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How representative is the House of Commons in terms of gender and ethnicity - Essay Example

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Date House of Commons representation of Great Britain Abstract The House of Commons is the lower house in the British legislature, which is mandated to undertake vital legislations. It forms the powerhouse of focus, for the government and the prime minister of Britain, since it highly influences how the policy formulation of the government is undertaken, since such policies cannot be legislated without the support of the lower house…
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How representative is the House of Commons in terms of gender and ethnicity
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Download file to see previous pages A conclusion with some recommendations on how the issue can be addressed is also given. Introduction The Great Britain has two houses of legislature; the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The House of Commons is the lower house in the British Parliament. The House comprises elected members of Parliament, who represent the interests of the constituencies they are elected from. The House of Commons wields an immense power on the control of the government, since it is the one responsible for making legislations, while the upper house, the House of Lords, has an oversight role over the House of Commons, without any powers to reject the legislations done by the lower house, but only to delay such actions (History Learning Site, 2013 n.p.). Thus the government with the prime minister is highly dependent on the cooperation with the House of Commons, to execute its mandates (History Learning Site, 2013 n.p.). Despite all the attempts that have been made to have the House of Commons that is representative of the minority, ethnic and gender balance, the situation has not completely borne fruits. By 2009, the House of Lords was found to be more representative of the social diversity in the British society, having reasonable numbers of women and ethnic minorities, compared to the House of Commons (Philips, 2009 n.p.). The number of ethnic minorities in the British House of Commons by the year 2009 was a meager 15, which is however a notable improvement from the previous periods, where the representation for women and the ethnic minority was significantly less (Philips, 2009 n.p). Therefore, based on this trend, it is prudent to conclude that the House of Commons is not representative of the gender and ethnic minorities. However, there is a great hope that the situation will keep improving with time, to generate a House of Common with a social make-up, which is highly diversified and representative of gender balance and ethnic equality. Because it is not possible that each member of the society can voice their needs to the government, democracy supports such modes of representation where the members of the House of Commons act as a bridge between the citizens and the government (History Learning Site, 2013 n.p.). Such members are able to speak on behalf of the people through debates and passing of bills on the floor of the House, to address their concerns and make their voice be heard, through voting for or against the bills. The British law requires that the Parliament represents the interest of the people, both demographically and geographically. While geographic representation refers to the representation of the people based on the designated parliamentary constituencies, the demographic representation focuses on the different social groups. These groups may include the ethnic minorities and the females, which have always got lesser representations in the Parliament (History Learning Site, 2013 n.p.). Nevertheless, considering the fact that the House of Commons comprises 647 members, only 143 women and only 27 members from ethnic minorities were elected to the Parliament in the 2010 general elections (History Learning Site, 2013 n.p.), then, there is no doubt that the House of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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