A17 - TSR Supreme Court Watch

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Grape190190
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#21
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#21
(Original post by oriel historian)
Surely the problem with having this committee is that it undermines parliament as a sovereign body? You lot are up in arms about locking people up for potentially 90 days (sorry UoL, I have read it honest :P) and yet you are quite willing to ignore the principles of parliamentary democracy in which sovereignty is invested in the House in order to create some back of the hand constitutional committee?! I'm astonished. The Speaker of the House is meant to be the one person in the House that's not partisan and can stand above the squabbles to ensure things run smoothly. Once they take office they are shackled by the principles of that office. I'm afraid, as an ordinary participant in the HoC, this strikes me as a rather underhand attempt at gagging parliamentary democracy and most directly the Speaker.

What a mess.
Not really. The committee is subject to the will of the House - not only would its composition be derived from MPs, but we have the power to simply repeal this bill and end the institution..
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oriel historian
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#22
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#22
(Original post by Grape190190)
Yeah, I think this is quite cool.
How?
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Grape190190
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#23
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#23
(Original post by oriel historian)
How?
Because it annoys me that Alasdair basically gets to legislate in the short term when we have procedural squabbles.
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oriel historian
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#24
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#24
(Original post by Grape190190)
Not really. The committee is subject to the will of the House - not only would its composition be derived from MPs, but we have the power to simply repeal this bill and end the institution..
So, how much is Geoff Hoon paying you Grape? You up for Knighthood from the Lib Dems, shall we be calling you M'Lud soon? :p:

Point is that what's the point of having a constitution if a couple of weeks down the line some group of MPs decide they don't like the speaker and institute a shadowy coup? It's all well being accountable to the House but so's the Speaker and frankly I'd place more trust in them than erm a 'select group'.
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UniOfLife
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#25
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#25
(Original post by Grape190190)
Not really. The committee is subject to the will of the House - not only would its composition be derived from MPs, but we have the power to simply repeal this bill and end the institution..
And we have this power over the Speaker too. Why do we need a committee to do what the Speaker already does?

EDIT: Well, I know why people want it. They don't like the Speaker and think having a committee sounds cool and will make some people really powerful. It's half ego-trip half VoNC by the back door.
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oriel historian
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#26
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#26
(Original post by Grape190190)
Because it annoys me that Alasdair basically gets to legislate in the short term when we have procedural squabbles.
The issue isn't Alasdair, it's a general one. The minute you personalise things you reveal quite what this is...a coup de not so grace.
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Grape190190
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#27
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#27
(Original post by oriel historian)
So, how much is Geoff Hoon paying you Grape? You up for Knighthood from the Lib Dems, shall we be calling you M'Lud soon? :p:

Point is that what's the point of having a constitution if a couple of weeks down the line some group of MPs decide they don't like the speaker and institute a shadowy coup? It's all well being accountable to the House but so's the Speaker and frankly I'd place more trust in them than erm a 'select group'.
My reward is in heaven.

Why on earth would you place more faith in one person than in a larger group of MPs, who represent all the parties? Surely it's better to spread the power out.


The issue isn't Alasdair, it's a general one. The minute you personalise things you reveal quite what this is...a coup de not so grace.
Alasdair/the speaker/whatever.


(Original post by UniOfLife)
And we have this power over the Speaker too. Why do we need a committee to do what the Speaker already does?
Better quality decisions for one.

But I think a more important point is that the Speaker will have more of a mandate if he's carrying out decisions made by the legislature rather than his own pseudo executive. In the short term, a lot of the Speaker's role is interpreting the constitution. Therefore, it's better if that interpretation is made by us all - or people representing us all.

EDIT: Well, I know why people want it. They don't like the Speaker and think having a committee sounds cool and will make some people really powerful. It's half ego-trip half VoNC by the back door.
The latter is a little bit true - having control over the place would be cool. The foremost is nonsense, at least in my case: I really like Alasdair. It's not really self-interest for me to ask for powers to be devolved from a former Socialist party MP.
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oriel historian
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#28
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#28
(Original post by Grape190190)
My reward is in heaven.

Why on earth would you place more faith in one person than in a larger group of MPs, who represent all the parties? Surely it's better to spread the power out.
Because the group of MPs that it's coming from can't even sort out a bloody government without descending into partisan nonsense. Can you even begin to imagine the committee would work on that basis? I don't think so.
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Vesta
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#29
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Who will choose which member of the party is on the committee? (I presume it be the party leader?)

Otherwise I like it.

Although I'm wondering whether the committee would be more democratic were it to be a microcosm of the Commons?
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daniel_williams
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#30
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#30
(Original post by UniOfLife)
Is it just me or has the HoC become much much worse this session?
yeah things have taken a downturn, its really not as it should be.

i think there is a lapse in communications and i don't think it helped when Al lost internet connection for a few days (if i remember rightly)
ukebert
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#31
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Surely the House is small enough for everyone to have a sasy on this kind of thing? My suspicion is that it'll just end up to be another tag to put in your sig and that's that.
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Grape190190
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#32
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#32
(Original post by ukebert)
Surely the House is small enough for everyone to have a sasy on this kind of thing? My suspicion is that it'll just end up to be another tag to put in your sig and that's that.

Speaking of which... *is Prime Minister*
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davireland
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#33
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#33
(Original post by ukebert)
Surely the House is small enough for everyone to have a sasy on this kind of thing? My suspicion is that it'll just end up to be another tag to put in your sig and that's that.
Hear Hear!
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wmv94226
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#34
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OK, I would like to say this idea has not come about because of the current Speaker. I first floated the idea in the Lib Dem party forum on May 25th (Alasdair had only been Speaker for a month and none of the election and post-election controversy had happened then), and said the following:

(Original post by hldomster)
I think we should set up a TSR Supreme Court to make decisions on the constitution. Any queris with interpretation of the constitution could be sent to the SC and they would make a binding judgment. It could be made up of 3 or 5 people directly elected by the HoC who are not MPs (separation of powers). Exspeakers-Parliamentarians are obvious candidates. The SC judges would not be able to be removed unless they failed to attend hearings or left TSR or had been inactive for 6 months. Once one was removed or resigned a new election would be held in the HoC to fill the vacancy.
Then I realised that with the current constitution it probably isn't sensible to remove that much power from the house, so we discussed this and came up with the constitutional committee, with the intention of introducing a Supreme Court once irregularities with the consitution had been rectified.

At the end of the day I think it's unfair for the constitution to be interpreted by one persons judgment. It's alright saying we can call a VoNC but in reality this won't happen unless there is a string of constitutional decisions which are disliked.

One possible suggestion to those who think this is doing the Speakers job for them is that rather than constitutional issues being referred to this body, the Speaker can act first and if people have grievance with this they can refer the decision to the constitutional committee for discussion. That way the role of the Speaker isn't diminished but he knows there is a check and balance on his power if he abuses his position (again this is not an attack on the current Speaker, I don't think he's done this).
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wmv94226
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#35
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(Original post by ukebert)
Surely the House is small enough for everyone to have a sasy on this kind of thing? My suspicion is that it'll just end up to be another tag to put in your sig and that's that.
The other point of having this is so that there is a focus group of MPs who are specifically working on constitutional amendments. Currently I imagine these amendments are discussed in-party, but I feel a cross-party committee would deliver more effective constitutional amendments.

And at the end of the day everyone has the final say because the house can overrule it and ultimately the house passes constitutional amendments.
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veggie4life
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#36
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#36
Very much in favour.
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Nightowl
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#37
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I'm not vehemently against the idea, however I think it has problems.I agree with Alasdair that it will almost certainly end up splitting along party lines, it delays the HOC, and potentially will look a bit ugly - by that I mean, just a talking shop that doesn't really add to the atmosphere of the HoC but just looks like a place where arguments go to die, full of "dangrover called me a ****. tell him off." (sorry Dan, that was for sake of argument).

Finally, an entire forum and usergroup for eight people to do essentially what the speaker does, but slowly, and recomend constitutional amendments which any MP can do now?
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wmv94226
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#38
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As I have explained, this isn't doing the Speaker's job for him, he will still have to run the house day today, this body will only intervene if there is a discrepency.

And this body won't be dealing with behavioural issues in the house like name calling, it's only there to defend the constitution. Stuff like that is the reserve of moderators. This isn't a standards board, it's a constitutional committee.

As for the body always splitting on party lines, I feel that ye have little faith in your fellow MPs. Surely if your given a job to safeguard the constitution and to ensure it is implemented correctly then you will do that, even if it does disadvantage your party.
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Nightowl
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#39
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But whats the point? It's the speakers job to uphold the constitution, if he fails in that he shouldn't be the speaker (and that's a hypothetical situation). The HOC constitution is hardly a 30 page legal juggernaut, it's just common sense and I think we all have brains large enough to take it in and sort out amongst ourselves. If we disagree with speakers actions, we say so, No need for a new eight person forum which'll be pretty much empty like press releases forum. If it isn't broke, don't fix it.
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UniOfLife
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#40
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You say that but when I made a thread hoping to defend the constitution your first response was to accuse me of playing party politics. So your claim rings hollow.

Your Bill states that the committee will be there so that breaches of the constitution are reported to it for it to investigate and punish. That is the Speaker's job not the job of a committee of partisan and biased MPs. Disciplinary stuff must surely be left in Independent hands. The part about recommending amendments is an afterthought in your Bill and certainly not its main aim. It is what it was originally called - a court. We don't need a court nor should we have a paralysed politically biased and partisan court to do what the efficient and independent Speaker does already.
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