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

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    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
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    I'm happy with this arrangement.

    I don't think the foot should have been put down so heavily, but whatever.
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    Birch. I respect you and you have done a marvelous job as speaker.

    But I am really really getting sick and tired of you making a decision, receiving some opposition and then changing your opinion/stance. I could think of 3 or 4 instances and I am sure there are more.

    Please birch, if you make a decision, stick to it. If you receive opposition and there is a high majority opposing you, then maybe consider changing your stance, but that is in extreme circumstances. You need to stick to your opinion, and if you have a pair you will be able to face the opposition.

    But please, stop changing your stance in opposition


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    I wish to indicate my support for the Speaker's proposed course of action.
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    And I would also like to add birch that you said should the vonc fails and our government stays, but fails in the coming weeks no ge will be called, but the constitution says the pm can call a ge, so are we going against the constitution now?

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    I have to admit Adam's got a point, even though he does phrase it indelicately.
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    (Original post by RayApparently)
    I have to admit Adam's got a point, even though he does phrase it indelicately.
    Sadly some things do have to be said as it is. I may not have phrased it to everyone's liking, but I am sure many people agree.

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    Actually I've just realised that this ruling made as it was whilst the VoNC is still ongoing may effect the result - and that I take serious issue with. I'm not sure the Speaker should talk of the legitimacy of governments. That's for the Opposition.
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    I actually disagree with this course of action - with no Government, it is likely activity levels in the House will drop at a time when they are vital. Also, as Adam said, if the VoNC fails, and a GE is called by Aph/Adam/anyone else who wants to be PM (I'm joking...) then it has to be held right?
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    (Original post by adam9317)
    Birch. I respect you and you have done a marvelous job as speaker.

    But I am really really getting sick and tired of you making a decision, receiving some opposition and then changing your opinion/stance. I could think of 3 or 4 instances and I am sure there are more.

    Please birch, if you make a decision, stick to it. If you receive opposition and there is a high majority opposing you, then maybe consider changing your stance, but that is in extreme circumstances. You need to stick to your opinion, and if you have a pair you will be able to face the opposition.

    But please, stop changing your stance in opposition


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    Thanks for the feedback. Whilst there perhaps some truth to your comments, on this occasion the House is split on the GE situation so I have made a final decision and stand by it. Indeed, this decision goes against the wishes of yourself and others to hold a GE. It's important I listen to all views as Speaker, which without being able to think of specific examples, is why some decisions have previously been changed. For the good of the House, on this occasion, this decision is final.
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    (Original post by RayApparently)
    Actually I've just realised that this ruling made as it was whilst the VoNC is still ongoing may effect the result - and that I take serious issue with. I'm not sure the Speaker should talk of the legitimacy of governments. That's for the Opposition.
    The House needed clarification moving forward. There should be no whipping of MPs and the secret ballot gives full anonymity to hopefully ensure no MP is pressured into voting contrary to their own thoughts. As Speaker, I can only offer guidance. MPs remain free to vote as they see fit.
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    (Original post by Birchington)
    The House needed clarification moving forward. There should be no whipping of MPs and the secret ballot gives full anonymity to hopefully ensure no MP is pressured into voting contrary to their own thoughts. As Speaker, I can only offer guidance. MPs remain free to vote as they see fit.
    What I mean is that what we as seconders expected when we proposed the VoNC has changed.
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    Good call Birch; this is exactly what the house needs IMO.
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    I understand there is a split in the house on whether you want a general election or no government. Please vote in the poll on the other thread

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    (Original post by RayApparently)
    What I mean is that what we as seconders expected when we proposed the VoNC has changed.
    I accept your point. However, my ruling to postpone the government would have been announced anyway during the conclusion of the VONC, but I felt it necessary to make this announcement ahead of schedule to prevent confusion.
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    All fair enough, I think.
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    (Original post by Birchington)
    I accept your point. However, my ruling to postpone the government would have been announced anyway during the conclusion of the VONC, but I felt it necessary to make this announcement ahead of schedule to prevent confusion.
    Ok well your ruling happens to be in my personal interests this time so I'll happily back you on it should there be a backlash.
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    (Original post by Burford99)
    I actually disagree with this course of action - with no Government, it is likely activity levels in the House will drop at a time when they are vital. Also, as Adam said, if the VoNC fails, and a GE is called by Aph/Adam/anyone else who wants to be PM (I'm joking...) then it has to be held right?
    The 9th Parliament was in the top-5 most active parliaments in terms of total bills. We have also seen more PMB and party bills than government bills this Parliament. Hopefully activity will remain high and continue regardless of the government being in place or not.

    If activity does drop in the event of the government being suspended, I will certainly consider drives to encourage activity/bill writing as required.
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    (Original post by Birchington)
    The 9th Parliament was in the top-5 most active parliaments in terms of total bills. We have also seen more PMB and party bills than government bills this Parliament. Hopefully activity will remain high and continue regardless of the government being in place or not.

    If activity does drop in the event of the government being suspended, I will certainly consider drives to encourage activity/bill writing as required.
    And the second question?
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    (Original post by Burford99)
    And the second question?
    On this occasion, I will postpone any general election as already outlined in my statement.

    Section 3.2 of the Constitution allows me to postpone an election as follows:
    3.2.will be held if a general election is held in real life, if the Prime Minister calls one, if a vote of no confidence in the Government passes, or if 6 months have passed since the last election (this can be postponed for up to 30 days at the Speaker’s discretion)
    Any election will be postponed for the reasons in the OP, and will be planned to avoid a clash with the referendum.
 
 
 
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