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7 members of parliament
 

7 members of parliament

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    7 members of parliament 7 members of parliament Presentation Transcript

    • The Politics AssociationAS Government and PoliticsPowerpoint Presentation - 7 Members of Parliament
    • The Role of MPs • Members of Parliament (MPs) are elected to represent single-member constituencies at general elections. • The majority of MPs are backbenchers. • A backbencher is: Not a cabinet minister Not in a shadow cabinet
    • Backbenchers Government backbencher – ‘infantry’ of government, not expected to be too critical. Opposition backbencher – in Parliament to oppose government and represent their constituencies.
    • MPs - job description?•To represent voters and to deal with MPs areconstituency issues. central•To be a loyal party member and do as theWhips tell me to do in the House of Commons. to the•To take part in the legislative process working ofof Parliament. representative•To question ministers both at question time democracyand through written questions. in the UK where•To use the opportunity of adjournment debates over 55to raise an issue that has a direct effect on million peopleconstituency. could•To take part in the scrutiny of the executive not participateby seeking to be an active member of standing/select committees. in the decision•If all else fails then I will use my position making processto refer matters of maladministration to the on a dailyParliamentary Commissioner for Administration basis.(the Ombudsman).
    • MPs and Accountability THE DELEGATE MODEL –The MP is a mouthpiece and attempts to vote according to the demands and wishes of constituents. There’s a problem here, clearly: Delegate not everyone will feel the same ? way about an issue? Trustee? THE TRUSTEE MODEL –The MP has been chosen by a majority of voters, now they must trust her/him to exercise their own Mandate judgement and conscience on ? the great issues of the day. THE MANDATE MODEL – the MP Most has been elected as a MPs swing representative of a political party between the 3 and once elected has a models depending on MANDATE to support a party circumstances manifesto and help it to deliver and party demands, its policies. constituency etc.
    • Workload and working conditions• All MPs represent approximately 65,000 people.• Most constituencies cover approximately 150 square miles.• MPs workloads have increased in line with the increase in the workload of government.• Parliamentary sessions last longer and the amount of legislation being passed is increasing.• Select Committees demand more and more time from MPs.• Lack of office space in the Palace of Westminster has been partly dealt with by the opening of Portcullis House which provides office space for 200 MPs.
    • MPs and outside interestsThere has been considerable interest inrecent years in the extra-parliamentary Register of Register ofactivities of MPs. Members’ Interests Members’ Interests1994 MPs must declare what MPs must declare what payments they might have payments they might have‘Cash for Questions’ scandal. received for any received for any contracts or services contracts or services relating to their work relating to their work1995 as a Member of Parliament. as a Member of Parliament. Not required to Not required toMPs agreed to accept the findings of provide precise details. provide precise details.the Nolan Report and the creation ofthe Commons Standards and CRITICISM CRITICISM Register is inadequate – Register is inadequate –Privileges Committee. provides little provides little real information. real information.
    • MPs - socially representative? Probably not gay – Male – 17.9% even though one (118) women Age 50 pressure MPs after the years old. group claims that 2001 around 40 MPs election. are ‘in the closet’. Most MPs are now Most Labour MPs ‘professional politicians’ – attended state schools, 12 ethnicdrawn from the public sector most went to university. minority and local government Two-thirds of MPs elected Conservative MPs (Labour) and banking, attended private in 2001 – business and schools, 83% attended all of them the law university, mostly Labour. (Conservatives). Oxford and Cambridge.
    • Do MPs have a future?The profile and ‘career pattern’ of MPsappears to be changing• They serve increasingly longer terms in the Commons (average of 5 years before World War Two, now 15-20 years is not uncommon).• MPs are not badly paid and are allowed over £50,000 a year in expenses.• The overcrowding of Westminster has been relieved by Portcullis House.• The hours can still be long and unsociable, but not as bad as they used to be.• Commentators now discuss the phenomenon of ‘career politicians’.• However . . . .• The public profile of MPs is low – sleaze and scandal of the 1990s has had a very damaging impact.• Can low turn-outs be partly explained by dissatisfaction with MPs?• Note: the recent success of independent candidates in parliamentary elections.
    • Do MPs have a future?The profile and ‘career pattern’ of MPsappears to be changing• They serve increasingly longer terms in the Commons (average of 5 years before World War Two, now 15-20 years is not uncommon).• MPs are not badly paid and are allowed over £50,000 a year in expenses.• The overcrowding of Westminster has been relieved by Portcullis House.• The hours can still be long and unsociable, but not as bad as they used to be.• Commentators now discuss the phenomenon of ‘career politicians’.• However . . . .• The public profile of MPs is low – sleaze and scandal of the 1990s has had a very damaging impact.• Can low turn-outs be partly explained by dissatisfaction with MPs?• Note: the recent success of independent candidates in parliamentary elections.