From The Source And Your Own Knowledge, Assess The Current ‘Balance Of Power Between Government, Parliament And The People’ In Relation To The British Constitution. (10 Marks)

920 words - 4 pages

From the source and your own knowledge, assess the current ‘balance of power between government, parliament and the people’ in relation to the British constitution. (10 marks)

In the UK, our constitution is described as uncodified in nature and so is found in a variety of sources dating back to the Magna Carta as well as statute and common law. These sources set up the rules for the relationship between Westminster and the people e.g. MPs and their constituents. Because of this, we have a representative, liberal democracy in which we (the people) elect/appoint representatives to make decisions on our behalf. The support and consensus of the people grants governments legitimacy and during ...view middle of the document...

g. Bill of Rights 1688 and the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949.

The government naturally holds a considerable amount of power and sovereignty which many aspects of the UK constitution limit directly or indirectly in order to prevent a tyrant government arising. In general terms, the government has political sovereignty because the executive branch dominates parliament i.e. ministers control the decision-making process to a large extent. The British government is politically sovereign as it has the people’s mandate to implement its political program (manifesto) therefore parliament shouldn’t normally defy the will of the government when it is acting within the people’s mandate. Constitutional laws and traditions however help control the power of the government to the extent of allowing sovereign parliament to take away its power if it wishes to which maintains the balance of power between the government and the people. The fact that government is subject to rule of law just as citizens are also supports this. The balance of power between the prime minster and parliament is a little different as our constituting grants the prime minster many prerogative powers e.g. granting peerages, commanding the armed forces and declaring war, which are partially the result of tradition; thus suggesting that the prime minster has a great deal of political sovereignty that is not directly controlled by parliament and hence suggesting a somewhat irregular balance of power to a certain extent. However, as the source indicates, in order to instigate any constitutional changes/reform, ‘dialogue within parliament’ is needed as well as ‘consulting with the other parties on this process’. Any proposed changes would also have to be in the manifesto of the winning party in order to...

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