Abstract_Prism
Badges: 20
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#1
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#1
For homework we had to complete an essay. The essay question was 'How Effective is Parliament?' It was a 25-mark question. Could you please give feedback and maybe give it a mark/grade? In particular, I've been working on constantly relating my points back to the question (I kept asking myself 'So what?';). I've been working at a high C/low B grade so far, so I really want to push myself higher. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. I'm doing Edexcel AS-Level Government and Politics if it makes any difference. Apologies for any joined-up words, it went like that for some reason when I copied and pasted it. I assure you it's not like that in the actual document. I've removed most of them manually anyway.

Thanks!

How Effective is Parliament?

The main function of Parliament is to make the government accountable for its actions and to prevent the government from abusing its power. Parliament does this in various ways. It does this by forcing the government to justify and explain any proposed changes in legislation, often in the form of direct questions to ministers. Parliament is expected to be critical of any proposed legislation so as to reveal any issues with it. Parliament does this well, and is critical of every piece of proposed legislation. One example of a question from an MP to a minister is that of Jim Cunningham MP, to the Communities and Local Government Secretary. He asked ‘What steps are being taken to encourage private landlords to reduce the rent on empty commercial residences?’ This shows that Parliament is effectively holding the government to account by inquiring about its activities and progress.

However, there are in fact limits to Parliament’s abilities to hold the government accountable. Firstly, many MPs simply do not possess the relevant knowledge to ask key questions. This limits an MP’s ability to hold the government to account because he will not be able to extract valuable information, or may instead extract useless information.Similarly, experienced ministers may be able to cleverly evade an MP’s question, or manipulate the wording so as to give an answer that allows them to hide certain aspects of their work. Certain government decisions may be difficult to examine because of collective responsibility, so ministers may be able to hide behind each other. This obscures the truth and makes it harder for Parliament to evaluate government activity. Lastly, many areas of government policy are protected by secrecy, such as the fields of defence, security, and foreign policy. Whilst this secrecy may be justified by the fact that government work would be compromised if details were revealed, it means that the government can also justify not being held accountable by Parliament in these fields. This reduces the effectiveness of Parliament in holding thegovernment accountable to its actions.

Another function of Parliament is to represent the public. MPs represent both their parties and their constituents. In debates and votes which are of national significance, sometimes MPs may disregard this in the best interests of the nation. This is considered normal and part of the democratic process. Many MPs also regularly act in the interest of a pressure group. In this sense, Parliament may be interpreted as being effective in representing the public, as they simultaneously represent their party, their constituents, the national interest, and pressure groups. This enhances the democratic process, as it assists in not excluding anyone from politics.

However,there are several limitations on Parliament’s ability to accurately represent the public. Firstly, the First-Past-The-Post electoral system is widely known for producing unrepresentative results. For example, in the 2015 General Election, the Conservatives gained 36.9% of the total vote, yet won 51.0% of the total seats in the House of Commons. This shows that the FPTP system skews the results of the General Election and produces an unrepresentative Parliament. As such, Parliament is incapable of effectively representing the public. Additionally, the House of Lords is an unelected chamber. It isimpossible to accurately represent a group of people with a body that does nothave the consent of the people. Consent is granted through elections.Therefore, as the House of Lords is unelected, it automatically fails in itsrole to represent the public. Lastly, both Houses are unrepresentative in termsof the sex, ethnic, and social background. A truly representative Parliament would mimic the makeup of society. As the current Parliament fails to do this,it is unrepresentative, and cannot effectively prevent minorities being takenadvantage of, or certain sub-sections of society gaining more power and influencethan another.

In conclusion, Parliament is ineffective in performing its roles. It cannot effectively hold the government to account as MPs are not knowledgeable enough to ask key questions, and ministers are able to cleverly avoid questions or hide behind collective responsibility to make it difficult to garner information from a single minister. Try as MPs might, they simply do not have the knowledge or power to effectively hold the government accountable.

Parliament fails in its role to be truly representative of society. A biased electoral system, an unelected second chamber,and a biased assembly in terms of social background, ethnic diversity, and sex,mean that Parliament cannot claim to be a microcosm of society. It is ineffective in accurately representing the public.
0
reply
username1621561
Badges: 16
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#2
Report 5 years ago
#2
(Original post by Abstract_Prism)
For homework we had to complete an essay. The essay question was 'How Effective is Parliament?' It was a 25-mark question. Could you please give feedback and maybe give it a mark/grade? In particular, I've been working on constantly relating my points back to the question (I kept asking myself 'So what?'. I've been working at a high C/low B grade so far, so I really want to push myself higher. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. I'm doing Edexcel AS-Level Government and Politics if it makes any difference. Apologies for any joined-up words, it went like that for some reason when I copied and pasted it. I assure you it's not like that in the actual document. I've removed most of them manually anyway.

Thanks!

How Effective is Parliament?

The main function of Parliament is to make the government accountable for its actions and to prevent the government from abusing its power. Parliament does this in various ways. It does this by forcing the government to justify and explain any proposed changes in legislation, often in the form of direct questions to ministers. Parliament is expected to be critical of any proposed legislation so as to reveal any issues with it. Parliament does this well, and is critical of every piece of proposed legislation. One example of a question from an MP to a minister is that of Jim Cunningham MP, to the Communities and Local Government Secretary. He asked ‘What steps are being taken to encourage private landlords to reduce the rent on empty commercial residences?’ This shows that Parliament is effectively holding the government to account by inquiring about its activities and progress.

However, there are in fact limits to Parliament’s abilities to hold the government accountable. Firstly, many MPs simply do not possess the relevant knowledge to ask key questions. This limits an MP’s ability to hold the government to account because he will not be able to extract valuable information, or may instead extract useless information.Similarly, experienced ministers may be able to cleverly evade an MP’s question, or manipulate the wording so as to give an answer that allows them to hide certain aspects of their work. Certain government decisions may be difficult to examine because of collective responsibility, so ministers may be able to hide behind each other. This obscures the truth and makes it harder for Parliament to evaluate government activity. Lastly, many areas of government policy are protected by secrecy, such as the fields of defence, security, and foreign policy. Whilst this secrecy may be justified by the fact that government work would be compromised if details were revealed, it means that the government can also justify not being held accountable by Parliament in these fields. This reduces the effectiveness of Parliament in holding thegovernment accountable to its actions.

Another function of Parliament is to represent the public. MPs represent both their parties and their constituents. In debates and votes which are of national significance, sometimes MPs may disregard this in the best interests of the nation. This is considered normal and part of the democratic process. Many MPs also regularly act in the interest of a pressure group. In this sense, Parliament may be interpreted as being effective in representing the public, as they simultaneously represent their party, their constituents, the national interest, and pressure groups. This enhances the democratic process, as it assists in not excluding anyone from politics.

However,there are several limitations on Parliament’s ability to accurately represent the public. Firstly, the First-Past-The-Post electoral system is widely known for producing unrepresentative results. For example, in the 2015 General Election, the Conservatives gained 36.9% of the total vote, yet won 51.0% of the total seats in the House of Commons. This shows that the FPTP system skews the results of the General Election and produces an unrepresentative Parliament. As such, Parliament is incapable of effectively representing the public. Additionally, the House of Lords is an unelected chamber. It isimpossible to accurately represent a group of people with a body that does nothave the consent of the people. Consent is granted through elections.Therefore, as the House of Lords is unelected, it automatically fails in itsrole to represent the public. Lastly, both Houses are unrepresentative in termsof the sex, ethnic, and social background. A truly representative Parliament would mimic the makeup of society. As the current Parliament fails to do this,it is unrepresentative, and cannot effectively prevent minorities being takenadvantage of, or certain sub-sections of society gaining more power and influencethan another.

In conclusion, Parliament is ineffective in performing its roles. It cannot effectively hold the government to account as MPs are not knowledgeable enough to ask key questions, and ministers are able to cleverly avoid questions or hide behind collective responsibility to make it difficult to garner information from a single minister. Try as MPs might, they simply do not have the knowledge or power to effectively hold the government accountable.

Parliament fails in its role to be truly representative of society. A biased electoral system, an unelected second chamber,and a biased assembly in terms of social background, ethnic diversity, and sex,mean that Parliament cannot claim to be a microcosm of society. It is ineffective in accurately representing the public.
The first flag going off in my head is you need an introduction! It should take the following format
Define Functions of parliament Make a judgement - I.e to what extent is parliament effective.

Furthermore, you need to consider Commons and Lords separately especially where their functions differ

It also looks like you are separating your 'knowledge' and 'evaluation' you could do with knitting these together by using a thematic format
E.G Intro
Point 1 But Counter Point 1 etc weave it together hope this helps

I think you would get a C/B but i'm no professional
3
reply
Wolfram Alpha
Badges: 20
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#3
Report 5 years ago
#3
I agree with Dan. One final thing is to make sure that when you write 'in conclusion', you do not begin a new paragraph after that since 'in conclusion' suggests you are finishing off, not introducing any new points. Perhaps swap the position of the final two paragraphs.
3
reply
WiseApple
Badges: 1
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#4
Report 5 years ago
#4
Good first attempt. You've covered all the basics and scored most of the low-hanging marks. I'd say C grade, maybe low B.

To improve:

  • More examples when putting together points, especially for evaluation. Having just one for representation from the most recent election and one example of a question won't get you full marks for explaining points.
  • Agree with the others, put knowledge and evaluation of Parliament's roles together. Try to make it just one big paragraph per role that explains, evaluates and has evidence for easy clarity.
  • Make sure you make clear that the conclusion is yours and not a given fact - the examiner is looking for evidence of a careful consideration, not just putting facts down. "I believe that" is all you need to put down.
1
reply
username1621561
Badges: 16
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#5
Report 5 years ago
#5
(Original post by WiseApple)
Good first attempt. You've covered all the basics and scored most of the low-hanging marks. I'd say C grade, maybe low B.

To improve:
  • More examples when putting together points, especially for evaluation. Having just one for representation from the most recent election and one example of a question won't get you full marks for explaining points.
  • Agree with the others, put knowledge and evaluation of Parliament's roles together. Try to make it just one big paragraph per role that explains, evaluates and has evidence for easy clarity.
  • Make sure you make clear that the conclusion is yours and not a given fact - the examiner is looking for evidence of a careful consideration, not just putting facts down. "I believe that" is all you need to put down.
Avoid I in essays as all costs
1
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

How would you describe the quality of the digital skills you're taught at school?

Excellent (37)
9.61%
Okay (112)
29.09%
A bit lacking (145)
37.66%
Not good at all (91)
23.64%

Watched Threads

View All
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise