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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)

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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 election time, a mandate for the winning parties manifesto. The ‘balance of power’ thus is set out in the many sources of our constitution and interlinks between the government, parliament and the people.

Our representative democracy in the UK can also be referred to as parliamentary democracy because parliament dominates the political system through representation. The British constitution states that parliament is legally sovereign i.e. it the ultimate source of all political power and authority therefore it is not possible for even the prime minister to exercise power without the sanction of parliament. This is hugely important as parliament is supposed to represent national interest of the people as our constitution gives us the opportunity to select MPs to do this and address our grievances during parliament. Parliament is also the guardian of the government’s electoral mandate which is granted to them by the people, as it has the task of ensuring the mandate isn’t abused and can veto government action if the government attempts to step outside of the mandate (something the House of Lords had a prominent role in). The UK constitution also indicates a clear separation of powers which is significant as it keeps governmental power under democratic control by stating the...


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