Can My Mp Effectively Represent Me or My Constituency?

Topics: Voting, House of Lords, Democracy Pages: 2 (761 words) Published: March 19, 2008
Members of Parliament (MPs) are chosen as representatives of constituencies all over Britain by the people. Whether these MPs represent each individual and his or her views fairly in the House of Commons, it is up to each individual to decide.

MPs are chosen by voters on the electoral list who choose to go vote for candidates they want to be their "local" MPs; people who will represent their constitution in the House of Commons. Some may vote for the candidates who represent the party of their choice and some may vote for the most "suitable" candidate regardless of their party; when voting, many voters might keep in mind the suitability of the candidate for this role which is to represent their best interests in Parliament which might affect the voter directly or indirectly. Therefore, it is generally accepted that our MPs effectively represent us and our constituencies. But to what extent is this effective?

When we choose our local MP, we keep in mind the idea of them representing us in the Parliament. On paper, this is done by direct contact with our MPs through their contact details or "MP surgeries" where local people can meet the MP by booking an appointment to discuss their problems. A constituent might ideally expect the MP to respond quickly and if the problem is seen to be widespread, present it in the House of Commons where it is debated upon and is solved.

However, this might not always be the case. Although an MP is expected to listen to constituents, he or she can still exercise their own judgment. If a local referendum were 100% in favour of legalising cannabis, the MP would still be entitled to vote against it if he or she felt that it was the right decision. This shows that an MP still has the final say over matters that affect his or her constituency. For example, Kate Hoey, the MP for Battersea, an area very close to central London, disagreed with the law to ban fox hunting. She believed that a law of this kind was a mistake. She voted...
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