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Edexcel Government & Politics - Unit 2 Governing the UK (09/06/16) Watch

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    (Original post by LennyBicknel)
    Alright, House of Lords reform hasn't come up in a while, so -'The arguments for an elected House of Lords outweigh the arguments against'. Discuss. [40 marks]


    (FOR) Increased representation -
    Currently appointed; does not fulfill parliament's function of representing the electorate. Elected Lords would be able to express the views of the public more easily, as they have popular mandate backing them.

    However - Lords is a revision chamber, not a representative one. Does it need to represent the public?
    + Lords may become just as unrepresentative as the Commons (e.g. does not resemble makeup of society; FPTP dis-proportionality represents the electorate's votes etc.)

    (FOR) Increased legitimacy -
    Critiques and revisions the lords make will be more legitimate, as it will have the 'consent' of the public. Lords currently lacks legitimacy, thereby undermining parliament's functioning of creating legitimacy.

    However - If the Lords are elected by FPTP, they may be heralded as equally illegitimate (?)

    (FOR) Increased accountability -
    Decisions currently unaccountable; elected peers could be held to account.



    (AGAINST) Parliamentary gridlock -
    If the Lords and Commons have different parties as a majority, it is unlikely that any legislation would be passed e.g. Labour-majority Lords would not wish to concede to a Conservative-majority Commons. Fine balance currently exists within the non-majoritarian structure of the Lords.

    However, if this is what the electorate want, then it is what the electorate will get. Representation should come before the effectiveness of parliament (in some people's view)

    (AGAINST) Influence of the whips -
    Just as MPs in the Commons are reduced to 'lobby fodder' by their whips, peers too may suffer this fate. This will reduce the Lords current function of scrutinizing the government, as it will mean peers will not be as 'independent' as they currently are (party affiliation and ties, plus influence of the whips, is limited in the Lords currently - elected peers will be subjugated to their party's whips more easily)

    (AGAINST) Lack of expertise -
    Lords may become filled with career politicians, with little expertise outside of politics - would limit its function in scrutinizing and reviewing the government's work.

    However, this is off the basis that peers will be selected for election in the same way MPs are; expertise could be taken into consideration once candidates are chosen.

    Conclusion- Statement is false. Unelected peers serve their function within parliament adequately - to scrutinise, not represent.
    Thanks! 2 more points to add if you have time: removes prerogative power to appoint peers which is abused. Also removed anachronistic parts of the Lords, i.e. the Bishops
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    Okay, it would appear that I was disillusioned and didn't write essays on select committees, instead just focused on them heavily on questions featuring the power of parliament and the effectiveness of backbench MPs, so sorry for getting peoples hopes up or worrying them about a select committees question.
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    (Original post by alevelpain)
    Thanks! 2 more points to add if you have time: removes prerogative power to appoint peers which is abused. Also removed anachronistic parts of the Lords, i.e. the Bishops
    Could also argue that if hey are elected they could end up being too similar to the commons and may want more power than just to delay, they may want to make their own legislation which can cause political gridlock...apathy may be an outcome if you have to vote for both chambers.,,and in order for the lords to be more representative they might have to use a different electoral system like pr


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    (Original post by SkvGalaxy x)
    Okay, it would appear that I was disillusioned and didn't write essays on select committees, instead just focused on them heavily on questions featuring the power of parliament and the effectiveness of backbench MPs, so sorry for getting peoples hopes up or worrying them about a select committees question.
    Oh thank goD


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    (Original post by mollyadtr)
    Could also argue that if hey are elected they could end up being too similar to the commons and may want more power than just to delay, they may want to make their own legislation which can cause political gridlock...apathy may be an outcome if you have to vote for both chambers.,,and in order for the lords to be more representative they might have to use a different electoral system like pr


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    The apathy point is really good - you could say that the Lords would have more legitimacy as they have a mandate, however low turn out & apathy = low legitimacy anyway
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    god I hope elected second chamber comes up as a 40 marker. like so bad. I think it's the area I'm most confident in the whole course
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    (Original post by alevelpain)
    The apathy point is really good - you could say that the Lords would have more legitimacy as they have a mandate, however low turn out & apathy = low legitimacy anyway
    True true exactly, they might have to put a plan in like for example in the politics review they said the elections could be held like 10-20 years meaning the members of the lords are in there for a long duration and are still elected so could prevent apathy?


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    how would you answer '"the uk constitution is no longer fit for purpose". discuss'?
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    (Original post by jxssamy)
    how would you answer '"the uk constitution is no longer fit for purpose". discuss'?
    It's basically like an argument for codification like modernity, limit executive power, entrenchment of echr etc


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    (Original post by jxssamy)
    how would you answer '"the uk constitution is no longer fit for purpose". discuss'?
    And to retain the uncodified constitution sorry forgot to add that


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    (Original post by mollyadtr)
    You should know the crossbenchers life peers, law lords hereditary peers life peers over all


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    You know the question
    Hoc needs reforming
    Is it basically for against their functions?
    Like representation, scrutiny, selection and training of ministers?
    Or am I thinking wrong
    Going to do an all nighter lol of revision
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    (Original post by mollyadtr)
    And to retain the uncodified constitution sorry forgot to add that


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    (Original post by mollyadtr)
    It's basically like an argument for codification like modernity, limit executive power, entrenchment of echr etc


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    Thanks, the wording of the question threw me off lol.
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    (Original post by mollyadtr)
    It's basically like an argument for codification like modernity, limit executive power, entrenchment of echr etc


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    don't worry sorry, but just say:
    Codify:

    Individuals rights not protected

    Bring about clarification instead of temp fixed (FTPA)
    Doesn’t limit government -> Parliament Act

    Dont:
    Flexible
    Judges become too strong
    government is strong & stable, powers limited by FTPA arguably
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    (Original post by Louise12307)
    I LOVED the pressure groups questions! The 25 marker was such a God-send as I had written an essay on it that my teacher gave me 23/25 for so I wrote a plan on it the night before and had examples and everything! I finished 10 minutes early, probably thanks to that extra prep for that question as I literally just regurgitated my plan!

    The democracy question however... I died inside for like 5 minutes.


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    hey do you remember what the 5 and 10 markers were for that section?? what is on the functions of pressure groups or something?? i dont think i done it correctly. plus i missed an entire 25 marker due to timing
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    how many people are only revising 3 topics? i'm leaving out the judiciary
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    (Original post by Defraction)
    I'm stating what my revision guide says.

    Learn everything.

    The nature of Parliament:
    1. The set up of HoC as in there are 650 MPs
    2. The party with the majority(either a single party or a coalition) in the Commons forms the government which make up the government front bench
    3. The most important MPs sit at the front and MPs not on the front benches are known as backbenches
    4. Each party in Parliament has whips who inform members about business
    5. Maintain party discipline and acts as channels of communication between party leaderships and backbench MPs
    The set up of HoL
    1. It is also known as the 'upper house'
    2. Its seats consists of 92 hereditary peers who have inherited their title
    3. 26 archbishops and bishops of the Church of England,and 600 life peer who have the right to sit in the Lords for their whole lives(there are 750 peers)
    4. They have legislative committees but not departmental select committees
    5. The Lords contains 'crossbenchers' who are not affiliated to any party and so are highly independent
    6. No one party has a majority in the Lords.
    The functions of the HoC and the HoL
    1. They both grant formal approval for legislation,
    2. Calling government to account,
    3. Scrutinising legislation and proposing amendments,
    4. Debating(deliberation) key political issues.
    Functions of Commons
    1. Representing constituencies and constituents
    2. MPs may seek the redress of grievances of citizens and groups
    3. Removing a government from power if it has lots its legitimacy
    4. Vetoing legislation in extreme circumstances when it is considered against the national interest.
    Functions of the HoL:
    1. Delaying legislation for at least a year in order to force government to reconsider it
    2. Representing various interests and causes in society
    3. Proposing amendments to legislation in order to improve it and protect minority interests.
    Learn the definition of parliamentary and presidential government.

    Government and Parliament, who dominates. Government dominates Parliament;
    1. The government can claim a mandate from the people for its politices when it is elected to power. Parliament, therefore, lacks the legitimate right to ignore the mandate and tends to accept the government's right to govern.
    2. Governments normally enjoy a clear majority of support in the Commons( the 2010 election was an exception, but a majority coalition was formed instead of a one-party majority). This means the government can normally count on the majority of support.
    3. The MPs of the governing party were elected on the understanding that they would help to implement the party manifesto. On the whole, therefore, the MPs of the governing majority will normally support the government.
    4. Patronage is a key factor. Most MPs seek promotion to government at some time. By remaining loyal they improve their chances of promotion. All government posts are in the hands of the prime ministers, so he or she exercises a great deal of influence over ambitious MPs. This is known as the 'power of patronage'.
    5. Governments(as well as opposition parties) use whips, who are senior MPs, to maintain party discipline and to remind MPs where their first loyalty lies. Rebellious MPs receive warnings and then may suffer suspension from their party.
    Ways in which Parliament can control the government
    1. Ultimately Parliament is sovereign. This means it can veto legislation if it believes it is not in the public interest and/or the government has no legitimate mandate for the proposal.
    2. In extreme circumstances the House of Commons can remove a government through a vote of no confidence
    3. Parliament has the power to amend legislation to improve it or remove offending clauses
    4. The House of Lords retains independence because there is no government majority there and patronage is weaker. It can therefore defy the will of government. MPs and peers can call government to account publicly.
    Examples of Parliament defying the will of the government:
    • 1979 vote of no confidence: The Labour government under prime minister James Callaghan was removed prematurely from office after a sustained period of industrial unrest and economic problems
    • 2008 detention of terrorist suspects: Gordon Brown's attempt to extent the period of detention to 52 days was defeated in the HoL and the government did not attempt to overturn it.
    Obviously you may have recent examples but I just picked out 2 prominent examples.

    Parliamentary committees- I left out PAC(Public Accounts Committee as I don't think it's as effective as the others)
    Departmental select committees
    • Normally consists of 11-13 backbench MPs
    • Oversee the work of government departments
    • Can question ministers, civil servants, advisers and other witnesses or call for official papers
    • Have often been critical of government's work and are influential
    Legislative committees
    • Usually consist of 15-40 backbench MPs
    • Consider possible amendments to proposed legilsation
    • Always have a government majority
    • Rarely pass amendments against government wishes- analysis
    • Are seen as largely ineffectual except where an issue is not controversial between the parties- analysis
    Legislative Committees of the HoL
    • Contain 15+ members
    • Often contain peers who are experts on the issues being legislated
    • Are subject to weaker party discipline than in the Commons- analysis
    • Often pass significant amendments to improve legislation and/or protect minorities
    • Often defy the government's wishes
    • Make amendments that are subject to approval in the Commons, so their power is weakened
    • Do sometimes force the government to change its mind.
    Evaluate HoC and HoL- both houses. Learn about how effective are MPs are peers. Reform of Parliament- HoC and HoL(reasons for abolition, all appointed, fully elected, mixed elected and appointed HoL) - Sorry I can't be bothered to write these answers

    I hope you do well once again!
    Omg you're an amazing human being thank you so much!! I wish I could be of more help! The only thing I've noticed is that since 2009, the topics have always been in sets (Constitution and Parliament / Judiciary and Pm&Cabinet). So: if Constitution is a source then Parliament is an essay question and vice versa. Same applies to Judiciary and Pm&Cabinet Hope that was of any use!
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    (Original post by mollyadtr)
    True true exactly, they might have to put a plan in like for example in the politics review they said the elections could be held like 10-20 years meaning the members of the lords are in there for a long duration and are still elected so could prevent apathy?


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    Then evaluate that and say then the mandate weakens b/c such a long time
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    (Original post by kirsche)
    how many people are only revising 3 topics? i'm leaving out the judiciary
    yeah I am as well
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    (Original post by kirsche)
    how many people are only revising 3 topics? i'm leaving out the judiciary
    i have a feeling the judiciary will be easier
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    (Original post by xxvine)
    You know the question
    Hoc needs reforming
    Is it basically for against their functions?
    Like representation, scrutiny, selection and training of ministers?
    Or am I thinking wrong
    Going to do an all nighter lol of revision
    Yeah you could definitely argue it needs reforming if its functions are/aren't being carried out properly , do you know the limited reforms for the hoc that have already taken place?


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