B1589 – Local Government (Electoral System) Act 2020 (Amendment) Bill 2020

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Andrew97
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B1589 – Local Government (Electoral System) Act 2020 (Amendment) Bill 2020, TSR Conservative & Unionist Party






Local Government (Electoral System) Act 2020 (Amendment) Bill 2020





An Act to amend the Local Government (Electoral System) Act 2020; requiring a referendum to take place prior to the provisions of the Act from coming into force.

BE IT ENACTED by The Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Commons in this present Parliament assembled, in accordance with the provisions of the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—


1) Definitions

Section ‘1: Definitions’ of the Local Government (Electoral System) Act 2020 is amended as follows:-

a) After subsection (2), insert:

“(3) “Local Government Electoral System Referendum” means a referendum carried out in England, with the referendum question determined by the Secretary of State by means of a Ministerial Report.

(4) “public support” means 51% or higher of votes cast in a referendum to support enacting the provisions of the Local Government (Electoral System) Act 2020”


2) Referendum

After Section ‘7: Vacancies’ of the Local Government (Electoral System) Act 2020, inserted as follows:-

a) “8: Referendum

(1) A Local Government Electoral System Referendum must be held in England in order to commence the provisions the Act

(2) Any referendum held, to commence the provisions of this Act, must receive public support in order to enforce the provisions of the Act

(3) The wording of any referendum held, to commence provisions of the Act, including but not limited to the question posed, must be published only by the relevant Secretary of State through a Ministerial Report”


3) Extent, Commencement and Short Title

Remove Section ‘8: Extent, commencement and short title’, and replace with the following:

a) “Section 9: Extent, Commencement and Short Title

(1) This Act extends to England

(2) The provisions of this Act comes into force no later than three years after a Local Government Electoral System Referendum, of which the results demonstrates public support for the provisions of this Act.

(3) This Act may be cited as the Local Government (Electoral System) Act 2020.”


4) Extent, Commencement and Short Title

a) This Act extends to England.

b) The provisions of this Act come into force after Royal Assent.

c) This Act may be cited as the Local Government (Electoral System) Amendment Act 2020


Statement/Notes

Mr Speaker, two weeks ago, the House voted in the Division Lobby to pass the Local Government (Electoral System) Act 2020, which will implement wide and sweeping changes to the way in which we elect politicians to Local Government.

We understand that the majority of the MPs in the House support the changes in this Act, but we believe the decision must now be put to the people to decide whether they want this constitutional reform imposed on them.

In the last General Election, only one party, the Liberal Democrats, stood on a manifesto of wanting to implement electoral reform and change our constitution; they received less than 20% of the vote. Therefore, more than 80% of the people voted for parties who did not advocate making such constitutional reform. We should therefore, put this matter to the people so that 100% of the public, not 20%, can decide whether they want electoral reform rather than have it imposed upon them.

We only went to the public once about electoral reform, in 2011, and that was resoundingly rejected. It is only right, that as we propose electoral reform again, the people of the country are afforded the opportunity to tell us whether they want to change the way in which they elect their politicians.

We understand that this Bill passed, and we are not attempting to overturn that decision. We are just asking that MPs consider that the people should have the final decision on such a constitutional matter.

I commend this Bill to the House.
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The Mogg
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Wouldn't the wording of 1(4) mean that it could get 50.1-50.9% support and not be implemented?
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KingPenguin
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Aye, a sensible bill. Good one Tories!!!

It is not right for voting reform like this to be passed without asking the people.
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LPK
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We only went to the public once about electoral reform, in 2011, and that was resoundingly rejected.
If we are interested in respecting resounding decisions made via referendum, would the same principle not apply for B1586?

It might not be altering how members are elected, but it is a significant change on what roles are established and elected under that new tiered system.

As this bill is rightfully concerned about parties being accountable for the platforms they stood on, I just checked the manifestos for the 31st Parliamentary elections. Neither parties in Government included this significant reform in their respective manifestos, so can we expect a referendum on this issue too?

Edit: The Lib Dems did not support it in their manifesto either. That's 0% of the house running on a platform to reform local government in this way, but still pushing it through the house without any consultation/referendum from those it will impact across England.
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Saracen's Fez
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The only precedent for reforming the electoral system at local elections is for a referendum not to be held.
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The Mogg
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(Original post by LPK)
If we are interested in respecting resounding decisions made via referendum, would the same principle not apply for B1586?

It might not be altering how members are elected, but it is a significant change on what roles are established and elected under that new tiered system.

As this bill is rightfully concerned about parties being accountable for the platforms they stood on, I just checked the manifestos for the 31st Parliamentary elections. Neither parties in Government included this significant reform in their respective manifestos, so can we expect a referendum on this issue too?
Indeed, if they are wanting a referendum for this change, then we should also be seeing one for B1586.

One little nugget though is at that point, when do we get to the point of having too many referendums in a short time?
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LPK
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(Original post by The Mogg)
Indeed, if they are wanting a referendum for this change, then we should also be seeing one for B1586.

One little nugget though is at that point, when do we get to the point of having too many referendums in a short time?
Agreed, it does defeat the purpose of a representative democracy if we have daily referenda on issues.

Having said that, there are other means available to at least ascertain a basic public appetite for reforms. At present, we are about to drastically reshape the structure of local government, which no members of the house ran on a platform for, and it would be less consulted on than PSHE education.

I do agree with the principles of this bill, but it is fundamentally undermined by the selective nature of those principles by the party proposing it.
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The Mogg
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(Original post by LPK)
Having said that, there are other means available to at least ascertain a basic public appetite for reforms. At present, we are about to drastically reshape the structure of local government, which no members of the house ran on a platform for, and it would be less consulted on than PSHE education.

Ironically, I do agree with the principles of this bill, but it is fundamentally undermined by the selective nature of those principles by the party proposing it.
Agreed, it is laughable that something as (in my humble opinion) ultimately unimportant as PSHE is getting more public consultation than the structure of something as important as local government.

Again, agreed, I am eager to hear why this should have a referendum but B1586 shouldn't.
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Miss Maddie
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Aye. It's only fair to ask the people before deciding how their vote matters.
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by The Mogg)
Wouldn't the wording of 1(4) mean that it could get 50.1-50.9% support and not be implemented?
Yes
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Jammy Duel
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(Original post by The Mogg)
Indeed, if they are wanting a referendum for this change, then we should also be seeing one for B1586.

One little nugget though is at that point, when do we get to the point of having too many referendums in a short time?
The problem is they know B1586 would be rejected, so ofc they aren't going to have a referendum. You also have the problem that the Lib Dems and Citizens don't actually care about what the populace want when they're out of touch
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Theloniouss
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(Original post by Jammy Duel)
The problem is they know B1586 would be rejected, so ofc they aren't going to have a referendum. You also have the problem that the Lib Dems and Citizens don't actually care about what the populace want when they're out of touch
Given that some MPs are not bothering to read B1586, I'm not sure why you're expecting the general public to bother.
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Rakas21
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(Original post by The Mogg)
Agreed, it is laughable that something as (in my humble opinion) ultimately unimportant as PSHE is getting more public consultation than the structure of something as important as local government.

Again, agreed, I am eager to hear why this should have a referendum but B1586 shouldn't.
I believe we are only permitted one per term but you are welcome to author a bill adding one for next term if you wish.

Mr Speaker, I of course support this bill.
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The Mogg
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(Original post by Rakas21)
Mr Speaker, I of course support this bill.
Do you believe 1(4) is in need of amending, given the people could choose for the reforms by a margin of 50.1-49.9% to 50.9-49.1% and the reforms not be enacted.

Furthermore, despite maybe only being permitted 1 referendum a term, that still doesn't answer the question of why the authors believe this should go to a referendum and not B1586. Why is it this one being chosen for a referendum? At least these reforms were promised in the Lib Dems' manifesto, REGIONS wasn't in either the Tory or Citizen's or Lib Dems manifesto.
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JMR2020.
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Though I opposed the original bill, I do not see having a referendum as the best course of action on this issue.
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Iñigo de Loyola
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Aye.
Vox populi, vox Dei.
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The Mogg
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(Original post by LiberOfLondon)
Vox populi, vox Dei.
This is the TSR police, provide translation immediately! :sly:
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Miss Maddie
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Having a referendum is a good idea. The public will reject it at the ballot box and the content of the Act is effectively repealed.
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CatusStarbright
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I don't agree with frustrating the will of Parliament in this way.
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Miss Maddie
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(Original post by CatusStarbright)
I don't agree with frustrating the will of Parliament in this way.
Amending a bill is not frustrating the will of Parliament.
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