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Parliament and policy making - Essay Example

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Since the times of William Wilberforce and Thomas Clarkson who led the Society for Effecting the Abolition of Slave Trade to a victory, namely the abolition of slave trade in 1807, British parliament witnessed the actions and activities of many, official and unofficial, pressure…
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Parliament and policy making

Download file to see previous pages... However, recent studies in this field show that parliamentary lobbying and pressure group activities are on the rise in the past two-three decades, both in the House of Commons and in the House of Lords. Moreover, both chambers of Parliament are viewed by pressure groups not only in the light of institutions of last resort but also as “access points” which play an important role in the entire process of influencing political and governmental decisions. Thus, during and after the rule of the Conservative governments of Margaret Thatcher, Parliament became more important for pressure groups not only as an institution of last resort but also as a place to express their views and to influence the overall decision making process.
Traditionally, British MPs were depicted as the ’major channel of communication between the government and the governed’ (Wright 2000). On the other hand, the presence of a parliamentary government in the British political tradition means a form of government ’in which the executive is drawn from and is constitutionally responsible to the legislature’ (Rush 2005). In this respect, Rush explains, this is a government through parliament but not government by parliament (2005). Therefore, many theorists observed that in the UK the largest proportion of pressure group activities is focused towards senior government officials and ministers, in particular, the power-holders in the British system of government. On the other hand, Parliament possesses powerful tools to influence both cabinet ministers and legislation they are trying to pass through Westminster. In the case of legislation proposed by backbenchers themselves, the Parliament has the final word on bills; hence, it is really the institution of last resort to which pressure groups are turning.
Moreover, UK Parliament has a monopoly to recruit cabinet ministers as opposed to the US where those seeking political posts could pursue their objectives also ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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