The Uk Parliament Is Increasingly Dominated by the Executive

1553 Words Jun 25th, 2008 7 Pages
‘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
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If a member decides to vote against the party, sanctions can be imposed and in a serious situation when a member rebels, the PM can dismiss or appoint the member to a different position. Therefore the PM can ensure that the executive’s priorities and views are expressed in the legislatures.
However the executive’s control in this regard is not total. There have been headline grabbing notices of member’s rebelling against the government position and resigning their position. For example Robin Cook, then leader of the Commons and labour MP resigned his post due to the government’s position on Iraq. More recently in March 2008, Brown’s government saw rebellion and the opposition saw resignations over the issue of the failure to implement a promised referendum on a new EU reform treaty. As we can see the executive’s dominance of the members of the legislature is not total but rebellions are a rarity.

The power of the PM to appoint cabinet ministers allows him or her to shape policy and therefore legislation. The Prime Minister appoints the speaker of the house and the Lord Chancellor among others. In this way, the PM and appointees of the executive can have considerable sway over the legislature. The Lord Chancellor serves as a leading figure in the House of Lords but also chairs and attends executive meetings. Although the PM usually appoints ministers from his or her party and those who whom he or she has a good accord with, this is not always the
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