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Parliament and Government presentation

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www.parliament.uk/education
Lesson: Parliament and Government
Resource: Parliament and Government Presentation
Party A will...
Party B will...
Party C will...
Spend more money on
the National Health
Service to reduce
waiting list times.
Increase the voting age
to 19.
Invest more money in
public transport to help
reduce pollution and
the effects of cars on
global warming.
Increase tax on cars
that create more
pollution.
Invest more money in
small businesses to try
to help boost the
economy.
Increase the amount of
money available to
schools for sports
equipment.
Increase the amount of
money available to the
armed forces for
equipment and kit.
Ban the sale of
cigarettes in the UK to
help improve health
and decrease the
burden on the NHS.
Lower the voting age
to 16.
1
www.parliament.uk/education
Lesson: Parliament and Government
Resource: Parliament and Government Presentation
Differences between Parliament
and Government
• What are the three main parts of Parliament?
• What are the main roles of Parliament or, in
other words, what does Parliament do?
• What was the last thing you heard about
Parliament in the news?
2
www.parliament.uk/education
Lesson: Parliament and Government
Resource: Parliament and Government Presentation
The three main parts of Parliament
House of Commons
House of Lords
The Monarch
All of the MPs elected
by UK citizens in the
general election.
Each represents their
own constituency.
All of the Peers. They
are unelected. They
are nominated
experts in their fields.
The Prime Minister
has a large say in
who becomes a Peer.
The King or Queen at
the time. They have
less power now but
still have the final
sign-off on laws and
on Peerages.
3
www.parliament.uk/education
Government front bench: the
Ministers in charge of government
departments sit here. They are
chosen by the Prime Minister and
they make up the �Cabinet’.
Sometimes they are called
�secretary of state for...’. Members
of the Cabinet can be chosen from
the House of Lords.
The Speaker: this is the person in
charge of the debate. They must know
all of the rules and will discipline those
who do not follow them, e.g. by banning
them from voting.
Main opposition party front
bench: the Shadow Ministers sit
here. They are chosen by the
Leader of the Opposition. They
have particular responsibility for
checking what the Minister for
the department they shadow is
doing.
Main opposition party
back benches: the back
bench main opposition party
MPs sit here.
Government back benches: the
back bench government MPs sit in
the benches behind. They are not
in charge of a particular
department.
Standing room: the chamber is
usually only full up when there is
a very important vote which
everyone must attend or at the
yearly Royal State Opening of
Parliament. There are more
MPs than there are seats so, on
these occasions, some have to
stand up.
Lesson: Parliament and Government
Resource: Parliament and Government Presentation
Second opposition party front
bench: this is for the Shadow
Ministers of the opposition party
with the second biggest number
of votes. They are also chosen
by the leader of their party.
Second opposition party back
benches: for the second
opposition party back benchers.
The members of the smaller
opposition parties sit behind
these.
4
Lesson: Parliament and Government
Resource: Parliament and Government Presentation
www.parliament.uk/education
Holding the government to account
Making and amending laws
Checking what departments are doing and how
they are spending public money. They do this by
asking questions in the House of Commons and
working on committees which run investigations
and make recommendations to the government.
Most of the draft laws going through
Parliament (called �bills’) will be government
bills but everyone in Parliament can debate
about them and vote on them.
Roles of
Parliament
Representing UK Citizens
All MPs are voted for and it is their job to support and represent their citizens. You can contact
your MP no matter what your age. MPs will often help with issues that people may not be able to
get their local council to help with. Imagine if your MP was going to vote for a law that you and
many other people in your constituency didn’t like. What might happen if you and many others
from your constituency contacted your MP to ask them to vote a different way?
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