House of Commons
In The House of commons there is only one basis of membership and all members of parliament (MPs) win their seats in the same way.
* The House of Commons consists of 650MPs. (This number is not fixed but varies each time changes are made to parliamentary constituencies.)
* A single-member parliamentary constituency elects a MP using the First Past the post system.
* MPs are almost always representatives of a party and are subject to a system of party discipline.
* Most MPs are categorized as backbenchers, while a minority are front benchers.
Legally and Politically the House of Commons is the dominant chamber of parliament.
* The House of Commons has supreme legislative power. ...view middle of the document...
There are three distinct bases for membership of the House, meaning there are four kinds of peers. It is controversial because these peers are unelected.
The House of Lords consists of the following:
* Life peers. Life peers are peers who are entitled to sit in the Lords for their own lifetime. They are appointed under the Life Peerages act 1958.The are appointed by the Prime Minister, with recommendations from opposing leaders. Life peers now dominate the work of the Lords. The account for the majority of peers.
* Hereditary peers. These are peers who hold inherited titles which also carry the right to sit in the House of Lords. They are dukes, marquises, earls, viscounts and barons, and their female equivalent.
* ‘Lords spiritual’. These are the bishops and archbishops of the Church of England. They are 26 in total, and they have traditionally been appointed by the Prime Minister on the basis of recommendations made by the Church of England. However, under the coalition government’s proposals for Lords would be reduced to 12.
The House of Lords’ legislative powers are set out in the Parliament Acts of 1911 and 1949. The Lords have the following powers:
* The Lords can delay bills passed by the House of Commons for up to one year. However, they cannot delay ‘Money Bills’ and cannot defeat measures that are outlined in the government’s election manifesto.
* The Lords possess some veto powers. These are powers that cannot be overridden by the commons. They include:
* The extension to the life of Parliament-delays to general elections
* The sacking of the senior judges, which can only be done with the consent of both Houses of Parliament.
* The introductions of secondary or delegated legislation.