Have your say on the following topics...



A draft of our constitutional text is now available in PDF format below.  The draft is the product of the refined content from each of the eleven challenge topics on the platform as examined and scrutinised by the Constitutional Convention.  

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Head of State

The Queen is the constitutional monarch. In 2012 she celebrated her Diamond Jubilee marking 60 years on the throne. But as the Head of State what does she actually do? Do we even need her? Over the last 1,000 years power has passed from the monarch who ruled by virtue of the 'Divine Right of Kings' to Parliament. But is there a place for the British monarchy in 2015? Should we have an elected Head of State with far more powers, or in fact merge the Head of State role with that of the Prime Minister?   HAVE YOUR SAY...  We want to hear your views on the role and the powers and duties of the head of state;  Should the role of Head of State be kept by a British monarch? Should we now have an elected head of state with powers enshrined in the constitution? Should we even have a Head of State at all?

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The Government

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? HAVE YOUR SAY... 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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With the 2015 General Election a few months away what should the constitution say about how we elect our representatives? The First Past the Post system by which we elect our MPs requires MPs to win a majority of votes regardless of the number of people who turned up to vote. It makes it possible for an election to be decided on a few 'marginal seats' (constituencies where the current MPs' majority is small). Is this a fair way to decide the government? Is it even worth voting? What about the other representatives that we could vote for? What about Councillors, Mayors, police and crime commissioners and members of the European Parliament? What voting systems do we use to elect them and are they any better?

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The UK Parliament is one of the oldest representative assemblies in the world. Parliamentary sovereignty is a principal of the UK's uncodified constitution. This gives Parliament the highest legal authority in the UK, which means it can create or end any law. It has responsibility for checking the work of government and examining, debating and approving new laws. Despite its supreme legal authority, just how much power does Parliament have today? What should our constitution say about its power(s) to check the work of the government? What is the function of the unelected House of Lords and how much power do they really have?

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Local Government

Housing, rubbish collection, schools, planning and libraries - just some of the things local government is responsible for. But who are your councillors? What do they do, who do they represent and what are their powers? Local government is paid for using a combination of council tax and money from central government from national taxation. What should be in the constitution to ensure that they really represent the people? Should you have greater say about what your money is being spent on? And should local government have even more powers? In November 2014 the Chancellor George Osborne announced Greater Manchester will receive its own directly elected mayor with powers over transport, housing, planning and policing. Is this the way forward?

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Rights and Duties

Should the constitution specify the duties of a citizen? Should any of these duties be enforced and how? Is it high time the UK had a bill of rights like the US? If we were to leave the European Union which of your rights would you want to be protected? Please remember to VOTE on the ideas. Give them a thumbs up or down Click on the SEE FULL BRIEF below for interesting and fun facts, videos and tweets to help you with your ideas!

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The Judiciary

Thanks to the 2005 Constitutional Reform Act, the judiciary is officially independent of Parliament (the legislature). The Lord Chancellor no longer sits on a giant sack of wool in the House of Lords, in fact his powers have completely changed. The Act transferred his powers to the President of the Courts of England and Wales, the Lord Chief Justice. The Act also established a new UK Supreme Court separate from the House of Lords with its own President.

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International Relations

Can we really write a codified UK constitution whilst being a member of the European Union? Britain’s membership means that EU law overrides UK law when there is a conflict between the two. Given the intense debate about the EU and how it affects UK law, our rights and our borders, what does membership actually mean for UK sovereignty? We challenge you to write what the constitution should say about the UK's agreements with international organisations such as the European Union. HAVE YOUR SAY... Should the constitution say something about international relations? What should happen if the UK were to pull out of EU? Would there need to be amendments to the constitution? Do we need to write down mechanisms to ensure the deals made between the Prime Minister and other world leaders are more transparent? In particular the "special relationship" of the UK and the US?

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Should we consider respect for community? What are British values? Which of these should be written down in a constitution? Considering the government's guidance on British values, do you think they have got it right or can you do any better?

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Devolution is the transfer of powers from the UK Parliament in Westminster to the Welsh and Northern Irish assemblies in Cardiff and Belfast, and the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. In 1998, Parliament passed 3 devolution Acts of Parliament: the Scotland Act 1998; the Northern Ireland Act 1998; and the Government of Wales Act 1998, all of which made significant changes to the UK’s uncodified constitution. It was decided after the recent Scottish referendum that more powers are to be devolved. What does this mean for the UK Parliament? There is much debate surrounding the English question – Should MPs with seats in Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales continue to be allowed to vote on legislation and other matters in the UK Parliament in Westminster that will only affect people in England?

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Constitutional Amendment

What mechanisms of constitutional reform should we have for our constitution? Should the constitution remain unchanged through all time? Many claim that one of the main advantages of our present constitutional arrangement is its dynamic and flexible nature. The constitution can be changed by the passing of an act of Parliament or by a decision of the courts. Does that give too much power to Parliament and to the courts? This challenge invites you to think about these issues and more. Below are some of the questions you might wish to consider.

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