees
2.2.1 small groups of MPs assigned to scrutinise
2.2.2 intended to make Parliament more effective
2.2.3 recommend amendments however members are whipped
2.2.4 The government would have a majority on committees in the commons
2.3 Committees of Whole House
2.3.1 plenary session of either house, norm for HOL, rare for HOC
2.3.2 only if bill is significant or important
2.3.3 e.g Budget
2.3.4 Party Whips apply
2.4 Select Committees
2.4.1 mirror government departments
2.4.2 elected by all members of HOC
2.4.3 governing party will have majority of members
2.4.4 not whipped
2.4.5 job to investigate workings/consider policies + proposed legislation
2.5 Speakers
2.5.1 oversee debates
2.5.2 supposed to be neutral, therefore uncontroversial
2.5.3 replaced Lord Chancellor because of lack of power separation
3 Functions
3.1 Legitimisation
3.1.1 provides consent for legislation
3.1.2 no bill can become law without parliament consent
3.2 Scrutiny
3.2.1 Scrutinises legislation, both primary and secondary
3.2.2 involve making amendments
3.2.3 represents various interests in society
3.3 Opposition
3.3.1 government is forced to explain itself
3.3.2 benefits accountability
3.4 Acccountability
3.4.1 ministers forced to explain and justify their policies
3.4.2 can extend to opposition parties presenting alternative opinions
3.4.3 only a PM can remove a minister
3.4.4 expected to expose government mistakes
3.5 Financial Control
3.5.1 parliament needs to approve budget
3.6 Representation
3.6.1 MPs represent both party and manifesto
3.7 Redress of Grievances
3.7.1 carried out by MPs on behalf of constituents- investigate complaints against public bodies
3.8 Private Members' Legislation
3.8.1 only way parliament can propose its own legislation
3.9 Deliberation
3.9.1 rare instance of parliament dedicating time to a great issue of the day
3.10 Reserve Powers
3.10.1 powers to veto legislation and dismiss a government
3.10.2 rarely used, potentially grant great power
3.10.3 government often see a defeat coming and withdraw or changes a bill
3.10.4 e.g Sunday Trading Bill/allowance of Gurka settling rights in 2009
3.11 Delay
3.11.1 usually used by the Lords
3.11.2 this means lords are laregly free from whips, can delay legislation
3.11.3 gives government time to reflect
3.11.4 e.g 1991 War Crimes bill- defeated, 2005 hunting with dogs act- passed
4 House Of Lords
4.1 Significance
4.1.1 large majorities have become common
4.1.2 remaining membership of Lords has become more professional i.e heriditary peers
4.1.3 more legitimacy- removal of hereditary peers
4.1.4 contains legal and human rights experts
4.1.5 becoming more proactive
4.2 Restrictions
4.2.1 can only delay bills, not block them
4.2.2 it has no power over finances
4.2.3 Salisbury convention
4.2.4 Amendments proposed by the lords must be approved by commons
5 House Of Commons
5.1 Strengths
5.1.1 theoretical power
5.1.2 can amend legislation
5.1.3 MPs can call ministers to account
5.1.4 every constituency is represented
5.1.5 when small/no majority- commons have power over governments
5.1.6 different interest groups can be represented by different individuals
5.1.7 MPs have freedom to express their own views
5.2 Weaknesses
5.2.1 FTPT almost guarantees overall majority
5.2.2 party loyalty amongst MPS is traditionally strong
5.2.3 another reason for loyalty is the patronage of the PM

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