The Uk Parliament Is Increasingly Dominated by the Executive

Topics: House of Lords, Westminster system, Parliament of the United Kingdom Pages: 4 (1543 words) Published: June 15, 2008
‘Parliament is increasingly dominated by the executive’. Discuss [16]

The word parliament derives from a word loosely translated as ‘to talk’ or ‘to deliberate’. The UK Parliament consists officially of the two Houses of Parliament: the Lords and the Commons and the monarch, which by convention, delegates his or her authority to a group of ministers known as the executive. The role of parliament is mainly to legislate and to govern the United Kingdom through elected representatives. However the executive has a special role over the legislatures and it has been argued that the UK Parliament has become increasingly dominated by the executive.

The executive is made up of the Prime Minister (PM) acting in place on the monarch and a group of ministers known as the PMs Cabinet. All cabinet members (including the PM) are members’ of the Privy Council and must also be members of the Commons or the Lord’s, by convention most being from the Commons. Therefore the executive is borne out of the legislature and directly accountable to it. The executive has many functions, such as the power of patronage which is vested in the PM, the setting of the agenda for government and the prioritising of legislation. The close union between the executive and the legislature is prima facie, a potential for abuse as liberal democratic theory calls for a separation between powers.

The executive influences the legislatures in several ways. Firstly, the executive will contain the government party, i.e. the party with the majority in the lower house. Because the prime minister and executive (generally speaking) are leaders of the largest party in the house, it is likely that any legislation pursued by the executive in Britain will be passed. This happens due to the party system in Britain. British political parties produce a platform or manifesto which all members of the party are expected to agree with, if not then they should not be representing the party. Therefore if the leaders...
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