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A Proposition to the United Kingdom Watch

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    (Original post by rsplaya)
    Things don't pass in congress because the Republicans control a majority and it is the democrats trying to pass stuff. Just like how in England labour doesn't pass any legislation as it does not control a majority. Now why don't the Republicans propose anything? Because anything that gets through the house must pass in the senate which is controlled by the Democrats, and then by the president who is also a Democrat. So your argument is entirely wrong.
    Good gracious me, the President is largely the person that passes legislation through both houses, the House of Reps can prolong legislation getting through. Presidents are not all powerful in the USA, they have to pass their policies through Congress, which takes time and many times fails, this is what gridlock is.
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    Diagree with practically everything you said. All MPs are in theory equal as even the PM has only 1 vote in relation to the passing of bills.

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    (Original post by rsplaya)
    Things don't pass in congress because the Republicans control a majority and it is the democrats trying to pass stuff. Just like how in England labour doesn't pass any legislation as it does not control a majority. Now why don't the Republicans propose anything? Because anything that gets through the house must pass in the senate which is controlled by the Democrats, and then by the president who is also a Democrat. So your argument is entirely wrong.
    Incorrect, things don't get passed in Congress because thats how the system was designed by its founders..literally it was. They actually care about re-election, they won't go for policy that gets them destroyed.
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    (Original post by Louis.)
    Is it not the case that transparency and accountability discourage representatives to vote against how they promised? Remove it and the voters' control over how their representatives vote is almost completely lost. And imo that would lead to poor government...

    ...you say judging their performance is irrelevant, to me that's only going to lead to poor decision making. If my boss doesn't judge me at work i'll become lazy. If my essays at uni aren't judged they'll become awful. I struggle to separate effectiveness from accountability, which is why i'm reluctant to support this. Comes across as a kind of 'elected technocracy' I suppose...not sure if that's what you're going for.
    No, it's not the case at all.

    What discourages you from performing badly, and MPs from going astray, is the *future* effect on themselves. MPs won't be re-elected, and you'll be fired or will fail. In this proposition, once the MPs finish their term of office, they're gone for good. What anyone thought of their decisions is irrelevant.

    If you're talking about how they might improve whilst they're still in office, they can just read the comments of the public in the transcript.
    A constituent: "I think that Member 47 today was out of order and didn't represent us well, and I will not vote for him again"
    - The MP can take the advice on board, and the 'voting again' bit is irrelevant as he can't physically be voted in again.
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    (Original post by Will Lucky)
    Incorrect, things don't get passed in Congress because thats how the system was designed by its founders..literally it was. They actually care about re-election, they won't go for policy that gets them destroyed.
    ^ This. If you remove re-election and implement anonymity (as suggested) then they can go for policy which they believe in, which improves the efficiency of the system.

    The very reason that the political systems in the US and UK don't work properly is that the members of the government are too wary of the effects of their comments, and can't speak freely. They'd rather stay in power and act meek than be forceful and then lose out on re-election.
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    (Original post by seana39223)
    Diagree with practically everything you said. All MPs are in theory equal as even the PM has only 1 vote in relation to the passing of bills.
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    Of course they are, yes. What do you disagree with?...
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    (Original post by Jordan-James)
    Good gracious me, the President is largely the person that passes legislation through both houses, the House of Reps can prolong legislation getting through. Presidents are not all powerful in the USA, they have to pass their policies through Congress, which takes time and many times fails, this is what gridlock is.
    And this system does not have a president or a senate so it would not be gridlocked.... sometimes i worry about the reading ability of people on TSR.
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    (Original post by Upper Echelons)
    What stops gridlock occurring in Parliament which wouldn't otherwise be effective here? (Genuine question)



    Can you explain? I don't agree at all.

    Why should MPs be accountable to their constituents? So that you can burn them at the stake for not representing you, or what? Since they can't be voted in again anyway, the only reason is for personal hating on the ex-MP, which is pointless.

    Imagine this:
    I tell someone to go and inform my University of my resignation.
    I'm not able to speak to the University directly.
    The "someone" is not able to change what they say once they've said it, their information to the University is final.

    Why would I need to check that they actually followed through on what they said? I'll never trust them again anyway as I'm leaving the University (in this case the MP is leaving the political system).
    People barely bother to vote once every five years, and most people know nothing of any of the other elections that go on (EU parliament, police commissioner etc.). Making elections 5 times more frequent will only make it less likely for people to bother. And if you can't see how the person you elected did anyway, then what you're actually voting in seems less real to people.

    Because is MPs are unaccountable to anyone they are more likely to be corrupt and certainly they will have too much power. What's to stop large-scale bribery a la the cash for lobbying a few years ago if no-one knows how anyone is voting?
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    (Original post by rsplaya)
    And this system does not have a president or a senate so it would not be gridlocked.... sometimes i worry about the reading ability of people on TSR.
    The fact you take the original post seriously is pretty worrying.
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    (Original post by tory88)
    People barely bother to vote once every five years, and most people know nothing of any of the other elections that go on (EU parliament, police commissioner etc.). Making elections 5 times more frequent will only make it less likely for people to bother. And if you can't see how the person you elected did anyway, then what you're actually voting in seems less real to people.

    Because is MPs are unaccountable to anyone they are more likely to be corrupt and certainly they will have too much power. What's to stop large-scale bribery a la the cash for lobbying a few years ago if no-one knows how anyone is voting?
    1) I've edited the OP to extend the term of office to 4 years, and given a description in the bottom of the OP (and in the relevant paragraph) as to why I've done this :chaplin: Basically I agree with you

    2) What do you mean by it seeming less real? If I knew a secret meeting was going on about my future and I could pick someone to be in on it on my behalf, it would be very real to me and I'd pick the best person I could.

    3) Why would they be more corrupt than they would otherwise be? This way, they're corrupt and then leave after one term of office. Under the current system it's the same - they wouldn't be voted in again.
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    (Original post by Upper Echelons)
    ^ This. If you remove re-election and implement anonymity (as suggested) then they can go for policy which they believe in, which improves the efficiency of the system.

    The very reason that the political systems in the US and UK don't work properly is that the members of the government are too wary of the effects of their comments, and can't speak freely. They'd rather stay in power and act meek than be forceful and then lose out on re-election.
    And that removes the democratic link of the British system, I'd want to know how my Representative votes so I know whether its worth voting for them again. I can't take what they say at value, I have to see it to believe it. If that were anonymous I might as well spoil the ballot, because my vote means nothing.
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    (Original post by Will Lucky)
    And that removes the democratic link of the British system, I'd want to know how my Representative votes so I know whether its worth voting for them again. I can't take what they say at value, I have to see it to believe it. If that were anonymous I might as well spoil the ballot, because my vote means nothing.
    You *can't* vote for them again anyway! They're only in power once.

    please read the explanation I gave
    Imagine this:
    I tell someone to go and inform my University of my resignation.
    I'm not able to speak to the University directly.
    The "someone" is not able to change what they say once they've said it, their information to the University is final.

    Why would I need to check that they actually followed through on what they said? I'll never trust them again anyway as I'm leaving the University (in this case the MP is leaving the political system)
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    (Original post by Upper Echelons)
    I would like to promote a change to the UK Parliament, first suggested to me by a good friend here at Harvard.


    - Remove ranks within the political system, including the Prime Minister, Cabinet etc. resulting in MPs enjoying equal power.

    - Have the number of MPs elected by a particular region determined solely by the population size of that constituency.

    - Stop televising Parliament (that is not, however, to say that the public would be ignorant of what is discussed and proposed within Parliament - see below).

    - Make it such that everything said within the walls of Parliament is said in anonymity. The words of an MP would simply be recorded as being said by an anonymous member (e.g. "Member 47"), which would rotate daily (Member 47 could be Member 78 the next day, for example).

    An example transcript
    MP 47: I propose that we cut funding to everything.
    MP 50: I disagree.
    MP 48: I agree.

    - Remove the House of Lords.

    - Make it such that a single person may only be in office once, and for a maximum period of twelve months.

    - (Edited to change number of MPs in light of answers given in the thread) Members of Parliament would be staggered in entry, such that each month, 6 MPs would be added and removed. This would preserve continuity whilst gradually refreshing the members. 6 x 48 months = ~300 Members of Parliament, which would suffice.

    - The list of current Members of Parliament would also ideally be kept secret (despite being voted in), with MPs contributing from their own home via a secure network, however this is open for discussion as the public would want to ensure the integrity of the voting system.


    I would be very interested to hear your justified and civil responses.

    Edit: I'm editing the OP as I come across comments/rebuttals which I agree with - this is not 'moving the goalposts', as it's not a competition. It's a discussion. We're trying to come to a mutual agreement, not win a trophy :chaplin:
    I don't understand why you want there to be so much secrecy in parliament and why MP's should be allowed to speak anonymously. I think it's good and important that MP's not only voice their opinions but that the public knows what they say and what they believe. It's important for the country and it's important for the constituents of said MP.

    1. You can't remove ranks like Prime Minister.
    2. 12 months is too short a tenure for someone in office. One could argue they need longer to have maximum impact and make progress.
    3. Why should the list of MP's be a secret? What could that possibly gain? why is that necessary?
    4. Televising Parliament is good not only for news coverage but for those that either study politics or take a rather amateur or spectator view of it. So I don't agree with that either.

    So basically I agree with almost everything you or rather your friend suggested.
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    (Original post by Upper Echelons)
    I would like to promote a change to the UK Parliament, first suggested to me by a good friend here at Harvard.


    - Remove ranks within the political system, including the Prime Minister, Cabinet etc. resulting in MPs enjoying equal power.

    - Have the number of MPs elected by a particular region determined solely by the population size of that constituency.

    - Stop televising Parliament (that is not, however, to say that the public would be ignorant of what is discussed and proposed within Parliament - see below).

    - Make it such that everything said within the walls of Parliament is said in anonymity. The words of an MP would simply be recorded as being said by an anonymous member (e.g. "Member 47"), which would rotate daily (Member 47 could be Member 78 the next day, for example).

    An example transcript
    MP 47: I propose that we cut funding to everything.
    MP 50: I disagree.
    MP 48: I agree.

    - Remove the House of Lords.

    - Make it such that a single person may only be in office once, and for a maximum period of twelve months.

    - (Edited to change number of MPs in light of answers given in the thread) Members of Parliament would be staggered in entry, such that each month, 6 MPs would be added and removed. This would preserve continuity whilst gradually refreshing the members. 6 x 48 months = ~300 Members of Parliament, which would suffice.

    - The list of current Members of Parliament would also ideally be kept secret (despite being voted in), with MPs contributing from their own home via a secure network, however this is open for discussion as the public would want to ensure the integrity of the voting system.


    I would be very interested to hear your justified and civil responses.

    Edit: I'm editing the OP as I come across comments/rebuttals which I agree with - this is not 'moving the goalposts', as it's not a competition, it's a discussion :yy: :chaplin:
    Personally, I am of the view that there should be two chambers ruling the country. Yes we have MPs (no ranks though as you say), but to control the country I think we should have a small group of Upper Echelons above the MP level - some sort of Upper Echelon elders. While it is mainly the lower house (MPs) that will run the parliament as an outer party, the UE elders will act as the honorary head of state as the inner party and control the proletariat population of the country.
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    (Original post by Upper Echelons)
    1) I've edited the OP to extend the term of office to 4 years, and given a description in the bottom of the OP (and in the relevant paragraph) as to why I've done this :chaplin: Basically I agree with you

    2) What do you mean by it seeming less real? If I knew a secret meeting was going on about my future and I could pick someone to be in on it on my behalf, it would be very real to me and I'd pick the best person I could.

    3) Why would they be more corrupt than they would otherwise be? This way, they're corrupt and then leave after one term of office. Under the current system it's the same - they wouldn't be voted in again.
    I agree with your secret meeting analogy, but then surely you would pick someone you trusted completely, which isn't possible when thousands of constituents are factored in. What if I told you you could only pick from a list of five people who you'd met a few times a couple of years ago at dinner parties and such? Then I feel this would be less satisfactory.

    But it is an interesting question: what does accountability matter when someone cannot be re-elected anyway? I guess the best answer I can give for that is that people can learn from their mistakes. If they know which elected officials have gone against what they've done or been bribed then they can try to avoid those traits in future candidates. And for the candidates themselves I still feel there is a certain amount of extra responsibility in knowing that you're being monitored. Because, of course, reprisals aren't necessarily restricted to the ballot box.
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    It would provide them with to much power, it would remove them from being answerable to there consituancy, parliament should be public and transparent.

    Removal of the office of Prime-Minister would be disastrous in times of national crisis when executive decisions require speed and decisiveness.
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    I think the logistics of Almost all you are proposing would be just about impossible.
    I don't like the idea of anonymity as politicians have to be a person as well and many elections are decided upon this.
    You would also take away any source of stability by extracting the notion of positions and shortening terms as it would be an endless ever-changing coalition in which everybody would disagree while nothing was accomplished.
    The idea of positions in parliament is important as well as it can allow a person to focus properly on an area of society, albeit some are pretty poor at it, people would not take such care if they were supposed to make judgements and proposals on areas they have little knowledge or experience with.


    However I do think party politics is in need of a shake up in Britain at the moment as each of the parties are far too similar, that's not to say I support extreme parties, only that I would like to see more actual debate disagreement and differences between each government/party.


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    (Original post by Upper Echelons)
    Well that's for the people to decide, isn't it? They can take into account the new model and vote accordingly. You'd have to think about who you are most convinced by, who you believe is most intelligent etc.

    Even the way it is at the moment, you could easily vote in an MP and then find that (s)he votes the other way, could you not? I don't see how the accountability would at all be affected.

    Current system: MP performs badly, you have to wait until the end of office to get rid of them.
    New System: MP performs badly, they leave at the end of the *shorter* office anyway, problem solved.

    What's key is that they cannot be voted in twice, so judging their performance is irrelevant unless you want to hunt them down and burn them as a town mob. Why do you need to know whether they remained true to their manifesto? They'll never be in power again!
    The accountability is currently in force so that they get re-elected (or their party does when they stand for a party). You are right - if they can never get voted in more than once, they can do whatever they like - so what is the point in voting at all?

    (Original post by Upper Echelons)
    What stops gridlock occurring in Parliament which wouldn't otherwise be effective here? (Genuine question)



    Can you explain? I don't agree at all.

    Why should MPs be accountable to their constituents? So that you can burn them at the stake for not representing you, or what? Since they can't be voted in again anyway, the only reason is for personal hating on the ex-MP, which is pointless.

    Imagine this:
    I tell someone to go and inform my University of my resignation.
    I'm not able to speak to the University directly.
    The "someone" is not able to change what they say once they've said it, their information to the University is final.

    Why would I need to check that they actually followed through on what they said? I'll never trust them again anyway as I'm leaving the University (in this case the MP is leaving the political system).
    What if they told the university instead that you wanted to stay for an extra year? You might leave the university, but you could still owe the fees for the time you should have stayed, and for the extra year, as they didn't know you were leaving. This is why you need to know the university was told - so you are released from your commitment. If you don't need to be released, why tell them at all?

    (Original post by Upper Echelons)
    ^ This. If you remove re-election and implement anonymity (as suggested) then they can go for policy which they believe in, which improves the efficiency of the system.

    The very reason that the political systems in the US and UK don't work properly is that the members of the government are too wary of the effects of their comments, and can't speak freely. They'd rather stay in power and act meek than be forceful and then lose out on re-election.
    Why have them voted in at all in that case? Why not have ~300 people randomly selected, such as jury service is?
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    (Original post by Upper Echelons)
    I would like to promote a change to the UK Parliament, first suggested to me by a good friend here at Harvard.


    - Remove ranks within the political system, including the Prime Minister, Cabinet etc. resulting in MPs enjoying equal power.
    There are no 'senior' MPs, each member has exactly one vote even if they're the Father or Baby of the House. Having ministers in parliament also allows for regular questioning and scrutiny of all members of the government - think of the US system with its largely anonymous cabinet and lack of executive-legislative accountability.

    (Original post by Upper Echelons)
    - Have the number of MPs elected by a particular region determined solely by the population size of that constituency.
    I'd agree with this, hopefully we'll see an equalisation of constituency sizes soon.

    (Original post by Upper Echelons)
    - Stop televising Parliament (that is not, however, to say that the public would be ignorant of what is discussed and proposed within Parliament - see below).

    - Make it such that everything said within the walls of Parliament is said in anonymity. The words of an MP would simply be recorded as being said by an anonymous member (e.g. "Member 47"), which would rotate daily (Member 47 could be Member 78 the next day, for example).
    Completely disagree - the public should have every right to know what their elected representatives are arguing and voting for in Parliament. If anything, we need to get people more interested in tracking their MP so they can be held accountable for their parliamentary activities at election time. Giving members anonymity would completely remove accountability and give them unprecedented power to pursue whatever interests they personally deem important.

    (Original post by Upper Echelons)
    - Remove the House of Lords.
    I agree that the Lords needs reforming (possibly into something other than the 'Lords') but I do believe we need to maintain a second chamber to balance out the first. Personally, I'm in favour of a Canadian/Irish Senate type cross, but that's a debate to save for another time.

    (Original post by Upper Echelons)
    - Make it such that a single person may only be in office once, and for a maximum period of twelve months.
    Have to disagree - Parliament is a complex and bewildering institution, most MPs spend their first year testing the waters before diving into the art of experienced legislating. If everyone leaves after 12 months, then every incoming class would require massive amounts of re-training and Parliament would be full of very inefficient legislators.

    (Original post by Upper Echelons)
    Members of Parliament would be staggered in entry, such that each month, 6 MPs would be added and removed. This would preserve continuity whilst gradually refreshing the members. 6 x 48 months = ~300 Members of Parliament, which would suffice.
    Not quite sure how this would work in practice, but 300 is a little too low a number to represent a population of over 62 million.

    (Original post by Upper Echelons)
    - The list of current Members of Parliament would also ideally be kept secret (despite being voted in), with MPs contributing from their own home via a secure network, however this is open for discussion as the public would want to ensure the integrity of the voting system.

    Have to disagree again - I don't understand why your friend wants to make the whole system so opaque, what good does that do for anyone? Really don't like the idea of MPs contributing from home either - is it too much to ask the people who literally change a nation's laws to work full time and actually meet up together to discuss their ideas properly? If the members are anonymous, then how can they engage with the public on what policies to pursue and how they should vote?

    (Original post by Upper Echelons)
    I would be very interested to hear your justified and civil responses.
    It's an interesting proposal, but it's far too regressive and undemocratic. We need to get more people interested in the work of the Commons and that works partly by making the whole process as open as possible. Accountability is a cornerstone of democracy and if we're talking about elections for secret and unannounced MPs, I can envisage some truly terrible turnouts and some truly poor decisions coming out of Westminster with no means to hold those responsible to task.
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    (Original post by Upper Echelons)
    You *can't* vote for them again anyway! They're only in power once.

    please read the explanation I gave
    Imagine this:
    I tell someone to go and inform my University of my resignation.
    I'm not able to speak to the University directly.
    The "someone" is not able to change what they say once they've said it, their information to the University is final.

    Why would I need to check that they actually followed through on what they said? I'll never trust them again anyway as I'm leaving the University (in this case the MP is leaving the political system)
    .
    And I'd be spoiling the ballot every election, I need to have trust in the person I'm voting for.
 
 
 
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