Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Very Important Poster
    • Welcome Squad
    Offline

    22
    ReputationRep:
    Very Important Poster
    Welcome Squad
    (Original post by RayApparently)
    What on earth is complicated about a Constitution that tells you what to do and a Guidance Document that guides you on how to do it? I don't see why this is simpler. In fact I predict unending arguments over 'constitutionality' and 'interpretation' if this passes.
    You mean the arguments we see now anyway?

    What is complicated is that we have integrat functions which are only part of Guidence,
    Bits of 'Guidence' which are compulsory
    And people passing 'Guidence' when they mean for it to be law.

    As has been said the GD is De Facto constitutional for the most part and as such it is better to put it into the constitution. Just because we don't do everything the way the GD states is no reason not to do it at all. If something becomes outdated we change it. But having 2 documents when we only need the one document for rules, one to prevent the constitution being cluttered and confusing and one where speakers record decisions so they are easy to find and ensures sonsistency throughhout the ages.

    The fact that people amend to the GD, something yourself has done, and expect that amendment to then be followed as if it were constitution is the problem.
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by RayApparently)
    How on earth did you come to conclude the emboldened?
    How likely are you to participate in a game that you can't easily discover the rules to?

    (Original post by RayApparently)
    And this change is supposed to make things 'simpler'. I don't think this House should find itself embroiled in debate on the rules of legislative interpretation when said interpretations will be challenged every time one is made - we argue over that sort of thing enough as it is.

    What are the calamities that the current system has brought about that would not occur under the proposed one?
    We argue about legislative interpretation because the existing constitution/GD are far from detailed enough. There's a lot of dead weight, and I support getting rid of that, but one of the most important things this Amendment does, in my book, is to enforce the maintenance of a record of Speaker decisions (which, presumably, will bind future Speakers unless it can be distinguished).

    This is clearly a basis to work from. In its current form, I'd vote against, but this does an admirable job of getting rid of a lot of the useless crap, and bringing the constitution in line with convention. If the Speaker doesn't follow the literal wording of the GD in one particular case, it implies that the GD is not specific enough, and in any event that this happens, an amendment ought immediately be brought.
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    The other key part of this, of course, is rationalising the constitution and GD. If the Speaker is expected to follow an amendment in the vast majority of cases, it should be an amendment to the constitution, not the GD, and it is only because of the unfortunate differential voting requirements in the two cases that this trend has developed.
    • Very Important Poster
    • Welcome Squad
    Offline

    22
    ReputationRep:
    Very Important Poster
    Welcome Squad
    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    The other key part of this, of course, is rationalising the constitution and GD. If the Speaker is expected to follow an amendment in the vast majority of cases, it should be an amendment to the constitution, not the GD, and it is only because of the unfortunate differential voting requirements in the two cases that this trend has developed.
    That is the exact reason which brought about this amendment. And you have completely hit the nail on the head.
    • Political Ambassador
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    Political Ambassador
    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    Summary of substantive constitutional changes (Aph and RayApparently, I strongly believe that this should be required to be put in the OP, and a second reading should be required before vote, because at the moment, the changes stated are somewhat deceptive):
    • Regarding General Elections, reference to 'unsolicited PMs' is removed, and therefore all outside campaigning is banned
    • Added four days delay on appointment of proxy MP (in GD but not currently practised by the House as far as I know
    • Added requirement that MPs must have one hundred posts and three months' experience
    • Removed possibility for independents to contest by-elections with fewer than five seats
    • Adds possibility of voting for multiple candidates in by-elections with more than one seat
    • Removed references to the Model European Union and the Model United Nations
    • Removed procedure for finding Acting PM
    • Added process for a new opposition during a term
    • Added requirement for legislation implementing petitions to be primary legislation (read: Bills only)
    • Removed possibility for petitions to be withdrawn if unnecessary
    • Removed procedure for MoNC against a party leader
    • Removed provision for Speaker to make formal apology upon failure of MoNC
    • Increased length of time for which referendum is binding from three to four terms
    • Reduced expectation of number of events CC produces from six to three
    • Added requirement for Cabinet Ministers to produce an SoI to be a Privy Council member, and for Prime Ministers to attend one PMQs.
    • Changed requirement for Amendments to pass to both more MPs voting aye than no, and at least 20 voting aye.
    I am strongly against the parts in bold; because it is better to have a new member as an MP than a member who may be less active, multiple votes in a by-election will not make a big difference as it allows larger parties to skew results by electing any candidate with their candidate, and all amendments to the Constitution should have a super-majority to pass because the government should not have enough MPs to change the Constitution to suit the government.
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    Summary of substantive constitutional changes (Aph and RayApparently, I strongly believe that this should be required to be put in the OP, and a second reading should be required before vote, because at the moment, the changes stated are somewhat deceptive):

    • Regarding General Elections, reference to 'unsolicited PMs' is removed, and therefore all outside campaigning is banned
    • Added four days delay on appointment of proxy MP (in GD but not currently practised by the House as far as I know
    • Added requirement that MPs must have one hundred posts and three months' experience
    • Removed possibility for independents to contest by-elections with fewer than five seats
    • Adds possibility of voting for multiple candidates in by-elections with more than one seat
    • Removed references to the Model European Union and the Model United Nations
    • Removed procedure for finding Acting PM
    • Added process for a new opposition during a term
    • Added requirement for legislation implementing petitions to be primary legislation (read: Bills only)
    • Removed possibility for petitions to be withdrawn if unnecessary
    • Removed procedure for MoNC against a party leader
    • Removed provision for Speaker to make formal apology upon failure of MoNC
    • Increased length of time for which referendum is binding from three to four terms
    • Reduced expectation of number of events CC produces from six to three
    • Added requirement for Cabinet Ministers to produce an SoI to be a Privy Council member, and for Prime Ministers to attend one PMQs.
    • Changed requirement for Amendments to pass to both more MPs voting aye than no, and at least 20 voting aye.
    You're at Oxford and yet you have this much free time to waste? :eek:
    • Wiki Support Team
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    Wiki Support Team
    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    How likely are you to participate in a game that you can't easily discover the rules to?
    It would appear that the Hon. member has never played 20+1.
    • Wiki Support Team
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    Wiki Support Team
    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    How likely are you to participate in a game that you can't easily discover the rules to?



    We argue about legislative interpretation because the existing constitution/GD are far from detailed enough. There's a lot of dead weight, and I support getting rid of that, but one of the most important things this Amendment does, in my book, is to enforce the maintenance of a record of Speaker decisions (which, presumably, will bind future Speakers unless it can be distinguished).

    This is clearly a basis to work from. In its current form, I'd vote against, but this does an admirable job of getting rid of a lot of the useless crap, and bringing the constitution in line with convention. If the Speaker doesn't follow the literal wording of the GD in one particular case, it implies that the GD is not specific enough, and in any event that this happens, an amendment ought immediately be brought.
    The rules are easily discoverable. You're acting as if this creates a constitution rather than just rewriting one.

    I don't see why we need documents that cover every possibly situation. That's not only unrealistic but also tedious and restrictive.
    • Wiki Support Team
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    Wiki Support Team
    (Original post by Aph)
    You mean the arguments we see now anyway?

    What is complicated is that we have integrat functions which are only part of Guidence,
    Bits of 'Guidence' which are compulsory
    And people passing 'Guidence' when they mean for it to be law.

    As has been said the GD is De Facto constitutional for the most part and as such it is better to put it into the constitution. Just because we don't do everything the way the GD states is no reason not to do it at all. If something becomes outdated we change it. But having 2 documents when we only need the one document for rules, one to prevent the constitution being cluttered and confusing and one where speakers record decisions so they are easy to find and ensures sonsistency throughhout the ages.

    The fact that people amend to the GD, something yourself has done, and expect that amendment to then be followed as if it were constitution is the problem.
    There will be more arguments because you've created a document that is 'kinda sorta' binding.

    Just because some parts of the GD (certainly not all of it) are almost always followed that doesn't mean it's appropriate to move everything to the constitution. I literally cannot understand why you think that's logical.

    This makes the constitution cluttered because you've moved everything to the constitution. At least be consistent.

    When the GD is amended it is to provide guidance. It is a very simple and effective system. For example:

    Constitution: there will be a Crisis Committee
    GD: the CC will produce 1 Crisis per month

    People don't 'expect' large swathes of the GD to be followed exactly but when it isn't they expect there to be a good reason.

    This is a poor solution to imagined problems.
    • Very Important Poster
    • Welcome Squad
    Offline

    22
    ReputationRep:
    Very Important Poster
    Welcome Squad
    (Original post by RayApparently)
    There will be more arguments because you've created a document that is 'kinda sorta' binding.

    Just because some parts of the GD (certainly not all of it) are almost always followed that doesn't mean it's appropriate to move everything to the constitution. I literally cannot understand why you think that's logical.

    This makes the constitution cluttered because you've moved everything to the constitution. At least consistent.
    there will be no more arguments then there would be if you disregarded the GD.

    Most of the GD is almost always followed. If it becomes untenable then that is why we have amendments.

    This doesn't make the constitution cluttered in the way I mean because timetables are very messy.

    When the GD is amended it is to provide guidance. It is a very simple and effective system. For example:

    Constitution: there will be a Crisis Committee
    GD: the CC will produce 1 Crisis per month

    People don't 'expect' large swathes of the GD to be followed exactly but when it isn't they expect there to be a good reason.

    This is a poor solution to imagined problems.
    the problems are real as have been demonstrated in the notes. People amend the GD and expect that amendment to be followed. If I become speaker and decided to toss out the GD and say 'no more motions, petition, SOI's, PMQs ect.' People would kick off. That is because the GD is de facto constitution and we all know it.

    People don't amend the GD to provide Guidence but because they want to see things happen. That is because amending the GD is easier. You have still been unable to rebut this fact. This is the problem we have right now. What I am proposing is a solution and one of the best solutions that has been proposed.
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Life_peer)
    You're at Oxford and yet you have this much free time to waste? :eek:
    WAS at Oxford.

    (Original post by Saracen's Fez)
    It would appear that the Hon. member has never played 20+1.
    By the sounds of it, I probably wouldn't like it.

    (Original post by RayApparently)
    The rules are easily discoverable. You're acting as if this creates a constitution rather than just rewriting one.
    The fact that you have to give a ruling more than once in a blue moon indicates that the rules are not, in fact, easily discoverable. This is amplified by the fact that there is not a record of speaker rulings. The very existence of convention also prevents the rules being easily discoverable.

    I don't see why we need documents that cover every possibly situation. That's not only unrealistic but also tedious and restrictive.
    It ought to be an end-goal, but I agree, it's not actually realistic. However, what is realistic is as to get as close to it as possible. Whether it's tedious or not is a) subjective and b) irrelevant; further, it being restrictive is a good thing in the interests of predictability and certainty.

    (Original post by RayApparently)
    There will be more arguments because you've created a document that is 'kinda sorta' binding.

    Just because some parts of the GD (certainly not all of it) are almost always followed that doesn't mean it's appropriate to move everything to the constitution. I literally cannot understand why you think that's logical.

    This makes the constitution cluttered because you've moved everything to the constitution. At least be consistent.

    When the GD is amended it is to provide guidance. It is a very simple and effective system. For example:

    Constitution: there will be a Crisis Committee
    GD: the CC will produce 1 Crisis per month

    People don't 'expect' large swathes of the GD to be followed exactly but when it isn't they expect there to be a good reason.

    This is a poor solution to imagined problems.
    I agree that the GD should operate in that way, but the vast majority of its current content does not, in fact, operate that way. This is to a sufficiently great extent that it's easier to just move most of it into the constitution.
    • Wiki Support Team
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    Wiki Support Team
    (Original post by Aph)
    there will be no more arguments then there would be if you disregarded the GD.

    Most of the GD is almost always followed. If it becomes untenable then that is why we have amendments.

    This doesn't make the constitution cluttered in the way I mean because timetables are very messy.


    the problems are real as have been demonstrated in the notes. People amend the GD and expect that amendment to be followed. If I become speaker and decided to toss out the GD and say 'no more motions, petition, SOI's, PMQs ect.' People would kick off. That is because the GD is de facto constitution and we all know it.

    People don't amend the GD to provide Guidence but because they want to see things happen. That is because amending the GD is easier. You have still been unable to rebut this fact. This is the problem we have right now. What I am proposing is a solution and one of the best solutions that has been proposed.
    I don't need to rebut it because it's not a justification for this passing.

    If you became Speaker and acted like an arse then you'd just get VoNCed.

    What does this improve?
    • Wiki Support Team
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    Wiki Support Team
    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    WAS at Oxford.



    By the sounds of it, I probably wouldn't like it.



    The fact that you have to give a ruling more than once in a blue moon indicates that the rules are not, in fact, easily discoverable. This is amplified by the fact that there is not a record of speaker rulings. The very existence of convention also prevents the rules being easily discoverable.



    It ought to be an end-goal, but I agree, it's not actually realistic. However, what is realistic is as to get as close to it as possible. Whether it's tedious or not is a) subjective and b) irrelevant; further, it being restrictive is a good thing in the interests of predictability and certainty.



    I agree that the GD should operate in that way, but the vast majority of its current content does not, in fact, operate that way. This is to a sufficiently great extent that it's easier to just move most of it into the constitution.
    Name one person who's ever said - "I was going to join the MHoC but even though there's a very clear Constitution and GD with everything I need to know as well as helpful established members I suspect there might be precedents and conventions that I'll need to familiarise myself and therefore I won't join"

    No one thinks like that. And even if anyone did (though I reiterate that no one does) this amendment would not encourage them to join because they'd still expect there are some unwritten rules. Don't say for a second that making the GD binding will attract new members or help new members. No one in the D&CA forum steers clear from here because they don't want to be contaminated by our ghastly non-binding rules. It is an imaginary problem.

    The rules are clear. All this does is make the guidelines unbendable and the moment convenience dictates a small deviation there will be an uproar as members weird the new weapon of complaint called 'constitutionality' and you will have to either accept that the new constitution isn't 'binding' or we will have to amend and reamend for eternity over the slightest issue lest the Speaker get attacked for acting 'unconstitutionally'.

    This is the MHoC, not the Supreme Court and what we have works. Let it continue to do so.
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by RayApparently)
    Name one person who's ever said - "I was going to join the MHoC but even though there's a very clear Constitution and GD with everything I need to know as well as helpful established members I suspect there might be precedents and conventions that I'll need to familiarise myself and therefore I won't join"

    No one thinks like that. And even if anyone did (though I reiterate that no one does) this amendment would not encourage them to join because they'd still expect there are some unwritten rules. Don't say for a second that making the GD binding will attract new members or help new members. No one in the D&CA forum steers clear from here because they don't want to be contaminated by our ghastly non-binding rules. It is an imaginary problem.

    The rules are clear. All this does is make the guidelines unbendable and the moment convenience dictates a small deviation there will be an uproar as members weird the new weapon of complaint called 'constitutionality' and you will have to either accept that the new constitution isn't 'binding' or we will have to amend and reamend for eternity over the slightest issue lest the Speaker get attacked for acting 'unconstitutionally'.

    This is the MHoC, not the Supreme Court and what we have works. Let it continue to do so.
    If something produces an unjust result in an individual case, the constitution can be refined. It is a living, breathing document.

    I accept your previous point.
    • Wiki Support Team
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    Wiki Support Team
    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    If something produces an unjust result in an individual case, the constitution can be refined. It is a living, breathing document.

    I accept your previous point.
    I agree but surely the GD can be refined to. And something may lead to an 'unjust' result in one scenario but not in another - which is what makes guidance so useful.

    Thank you.
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by RayApparently)
    I agree but surely the GD can be refined to. And something may lead to an 'unjust' result in one scenario but not in another - which is what makes guidance so useful.

    Thank you.
    But if we know that something doesn't apply to a particular situation, surely a record should be made of that for future reference?
    • Very Important Poster
    • Welcome Squad
    Offline

    22
    ReputationRep:
    Very Important Poster
    Welcome Squad
    (Original post by RayApparently)
    I don't need to rebut it because it's not a justification for this passing.If you became Speaker and acted like an arse then you'd just get VoNCed.What does this improve?
    It absolutely is. All you have done is put your fingers in your ears and gone 'la la la' each time I have given a justification. You have failed to and are now refusing to debate the issues put before you and you are getting tiresome.

    Mr speaker, we have established that people who amend the GD expect it to be treated as law. E.g. They amend the GD but don't amendment the constitution because it is harder to amend the constitution but when the GD is amended they expect it to be done. This is an established fact and something which even you yourself are guilty of.

    This single fact makes the GD De facto constitution, again something you have failed to rebut because you know it is true. I mean the line in the voting review section proves this to be the case
    5) In exceptional circumstances, the Speaker may choose not to conduct a voting review or to not carry out a by-election, and should inform the House of such intention
    If the GD was just for Guidence and not intended to be binding you would not need its express permission to not follow it!! You would have been allowed to just do that anyway, but you have had to rely on that line of the GD in the past in stead of just saying "it's the GD I don't have to do it"

    Mr Speaker, what you are arguing for might be a good thing. But it isn't what we have today. What we have today is 2 documents. One is de jure binding but both are de facto binding. All I am setting out to do is change that.

    If someone wants to change the way things are done, you amend the constitution. If someone wants to suggest somethings or suggest an interpretation they can do that but the speaker then has the disgression to do it or not. This makes a simpler and more straight forward way to run the house.
    • Wiki Support Team
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    Wiki Support Team
    (Original post by TheDefiniteArticle)
    But if we know that something doesn't apply to a particular situation, surely a record should be made of that for future reference?
    This could have been a motion calling for the creation of a wiki document recording all previous Speaker Statements (which using the TSR search function I've been able to find quite easily up until now - it helps that I've been here for the recent ones). I don't see why, in order to have that, we need to rewrite the entire Constitution and GD (with a lot of little changes I'm less than supportive of but I'll leave that debate for others).
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by RayApparently)
    This could have been a motion calling for the creation of a wiki document recording all previous Speaker Statements (which using the TSR search function I've been able to find quite easily up until now - it helps that I've been here for the recent ones). I don't see why, in order to have that, we need to rewrite the entire Constitution and GD (with a lot of little changes I'm less than supportive of but I'll leave that debate for others).
    How would you feel about an amendment which incorporated all previous and future speaker decisions (not just statements) into the GD itself automatically, and which kept the GD updated with convention?
    • Wiki Support Team
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    Wiki Support Team
    (Original post by Aph)
    It absolutely is. All you have done is put your fingers in your ears and gone 'la la la' each time I have given a justification. You have failed to and are now refusing to debate the issues put before you and you are getting tiresome.

    Mr speaker, we have established that people who amend the GD expect it to be treated as law. E.g. They amend the GD but don't amendment the constitution because it is harder to amend the constitution but when the GD is amended they expect it to be done. This is an established fact and something which even you yourself are guilty of.

    This single fact makes the GD De facto constitution, again something you have failed to rebut because you know it is true. I mean the line in the voting review section proves this to be the case


    If the GD was just for Guidence and not intended to be binding you would not need its express permission to not follow it!! You would have been allowed to just do that anyway, but you have had to rely on that line of the GD in the past in stead of just saying "it's the GD I don't have to do it"

    Mr Speaker, what you are arguing for might be a good thing. But it isn't what we have today. What we have today is 2 documents. One is de jure binding but both are de facto binding. All I am setting out to do is change that.

    If someone wants to change the way things are done, you amend the constitution. If someone wants to suggest somethings or suggest an interpretation they can do that but the speaker then has the disgression to do it or not. This makes a simpler and more straight forward way to run the house.
    Give an example of an amendment that I've passed that I intended for future Speaker's to follow to the letter as if it were law. Seeing as this is both a matter of my innate intentions as well as what I myself must follow I imagine it will be an interesting answer.

    Just because people may do that it doesn't mean everything should therefore be in the Constitution. That's why I said I don't need to rebut it. It's not, on its own, a justification.

    That's just poor wording.

    Just because there's stuff in the GD that we always follow don't say to me that the GD is de facto binding. It, in its entirety, demonstrably is not. You are saying that because some sections are 'de fact binding' that all of it therefore should be. Ridiculous.
 
 
 
TSR Support Team

We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

Updated: March 29, 2016
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Brexit voters: Do you stand by your vote?
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Write a reply...
    Reply
    Hide
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.