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Government defeated in the Lords on tax credits watch

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    http://www.theguardian.com/money/201...mment-62167307

    Good. I'dd add to that.. what a slimey creature Michael Ellis MP is, wailing about how this is a "constitutional outrage". It really is quite amusing to see Tories shrieking and hyperventilating about "unelected" Lords, despite never having breathed the words "Lords reform" in their life.

    The First Law of Holes is to stop digging. Instead, the government has doubled down, barking threats to "suspend" the Lords (I'm unaware of any authority they have to do that) or to flood the Lord with hundreds of Conservative cronies to provide lobby fodder for the government's agenda. *That* is the constitutional outrage

    With their talk of a constitutional crisis, I say bring it on. They are acting as though they have a majority of 100, not 12. A constitutional crisis may well bring down the government. I suspect there are quite a few Tory MPs who will not appreciate the government declaring war on the Lords.

    In any case, the question of whether there is a convention on finance measures with respect to statutory instruments is questionable (as is the question of whether this is a finance measure... it is a measure affecting welfare eligibility). If this is a money bill and a finance measure as the government claimed, it should have been included in the budget and then the Lords would not have been able to touch it.

    The entire way through, Osborne has been tin-eared and cack-handed. We are going back to the days of Omnishambles
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    I have very little time for the House of Lords as a concept in the 21st century, but they have done the right thing here.

    One tory MP, Michael Ellis: "We cannot have a situation where an unelected house overrules a democratically elected one"

    Ya see, the problem with that is that they were elected on the grounds that they would NOT cut tax credits, so to go against that so soon afterwards shows we simply do not live in a democratic country. At least one of the two undemocratic houses made the correct decision. If I had my way, the government would be considered illegitimate and void after such blatant lies that affect so many millions of people and a new election would be called.
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    (Original post by cBay)
    Ya see, the problem with that is that they were elected on the grounds that they would NOT cut tax credits, so to go against that so soon afterwards shows we simply do not live in a democratic country. At least one of the two undemocratic houses made the correct decision.
    My view is that there is no point laying a statutory instrument before the Lords and then claiming they have no right to actually decide on it. We don't appoint people to the Lords to be a rubber stamp. The Lords' particular constitutional role is to be able to ask the government to think again. That's what they have done here, and by my assessment it is entirely legitimate.

    If I had my way, the government would be considered illegitimate and void after such blatant lies that affect so many millions of people and a new election would be called.
    I've always been very skeptical when people say that manifesto commitments should be legally binding (it's inherently problematic. How do you enforce it? Do you have a law that permits judges to order MPs to vote a particular way upon application from members of the public? Of course as a matter of law and parliamentary supremacy a judge cannot require a member of the Commons to vote a particular way, it's a non-justiciable issue as are all the proceedings of the Commons. And how would you distinguish situations where circumstances have changed and it is genuinely the right thing to do not to follow manifesto commitment).

    Manifesto commitments are simply a general set of policy commitments that will give you an idea of what the government will do. I think we elect MPs based on their party with the general understanding of how they will approach any particular issue, rather than a detailed prescription binding them to vote in a particular way.

    Having said that, it is significant that the government expressly confirmed they would not cut tax credits. That fact burnishes the legitimacy of this decision of the Lords. And as I said above, it is extremely questionable whether the finance primacy of the Commons convention covers statutory instruments, particularly as this statutory instrument is not an out-and-out finance measure touching on an appropriation or the consolidated revenue.
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    Ironically, the Lords is actually a better reflection of public opinion at the general election than the Commons is (at least with respect to the two largest parties). David Cameron may have won a majority of the seats in the Commons in May, but he was a long way from winning a majority of the vote.

    Some Conservative commentators have compared the present situation with the crisis leading to the Parliament Act 1911. What they don't mention is that the budget which provoked that crisis had clear popular support, and that the government dissolved Parliament and called new elections twice in a year before threatening to flood the Lords. These changes to tax credits do not have popular support, and the government has not called new elections or even a referendum, and until that changes I think it's fair to say that the Lords has in this case acted entirely correctly.
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    I concur that the Government is mistaken in its predictions of constitutional crisis, but setting this aside, looking forward to everyone being consistent next time an unelected chamber overrules an elected chamber on an issue they agree with.
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    In a bizarre way it may help osbourne. He now has an excuse to soften the bill without it being seen as a u-turn.

    If Osborne does get it through, it may well be his very own poll tax. This has attracted plenty of criticism from Tories as well as from the left.
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    (Original post by SignFromDog)
    It really is quite amusing to see Tories shrieking and hyperventilating about "unelected" Lords, despite never having breathed the words "Lords reform" in their life.
    Just because you entirely lack nuance on the subject doesn't mean everyone else has to pick a 'change everything' or 'never complain' position.

    Jacob Rees-Mogg explained the objection on the Daily Politics on Friday. It's still on iPlayer. The suggestion is that this is a breach of a constitutional convention which exists precisely because the House of Lords is unelected. To maintain this position does not require one to support reform of the House.
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    (Original post by SignFromDog)
    what a slimey creature Michael Ellis MP is, wailing about how this is a "constitutional outrage". It really is quite amusing to see Tories shrieking and hyperventilating about "unelected" Lords, despite never having breathed the words "Lords reform" in their life.
    This is personal, prejudiced and incorrect. Michael Ellis has a long and unambiguous record of supporting Lords reform.

    http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/mp.php?mpid=40980&dmp=837

    http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/248...ns?policy=1079
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    (Original post by TimmonaPortella)
    Just because you entirely lack nuance on the subject doesn't mean everyone else has to pick a 'change everything' or 'never complain' position.

    Jacob Rees-Mogg explained the objection on the Daily Politics on Friday. It's still on iPlayer. The suggestion is that this is a breach of a constitutional convention which exists precisely because the House of Lords is unelected. To maintain this position does not require one to support reform of the House.
    It's far more undemocratic to campaign on a promise of not cutting tax credits and shortly after doing just that.

    Don't act like you care about the legitimacy of the lords- it's laughable to see a tory go on about that.
    Cheers.
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    (Original post by Bornblue)
    Don't act like you care about the legitimacy of the lords- it's laughable to see a tory go on about that.
    You sound like the sort of person who crosses the street when they see a black man approaching
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    (Original post by Bornblue)
    It's far more undemocratic to campaign on a promise of not cutting tax credits and shortly after doing just that.

    Don't act like you care about the legitimacy of the lords- it's laughable to see a tory go on about that.
    Cheers.
    I didn't say anything about the overall democracy of the system. I commented upon a particular constitutional convention that is argued to exist.

    I just explained why one can take issue with this particular vote without being opposed to the institution of the House of Lords in general. It is not a complicated concept. I'm not going to explain it to you again.

    Incidentally, I didn't act like I cared. I didn't take a position at all. I still don't. I explained one possible position, that some tories have taken.

    I've said before that debating with you is like debating with a brick wall. Frankly, I really can't be bothered with that, so unless you happen to chance upon some real, meaningful insight on this matter you needn't expect any further response from me.
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    (Original post by Arbolus)
    Ironically, the Lords is actually a better reflection of public opinion at the general election than the Commons is (at least with respect to the two largest parties). David Cameron may have won a majority of the seats in the Commons in May, but he was a long way from winning a majority of the vote.
    This is what I am thinking as well. It is a bit rich for the HoC to complain about the unelected lords, while they still use the FPtP system.

    I would be in favour of reforming in the house of lords if it were proportional representation, but it wont be.

    All in all, this just shows that the Conservatives do not have a mandate to rule.
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    (Original post by a noble chance)
    You sound like the sort of person who crosses the street when they see a black man approaching
    I can't imagine there are many black people where he's from
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    I love the way how lefties who always go on about Lords Reform and now defending them, just because one 'result' went in their favour.


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    (Original post by Farm_Ecology)
    All in all, this just shows that the Conservatives do not have a mandate to rule.
    I wouldn't go quite that far. Taking the (questionable) premise that it's more efficient for one party to rule at a time than several, it makes sense that the most popular party should then have a majority in the Commons so as to get business done. And likewise, it makes sense that it should not have a majority in the Lords precisely for cases such as this where virtually the entire opposition, and more than a few members of the ruling party too, are united in their condemnation of a bill and have the polls to justify it.
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    (Original post by TimmonaPortella)
    I didn't say anything about the overall democracy of the system. I commented upon a particular constitutional convention that is argued to exist.

    I just explained why one can take issue with this particular vote without being opposed to the institution of the House of Lords in general. It is not a complicated concept. I'm not going to explain it to you again.

    Incidentally, I didn't act like I cared. I didn't take a position at all. I still don't. I explained one possible position, that some tories have taken.

    I've said before that debating with you is like debating with a brick wall. Frankly, I really can't be bothered with that, so unless you happen to chance upon some real, meaningful insight on this matter you needn't expect any further response from me.
    Unfortunately debating with you isn't like a brick wall, because a brick wall wouldn't splurt out tory propaganda lines and meaningless soundbites.
    Rather than debating with you in the future, i'll hit up the tory party website and see their latest lines of argument - may as well cut out the middle man.

    Not once have I seen you ever take a position that differs from the tory party line. You even refer to it as 'we'.

    It's a shame some people are utterly incapable of thinking for themselves. About time you started.

    Cheers.
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    (Original post by KimKallstrom)
    I can't imagine there are many black people where he's from
    Aye they've not made it as far as Manchester. You know, Manchester - 100% white...

    I'm not particularly sure where you think i'm from, nor do I care.
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    (Original post by Arbolus)
    I wouldn't go quite that far. Taking the (questionable) premise that it's more efficient for one party to rule at a time than several, it makes sense that the most popular party should then have a majority in the Commons so as to get business done. .
    I would argue the opposite. While it may allow a party to impose their manifesto unopposed, it also means the next party is also perfectly able to turn around whatever the previous government put in. And potentialy leads to ridiculous situations where a party might knock up uni tuitions fees, for them to be brought down after the next election, and then brought up again a few years later.

    A single party government forces ruling parties to only think short term, because its an all or nothing game, they are either in government, or not in government. PR forces cross party cooperation and compromise, securing long term, rather than short term changes.
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    (Original post by Farm_Ecology)
    A single party government forces ruling parties to only think short term, because its an all or nothing game, they are either in government, or not in government. PR forces cross party cooperation and compromise, securing long term, rather than short term changes.
    Let me play the devil's advocate a highlight the case of the island state of Singapore.
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    (Original post by Farm_Ecology)
    I would argue the opposite. While it may allow a party to impose their manifesto unopposed, it also means the next party is also perfectly able to turn around whatever the previous government put in. And potentialy leads to ridiculous situations where a party might knock up uni tuitions fees, for them to be brought down after the next election, and then brought up again a few years later.

    A single party government forces ruling parties to only think short term, because its an all or nothing game, they are either in government, or not in government. PR forces cross party cooperation and compromise, securing long term, rather than short term changes.
    True. Cross-party cooperation tends to create more stable policies in the long run, and ultimately stability is what most people want more than anything else.

    But that's by the by. For now, the question is not about whether or not the Tories have the right to rule, but whether or not they have the right to be unchallenged about it. I've yet to meet anyone who would answer yes to that second question.

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