The Role of Parliaments and Assemblies
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Parliaments and assemblies share many key roles that they ought to carry out effectively and efficiently. Law-making is one of the primary roles which can branch off to three distinct bodies, the legislature, executives, and the judiciaries. The most significant role of parliaments and assemblies all over the world is however to represent the people. Nevertheless, it is very vital to remember that in parliamentary polity, the legislature has to provide from within itself a representative, accountable and approachable government to the people. One method to judge whether the system is working in good health or not and to distinguish whether it has brought a good government system with their terms is to find if it thrive in providing high-quality governance to the community (parliament 1).The overriding aim has to be to make both the government and parliaments relevant to meet the challenges of the present which bear a minimal comparison to those faced by our society in the center decades of the twentieth century. Parliaments and assemblies also have a crucial role in restyling the economy, and keeping in the vanguard of ideals of a self-reliant economy that provide the real needs and ambitions of our immeasurable masses (parliament 1).
Since the time of Montesquieu, the three diverse branches of government which are the legislative, executive and the judiciary have been the traditional starting point of government analysis. The legislative, making the laws and enact legislation, executive, which implement and execute the law, and the judiciary branch which arbitrate on the meaning of the law. However this view is very misleading because these institutions that are classified as legislatures unusually dominate law-making power (Heywood 2002, 15).
Legislature in parliaments and assemblies are one of the most prominent branches of government. It lays down the foundation in which the executive branch has to utilize in the completion of laws and which the judiciary has to apply its frame of reference in arbitrating cases linking to these laws (Herman 2002, 29). The four main roles of legislation of the parliament are to regulate, issue directives, take decisions, and make recommendations or to deliver opinions. With regulations, they are normally portrayed as laws and looked upon as the most wide-ranging legislative device of the community. When directives are issued, they are usually different constitutional configurations of the member states to make it unfeasible for a necessary regulation to be issued. When this occurs they permit national authorities to choose the form and means of their accomplishment. Taking decisions is another role in which is often associated with an administration act of a national government because it standardizes particular realistic matters and is addressed to certain recipients (Herman 1978, 27). Lastly parliaments and assemblies can make recommendations or opinions on community views on specified matters.
However law-making is not the only important role that legislatives have in parliaments. Parliaments and assemblies also have financial powers. Financial powers are dealt with the community budget, and control powers which exerts some political control over the council and the commission. Since maintaining the budget for the community is very important, they can implement some control over legislative items and can allow appropriations only for those agreements which it considers adequately close to the opinions it expressed when seeking advice. Legislative powers in the parliamentary
system were obtained after parliaments and assemblies had acquired its powers over finance which the people had demanded and achieved the right to approval to the levy of taxes previous of when they began to insist a role in the law-making procedure (Herman 2002, 34).
There are three main financial roles that parliaments and assemblies have: “In some way parliaments prior approval should be required for all expenditure and all revenue proposed by the government, parliaments approval should also be required for the allocation of expenditure among items, and parliaments should have the right to approve the accounts of expenditure, in order to check that the government has conformed to what was approved” (Herman, 2002, 34). These roles apply directly to the parliament and are very necessary to make a distinction between revenue and expenditure in the community. Parliaments and assemblies have no impact over the communitys revenue however, “agricultural levies and customs duties are established by the commission and the council, and the member states financial contributions are determined by the council.”(Herman, 2002, 35). Nevertheless, budgetary powers of the parliament in the United Kingdom differ in the aspect of compulsory and non-compulsory expenditure. Compulsory expenditure covers the economic and social purposes of the community, while the non-compulsory deals with the administrative costs of the community and the expenditure in policy areas not associated by the treaty of Luxembourg (Herman 2002, 36). All in all, parliaments and assemblies have legislative and financial powers but they are not as influential and effective as their control powers.
With the control powers of the parliament and the assembly, the basic
assumption in which the parliament exercises over the executive stems from the fact that parliament exemplifies the will of the people and must therefore be willing to oversee the way in which public policy is conducted to make certain that it remains consonant with the objectives of the nation-state as an entirety. ” The strength of a Parliament lies in its ability to scrutinize the whole of the political and administrative actions of the executive, even to the point of arresting it when it no longer corresponds to the movement of public opinion” (Herman, 2002, 44). This then leads to four control powers of the parliament. The first control power that they have is the motion of disapproval which can be shifted against the commission. Secondly parliaments and assemblies can argue and discuss the Annual General Report of the Commission. Also they have the power to question the council and commission, and lastly to discuss the work embarked on by the committees (Herman, 2002, 48).
What is important then to remember is that parliaments and assemblies make the laws, and do not make policies. The government itself initiates policies at different levels and then creates its policy on legislation and other suggestions and exercises powers under the prerogative by statute and essentially executes the governing role of the state. Government is not the only source of contribution of business for parliamentary and assembly systems either. “Much business