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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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

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

Suggested clause for constitution: 'Members of the Government must carry out their duties in a manner which is honest and trustworthy'   Idea behind the draft clause: Time and time again the public ask for honesty and trustworthiness from politicians and over and over politicians let us down.  The constitution should state that these are core qualities and that all members of the government must carry out their duties in s manner which is honest and trustworthy.

Ian Smith
by Ian Smith
5 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 14
Ian Smith

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

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 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

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

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
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Comments 17
Malcolm Ramsay

All new pieces of legislation (including budgets) should be put out to public consultation, as currently happens in Scotland, as well as being put before panels of experts and citizens juries which would come up with proposals which must be considered before the legislation is put into force

Ben King-Beck
by Ben King-Beck
2 Votes
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Comments 18
Ben King-Beck

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
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