Party whips are well-known for their role as enforcers in the Westminster Parliament, but a new blog by Andrew Defty, University of Lincoln, discusses a less well-known part of their role: offering pastoral care to MPs.
The power of parliamentary committees varies greatly, both between countries and over time. Thomas Fleming analyses committees in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and the UK to argue that committee power is influenced by voters’ attachments to political parties.
In addition to their floor debates, a crucial role of legislatures is to scrutinise government law-making and policy implementation. The House of Commons looks at legislation via bill committees, and its select committees cover each of the Whitehall departments to scrutinise implementation. As part of the 2018 Audit of UK Democracy, Patrick Dunleavy and the Democratic Audit team consider how well current processes maintain parliamentary knowledge and scrutiny of the central state in the UK and England.
Sarah Childs, Professor of Politics and Gender, Birkbeck College University of London and Distinguished Visiting Researcher, University of Auckland, discusses progress on implementing the recommendations of her report The Good Parliament two years on from its publication.