Parliament practise exam question –
a) Explain the term life peers used in the extract (5 marks) * According to the extract, life peers sit in the House of Lords. They sit in the House of Lords for life and are appointed by the Prime Minister by recommendations from his/her party as well as the opposition. The Life peerages Act of 1958 set the conditions for Life peers to be appointed and examples include Lord Sugar and Lord Mandleson. Life peers make up the majority of the House of Lords after the House of Lords reform act of 1999 removed the hereditary peers from the House of Lords.
b) Using your own knowledge as well as the extract, explain why a partly elected House of Lords might undermine the primacy (dominance) of the House of Commons * According to the extract, “a partly elected House of Lords would give the new House a mandate, thereby undermining the primacy (dominance) of the House of Commons”, as it would encourage the Lords to be more assertive of the Government. For example, it would increase the powers of the House of Lords as, currently, they can only veto government bills for up to a year or make amendments to a government bill, for example, the house of lords blocked the welfare reform bill of 2004, however cannot veto any bill included in that government’s manifesto, however if they were elected, they would have more authority to challenge/ and would have the mandate to challenge all government bills passed through the Commons. Furthermore, a partly elected House of Lords could mean that, if different electoral systems or different election times take place for the Lords, there might bring about the case of a gridlocked government, meaning that there could be a different party controlling the House of Commons to that of the House of Lords, which would increase confrontation and conflict between the two houses, and would inevitably undermine the dominance of the House of Commons as it would be more likely that the House of Lords...
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