Voting in a new constitution

Suggested clause (following the Danish model):

'A new written constitution for the [UK] shall enter into force as such if it is:

- approved by more than 50% of all MP's eligible to vote in two successive parliaments (before and after a general election); and

- then approved by a simple majority of at voters in a public referendum in which at least 40% of the electorate have voted.'

edited on Apr 10, 2015 by Ian Smith

Ian Smith Apr 5, 2015

Dear All,

I am posting a quick comment here and in my other ideas.

Firstly, I want to say how much I have enjoyed seeing all of your contributions on this and other ideas and how impressed I am with the range of expertise and erudition which has filled these debates.

Secondly, I wish to put forward a couple of suggestions as to a way forward at this stage.  They are:

A.   I suggest that we all refrain from further voting until the ideas have been refined and represented and have then been debated for a while.  My thinking here is that we will want to see the reshaped ideas and see the comments on those refined ideas before we decide whether they are to be voted up or down,  I do not think that we should refrain from voting on comments but perhaps try not to vote too hastily on them.

B.  Now that the hurly burly of the "Hacking" phase (some of it quite savage) has passed, I hope and wish that we will adopt a more collaborative and less combative approach in our commentary, so that commentary is given a chance to be constructive and really do the job of refining the ideas in question.

C.  I would hope that we can refrain from attacking the very existence of the idea under discussion in this phase or the fact that it has successfully gone through to this phase against the wishes of those who voted it down.  I sincerely hope that the previous critics of an idea, will still respect that it found favour with the crowd and now help to refine the idea in this phase.

Thirdly, I will try my best not to introduce any more typos and mangled phrases! 

Best wishes for the holiday weekend!


Ian Smith Apr 7, 2015

Dear All,

Before I draft a suggested clause for the constitution, I should be very grateful if you would let me have any further thoughts on this idea and in particular the form of a constitutional clause.

Kind regards,


David Andersson Apr 10, 2015

Hi Ian,

This sounds like a great idea. Having a general election in between should mean that there is time to really consider any amendments and effectively gives the public at least two votes (the GE after the first approval, and the referendum) on any amendment. I suppose one question might be whether it should require an absolute majority rather than a simple majority in the parliamentary votes?

Ian Smith Apr 10, 2015

I've now amended the idea to be specific about that.  Many thanks and kind regards, Ian

Mark Cooke Apr 17, 2015

This seems unnecessarily complicated to me.

If the constitution is to be popularly adopted by referendum,  then why is it necessary for two successive parliaments to approve it - it does not need popular approval in a general election as well.

Secondly,  I thought the idea was to have a consitutional convention outside the existing political structures, the outcome of which would be put to the people to overturn many of the existing political structures -  requiring the existing HoC to vote for that twice puts a very high hurdle in the way.

I propose dropping your first sub clause altogether.