Parliament

Should Parliament have tougher powers to check the work of the Government?

87
997
743
156

The UK Parliament is one of the oldest representative assemblies in the world. Parliamentary sovereignty is a principal of the UK's uncodified constitution. This gives Parliament the highest legal authority in the UK, which means it can create or end any law. It has responsibility for checking the work of government and examining, debating and approving new laws. Despite its supreme legal authority, just how much power does Parliament have today? What should our constitution say about its power(s) to check the work of the government? What is the function of the unelected House of Lords and how much power do they really have?

More >

Hacking the Content
Refining the Content
Preparation
Constitutional Convention
Our new Constitution

Filters

Tags

Tags

View More

Status Labels

Status Labels

Top Contributors

  1. John Z
    2085 pts
  2. Ian Smith
    1814 pts
  3. James Doran
    1410 pts
  4. Malcolm Ramsay
    1137 pts
  5. Tel
    Tel
    845 pts

View leaderboard

Sort by

At present Parliament is controlled by the government, which determines what legislation will go through and with what relative priority. One of Parliament's two main jobs is supposed to be to hold the government to account, but it is totally unable to do that while government controls it. Several changes are needed to achieve this switch of control, but we have to recognise how it is currently achieved. 1. The government has powerful patronage, so MPs who don't tow the party line are...

JimF
by JimF
5 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 14
JimF
by
JimF

There should be a very serious debate about whether members of parliament should be entitled to carry out any other paid work. If it is decided that they should be allowed, there should less be limitations. At the very least MPs should not be allowed to undertake any outside work connected with law reform or law enforcement.

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
3 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 8
Ian Smith

Let's say no to Pro Plus politics, the late night, disruptive and tactical voting that goes on in parliament. Important decisions should be made by MPs in normal working hours when (a) the MPs are alert and (b) all MP's have a chance of getting to the vote easily without having to seriously compromise their family and social lives. This will make for better decision making (awake) by better MPs (normal people with social and family lives).

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
7 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 8
Ian Smith

The UK government should be required to publish the annual budget four months in advance of it being laid before parliament, to enable greater public and parliamentary scrutiny of it.   In a lecture to the London School of Economics [http://www.lse.ac.uk/publicEvents/events/2015/03/20150316t1200vLSE.aspx], the First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon called for a reform to the way in which the UK government sets the budget and allows for parliamentary scrutiny. As an alternative,...

ConstitutionUK
by ConstitutionUK
10 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 9
ConstitutionUK

A Select Committee should operate as the Board of Directors of every Government Department, but meeting in public and holding the Minister  and the Permanent Secretary accountable to them on oath in public. It should not be open to the Prime Minister to reorganise Whitehall at every reshuffle. 

Edward Barrow
by Edward Barrow
5 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 9
Edward Barrow

An MP's sole source of income shall be from their job as MP.  An MP shall not have a second job, nor do independent work such as consulting, lobbying, etc...  This proposal is even more relevent today in light of the Jack Straw and Malcolm Rifkind incidents revealed recently.  The concern here is an MP "selling" or "renting" their influence to achieve a result that may not be available for another constituent who cannot pay their "fee". 

John Z
by John Z
3 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 24
John Z
by
John Z

If anyone is in any doubt about the need for this, then watch the BBC2 documentary 'Inside the Commons - Reinventing the House' broadcast last night http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b05483ph/inside-the-commons-4-reinventing-the-house It illustrated perfectly how the processes, practices, supporting systems and even the fabric of the Palace of Westminster are breaking down and not fit for purpose for a state operating in a modern global world. In any other context the whole picture...

steveg33
by steveg33
4 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 16
steveg33

It seems odd that there is no mention yet of the Select Committees. Margaret Hodge in particular gets a lot of attention in the media, and although I gather the government always has a majority I think the fact that they have their own chair person who may not be from a government party greatly improves the public perception of the House of Commons. I think they do a good job and I wonder whether they need to be strengthened further and if so how. It seems to me that their independence...

Alan Ray-Jones
by Alan Ray-Jones
10 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 11
Alan Ray-Jones

Suggested constitution clause: 'In general, all communications to and from Members of Parliament and civil servants shall be made publicly available.  Such transparency of information may be restricted by Parliament where necessary for the purposes of national security, the national economy, public safety and order, the integrity of the individual, the sanctity of private life, or the prevention and prosecution of crime.'     Idea behind the draft clause: Openness is a key component...

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
13 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 21
Ian Smith

A democratic constitution should have no place for an unelected legislature.

James Doran
by James Doran
2 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 30
James Doran
Share