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The Role of the Member of Parliament Since
1868From Gentlemen to Players$
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Michael Rush

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780198275770

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198275770.001.0001

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The Role of the Member of Parliament: Continuity and Change 2

The Role of the Member of Parliament: Continuity and Change 2

(p.167) 7 The Role of the Member of Parliament: Continuity and Change 2
The Role of the Member of Parliament Since 1868

Michael Rush

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents a discussion on the role of MPs, which can be divided into three inter-linked roles — that of the partisan, the scrutinizer of the executive, and the constituency representative. The partisan, scrutiny, and constituency roles have all developed and changed since the middle of the 19th century. Each role existed then, as they do now. Some Members may be more active in one role than another — and, indeed, have preferences for one more than another — virtually all Members are engaged in each role. A few may spend all or most of their political careers as MPs on the frontbench, in government or opposition — that has long been so. Moreover, the opportunities to serve on the frontbench have increased markedly, but most serve either exclusively as backbenchers or have careers divided between frontbench and backbench.

Keywords:   Parliament, parliamentary government, role of MPs, partisan, constituency representative, executive

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