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

Should we have more of a say on where our taxes are spent?

Has the coalition agreement changed the powers of the government? What should be the role of the Deputy Prime Minister? – Has Nick Clegg had too much influence over the past 5 years?

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No individual should be permitted to be Prime Minister for more than 2 terms of Parliament 

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
10 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 21
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

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

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 presidential powers of the prime minister - such as the ability to appoint and remove cabinet ministers and other powers of patronage - should be limited. Instead, ministerial and other appointments should be subject to parliamentary approval.

James Doran
by James Doran
11 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 38
James Doran

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
Voting closed
Comments 18
Ramon James

Phase 2 version (draft 2 amendments in bold): Government fiscal accounting shall be based on an 'official unit of account' whose value may not be either a) arbitrary or b) controlled, wholly or in part, directly or indirectly, by private interests or by agencies outside Britain. Minutes or hours of passive labour shall be regarded as an acceptable official unit of account . This provision shall not constrain the continued use of an established non-qualifying unit of account during a...

Malcolm Ramsay
by Malcolm Ramsay
1 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 17
Malcolm Ramsay

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

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

Because politicians tend to be out of touch with the average person with politicians having their own agenda, I would put in the Constitution a concept called "initiative and referendum", in which if a specified number of adult persons sign/e-sign a petition on an issue, then that issue is placed on the ballot for vote (most likely on Election Day).  If that public vote obtains a specified percent of the total vote, then that issue will become law. This is different from the current...

John Z
by John Z
10 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 57
John Z
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