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Introduction
Three Parts
What is Parliament for?
How Does Parliament Work?
Parliament and Government
The Voice of the Nation
Confidence Motions
How Does the Government Organise its Majority -The Whips Overview
Carrots and Sticks used by the Whips
Managing your majority through Parliamentary Private Secretaries
Managing your majority by working with Party Groups
Rebellions
Free Votes in the House of Commons
Parliamentary Reform
Types of MPs - The Constituency Activist
Types of MPs - The Aspiring Minister
Types of MPs- The House of Commons Expert
Types of MPs - The Ideologist
Types of MPs- The Policy Entrepreneur
Controlling the Executive - Introduction
Controlling the Executive by Legislation
Controlling the Executive with Finance
Controlling the Executive through Appointments
Controlling the Executive through Questions
Controlling the Executive through Ministerial Statements
Controlling the Executive with Opposition Debates
Controlling the Executive through Select Committees
What do Backbench MPs do?
Overview of MP Expenses and Interests
Sleaze in British Politics - The 1990s
MPs Expenses Scandal 2009
Parliament- An Exclusive Club
Introduction
Three Parts
What is Parliament for?
How Does Parliament Work?
Parliament and Government
The Voice of the Nation
Confidence Motions
How Does the Government Organise its Majority -The Whips Overview
Carrots and Sticks used by the Whips
Managing your majority through Parliamentary Private Secretaries
Managing your majority by working with Party Groups
Rebellions
Free Votes in the House of Commons
Parliamentary Reform
Types of MPs - The Constituency Activist
Types of MPs - The Aspiring Minister
Types of MPs- The House of Commons Expert
Types of MPs - The Ideologist
Types of MPs- The Policy Entrepreneur
Controlling the Executive - Introduction
Controlling the Executive by Legislation
Controlling the Executive with Finance
Controlling the Executive through Appointments
Controlling the Executive through Questions
Controlling the Executive through Ministerial Statements
Controlling the Executive with Opposition Debates
Controlling the Executive through Select Committees
What do Backbench MPs do?
Overview of MP Expenses and Interests
Sleaze in British Politics - The 1990s
MPs Expenses Scandal 2009
Parliament- An Exclusive Club
parliament banner

University 18 Yrs + | Parliament

Parliamentary Control of the Executive - Introduction


Liberal constitutionalists developed the idea of the separation of powers between Executive, Parliament and the Judiciary in order to achieve a healthy political system.  In Britain the Executive and Parliament interpenetrate each other but Parliament can still maintain some degree of separation by carrying out the function of SCRUTINY of the Executive. 

Parliament can ask the following sorts of questions in four areas and these are all explored in other sections.

Legislation  

Is the Government’s proposed legislation well thought out and well drafted with clear objectives? Can it be implemented and have the likely effects been thought through?  Does it give too many powers to Ministers?

Finance

Will proposed taxation bring in the expected revenue? What effects will it have on the economy?  Is it fair in its incidence on various groups in the population? Is it too complicated? Is the spending of public money carefully evaluated to make sure that it has the desired effect and not wasted?

Policy

How well are policies working? Could new policies be tried? Are the key interests and experts being listened to? Is foreign policy credible and dealing with issues effectively?

Appointments   

Is the Government choosing people with right expertise and ideas to run organisations such as the BBC and Agencies?  Are their terms of reference clear?  

There are various ways in which Parliament attempts to scrutinize the Executive.  Some are more effective than others but it is always difficult to get the Government to change course.

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