Parliament should sit continually

At present Parliament in sessions- a little over half a year this leaves the rest of the year where the activities of the executive are not be held to account and in the past have used it to their advantage to push through secondary legislation. Parliament should sit continually or at least a committee of parliament. Another advantage would be that parliamentary time could be used better and avoid the need for unsocial hours -off putting to many especially those with young families.

 

John Z Apr 5, 2015

But if MP's are in London continually, when would they meet with their constituents?  Would it be just on weekends?  (This proposal may give added weight to another proposal to move the capital in north England, this way no commute will be that long to an MP).

Rob G Apr 5, 2015

Most companies and organisations manage to arrange their business to enable their employees to take annual leave and go on training courses without the entire firm closing down.

Government also manages to carry on continually, even during Parliamentary recesses - indeed, it's still functioning now when we have no MPs! If one of the main roles of MPs is to scrutinise the activity of government, it's a nonsense to suggest that that can't happen because Parliament happens to have been prorogued. That isn't to say that all Parliamentary activity has to continue - Parliament is more than a legislative sausage factory, so it could introduce "legislative terms" and "non-legislative terms", where committees continue to sit, debates on matters of principle can take place, etc. That would also allow parties to permit a proportion of their MPs to be absent for a week or two at a time - if there are no votes on Bills or government policy, it won't be necessary to have every one present all the time.

Ian Hodgson Apr 8, 2015

The proposal is not meant to suggest that MPs are sitting in the House of Commons 24/7 but that Parliament is not in recess for huge periods nor is it prorogued. Instead the parliamentary calendar is timetabled allowing time for MPs to be in their constituencies but also allowing time for the whole gamut of. Parliamentary business time for gov legislation, private members legislation ,consideration of public petitions, finance acts, scutiny of government business. Timetabled to give reasonable time for debate timetabled by parliament and not by the executive, timetabled to give reasonable working condition for parliamentarians as robg8 says it is what most companies have to do. The advantage to the electorate is that the government would always be subject to scrutiny.

John Z Apr 8, 2015

I agree.  How exactly would you phrase it for a Constitutional provision?

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Jake Wellman Apr 7, 2015

Thanks for continuing the debate, John from Jersey and robg8!

As we are now in the refining phase, feel free to suggest ways that the idea owner can improve and refine this idea and make sure to confirm your vote  on this and other proposals on the Parliament page.

-JWellman, moderator

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