The Role of the House of Commons
The role of the House of Commons is, above all, to represent the people of the UK. The members of Parliament who make up the House of Commons are directly elected by the people of the country. Therefore the people of the country must have complete confidence that their representatives are going to carry out their duties, as they would wish.
In terms of what the House of Commons actually does on a day-to-day basis, it is largely bill making. The House of Commons will debate the bills which pass through there and either pass them or send them back. Most of the bills which reach the House of Commons never reach a second reading but if they do they stand a much better chance of becoming law.
ConstituenciesMembers of Parliament are also elected representatives for one constituency or area in the country. They have a role to perform to this area as well as their role on the House of Commons. The MP has to represent the people who live there and therefore will usually hold surgeries. These surgeries allow people to come to their MP with any problems or issues which they may have.
The MP can then help to sort out and resolve the problem for the person, if they are able to do so, or point them in the right direction of others who may be able to help. Also, in their constituencies, the MP has a duty to help the community by helping local charities and so on.
BillsBills are those documents which are debated in the House of Commons which, if passed, become law and an act of Parliament. MPs may suggest bills in one of several ways, but many of these bills never get off the ground. MPs should have to vote on bills – most vote on the majority, there are very few MPs who go to every single debate and vote on every single issues.
Other Commons DebatesThe MPs can also raise issues which their constituents have raised in the House of Commons only to debate them with other MPs. This may result in some action being taken – such as if a large number of jobs are to be lost. This may result in the Commons choosing to take action, such as setting up a group to help people who have lost their jobs.
Another way in which the MPs hold debates is during questions. Prime Minister’s questions is a weekly forum where people can put questions to the PM and await his or her response. There are also other times for all other ministers to be questioned – holding them accountable and getting answers from them is vital in democracy.
Of course, there are many other ways in which the House of Commons works but these are the main ones. It is a fascinating, if somewhat privileged setting. The way it works can be, at times, somewhat convoluted, but the overriding thing should be that the members of Parliament should always be working with what they believe to be the nation’s best interests at heart.