The Government

In the absence of a UK constitution, is today’s government just too powerful?

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As the head of the government the Prime Minister has immense power. Since the first Prime minister Sir Robert Walpole took this office, 52 Prime Ministers have been and gone. Since then, naturally the role and powers of the Prime Minister has drastically changed. In modern day Britain, what should the constitution say about the role and powers of the Prime Minister and his government? In the absence of a codified UK constitution, is today’s government just too powerful?


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If a political party wins a majority and becomes the government should they and the Prime minister be bound by the manifesto pledges we elected them on

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Suggested clause for the constitution: ' The duties and responsibilities of the Prime Minister and their Cabinet shall be discharged by those individuals alone with the assistance of neutral civil service advisors.' Idea behind the draft clause: We elect MPs to govern us and pay for a neutral civil service to support them and implement their governments' decisions.  What we do not elect are special advisers.  So why is that that we have ended up with an army of  unelcted special...

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
7 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 16
Ian Smith

The constitution should enshrine the responsibility of the government to use rigourously established objective evidence in its policy making.  All too often (all of the time?) policy is based upon ideology, attempting to increase popularity ratings, point scoring against rival parties, or pure self-interest. What the country deserves is policy based on objective evidence, as below: Test the theory as to why the policy will be effective and what the impacts of the policy will be if it is...

Tom Peach-Geraghty
by Tom Peach-Geraghty
7 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 34
Tom Peach-Geraghty

  "In fulfillment of the principle that the sole legitimate source of political power is the people, all levels of government are required to respect the principle of subsidiarity. The lowest level of government (including local and parish councils) reasonably capable of exercising any given responsibility should be entitled to do so if that is the clearly expressed choice of its voters." This clause is derived from the original idea below and from the comments made in the second phase....

Alastair Bruton
by Alastair Bruton
7 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 13
Alastair Bruton

The state should be divorced from religion. As we know all religions don't believe in equal rights for women and many repressed minorities. Therefore, why do we continue to let religion have such a powerful say in how our country is run? Why are there 26 non-elected male Bishops in the House of Lords? Why are faith schools being supported by taxpayers money? Why is gender segregation being allowed in publically funded places like the LSE and many other university student unions? We should...

Hilary Baxter
by Hilary Baxter
23 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 21
Hilary Baxter

Suggested clause (drafted by Andrew Bulovsky) 'The manifestos that parties make in the run-up to a General Election must be considered a commitment to the public as the actual goals and priorities of a Government. As such, manifestos shall be binding upon a Government.  Should a Government be formed by two or more parties, it is expected that they shall reconcile differences through negotiations, and are still responsible to the public for finding a common ground on policies that are as...

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
4 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 19
Ian Smith

Suggested clause for constitution: 'The government will widely solicit citizens' views on proposed policy. It will give due consideration to the technology used to ensure that citizens are not restricted in joining the debate.'

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
3 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 18
Ian Smith

After reading  degauntier's  thread on the limits of military activity, I think the issue of emergency powers of the executive should be painted with a broader brush, that is, a constitution should define the government's powers and circumscription of those powers during times of emergency, to prevent abuse or contravention of human rights. Generally, it must furthermore address the question of how independently a government, or even the head of state, may act in times of national security....

Ramon James
by Ramon James
8 Votes
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Comments 18
Ramon James

Firstly, ideally all citizens must submit to the constitution from its inception. This must include the monarchy, the executive, parliament, devolved administrations, local government, the judiciary, the police, HMRC, .... And lastly but certainly not 'least' the individual citizen.  As to issues relating to individual party manifestos, maybe the idea of a more 'defined' constitution might give cause for thought as to the compilation declared manifestos as the politicians would have...

Gavin Russ
by Gavin Russ
5 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 11
Gavin Russ

The governance of the Bank of England should be outlined in the constitution, along with rules concerning the issuing of currency.

James Doran
by James Doran
9 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 17
James Doran

Regardless of who is elected on whatever platform, a constitution absolutely must constrain the ability of government to subjugate fundamental civil and political rights.  For the absence of doubt, these rights apply to all adults (children do not have unlimited criminal, contract or political rights and responsibilities). This includes: -The right to live one's life as you see fit, including control over your own body (limited only when one acts criminally against others or their...

Scott Wilson
by Scott Wilson
13 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 17
Scott Wilson
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