Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

Does Parliament lack democratic accountability? Watch

    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    Hey guys, currently got an essay to write and I'm stuck on how to argue against this statement since I don't think it lacks democratic accountability. Any help would be appreciated
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by lisa96)
    Hey guys, currently got an essay to write and I'm stuck on how to argue against this statement since I don't think it lacks democratic accountability. Any help would be appreciated
    Well it certainly has limitations. The question may look hard to argue against but the public votes in the government and Members of Parliament. But what i would say is that the general public do not have a big enough influence in public, this is because MP's don't really seem to ask what the General public want to know they just seem to use it as a *****ing match. Also when you look at the credability aspect, If you watch Primeministers question times, it only seems to be the opposition holding the Primeminister to account (a lot of the times) the prime minister dodges the question so they are not really held to account. Also Conservative MPS will pre plan questions so Cameron can get into his sound bites
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    The full question is: "Under current procedures and law, the UK Parliament today lacks democratic accountability; it is*dominated by the executive, unrepresentative, and removed from the citizens." Discuss.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by lisa96)
    The full question is: "Under current procedures and law, the UK Parliament today lacks democratic accountability; it is*dominated by the executive, unrepresentative, and removed from the citizens." Discuss.
    For citizens may i refer you back to my post where I said citizens elect MP's but have very little say in how they hold the government to account. For example Someone on a zero hours contract would probably vote Labour, due to their income and job security .etc but they can not physically hold the government to account, however they can write to their local MP and this then means that the MP will have a lot of questions and they will then decide to chose a question.The impact this has is there is a very low chance that it will be raised in Parliament and the general public lose faith in the politicians.

    Parliament is unrepresentative because on Election day it is based on First past the post system, this means you need 326 seats to win a majority, so theoretically a Party which doesnt receive the most votes can govern (Research the 1951 general election) It is also unrepresentative because the election system favours the big 2 parties. I will show you some graphs which show that Parliament is unrepresentative

    I used the BBC % of the vote to make this graph and this shows the % of vote per Political party


    But when you translate this to the seats which are gained by each political party it is not fairly represented, Conservatives who had 37% of the vote have 51% of the seats , Labour with 30.4% of the vote had 35% of the vote so when combined the two largest parties who had 67.5% of the vote had seats (Influence in parliament of 85%, this is unrepresentative because people who did not vote for the two biggest parties have their areas ruled by the big two, whilst UKIP with 12.5% of the seats only have 1MP- so they have 12.% of the vote and less than 1% influence in Parliament. However with the the First past the post voting system, it usually leads to strong governments, where as if Parliament was 100% representative it would lead to no winner, weak governments and a lot of re-elections due to conflicting ideology- the seats each party have is shown in the graph below


    This shows that Parliament is hugely unrepresentitive, if you compare this graph to the one above. If parliament used proportional representation it would provide a more accurate break down of parliament using the share of votes, to decide how many mps each party has, but it would lead to no winner and weak governments because a coalition will need to be built, to govern and it will also remove localism, because there is no MP to represent their area.

    If the share of the vote was used to decide the total seats each party had Parliament would look like this

    As you can see because no Party holds 51% of the vote so can not rule on their own, so if Proportional representation was used to make Parliament more representitve to how citizens voted it would leave to weak government as no party would have a majority , which means there would be more elections
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Donald J Trump)
    For citizens may i refer you back to my post where I said citizens elect MP's but have very little say in how they hold the government to account. For example Someone on a zero hours contract would probably vote Labour, due to their income and job security .etc but they can not physically hold the government to account, however they can write to their local MP and this then means that the MP will have a lot of questions and they will then decide to chose a question.The impact this has is there is a very low chance that it will be raised in Parliament and the general public lose faith in the politicians.

    Parliament is unrepresentative because on Election day it is based on First past the post system, this means you need 326 seats to win a majority, so theoretically a Party which doesnt receive the most votes can govern (Research the 1951 general election) It is also unrepresentative because the election system favours the big 2 parties. I will show you some graphs which show that Parliament is unrepresentative

    I used the BBC % of the vote to make this graph and this shows the % of vote per Political party


    But when you translate this to the seats which are gained by each political party it is not fairly represented, Conservatives who had 37% of the vote have 51% of the seats , Labour with 30.4% of the vote had 35% of the vote so when combined the two largest parties who had 67.5% of the vote had seats (Influence in parliament of 85%, this is unrepresentative because people who did not vote for the two biggest parties have their areas ruled by the big two, whilst UKIP with 12.5% of the seats only have 1MP- so they have 12.% of the vote and less than 1% influence in Parliament. However with the the First past the post voting system, it usually leads to strong governments, where as if Parliament was 100% representative it would lead to no winner, weak governments and a lot of re-elections due to conflicting ideology- the seats each party have is shown in the graph below


    This shows that Parliament is hugely unrepresentitive, if you compare this graph to the one above. If parliament used proportional representation it would provide a more accurate break down of parliament using the share of votes, to decide how many mps each party has, but it would lead to no winner and weak governments because a coalition will need to be built, to govern and it will also remove localism, because there is no MP to represent their area.

    If the share of the vote was used to decide the total seats each party had Parliament would look like this

    As you can see because no Party holds 51% of the vote so can not rule on their own, so if Proportional representation was used to make Parliament more representitve to how citizens voted it would leave to weak government as no party would have a majority , which means there would be more elections
    Obviously probably needs a lot more detail
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    i'm doing the same easy - for the democratic accountability part do we talk about ministerial responsibility and how parliament hold the government to account (what we've done in tutorials) or how parliament itself is held to account?
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Donald J Trump)
    Obviously probably needs a lot more detail
    I mean this as a compliment but you really don't suit your username!


    (Although I'm not a Trump fan I'd far rather he won that somebody like Cruz.)
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by lisa96)
    Hey guys, currently got an essay to write and I'm stuck on how to argue against this statement since I don't think it lacks democratic accountability. Any help would be appreciated
    As others have pointed out, one place to start might be that the number of seats party's win versus the votes they get is out of whack and thus unrepresentative.

    You could also look at the fact that only half of parliament is actually subject to elections, the upper house is composed of legislators appointed for life and 92 peers who come from what is essentially a hereditary senatorial class (the 92 reserved seats for the hereditary lords)

    Perhaps another area is how long elapses between elections in the UK. Five years is a long time.
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    Keep in mind the increased tendency of MPs to rebel since the turn of the century. Parliamentary parties have become increasingly difficult to manage.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    It has too much. More power to the Queen and the Lords.
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    Is this just about the house of commons and elected MPs, or does it include the house of lords as well?
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Davij038)
    I mean this as a compliment but you really don't suit your username!


    (Although I'm not a Trump fan I'd far rather he won that somebody like Cruz.)
    Why not? I know thousands of people who dislike Ted Cruz- despite saying That i thought he was great the day before( If you watched Trump vs Trump on YouTube you will know what I am talking about
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Donald J Trump)
    Why not? I know thousands of people who dislike Ted Cruz- despite saying That i thought he was great the day before( If you watched Trump vs Trump on YouTube you will know what I am talking about
    I'm not a trump fan because I disagree with his policies and think he's an egomaniac. That said, he's better than Cruz who I think is a closet psychopath.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Davij038)
    I'm not a trump fan because I disagree with his policies and think he's an egomaniac. That said, he's better than Cruz who I think is a closet psychopath.
    Im just posting under this name to see what hate I get lol
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I would recommend splitting your answer up as per the question asked - so, one part on Parliament being dominated by the executive ("elected dictatorship" vs checks on their power), another on it being unrepresentative (FPTP - a majoritarian, not proportional, voting system for the HoC, and the HoL being unelected), and a final section on it being removed from its citizens.


    As well as what others have suggested, select committees, etc, and the farcical nature of PMQs are two things you could discuss.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by nannonxx)
    i'm doing the same easy - for the democratic accountability part do we talk about ministerial responsibility and how parliament hold the government to account (what we've done in tutorials) or how parliament itself is held to account?
    I think it's how parliament is held to account since that's what I've been told by others. But it is confusing since the public law textbook just talks about parliament holding the executive to account. Defo won't get this done by next week 😩
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    1) the voting system creates only two parties in a constituency, and basically 2 in the parliament - first past the post is not a representative system of voting. there should be a proportional system not only for representation but also more choices to be encouraged on both a local and national level. if you look at the list of most democratic countries to least democratic countries, generally, the most democratic nations are those with proportional systems.
    2) elections aren't frequent enough. once every 5 years is more than most democracies. norway, sweden, new zealand, ireland, france, canada, japan, india, etc have an election every 4 years. australia even has one every 3 years (and function very well) and the US even has an election every 2 years. it's only generally luxembourg with its 6 year terms that beats the UK in lack of regularity. therefore, we ought to have either 2, 3 or 4 years as a new regularity of elections
    3) there is no right of recall, meaning if an MP promises to vote a certain way, or act a certain way, and then doesn't, then the constituency has no power to get them out of office early. a right of recall (a real one with the citizens as those with the power to set one up and not a party committee, as was proposed) would fix this.
    4) MPs cannot control every agenda in that either the EU controls policies or the government writes out legislation for parliament and whips its party members to vote in favour of it. the whips positions ought to be ended and we ought to leave the EU.
    5) royal prerogatives allow the government to make certain crucial decisions without the consent of parliament, such as the declaration of war. royal prerogatives ought to be ended.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Sequin Rugby)
    It has too much. More power to the Queen and the Lords.
    why degrade yourself?
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by AlmightyJesus)
    why degrade yourself?
    I have no influence anyway. Democracy doesn't work.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Sequin Rugby)
    I have no influence anyway. Democracy doesn't work.
    1) it's not always about *your* individual influence. it's about the collective influence of society/the majority (that's what democracy is about - the collection of individuals, and not simply you alone). and it largely concerns your rights consequentially. your *individual* rights. the more accountable politicians are to society, the less likely they are to take away your legitimate rights
    2) you have a better idea than democracy for a system that gives you your deserved protections and just treatments? what's that? and what evidence backs it up?
 
 
 
  • 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.

  • Poll
    Have you ever participated in a Secret Santa?
    Useful resources

    Groups associated with this forum:

    View associated groups
  • 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.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.