Functions of Parliament

How effective is parliament in performing its various functions- 25MARKS
Many argue that the role of the parliament is to make legislation, represent the public and also, to scrutinise proposed legislation. Although, Norton along with others argued that the British Parliament is a policy-influencing legislature, and it is not carrying out its functions as it should do. He too argues that, it would be wrong to see parliament as primarily a legislature in the strict sense of the word. Parliament does pass law, though it doesn’t generally make law. However, in order to make such a judgement we need to examine the role of the parliament in more detail.
Questionably, the chief function of Parliament is to pass legislation that has been put before them by, in most cases, the government. In the main, parliament carries out this function very well. The legislative process is very thorough and ensures that bills care closely scrutinised, first in the commons and then the lords. Amendments are too frequent such as, in the Fox Hunting Bill 2005. Most government bills will eventually become law and this is how it should be since parliament is not there to prevent laws that have put forward by those elected to govern. However, where there is a strong feeling that a law is not in the public interest then parliament can prevent a bill from becoming law e.g. the case of the detention of the terrorist bill 2006 which, if passed, would have permitted the police to hold suspected terrorists for up to 90 days as trial. Nonetheless, although parliament carries out its functions correctly, there are various criticisms. The tendency, resulting from our electoral system, for the governing party to have a very strong majority (disproportionate to the percentage of the vote that they receive) means that the remainder of the House of Commons is unlikely to be able to block legislation unless there is a significant dissent from the backbenchers within the governing party. The current...