How Well Does Parliament Perform Its Various Functions?

Topics: House of Lords, United Kingdom, Parliament of the United Kingdom Pages: 4 (1529 words) Published: April 19, 2012
Parliament is designed to hold the executive accountable; therefore it goes about this by various means of government scrutiny, such as Prime Minister’s Question Time. In addition, Parliament is expected to perform a legislative function, creating the process of a bill becoming a law after undergoing many stages between the House of Commons and the House of Lords. Finally, Parliament is also required to be representative of the nation, with constituencies creating a strong local link between the electorate and their MP.

As Parliament is required to scrutinise the executive, each week there is Prime Minister’s Questions giving backbench MPs the chance to put the Prime Minister under pressure and ask him/her hard questions. Often this weekly meeting is a battle between the party in government and the opposition for example on 29th February 2012, Ed Miliband criticised the coalition government on the subject of the NHS reforms when he reported that Nick Clegg's support of the reform varied depending on the "day of the week" as the Liberal Democrats had allegedly sent out different messages about the Health and Social Care Bill for England. However MPs of the government have been known to scrutinise their own party leader, especially if they are not content with the work in their constituency. Although, since Tony Blair reduced Prime Minister’s Question time to only once a week, the questions posed are not answered thoroughly as there is not much time, this also allows for fewer questions to be asked. Furthermore, many Prime Minister’s have been able to ease through Prime Minister’s Questions as they had a large majority like Tony Blair. This meant that there were not enough scrutinising MPs on the opposition; therefore the role of scrutiny was not carried out so far.

However, Prime Minister’s Question time is not the only source of...
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