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A Proposition to the United Kingdom Watch

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    I would like to promote a change to the UK Parliament, first suggested to me by a good friend here at Harvard.

    Edit: Thanks for some interesting responses. Having agreed with some of your arguments, I've edited the OP. :chaplin:


    - 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.

    - Members of Parliament would be staggered in entry, such that each month, 10 MPs would be added and removed. This would preserve continuity whilst gradually refreshing the members. 10 x 48 months = 480 Members of Parliament.

    - The list of current Members of Parliament would be kept public, and an attendance record in Parliament would be made public, too. All MPs would run as normal, as public human beings who you can research and contact as you wish.


    I would be very interested to hear some more responses :yy:
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    It gives them to much power.
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    (Original post by AyeFaye)
    It gives them to much power.
    Care to expand? Parliament already possesses almost absolute power anyway.
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    (Original post by Upper Echelons)
    Care to expand? Parliament already possesses almost absolute power anyway.
    Not in the UK it doesn't. We have genuine separation of the executive (Parliament), legislature and judiciary.
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    (Original post by Crumpet1)
    Not in the UK it doesn't. We have genuine separation of the executive (Parliament), legislature and judiciary.
    Okay. I will remove that proposition from the original post as I don't think it will be relevant to the crux of the debate. It was added as a thought rather than a part of the original proposal.

    What are your thoughts on the rest?
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    Too long, Parliament will be riddled with Gridlock, also define majority vote, 51-49, 51 wins and the law is passed?

    120 Mp's isnt enough to represent the whole of the UK.

    Does this mean the abolition of Political Parties, i mean think of manifesto's etc..

    Also how do you account for by-elections.

    FPTP? How big are the constituencies going to be? List system? How do people vote.
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    Removing rank completely destroys all potential direction within Parliament, without firsts among equals the debate would go nowhere and nothing would get done. A bit like US Congress.

    In regards to population to MP, its pretty close anyways and the Lib Dems shut down the attempt to reform it into more equal constituencies and Labour won't carry it through out of fear of their electoral advantage.

    Stop televising Parliament and switch to an anonymous system? Absolutely not, I want to know how my MP is voting, they are not accountable if I can't see how they server us on the national stage. Might as well send a random from the constituency to do the job.

    Commons could remove the Lords and Monarch tomorrow if it felt like it. Attlee threatened to remove the Lords if they didn't conform to him, and trust me he would have done it.

    12 month office is useless, most policy is isn't put into place for 12 months. You need people in positions of power who know what they are doing, not a constant rotation where someone new needs to get to grips with the job and implement something that may or may not work with what has beenn passed beforehand.

    Constantly refreshing MPs over the year is ridiculous, no government could be formed it would be a constant case of a new government as the balance shifts month on month. No effective government could be ran on that alone.

    And that last one that is even more ridiculous for reasons stated before.
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    On what basis would we vote for MPs?

    Surely a manifesto type system we have at the moment wouldn't work because there's no way of knowing whether they stick to it?

    Accountability underpins representative democracy...I get the impression this is a move away from representative democracy...but I also think accountability underpins good decision making so (unless i've missed something) i'm not exactly in favour of this. For me anonymity in decision making isn't desirable.
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    (Original post by Jordan-James)
    Too long, Parliament will be riddled with Gridlock, also define majority vote, 51-49, 51 wins and the law is passed?

    120 Mp's isnt enough to represent the whole of the UK.

    Does this mean the abolition of Political Parties, i mean think of manifesto's etc..

    Also how do you account for by-elections.

    FPTP? How big are the constituencies going to be? List system? How do people vote.
    What do you mean, riddled by gridlock?

    By majority vote I do indeed mean 51-49, as that is what we call a majority

    Fine, the number is perhaps too small (and it was arbitrary) - let's say.. 300?

    By-elections could swiftly be voted in again by the constituency, I don't see the problem here. There would be a slight disruption in their term of office as it would be refreshed, but given the staggered replacement it wouldn't be an issue.

    I wasn't going to comment on the mechanism of the voting system as I wanted to focus on the idea of the dramatically altered running of the country. The same goes for the constituencies, they are relatively unimportant in the debate
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    MPs should be accountable to their constituents - how can this be done if everything's done in secret? And with elections every twelve months there'd likely be even less of a motivation to actually bother to vote than now.
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    (Original post by Upper Echelons)
    What do you mean, riddled by gridlock?

    By majority vote I do indeed mean 51-49, as that is what we call a majority

    Fine, the number is perhaps too small (and it was arbitrary) - let's say.. 300?

    By-elections could swiftly be voted in again by the constituency, I don't see the problem here.

    I wasn't going to comment on the mechanism of the voting system as I wanted to focus on the idea of the dramatically altered running of the country. The same goes for the constituencies, they are relatively unimportant in the debate
    Gridlock as in, theres too much arguing over policy that no laws ever get passed, it happens in Congress too often.
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    (Original post by Louis.)
    On what basis would we vote for MPs?

    Surely a manifesto type system we have at the moment wouldn't work because there's no way of knowing whether they stick to it?

    Accountability underpins representative democracy...I get the impression this is a move away from representative democracy...but I also think accountability underpins good decision making so (unless i've missed something) i'm not exactly in favour of this. For me anonymity in decision making isn't desirable.
    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!
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    (Original post by Jordan-James)
    Gridlock as in, theres too much arguing over policy that no laws ever get passed, it happens in Congress too often.
    What stops gridlock occurring in Parliament which wouldn't otherwise be effective here? (Genuine question)

    (Original post by tory88)
    MPs should be accountable to their constituents - how can this be done if everything's done in secret? And with elections every twelve months there'd likely be even less of a motivation to actually bother to vote than now.
    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).
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    I actually opened this thread because i misread the title as "A prostitute to the UK" Lol

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    (Original post by Jordan-James)
    Gridlock as in, theres too much arguing over policy that no laws ever get passed, it happens in Congress too often.
    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.
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    (Original post by Will Lucky)
    Removing rank completely destroys all potential direction within Parliament, without firsts among equals the debate would go nowhere and nothing would get done. A bit like US Congress.

    In regards to population to MP, its pretty close anyways and the Lib Dems shut down the attempt to reform it into more equal constituencies and Labour won't carry it through out of fear of their electoral advantage.

    Stop televising Parliament and switch to an anonymous system? Absolutely not, I want to know how my MP is voting, they are not accountable if I can't see how they server us on the national stage. Might as well send a random from the constituency to do the job.

    Commons could remove the Lords and Monarch tomorrow if it felt like it. Attlee threatened to remove the Lords if they didn't conform to him, and trust me he would have done it.

    12 month office is useless, most policy is isn't put into place for 12 months. You need people in positions of power who know what they are doing, not a constant rotation where someone new needs to get to grips with the job and implement something that may or may not work with what has beenn passed beforehand.

    Constantly refreshing MPs over the year is ridiculous, no government could be formed it would be a constant case of a new government as the balance shifts month on month. No effective government could be ran on that alone.

    And that last one that is even more ridiculous for reasons stated before.
    Why do you need to know whether your MP does the job properly? Think about it, why do you? Might as well send a random person to do the job? Illogical. See my most recent post ^.
    Whether the current political system would allow the change is irrelevant, I'm talking about whether you would like a political system like this.
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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.
    Lords would be removed, which would be the Senate equivalent in this theory. Nor do we have a president to pass it. The 'Commons' equivalent would have the final say on the motion.

    If the 'Republicans' of this system didn't want change, then the whole idea would be that change should not happen anyway.

    I wouldn't say my argument is entirely wrong at all, you're not being logical, giving counter-examples of a political system which is completely different.
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    (Original post by Upper Echelons)
    What stops gridlock occurring in Parliament which wouldn't otherwise be effective here? (Genuine question)
    Parliaments contain parties that have majorities, and whips, MP's are whipped into voting with their party, meaning gridlock is not really a problem
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    (Original post by Jordan-James)
    Parliaments contain parties that have majorities, and whips, MP's are whipped into voting with their party, meaning gridlock is not really a problem
    As above, I no longer think that gridlock would be a problem anyway.
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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!
    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.
 
 
 
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