Parliamentary Control of the Government

Topics: Prime minister, Parliament, Member of Parliament Pages: 2 (582 words) Published: March 3, 2013
Parliamentary control of the government is the work done by parliament to scrutinise the government and influence their actions thereafter. Parliament is primarily made up of the houses of commons and lords; and the government is the executive. Some would argue this is no longer effective because of the work of select committees. Select committees are small group of MP’s from mixed parties who can evaluate and make recommendations to the government on issues, the members being chosen by the government. I think the work of select committees is not particularly effective as they can only recommend ways in which the government should change its work, instead of enforcing it and also the MP’s in them are selected by the government anyway so are likely to be bias. This is important because if parliament can only suggest things to the government, what control can it hold over it? And furthermore if the committees are chosen by the government, how can there be an independent, fair, enquiry? However, once per week the prime minister holds Prime Minister Questions; which is where the prime minister is forced to speak in the commons and answer questions. This is an important way in which the parliament has control of the government because it allows all members of parliament to influence the work of the head of the government via questions which he will have to answer in front of all those present in parliament, and therefore control the ways in which the government will act through the following debate and scrutiny. But, this often turns into a contest between the leader of the opposition and the prime minister, becoming more of a media show. Standing committees are temporary committees set up, made from all parties in the commons, whose job it is to scrutinise bills in great depth. This means that the government is often shown up on their policies, and is helped on ways to improve on them; this is relevant as it presents the parliaments control over some of the...
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