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To What Extent Will the Coalition Governments Proposals Bring About an Effective Reform of Parliament?

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Submitted By charliemckie
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To a certain extent, the coalition government’s proposals will bring about an effective reform of parliament. However, some people have questioned the effectiveness of the reform of parliament under this coalition, for example suggesting that The referendum on AV may have lead to an even more hung parliament.
On the one hand, Primeministers, known as the incumbent, can no longer call elections to suit their own interests. This was due to the establishment of fixed term elections introduced by Cameron in 2011. The reform reduces media speculation, which makes parliament more stable and fairer for parties not in government. This is also a fairer system as Primeministers would usually call an election when their party was significantly higher in the opinion polls than all other political parties, making the chances of them re-gaining power much stronger than they may have been 5 years down the line at a set date.
On the other hand, some people have suggested that 5 years is too long, noteabely Nick Clegg who wanted 4 years between elections. There have also been concerns about whether campaigns will become dragged out and leborious like America’s 18 month season. Also the fixed term elections don’t necessarily make for a better government and shown by the USA, for example. The flexibility of non-fixed term election system allows for a dissolution and new election if the Government has an inadequate majority. The value of this has been shown in 1951, 1964 and the second election in 1974.
Overall, I believe that despite the fact that fixed term elections don’t necessarily lead to a better government, it does lead to a fairer government. As governments cannot now call elections when its is most likely that they will win them and stay in power for the longest time possible. Fixed term parliaments are fairer and make governments prove themselves consistently to the people over the course of 5 years in order to gain power which makes them work harder for this country.
Furthermore, although rejected, the referendum on AV in 2011, boosted ‘third parties’ such as the Liberal Democrats. This was because it allowed third parties to bring a big opinion into the debate which many people would have seen and heard on televised, and if many people Aswell as this constitutional reforms are now back on the political agenda. This is a positive thing, as people are now taking a serious interest into the workings of the UK governnments and looking at ways in to improving it, to ensure a better system for everyone in the UK.
Conversely, the referendum on AV may have led to more hung parliament, thus forcing more coalitions or rule by a minority government. As the Lib Dems and the Conservatives opposed eachother as coalition parties usually do. For example the issue of rising tuition fees, the Lib Dems didn’t want to raise them, however, the conservatives did and as the Lib Dems don’t have the final verdict, it’s hard for them to do anything about it. As a result this lead to rioting, and intense scrutiny which will enevitabley cost them in the up coming election as they are deemed liars.
A Final Reason to Suggest that they haven’t bought an effective reform to parliament the Conservatives have traditionally been against a lords reform, however, in 2007 a consesnsus appeared suggesting that all major parties wanted to maintain a bicamarel system.
Don’t need to change powers of HofL, but make it more effective. Recent political scandals brought the HofC into disrepute. This shows that they need to be closely scrutinised, over issues such as the expenses scandal (2008), phone hacking (2011), cash for qus (1994)
Making the lords elected would also suggest an increase of power vis a vis the commons. Though this would make parliament more democratic (checks + balances&legitimate mandates) a reformed lords could lead to controversy over who has power. Changes may also waste specialist knowledge. The partisan + constitutional involnces between the commons and Lords who are born elected could result in a US-style gridlock as what happened in 2012 over the rising of the debt ceeling.

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