A Level Politics

Improving your grade

Parliamentary Reform

Posted by Matt Walker on November 24, 2009

The cross-party Commons Reform Committee has made some recommendations for improving the effectiveness of Parliament. It has recommended that backbench MPs should:

  • have more power to call for debates
  • choose who sits on committees rather than the party whips
  • have more influence over the Commons weekly agenda.

The committee has also suggested that the public should have more influence over debates via devices such as e-petitions.

George Younger, the Conservative shadow leader of the House of Commons, has  suggested that Prime Minister’s Questions should take place on Thursday evening, rather than Wednesday lunch time, to make it more accessible to the public.

What other reforms would you like to see so that Parliament becomes more effective?

BBC article

Commons Reform Committee

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5 Responses to “Parliamentary Reform”

  1. Emma Marshall said

    They should have a facebook/twitter page to make the younger citizens more aware of what goes on day to day in parliament… E.g.: Today we fired Dr. Nutt due to an issue over drugs. Or: X days until the election.
    It would get younger people interested and just generally aware.

  2. Charlie Bollaan said

    Fair enough

    Sir, not meaning to sound like a novice, but what is the exact meaning for all terms related to shadows? What is the shadow cabinet for example?

    • Matt Walker said

      It is just a reference to the opposition. Hence, the Conservative shadow cabinet is the government in waiting. The Shadow Chancellor is the Conservative’s spokesman on the economy. The term ‘shadow’ is used, as the oppsition shodows the government, watching all it does, and supposedly holding it to account.

  3. fraser said

    What is a party whip?

    Also, but how many young people would join this facebook group, as at the moment they are already seen not to care.

    • Matt Walker said

      Each party has a small group of people called whips. It is their job to keep discipline in their own party, in particular when it comes to voting in the Commons. Hence, the Labour government want to pass a particular bill, the whips make sure that all Labour MPs vote for the measure. They also act as a link between the frontbench of a party and the backbenchers – party leaders can find out the mood of their own party.

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