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B427 - Elected Mayors Bill 2012

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    B427 - Elected Mayors Bill 2012, TSR Government


    Elected Mayors Bill 2012


    An Act establishing directly elected mayors in all major towns and cities.

    BE IT ENACTED by The Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Commons in this present Parliament assembled, in accordance with the provisions of the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-

    1. Establishment of directly elected Mayors
    (1) Upon the passage of this act, any major town or city in the United Kingdom which does not currently have a directly elected mayor is to hold a referendum on the issue at the next election, regardless of the type of election.
    (2) Voters will be asked a question decided by the electoral commission about whether they wish to directly elect a mayor of their local town/city, followed by a second question asking "In the event that the majority of voters pass the vote, who would you wish to be mayor?" with a maximum of one candidate for each party.
    (3) If a majority of the voters choose a directly elected mayor, then the mayor will be elected using a supplementary vote system.
    (4) The elected mayor will have the all the powers of a current mayor or council leader in their local town/city, as well as the casting vote if a vote between local councillors is tied. They will appoint a cabinet using the D'Hont voting system from within the local council.

    2. For the purposes of this Act-
    A major town or city shall be a town or city with a voter population of over 100 000 people.

    3. Commencement, short title and extent
    (1) This Act may be cited as the Elected Mayors Act 2012
    (2) This bill shall extend to the United Kingdom; and
    (3) Shall come into force immediately following Royal Assent.
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    A good idea. Elected mayors are a great way to further localise our democracy.
    • 43 followers
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    Aye.
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    There should be local Referendums regarding this.

    IRL there are local Referendums happening Birmingham, Coventry. Stoke did have an Elected Mayor but decided to go back to the Council Leader sytsem
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    Good no, this is a terrible idea. Mayors are the exemplification of personality politics, with no emphasis on policy. Look at the London Mayoral elections: nobody cares about Ken's policies, or Boris's policies, the competition essentially comes down to "who is more likeable". All it does as add an extra layer of cost and bureaucracy where it simply isn't needed. The turnout is also abysmal - look at the case of Doncaster's mayor. Peter Davies, a member of the English Democrats, was voted in on 36% turnout with 22% of the vote - that is, he represents 8% of the vote of the electorate. He then preceded to run Doncaster so badly it is now on a special watch by Westminster and is effectively run by the civil service. This is not uncommon, and it is one of the reasons why many areas with mayors have actually voted to get rid of them! Council leaders function far better than mayors and at a fraction of the cost.

    I understand the democratic instinct of people proposing this bill, but this is not the right way to bring about local democracy. A much better way would be by returning to councils the powers they were stripped of in the '80s, so that localism actually means something again.
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    How much is this going to cost?
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    Aye.
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    (Original post by Morgsie)
    There should be local Referendums regarding this.

    IRL there are local Referendums happening Birmingham, Coventry. Stoke did have an Elected Mayor but decided to go back to the Council Leader sytsem
    The referenda will be local, the question set by the Electoral Commission so they will be local.
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    Chance of MRLP rule, so aye
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    A Nay
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    I assumed every town had a mayor. Oh well, I guess so. I would run for mayor of a town or MP perhaps. Well I would if I didn't have so many skeletons in my closet.
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    Aye.


    (Original post by RoryS)
    A Nay
    What a brilliantly useful contribution.
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    Aye.
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    Aye
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    (Original post by thunder_chunky)
    I assumed every town had a mayor. Oh well, I guess so. I would run for mayor of a town or MP perhaps. Well I would if I didn't have so many skeletons in my closet.
    Most places do, although the role is nearly always ceremonial.
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    (Original post by Lipvig)
    Most places do, although the role is nearly always ceremonial.
    Oh I see. I did wonder what the difference was between a Mayor and an MP. I mean apart from the MP serving a wider area and possibly having more power.
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    No for the reasons pointed out by Tophat.
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    (Original post by cambo211)
    Aye.

    What a brilliantly useful contribution.
    Your contribution wasn't any better or worse than mine. I don't see what you're getting at here.

    There's other people just saying this all important words - I'm pretty tired at the moment reading through debates. That's for the daytime...
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    (Original post by TopHat)
    Good no, this is a terrible idea. Mayors are the exemplification of personality politics, with no emphasis on policy. Look at the London Mayoral elections: nobody cares about Ken's policies, or Boris's policies, the competition essentially comes down to "who is more likeable". All it does as add an extra layer of cost and bureaucracy where it simply isn't needed. The turnout is also abysmal - look at the case of Doncaster's mayor. Peter Davies, a member of the English Democrats, was voted in on 36% turnout with 22% of the vote - that is, he represents 8% of the vote of the electorate. He then preceded to run Doncaster so badly it is now on a special watch by Westminster and is effectively run by the civil service. This is not uncommon, and it is one of the reasons why many areas with mayors have actually voted to get rid of them! Council leaders function far better than mayors and at a fraction of the cost.

    I understand the democratic instinct of people proposing this bill, but this is not the right way to bring about local democracy. A much better way would be by returning to councils the powers they were stripped of in the '80s, so that localism actually means something again.
    This is more or less the same with councils, too - let's abolish those! I mean honestly, I love it when they strike; It points out how utterly useless they are.

    That said, there must be a reason why people care so much less about these local elections than central parliament ones, and I think the reason is that of responsibility. Everyone knows that the real things that affect them are decided centrally. Even local council's funding is around 2/3rd from central government, with only the rest being council tax, so councils would be hamstrung anyway even if they did actually have anything useful to do. Almost all of what they do are crap no one cares about or otherwise "crisis" things that are a-political like child services and whatnot.

    I think the solution to this - and it's applicable to Mayor's, too - is to really devolve power down to them. And councils. Devolve power down as locally as it's possible to devolve it. People will start caring a lot more about the policies of mayors or local council parties if they're setting the local tax rate, or they're defining the drinking age of an area or - an issue we're all keenly interested in - the tax rate on sausage rolls. Give them some power and people will soon start caring.

    Of course, this devolving of power is something of a requisite before turnout improves, which makes it something of a chicken-egg issue. And I've never been much of a democrat, being largely ambivalent towards it where I am not actively eye-rolling, but I have one fundamental belief, and it's this: Democracy, if you agree with it as a principle, should not be actively withheld on the grounds that you don't like the how the people use their vote.
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    (Original post by CyclopsRock)
    This is more or less the same with councils, too - let's abolish those! I mean honestly, I love it when they strike; It points out how utterly useless they are.
    To a certain extent, councils avoid the worst excesses of mayoral politics because there is less of a focus upon individuals - simply because a council is composed of many individuals. There's no one point of focus. That makes it less about personality and more about politics.

    said, there must be a reason why people care so much less about these local elections than central parliament ones, and I think the reason is that of responsibility. Everyone knows that the real things that affect them are decided centrally. Even local council's funding is around 2/3rd from central government, with only the rest being council tax, so councils would be hamstrung anyway even if they did actually have anything useful to do. Almost all of what they do are crap no one cares about or otherwise "crisis" things that are a-political like child services and whatnot.

    I think the solution to this - and it's applicable to Mayor's, too - is to really devolve power down to them. And councils. Devolve power down as locally as it's possible to devolve it. People will start caring a lot more about the policies of mayors or local council parties if they're setting the local tax rate, or they're defining the drinking age of an area or - an issue we're all keenly interested in - the tax rate on sausage rolls. Give them some power and people will soon start caring.
    I quite agree. That's why I said in my post the far better thing for local democracy is to return to local councils the powers they used to have in the '80s before they were stripped by Thatcher.
Updated: April 27, 2012
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