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I don't understand the Parliament Act watch

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    What is the point in the House of Lords if the House of Commons can pass any law because of the Parliament Act? Also, since the majority of MPs in the house of commons will be members of the governing party, is it technically possible for the government to pass any law?
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    The Lords can delay legislation by a year, so if the government wants something, and doesn't want a fight (which will be newsworthy, because the Parliament Act's only been invoked 7 times, 4 in the last 20 years) it will have to compromise. And if it's close to the end of the parliamentary then it can be blocked completely until after the election.

    Also, the Parliament Act specifically states that it cannot be used to extend the length of Parliament (ie, the Commons can't extend the time between elections by itself. The Lords *must* agree).
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    Parliament can pass any law since it is sovereign.

    The rationale behind it is that the House of Commons is elected, whilst the House of Lords is not. So in a liberal democracy, it is not seen as advisable for an undemocratically elected house to control a democratically elected one. After 1911, the House of Lords' purpose is mainly to revise and amend legislation and be a kind of check on the House of Commons.
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    Since the lords have no party/election issues, they can say whatever the heck they want when debating legislation and thus add ammendments to the much juicier legislation that the Commons are too scared to. But yeah, you're right, the Lords are pretty much nothing more than the rubber stamp brigade now.
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    The Lords is useful because it is able to scrutinise bits of legislation that the Commons might not have time for. If the Lords thinks something is wrong with a piece of legislation, it will delay it and this will cause controversy. If the Lords don't like something, its a strong incentive for the government to agree to amendments or to reconsider. The longer a Bill drags on before becoming law, the more controversy it causes in the media and the more likely the Commons are to vote against it. Just look at the Healthcare Bill in the USA: the longer it drags on, the more Americans turn against it, and the more concessions the Democrats have to make.

    (Original post by rajandkwameali)
    Parliament can pass any law since it is sovereign.

    The rationale behind it is that the House of Commons is elected, whilst the House of Lords is not. So in a liberal democracy, it is not seen as advisable for an undemocratically elected house to control a democratically elected one. After 1911, the House of Lords' purpose is mainly to revise and amend legislation and be a kind of check on the House of Commons.
    Parliament includes both the Lords and the Commons dude - parliamentary supremacy refers to the Commons and the Lords acting together. The Lords agreed to the Parliament Acts, so conventional constitutional theory says that the Commons and Lords act together through the Parliament Act when it is invoked even if the Lords don't agree on the particular case in hand. I totally agree with you that the Lords lacks legitimacy though.
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    Parliament's acts are interesting.

    To sum it all up in a simplistic bow, the Liberal Government were having problems with the House of Lords in regards to their budget. If I am not mistaken, they wanted to introduce some sort of land tax. Naturally, the Lords being the rich Conservatives that they are, refused. The King agreed that if the Lords continued to refuse the bill, he would introduce hundreds of Liberal peers.

    I believe there was a threat that the Liberal peers would vote to abolish the Lords, but I am not entirely sure on that.

    So this Act asserted the sovereignty of the Commons and allowed them to bypass the Lords where necessary and limited their powers over budgets and financial bills.

    In 1949 the Parliament Act 1911 was used to force through the Parliament Act 1949 to further restrict the power of the Lords.

    Interesting stuff really.
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    You can look at this both ways; the Lords can use the Parliament Act as a threat against the Commons. Essentially they say 'agree to our amendments or you bill will be pushed back a year', if the government is trying to respond to something quickly then this is a great threat ie when the Lords rejected 42 days detention the Commons went with it.
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    (Original post by Renner)
    You can look at this both ways; the Lords can use the Parliament Act as a threat against the Commons. Essentially they say 'agree to our amendments or you bill will be pushed back a year', if the government is trying to respond to something quickly then this is a great threat ie when the Lords rejected 42 days detention the Commons went with it.
    The Lords use the parliament act?
    They wish!

    The parliament acts restrict the powers of the lords, it does not weaken the commons.
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    (Original post by Teaddict)
    The Lords use the parliament act?
    They wish!

    The parliament acts restrict the powers of the lords, it does not weaken the commons.
    The Lords say to the Commons 'If you don’t accept our amendments you will have to use the Parliament Act and wait a year, do you really want to do that?' and normally the commons will say 'we want this bill now' and just go with the amendments. And if its near election time then the commons can’t afford to wait a year for there bill to go through so they essentially have to accept the Lords amendments.
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    (Original post by Renner)
    The Lords say to the Commons 'If you don’t accept our amendments you will have to use the Parliament Act and wait a year, do you really want to do that?' and normally the commons will say 'we want this bill now' and just go with the amendments. And if its near election time then the commons can’t afford to wait a year for there bill to go through so they essentially have to accept the Lords amendments.
    You make it sound like the Parliament Acts benefit the Lords...
    They certainly don't. However, that doesn't mean the Lords cannot be a thorn in the foot of Government.
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    (Original post by Teaddict)
    You make it sound like the Parliament Acts benefit the Lords...
    They certainly don't. However, that doesn't mean the Lords cannot be a thorn in the foot of Government.
    The act can be used to the advantage of either house; it just depends on the circumstance.
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    Any civil servant who has been part of a team supporting ministers in taking legislation through Parliament will tell you that the House of Lords gives you much more of a grilling than the Commons.

    The Parliament Act 1911 IRC was about a spat between a Liberal Government trying to pass a Finance Bill through Parliament, with the Lords kicking up a fuss. In the end with the help of firstly Edward VII and then George V, the Act of 1911 was passed which basically said that the Lords could not block Finance Bills, nor could it block any legislation that was implementing a manifesto commitment - as the latter was the "will of the people" . Everything else gave the Lords a maximum of a 2 year delay - reduced to 1 year under the Attlee administration.

    In terms of further reforms of the Lords, my only concern is that the expertise that the Lords currently has, could be lost if replaced with a fully elected (and thus whippable) upper chamber. That doesn't get away from the fact that we still have hereditary peers in the Lords and that the rest of them are there due to the patronage of a Prime Minister.
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    (Original post by Prince Rhyus)
    Any civil servant who has been part of a team supporting ministers in taking legislation through Parliament will tell you that the House of Lords gives you much more of a grilling than the Commons.

    The Parliament Act 1911 IRC was about a spat between a Liberal Government trying to pass a Finance Bill through Parliament, with the Lords kicking up a fuss. In the end with the help of firstly Edward VII and then George V, the Act of 1911 was passed which basically said that the Lords could not block Finance Bills, nor could it block any legislation that was implementing a manifesto commitment - as the latter was the "will of the people" . Everything else gave the Lords a maximum of a 2 year delay - reduced to 1 year under the Attlee administration.
    The manifesto thing is just a convention, surely? I don't know of any legal definition of a manifesto commitment.

    In terms of further reforms of the Lords, my only concern is that the expertise that the Lords currently has, could be lost if replaced with a fully elected (and thus whippable) upper chamber. That doesn't get away from the fact that we still have hereditary peers in the Lords and that the rest of them are there due to the patronage of a Prime Minister.
    The 90 "hereditary" peers left are hereditary in name only. They are in fact de facto life peers (assuming they don't get booted out...) but unlike Life Peers they've not been chosen by Tony or Gordon, but by other peers.

    I really don't see how people can be against the 90, yet be in favour of Life Peers. Otherwise, I basically agree with you.
 
 
 
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