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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This proposal may sound obvious, but nothing should be taken for granted.  Basically, when the Constitution is finalized, the government shall publish (and thereafter annually publish) the text of the Constitution ALONG WITH citations to supporting statutes, case law, principles, Royal Prerogative, Conventions, International Law, etc... that currently support each provision.  For any new principles that are not presently supported by any citation, then the publication should state that....

John Z
by John Z
10 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 45
John Z
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John Z

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

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
by
John Z

I have a feeling but I wish push the limits. Maybe it should be in Parliament's remit to ratify the appointments but not based upon a simple party majority or coalition. Might not a cutoff point say two thirds of ALL MP's would have to vote for the candidate before final ratification?  And ... Might the citizens choose between the party leaders during the general voting system who they feel might represent them? This might be attached to the general ballot and might act as a powerful guide...

Gavin Russ
by Gavin Russ
3 Votes
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Comments 17
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

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

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

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

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

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
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