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A79 - Election Amendment

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    A79 - Election Amendment

    Proposer: TopHat
    Seconders: toronto353, Rakas21, RoryS, DebatingGreg


    To amend the Constitution under ‘3. The General Election’ from:

    3.2.will be held if a general election is held in real life, if the Prime Minister calls one, if a vote of no confidence in the Government passes, or if 6 months have passed since the last election (this can be postponed for up to 30 days at the Speaker’s discretion).
    to:

    3.2.will be held if a general election is held in real life, if a Dissolution Motion is passed, or if 6 months have passed since the last election. In all cases, this can be postponed for up to 30 days at the Speaker’s discretion.
    To amend the title of section 10. of the Constitution from:

    10. Votes of No Confidence
    to:

    10. Votes of No Confidence and the Motion for Dissolution
    To amend the Constitution under ‘10. Votes of No Confidence’ from:

    10.1.can be called in:
    10.1.1.The Speaker
    10.1.2.The Deputy Speaker(s)
    10.1.3.The Government
    10.1.4.Party Leaders

    10.2.remove the subject in question and except in the case of a vote of a government losing a vote of no confidence, shall lead to a new election. In the case of a new Speakership election following a vote of no confidence, it is run by a Deputy Speaker who is not running, or failing that a supermoderator or administrator.

    10.3 when successfully called in the government will disband the current government and allow parties 7 days to propose a coalition government. If the VoNC was called in a coalition government, that same coalition government may not reform for the rest of that term.
    to:

    10.1.can be called in:
    10.1.1.The Speaker
    10.1.2.The Deputy Speaker(s)
    10.1.3.Party Leaders

    10.2.should a Vote of No Confidence pass, remove the subject in question. In the case of a new Speakership election following a Vote of No Confidence, it is run by a Deputy Speaker who is not running, or failing that a supermoderator or administrator.

    10.3.a Dissolution Motion can be called concerning Parliament.

    10.4.should a Dissolution Motion pass, dissolve Parliament and call a General Election.
    To amend the title of the section of the Guidance Document "Votes of No Confidence" from:

    Votes of No Confidence
    to:

    Votes of No Confidence and the Dissolution Motion
    To amend the Guidance Document under the "Votes of No Confidence" from:

    Votes of No Confidence against the Government
    1) A vote of no confidence can be called against the Government at any point during a term of governance. The person calling the vote must be an MP of any party.

    2) The Speaker must be notified by one person and get another to person to second their Vote of No Confidence (both people need to be MPs).

    3) This will automatically start a 3 day discussion where both sides get to argue their points; the Speaker will start a thread and post the reasons for the Vote of No Confidence being called.

    4) After the 3 day discussion a 4 day poll will be opened in the Division Lobby so that all MPs can have a vote. The poll will be a private poll only showing the results when it has ended.

    5) If the result of the poll is in favour of the Vote of No Confidence then a period of 7 days shall be allowed for other parties to form a new government (using all the usual regulations for it).

    6) If the result of the poll does not favour the Vote of No Confidence then usual business will resume in the House of Commons.
    To:

    Dissolution Motion
    1) A Dissolution Motion can be called during any point in a Parliament. The person calling the motion must be an MP of any party.

    2) The Speaker must be notified by one person and get one (1) other to person to second their Dissolution Motion (both people need to be MPs).

    3) This will automatically start a 3 day discussion where both sides get to argue their points; the Speaker will start a thread and post the reasons for the Dissolution Motion being called.

    4) A Dissolution Motion must always read "This House would dissolve Parliament." A Dissolution Motion is always labelled "DMXX - Dissolution Motion".

    5) After the 3 day discussion a 2 day poll will be opened in the Division Lobby so that all MPs can have a vote. The poll will be a private poll. The results are not revealed.

    6) In the event that the votes in favour and the votes against are, the Prime Minister's vote determines the result. In the event the above is true and the Prime Minister abstained, the vote is passed.

    7) If the result of the poll is in favour of the Dissolution Motion, then a General Election must take place, beginning the following day.

    8) If the result of the poll does not favour the Dissolution Motion then usual business will resume in the House of Commons.
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    I'd suggest you revise some of the wording to make the amendment clearer. I'm not the best at this, but most of the constitutional nightmares we've had have been down to unclear amendments and people arguing semantics back and forth. It makes the Speaker's job very difficult and could be avoided with better wording!
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    (Original post by Metrobeans)
    I'd suggest you revise some of the wording to make the amendment clearer. I'm not the best at this, but most of the constitutional nightmares we've had have been down to unclear amendments and people arguing semantics back and forth. It makes the Speaker's job very difficult and could be avoided with better wording!
    It makes the House more fun when I argue semantics with you.
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    (Original post by Metrobeans)
    I'd suggest you revise some of the wording to make the amendment clearer. I'm not the best at this, but most of the constitutional nightmares we've had have been down to unclear amendments and people arguing semantics back and forth. It makes the Speaker's job very difficult and could be avoided with better wording!
    Could you point out bits you think have unacceptable amounts of leeway?
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    Aye.
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    Oh aye, aye
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    (Original post by TopHat)
    Could you point out bits you think have unacceptable amounts of leeway?
    To give an example:

    10.4.should a Dissolution Motion pass, dissolve Parliament and call a General Election.
    In Matthew_Lowson's election amendment that was passed by the House, it was agreed that the dissolution of Parliament would take place on Day 7 of the General Election timetable, but this suggests it would happen instantly.

    I would remove "dissolve parliament" from that sentence.

    Though my concern is
    really over potential problems that I can't yet see! People in here will argue over the meaning of the smallest words which we couldn't imagine would cause a problem now. 3 years back, arguments over the words "as usual" led to a Vote of No Confidence in a Speaker, so if I notice grammatical errors, I tend to worry!

    Now, I'm certainly not the person to ask to fix it, but I think it's something that can be improved and would result in a better amendment
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    As the Speaker, your opinion is probably more vital than anyone else's on this, so your input is genuinely appreciated. Anything you notice I will fix for a second reading.
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    The other thing I would query is why the Prime Minister should get the deciding vote. As every MP's vote should be equal, to rest the decider on one individual person seems unfair. Should it not work the way all our other votes work, in that a majority is required to carry the motion, else the status quo prevails?
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    Dissolution Motion
    1) A Dissolution Motion can be called during any point in a Parliament. The person calling the motion must be an MP of any party.

    2) The Speaker must be notified by one person and get one (1) other to person to second their Dissolution Motion (both people need to be MPs).

    3) This will automatically start a 3 day discussion where both sides get to argue their points; the Speaker will start a thread and post the reasons for the Dissolution Motion being called.

    4) A Dissolution Motion must always read "This House would dissolve Parliament." A Dissolution Motion is always labelled "DMXX - Dissolution Motion".

    5) After the 3 day discussion a 2 day poll will be opened in the Division Lobby so that all MPs can have a vote. The poll will be a private poll. The results are not revealed.

    6) In the event that the votes in favour and the votes against are, the Prime Minister's vote determines the result. In the event the above is true and the Prime Minister abstained, the vote is passed.

    7) If the result of the poll is in favour of the Dissolution Motion, then a General Election must take place, beginning the following day.

    8) If the result of the poll does not favour the Dissolution Motion then usual business will resume in the House of Commons.
    Suggestions:

    Dissolution Motion
    1) A dissolution motion can be called at any point in the parliamentary term. The person calling the motion must be an MP.

    2) The Speaker must be notified by one MP, and then one (1) other to second the dissolution motion called for by the first MP.

    3) A three day discussion period will then occur; the Speaker will start a thread and post the initiator's reasons for seeking a dissolution of parliament.

    4) A dissolution motion must always read "This House would dissolve Parliament." A dissolution motion is always labelled "DMXX - Dissolution Motion".

    5) After the three (3) day discussion period, a two (2) day poll will be opened in the Division Lobby for MPs to vote on the motion. The results of the poll shall remain hidden.

    6) In the event that the votes for 'aye' and 'no' are tied, the Prime Minister's vote shall determine the result. Should a tie occur with the Prime Minister abstaining, the dissolution motion shall pass.


    7) If the result of the poll is in favour of the dissolution motion, then a General Election must take place, beginning the following day.

    8) If the result of the poll does not favour the dissolution motion then usual business will resume in the House of Commons.
    I'm concerned about 5)/6); only the Speaker/DS would be in a position to verify the result - I don't know why it should be private.

    Also agree with the general criticism of 6)., why should the PM's vote be so significant?
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    "In the event that the votes in favour and the votes against are, the Prime Minister's vote determines the result. In the event the above is true and the Prime Minister abstained, the vote is passed."

    A dissolution motion should require at least 50% of MPs supporting it to be passed. If there's a tie, Parliament should continue until there's a majority in favour of dissolution or an election is trigged automatically.

    EDIT: Basically, I agree with Nick.
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    Will gladly change the part regarding the PM. As it happens, that was actually a pre-emptive compromise, as I was expecting people to complain how this reduces the ability of the PM to call snap elections, but it seems people are willing to go beyond that!

    @JPKC; 5) is intended to allow people to vote with their conscience, without fearing repercussions from the respective party leaders.
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    Can someone please explain how this works in practice?
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    (Original post by Morgsie)
    Can someone please explain how this works in practice?
    This removes the ability from the PM to call a snap election, but also stops the opposition from abusing the VoNC to try backroom politics. Instead, if somebody wants an early General Election, they submit a motion called a Dissolution Motion. If the Dissolution Motion passes, an early general election is called, otherwise, businesses continues as usual. It means everyone has equal capability on the subject.
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    (Original post by TopHat)
    This removes the ability from the PM to call a snap election, but also stops the opposition from abusing the VoNC to try backroom politics. Instead, if somebody wants an early General Election, they submit a motion called a Dissolution Motion. If the Dissolution Motion passes, an early general election is called, otherwise, businesses continues as usual. It means everyone has equal capability on the subject.
    Something like what goes on IRL as a result of the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act.

    I take it that the successful VONC remains, a change of Government.
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    Yes. If a Dissolution Motion passes, then an election is called. The major change there is that if a Dissolution Motion passes, there is no time period for other parties to try and form a new government - rather, the issue is sent directly to the electorate.
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    Aye
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    Aye
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    Aye.

    The one thing i would suggest is that since the wash-up period is currently 7 days but things only go to vote for 4 days, we should reduce this to 5 days so that the total dissolution+election period comes to 23 days.

    Naturally would prefer to have the deciding vote but the statistical likelyhood of a tie is so small that i shall not object in the spirit of the House.
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    Nay as it stands. The intention behind it is good but there's not been much thought put in to it. And as it stands this is going to repeal an awful lot of things in the current mechanism and create a large number of loopholes which if this is going to work must be addressed.

    I personally think a Dissolution Motion should be a 2/3 majority, as it is going to be in the House of Commons. A simple majority can mean a coalition or an opposition coalition can quickly push one through when the numbers are likely to get the vote in their favour.

    We want to place a restraint on needless dissolutions mid term, and making it 2/3 majority or having a set number of members who must vote for it, say 30.

    10.1.can be called in:
    10.1.1.The Speaker
    10.1.2.The Deputy Speaker(s)
    10.1.3.Party Leaders
    10.2.should a Vote of No Confidence pass, remove the subject in question. In the case of a new Speakership election following a Vote of No Confidence, it is run by a Deputy Speaker who is not running, or failing that a supermoderator or administrator.

    10.3.a Dissolution Motion can be called concerning Parliament.

    10.4.should a Dissolution Motion pass, dissolve Parliament and call a General Election.
    So what about votes of no confidence in the government? You've removed that tool from the House. Making it impossible for the house to remove a sitting prime minister unless the coalition collapses.

    Lets move this Dissolution Motion completely away from the Vote of No Confidence part of the constituion barring a clause that means that this is a potential route to be taken by an outgoing prime minister who has a no confidence motion passed in his government during coalition forming period
Updated: May 22, 2012
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