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Speaker’s Statement: Clarification of Post-VONC Proceedings watch

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    (Original post by Republic1)
    Regarding the constitution.

    The very first line:



    Now in this case the constitution contradicts itself regarding a VoNC.

    Since in 3.2 it says an election can be held if "if a vote of no confidence in the Government passes".

    However, we know this not to be true since a successful VoNC leads to Coalition negotiations. This is stated in 10.3 of the Constitution and also mentioned in the GD.

    Add to this the fact that we've had every party but two in government this term, and most people don't seem too keen for more negotiations then we have the wonderfully British tradition of a constitutional crisis.

    It is clear that the Constitution is not clear (hehe) so then 1.1.1 takes over and the Speaker may specify a course of action.

    Now precedent takes over and Brich follows the decision of former Speaker
    daniel_williams to annul the government.

    Simple.
    Precisely, and I feel the precedent set by DW during the 9th Parliament justifies my decision.
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    (Original post by Republic1)
    Regarding the constitution.

    The very first line:



    Now in this case the constitution contradicts itself regarding a VoNC.

    Since in 3.2 it says an election can be held if "if a vote of no confidence in the Government passes".

    However, we know this not to be true since a successful VoNC leads to Coalition negotiations. This is stated in 10.3 of the Constitution and also mentioned in the GD.

    Add to this the fact that we've had every party but two in government this term, and most people don't seem too keen for more negotiations then we have the wonderfully British tradition of a constitutional crisis.

    It is clear that the Constitution is not clear (hehe) so then 1.1.1 takes over and the Speaker may specify a course of action.

    Now precedent kicks in and Birch follows the decision of former Speaker daniel_williams to annul the government.

    Simple.
    The wiki may be outdated, but Clause 3.2 was amended to remove this inconsistency by VA110 at the time the last Government fell.
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    So the Constitution is entirely correct and clear.
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    Ah, thanks for pointing that out.

    The general idea of my point still stands that the constitution doesn't take care of our unique situation so Birch can decide.
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    I agree with this decision.
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    (Original post by Republic1)
    Ah, thanks for pointing that out.

    The general idea of my point still stands that the constitution doesn't take care of our unique situation so Birch can decide.
    Thanks, but I would argue that it does. Section 10.3 with regards to Votes of No Confidence states '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.' There is no longer any contradiction to this - presumably unlike when DW issued his ruling way back in Parliament IX - and thus I feel it should be followed unless there is at least a clear 2/3rds majority in favour of bypassing it since that is the level of support required to otherwise amend the constitution. For me, the Speaker albeit with very honourable intentions is taking on the role of the Community Team in regulated the behaviour of the House which is always subject to fluctuation anyway and as a result ignoring the agreed rules of the House.
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    (Original post by Saoirse:3)
    Thanks, but I would argue that it does. Section 10.3 with regards to Votes of No Confidence states '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.' There is no longer any contradiction to this - presumably unlike when DW issued his ruling way back in Parliament IX - and thus I feel it should be followed unless there is at least a clear 2/3rds majority in favour of bypassing it since that is the level of support required to otherwise amend the constitution. For me, the Speaker albeit with very honourable intentions is taking on the role of the Community Team in regulated the behaviour of the House which is always subject to fluctuation anyway and as a result ignoring the agreed rules of the House.
    Indeed, 10.3 is the one to concentrate on now.

    However, I don't think anyone seriously thinks we'll be able to form a coalition now. So that results in 7 days and no government at the end of it. That is the unique situation I'm talking about. Is there a rule for when this happens?
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    (Original post by Saoirse:3)
    Thanks, but I would argue that it does. Section 10.3 with regards to Votes of No Confidence states '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.' There is no longer any contradiction to this - presumably unlike when DW issued his ruling way back in Parliament IX - and thus I feel it should be followed unless there is at least a clear 2/3rds majority in favour of bypassing it since that is the level of support required to otherwise amend the constitution. For me, the Speaker albeit with very honourable intentions is taking on the role of the Community Team in regulated the behaviour of the House which is always subject to fluctuation anyway and as a result ignoring the agreed rules of the House.
    PRSOM. This is the correct course of action, whether the House wants it or not. Should coalition negotiations fail, that is when Speaker's discretion comes into force, given that there is no mention of this yet in the GD or the constitution.

    Birchington
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    (Original post by Republic1)
    Indeed, 10.3 is the one to concentrate on now.

    However, I don't think anyone seriously thinks we'll be able to form a coalition now. So that results in 7 days and no government at the end of it. That is the unique situation I'm talking about. Is there a rule for when this happens?
    There are a whole host of coalition possibilities, some more probable than others, although admittedly none of them are likely to happen even if given the chance.
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    Hear, hear! The Constitution should be followed. Unless this is going to magically stop us from having arguments… (No, it isn't.)
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    (Original post by Republic1)
    Indeed, 10.3 is the one to concentrate on now.

    However, I don't think anyone seriously thinks we'll be able to form a coalition now. So that results in 7 days and no government at the end of it. That is the unique situation I'm talking about. Is there a rule for when this happens?
    That is true, since it does mention specifically coalitions when the ordinary situation could involve a single-party government - but there should be the oppourtunity at least to form a coalition when the constitution very clearly only bans the exact same arrangement being repeated, not any involving the same party. Of course, that has already happened this term with the Liberals taking part in both Governments.
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    (Original post by Life_peer)
    Hear, hear! The Constitution should be followed. Unless this is going to magically stop us from having arguments… (No, it isn't.)
    The day that happens is the day I really do retire from here!
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    (Original post by Saoirse:3)
    That is true, since it does mention specifically coalitions when the ordinary situation could involve a single-party government - but there should be the oppourtunity at least to form a coalition when the constitution very clearly only bans the exact same arrangement being repeated, not any involving the same party. Of course, that has already happened this term with the Liberals taking part in both Governments.
    Hear hear! (again)
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    The points made by others seem rather irrefutable to me (indeed the ancient precedent was followed by an amendment and it was the House that questioned the legitimacy of the government not the Speaker in that case) and as such I don't think the Speaker has the power to do this I'm afraid.
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    (Original post by RayApparently)
    The points made by others seem rather irrefutable to me (indeed the ancient precedent was followed by an amendment and it was the House that questioned the legitimacy of the government not the Speaker in that case) and as such I don't think the Speaker has the power to do this I'm afraid.
    If this is the case, as I suspected, then the Speaker has no power to do this.
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    (Original post by Burford99)
    Hear hear! (again)
    *tips fedora*
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    Actually following from what I read from This thread could I ask Birchington to do a total overhaul of the constitution & GD as I've noticed that a lot of anemdments passed even from the 19th parliament weren't changed.
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    (Original post by Birchington)
    Speaker’s Statement: Clarification of Post-VONC ProceedingsI need to clarify how we will proceed in the event of the current VONC passing or failing.
    The House has recently endured a period of instability and poor behaviour from a few individuals. We need to move forward without confusion or further instability.

    The result of the VONC will decide how we proceed.
    There are two courses of action, as follows:

    If the VONC passes:
    Should the VONC pass, the current government will immediately cease to be in office. Government and Opposition will then be suspended until the next General Election.

    There is precedent for suspending the government for the remainder of a Parliament - I refer members to the events of the 9th Parliament as an example.

    We have had two governments in the space of 2-3 months, one brought down by a VONC and another experiencing an ongoing VONC.

    In the event of the current government being rejected by MPs, a few months away from the pressures of coalition and government will allow each party a chance to focus on their own futures and legislative output for the remainder of the Parliament.

    Since May 2015, four parties have served in governments that have resulted in a VONC. Only the Conservatives and Socialists have not been involved with either government. Any future coalition agreements would potentially involve a party that has been involved in a coalition government rejected by other MPs.

    Unless we have a highly-unlikely Conservative-Socialist coalition or CON/SOC minority government, there would remain questions over the legitimacy of any party rejected by the two VONCs to re-enter government. I fear this would be a source of further instability and disputes.

    The VONC fails:
    The current government will remain in office and continue as normal if a majority of MPs vote to reject the VONC.

    In the event of this government falling in the days and weeks following the VONC, no government will be appointed to succeed it and the House will proceed as outlined above.

    The Next Election:
    After considering comments from across the House, I now feel that holding an immediate general election would not be appropriate at this time.

    Two parties are currently in the middle of internal leadership elections. We’re only three months in to the current Parliament, and the House also needs a chance to calm down and move on from recent events.

    Our immediate priority in the next month should be the upcoming EU Referendum and writing/debating legislation.

    In the meantime, we need to restore better conduct in the House to ensure we are suitably prepared to welcome any newcomers who may join after the mass PM inviting them to vote in the referendum.

    Can I once again reiterate the importance of keeping things civil. Passionate, reasoned debate is great. Bullying, bickering or targeting other members is certainly not acceptable. Please refer to the TSR Guidelines which we must all adhere to.

    Whilst I appreciate the plan of action outlined above may disappoint people short-term, it is designed to create long-term stability and give each party a chance to recover from the two recent VONCs and subsequent instability.

    Birchington
    I'm not happy with this. Firstly, this is a model parliament. That means being as much like a real parliament as possible in my opinion . Real parliaments have constitutional crises. Real parliaments get through them without the speaker wading in and decreeing that there isn't going to be a government for the next half a term.

    Secondly, I don't agree that after a VoNC in a coalition, any one party that was in the previous coalition and forms part of a new government somehow detracts from the legitimacy of that new government. This is because a VoNC expresses no confidence in the particular combination of parties that happen to be governing at the time continuing to govern - not in any one of those parties continuing to govern either by itself or in a different combination.

    Thirdly, the Constitution clearly says that a general election will be held if a VoNC passes and may be postponed by the Speaker by up to 30 days. You imply when you say 'a few months away from the pressures of coalition and government' that you plan to postpone for longer. Whichever way you interpret article 3.2, that's unconstitutional.

    Fourthly, even if for argument's sake we accept the premise that parties involved in governments which have been VoNCed shouldn't be in government for the rest of the term, that leaves the Tories and Socialists. While a Tory/Socialist government is approximately as likely as me voting Tory, it could still technically happen and for you as Speaker to ignore the possibility and suspend government/opposition because in your opinion it's unlikely is, in my book, overstepping your role.
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    (Original post by cranbrook_aspie)
    I'm not happy with this. Firstly, this is a model parliament. That means being as much like a real parliament as possible in my opinion . Real parliaments have constitutional crises. Real parliaments get through them without the speaker wading in and decreeing that there isn't going to be a government for the next half a term.

    Secondly, I don't agree that after a VoNC in a coalition, any one party that was in the previous coalition and forms part of a new government somehow detracts from the legitimacy of that new government. This is because a VoNC expresses no confidence in the particular combination of parties that happen to be governing at the time continuing to govern - not in any one of those parties continuing to govern either by itself or in a different combination.

    Thirdly, the Constitution clearly says that a general election will be held if a VoNC passes and may be postponed by the Speaker by up to 30 days. You imply when you say 'a few months away from the pressures of coalition and government' that you plan to postpone for longer. Whichever way you interpret article 3.2, that's unconstitutional.
    As already discussed, it doesn't actually, that was amended a while back, it states that it will go to a 7 day coalition negotiation period and that the same coalition cannot come back, so I guess we could even, in theory, go back to Lib-Lab
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    (Original post by cranbrook_aspie)
    I'm not happy with this. Firstly, this is a model parliament. That means being as much like a real parliament as possible in my opinion . Real parliaments have constitutional crises. Real parliaments get through them without the speaker wading in and decreeing that there isn't going to be a government for the next half a term.

    Secondly, I don't agree that after a VoNC in a coalition, any one party that was in the previous coalition and forms part of a new government somehow detracts from the legitimacy of that new government. This is because a VoNC expresses no confidence in the particular combination of parties that happen to be governing at the time continuing to govern - not in any one of those parties continuing to govern either by itself or in a different combination.

    Thirdly, the Constitution clearly says that a general election will be held if a VoNC passes and may be postponed by the Speaker by up to 30 days. You imply when you say 'a few months away from the pressures of coalition and government' that you plan to postpone for longer. Whichever way you interpret article 3.2, that's unconstitutional.
    The third point is wrong, the constitution was amended but not updated.

    Also I agree that there should be no government, there isn't a stable combination that I can see happening other then a grand coalition.
 
 
 
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