The UK constitution is flawed Watch

tashkent46
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The party who can form a majority government get power in this country, but doing so gives them power over both the executive and legislative functions of the country, in the face of such power the judiciary isn't particularly powerful. The government can do anything and then just pass a law to justify it (and it has done this several times), they can ignore court rulings, they can use all kind of tricks. Who holds the PM to account in the UK? The opposition party? What real power do they have?
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fallen_acorns
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(Original post by tashkent46)
Who holds the PM to account in the UK? The opposition party? What real power do they have?
1, the people. 2, not enough
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Kenneth56
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(Original post by tashkent46)
The party who can form a majority government get power in this country, but doing so gives them power over both the executive and legislative functions of the country, in the face of such power the judiciary isn't particularly powerful. The government can do anything and then just pass a law to justify it (and it has done this several times), they can ignore court rulings, they can use all kind of tricks. Who holds the PM to account in the UK? The opposition party? What real power do they have?
The government doesn't pass laws
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ByEeek
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I don't really understand this. The current Tory Government is exceedingly weak. Not only do they have to get all their infighting and backstabbing backbenchers to vote with them, but they also have to persuade (sorry - I mean buy) the support from the DUP.

And the courts regularly hold the government to account, as do the opposition. There have been a number of judicial reviews that have caused the government to go back on its ideas and at one point the Tories were falling over themselves to bring forward legislation as their own that was originally proposed by Corbyn.
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Gwilym101
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(Original post by ByEeek)
I don't really understand this. The current Tory Government is exceedingly weak. Not only do they have to get all their infighting and backstabbing backbenchers to vote with them, but they also have to persuade (sorry - I mean buy) the support from the DUP.

And the courts regularly hold the government to account, as do the opposition. There have been a number of judicial reviews that have caused the government to go back on its ideas and at one point the Tories were falling over themselves to bring forward legislation as their own that was originally proposed by Corbyn.
They have also previously introduced retroactive legislation to get around court rulings that said their actions were illegal.
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ByEeek
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(Original post by Gwilym101)
They have also previously introduced retroactive legislation to get around court rulings that said their actions were illegal.
Like...? At the end of the day, governments are continuously doing this. That is the point. If something doesn't pass through the courts then the government needs to change the law. But it will get three readings in the Commons, and scrutiny in the Lords and committee stages. And ultimately the government is formed from MPs voted for by us. So I find it a bit rich to suggest that the government is railroading through legislation regardless of what anyone wants.
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tashkent46
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(Original post by ByEeek)
Like...? At the end of the day, governments are continuously doing this. That is the point. If something doesn't pass through the courts then the government needs to change the law. But it will get three readings in the Commons, and scrutiny in the Lords and committee stages. And ultimately the government is formed from MPs voted for by us. So I find it a bit rich to suggest that the government is railroading through legislation regardless of what anyone wants.
The government majority means this will almost always happen though.
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hannah00
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The executive is accountable to mps and the house of lords.

The govt can just pass laws after doing illegal things, process of changing a law requires building consensus and takes times.

Also the UK system is more preferable to the gridlocked system of america.

The Judiciary cannot be ignored, as we saw with triggering article 50. If anything the PM is very vulnerable, only need less than 10% of MPs in his or her party to start the ball rolling of a new pm
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tashkent46
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(Original post by hannah00)
The executive is accountable to mps and the house of lords.

The govt can just pass laws after doing illegal things, process of changing a law requires building consensus and takes times.

Also the UK system is more preferable to the gridlocked system of america.
They can and have though. Opposition MPs are powerless due to the influence of the whip.
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ByEeek
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(Original post by tashkent46)
The government majority means this will almost always happen though.
But that is the whole point of government. What would be the point in having a government that couldn't pass legislation?

And even strong governments get defeated. It happens all the time. MPs of the governing side rebel against the government. Or committees and the Lords keep amending the bill, often watering down anything too drastic.

This is by stark contrast to dictatorships or even the US were the President can unilaterally pass down executive orders without scrutiny or accountability.
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hannah00
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(Original post by tashkent46)
They can and have though. Opposition MPs are powerless due to the influence of the whip.
when have they ?

The Whip has no legal authority and can be ignored.

Jeremy Corbyn has recorded a number of U Turns on the government. The Judiciary is also ultra powerful as we saw with article 50.
The Civil Service and Police are also very powerful and can ignore or delay orders it deems illegal, as we saw with the sacking of the Chris Grayling
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Notoriety
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The Cabinet is not the largest party. The largest party selects the Cabinet, but then the largest party and the other parties hold them to check.

The UK judiciary is the strongest and most independent in the world.
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tashkent46
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(Original post by ByEeek)
But that is the whole point of government. What would be the point in having a government that couldn't pass legislation?

And even strong governments get defeated. It happens all the time. MPs of the governing side rebel against the government. Or committees and the Lords keep amending the bill, often watering down anything too drastic.

This is by stark contrast to dictatorships or even the US were the President can unilaterally pass down executive orders without scrutiny or accountability.

I don't think the government should be able to retroactively change law, that seems fundamentally wrong, there should be a statue limiting the time needed to make that change. The opposition is simply to weak to hold them to account in these circumstances.
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hannah00
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recently the courts forced the govt to change incapacity benefits for mentally ill people and gordon brown failed to get 48 day detention passed due to the Lords, your assessment of the Power of the PM is fundamentally flawed.
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tashkent46
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(Original post by hannah00)
when have they ?

The Whip has no legal authority and can be ignored.

Jeremy Corbyn has recorded a number of U Turns on the government. The Judiciary is also ultra powerful as we saw with article 50.
The Civil Service and Police are also very powerful and can ignore or delay orders it deems illegal, as we saw with the sacking of the Chris Grayling
If the Whip has no influence whatsoever what's the point? The Whip has a substantial influence, go against the party and the party will go against you.
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ByEeek
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(Original post by tashkent46)
I don't think the government should be able to retroactively change law, that seems fundamentally wrong, there should be a statue limiting the time needed to make that change. The opposition is simply to weak to hold them to account in these circumstances.
Why? If we didn't retroactively change the law, things like data protection that incorporate new technology like (as it was called back in the 90s) Internet, would never happen.

Law must evolve as our society evolves.
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tashkent46
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(Original post by ByEeek)
Why? If we didn't retroactively change the law, things like data protection that incorporate new technology like (as it was called back in the 90s) Internet, would never happen.

Law must evolve as our society evolves.
When the government are found to be acting illegally why should they have the power to then make that thing legal to avoid the court verdict?
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JamesN88
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(Original post by tashkent46)
The party who can form a majority government get power in this country, but doing so gives them power over both the executive and legislative functions of the country, in the face of such power the judiciary isn't particularly powerful. The government can do anything and then just pass a law to justify it (and it has done this several times), they can ignore court rulings, they can use all kind of tricks. Who holds the PM to account in the UK? The opposition party? What real power do they have?
How would you propose the country be governed in that case?
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ByEeek
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(Original post by tashkent46)
When the government are found to be acting illegally why should they have the power to then make that thing legal to avoid the court verdict?
Why not? Brexit is currently illegal. Shortly it will be legal. I disagree with that but that is democracy. I am sure many though fox hunting should remain legal. It is now illegal because the government changed the law.

A government that can't change the law is not a government. If you don't like the government or what it is doing, lobby your MP, form an action group and persuade the country to vote them out.
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username3672344
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(Original post by JamesN88)
How would you propose the country be governed in that case?
I often think that the best system would be one sort of half way between the USA's and ours.

In our system it is so easy for a government to dominate Parliament and pass laws easily. In the USA its far too hard, given how separated the government and legislature are.

I think an elected house of Lords, via PR, with meaningful powers, might be quite a good idea.
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