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Parliamentary Sovereignty is dangerous Watch

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    (Original post by MrFlash1994)
    The issue about the EU referendum is more should Parliament respond to the will of the people. We're talking about what happens when Parliament takes liberties, can the people resist in a way which has real effects, I would argue yes.

    On the issue of the EU referendum, I don't think the general public knows enough about the EU and EU law for a referendum to be justified. I don't even think some politicians fully understand the relationship we have with Europe.
    It might be true that a lot of the population are not that aware of the full facts but that doesn't mean politicians should ignore the will of the people...
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    (Original post by a729)
    It might be true that a lot of the population are not that aware of the full facts but that doesn't mean politicians should ignore the will of the people...
    In our system, the will of the people is obtained via votes in Parliament, not via endless referenda. We are not a US state where citizens vote in referenda on pollution controls, the size of the Governor's limo and whether to permit horses to own shotguns.
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    (Original post by a729)
    It might be true that a lot of the population are not that aware of the full facts but that doesn't mean politicians should ignore the will of the people...
    But if the will is based on the misleading and in many cases outright false assertions made by tabloid newspapers, then it could lead to some very bad decisions being made. It's not just the "will" of the people that needs to be considered here.
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    I think when the Government has an elective dictatorship over Parliament then this becomes a very dangerous situation. It means that the Prime Minister can effectively pass any law they want (within reason) and because their majority is so large, it is not considered properly and votes are whipped. This has negative impacts on the country as laws are often forced through or 'guillotined' and was a personal favourite of Mr Blair.
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    Your threads are just getting worse.
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    (Original post by Morgsie)
    European Integration and the Factortame cases
    The Human Rights Act
    Devolution

    Have all challenged the notion of Parliamentary Sovereignty
    Well said- with all these people ready to sign away powers to an increasingly federal EU
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    (Original post by MrFlash1994)
    But if the will is based on the misleading and in many cases outright false assertions made by tabloid newspapers, then it could lead to some very bad decisions being made. It's not just the "will" of the people that needs to be considered here.
    However this is the very definition of a democracy
    The elite shouldn't be allowed to carry out their will against the wishes of the people- what you said is possibly what a Stalin supporter might say
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    The two are not comparable. In the UK, there is no constitutional document to refer disputes to, to be interpreted by the supreme court. Therefore everything is in a more or less permanent state of indecision, chaos or (worse) arbitrary rule, taking advantage of the chaos, leading to secret governmental abuse - the reality of the UK is the latter. The position in the US, where disputes work their way up to the supreme court and are then resolved against the constitution - obviously not to everyone's satisfaction, but resolved - is quite different.
    Not really. The US constitution is actually silent on what jurisdiction the Supreme Court has over Acts of Congress and it essentially claimed the power and it's stuck. The boundary of how much oversight they have is very much under dispute (on the other hand, the boundary in the UK is perfectly clear - Acts of Parliament are completely out of the scope of the courts, but secondary legislation is).

    The UK constitution adapts and evolves quite healthily over time and it's really quite clear how the British system works; the US constitution is, however, frozen in time; it's ideal for the 1790s, but is fast showing its age and the fact that the courts have such a huge impact over there is a very undemocratic feature.
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    In our system, the will of the people is obtained via votes in Parliament, not via endless referenda. We are not a US state where citizens vote in referenda on pollution controls, the size of the Governor's limo and whether to permit horses to own shotguns.


    Sometimes the system gets it very wrong see poll tax

    Some politicians have vested interests and can't be trusted to be frank and people like you are happy for things like that to happen and oppose things like a referendum on the EU

    Interestingly US has grown quite a lot and is much better financially than UK which hasn't had that many referendums
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    (Original post by gladders)
    Not really. The US constitution is actually silent on what jurisdiction the Supreme Court has over Acts of Congress and it essentially claimed the power and it's stuck. The boundary of how much oversight they have is very much under dispute (on the other hand, the boundary in the UK is perfectly clear - Acts of Parliament are completely out of the scope of the courts, but secondary legislation is).
    That's a different point - I didn't claim that the Supreme Court has authority over Congressional Acts, I said over "disputes". In the UK there is no constitution to check disputes of various kinds of constitutional point and tangles over who controls what against.

    (Original post by gladders)

    The UK constitution adapts and evolves quite healthily over time and it's really quite clear how the British system works; the US constitution is, however, frozen in time; it's ideal for the 1790s, but is fast showing its age and the fact that the courts have such a huge impact over there is a very undemocratic feature.
    It's been amended a good deal (the most recent was in 1971) but I agree that some of it is rather archaic, or at least, some of the interpretation by the Justices has given scope for it to be considered unmodern. The contrary view though, that it is a masterpiece of crafting not in spectacular need of serious modification, has some validity.

    There are always arguments about the scope and nature of a written constitution, but most countries that have one end up liking it more than the situation before they had one. In many states, the problem is that the government don't obey the constitution, so obviously they aren't the answer to everything, but for a settled state like ours, I think one would do a lot of good.
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    (Original post by a729)
    Sometimes the system gets it very wrong see poll tax

    Some politicians have vested interests and can't be trusted to be frank and people like you are happy for things like that to happen and oppose things like a referendum on the EU

    Interestingly US has grown quite a lot and is much better financially than UK which hasn't had that many referendums
    Of course things happen in a parliamentary system that many people disagree with. That's not a reason to suddenly switch to referenda on everything - the sad truth is, on many issues, people's immediate instincts or knowledge to decide are simply not as good as those at the top, who are more in a position to know and (hopefully - if the right people have been chosen) act. That's why we vote in people to represent us, to keep a check on the executive and try to consider our needs.

    Referenda on everything are actually a recipe for chaos in the US - California being a splendid example, where kneejerk referenda to cut taxes has led to the state being permanently bankrupt or close to bankruptcy, crumbling infrastructure and a collapse in the conditions that once made it the best state in the world to do business.
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    Of course things happen in a parliamentary system that many people disagree with. That's not a reason to suddenly switch to referenda on everything - the sad truth is, on many issues, people's immediate instincts or knowledge to decide are simply not as good as those at the top, who are more in a position to know and (hopefully - if the right people have been chosen) act. That's why we vote in people to represent us, to keep a check on the executive and try to consider our needs.

    Referenda on everything are actually a recipe for chaos in the US - California being a splendid example, where kneejerk referenda to cut taxes has led to the state being permanently bankrupt or close to bankruptcy, crumbling infrastructure and a collapse in the conditions that once made it the best state in the world to do business.
    Switzerland and Norway are countries which both have wisely said no by referendum to the EU and both are thriving so every country is different

    California is suffering the effects of an ageing prison population which is straining the state's finances
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    (Original post by a729)

    California is suffering the effects of an ageing prison population which is straining the state's finances
    We're drifting a little off-topic, but did you mean to say "prison population"? :confused:.

    The Wikipedia entry gives a good summary of the issues.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008%E2..._budget_crisis
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    That's a different point - I didn't claim that the Supreme Court has authority over Congressional Acts, I said over "disputes". In the UK there is no constitution to check disputes of various kinds of constitutional point and tangles over who controls what against.
    And the fact that the US Supreme Court adjudicates over disputes means that resolutions are referenced to a long out of date constitutional document and not adapted to the needs of the day. The British system is changed in tiny increments, allowing them to be absorbed gradually, and the government is responsible for the changes made to the people, not some unaccountable judges.

    It's been amended a good deal (the most recent was in 1971) but I agree that some of it is rather archaic, or at least, some of the interpretation by the Justices has given scope for it to be considered unmodern. The contrary view though, that it is a masterpiece of crafting not in spectacular need of serious modification, has some validity.
    Then the value of a written constitution is entirely down to the good fortune of having people good enough to craft a decent on in the first place. If we end up crafting a crap one from the off we are in danger.

    There are always arguments about the scope and nature of a written constitution, but most countries that have one end up liking it more than the situation before they had one. In many states, the problem is that the government don't obey the constitution, so obviously they aren't the answer to everything, but for a settled state like ours, I think one would do a lot of good.
    All countries end up adopting a written constitution because they have had revolutions or wars of independence which means they have an actual and complete break in tradition and practice from what went before. Where none has happened, no codification is necessary.
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    Parliament is not bound by a Previous Parliament and the Courts do have judicial review but not the extent as othert courts acroos the world for example the Federal Constitutional Court in Germany and the Supreme Court in the USA.

    Parliament can still abolish the devolved administrations
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    (Original post by Ape Gone Insane)
    It's political sovereignty that has been compromised, not legal sovereignty.
    Factortame were legal cases that stressed EU Law is supreme
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    (Original post by a729)
    Well parliamentary sovereignty could protect us from the increasingly federal EU.

    I think a UK bill of rights should replace the EU's version.

    I'm not happy that parliament has signed over so much power to the EU- it even has the power to fine us!*


    *It's threatening to fine beloved London for breaching pollution targets.This is outrageous, the people of the London/UK had no say over the election of the EU president or the introduction of the various treaties over the years (apart from in 1975 when it sold as economic integration )
    I guess we could look back through our laws as far back as the Magna Carta and Bill of Rights, perhaps on the request of a Prime Minister, and produce a document containing the rights we thought were essential... http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...tain-coalition

    As to your example about fining, yes, we did hand over the power to be fined, but for the quid pro quo that other european countries would also hand over similar powers, and thus would be competing on a level playing field - why should we compete with Milan if they can save money by polluting more than us? It encourages development in accordance with our aims, but this isn't about expanding EU control, it's about the development of a community with reciprocal rights and duties. We are protected against other states as much as they are protected from us.

    It's no different to you signing a contract with a film rental company, giving them the right to charge you late fees if you return a film late. You have the choice, you can either return the film on time (no fine) or return it late (fine) - this is not a loss of your 'sovereignty' over your financial dealings, simply a reflection of your will.
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    (Original post by Morgsie)
    Factortame were legal cases that stressed EU Law is supreme
    Which is a sentence needing a second half. "...EU law is supreme... because it is enshrined in the European Communities Act."
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    (Original post by Milkplus-Mesto)
    Which is a sentence needing a second half. "...EU law is supreme... because it is enshrined in the European Communities Act 1972 which came into effect 1st January 1973."
    Which said Parliament can transfer areas upwards to the Supranational level, the EU. Every attempt to repeal that Act has failed

    I am a constitutional geek
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    (Original post by Morgsie)
    Which said Parliament can transfer areas upwards to the Supranational level, the EU. Every attempt to repeal that Act has failed

    I am a constitutional geek
    But there have only been attempts at implied repeal, à la Thoburn v Sunderland,am I correct? (Constitutional Law was a while ago...)
 
 
 
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