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Word Count: 633
The committees in the British House of Commons also attempt to oversee the actions of the executive departments and their civil servants They are responsible for ensuring that there is no fraud scandal or abuse of power and that insulated government bureaucrats do not wield their power carelessly arrogantly or sloppily Congressional committees in the United States do the same thing although much more aggressively But whether by committees or some other mechanism the legislature should be set up to act in an oversight capacity The legislature is often the best and most legitimate forum for debating differences Every society has differences over policy directions items to be on the national agenda and groups that deserve special treatment Providing opportunities and the best environment for real debate is an important function of the legislature An important but delicate task of the legislature is to offer balanced representation Every legislature has to balance the need to represent with the need to govern The ability to act in other words must be balanced against the need to hear all voices even if that means delaying action to afford every opportunity of expression for a minority that feels intensely about an issue or action In Britain the upper house the House of Lords was designed to ensure a voice for the monarchy and its representatives and designees In some cases upper houses exist largely to provide another check and vehicle for representation in the system They can also provide balance for ethnic regional class or racial groups For example in the US Senate each state has equal representation Therefore no one state or region is able to dominate the debate on issues of national import nor can the interests of any one state or region be overridden because that state lacks adequate representation As noted above the US and British models have single-member districts Proportional representation is another way to ensure balance in representation
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