Should the Uk Undergo Radical Constitutional Reform?

Last updated: March 8, 2019

Should the UK undergo radical constitutional reform and how far should we go in order to achieve this.

Should the Uk Undergo Radical Constitutional Reform?
Yes because...

Adopting a written constitution

The UK should adopt a written constitution, which would set out the infrastructure of the state and outline the rights and responsibilities of the citizens, the powers and constraints of the executive, legisaltive and the judiciary. The ancient acts, treaties and texts that currently make up our unwritten constitution would all be binded into any new written constitution. This move would follow the precendent of our comrades in Europe, the USA and Asia, finally marking our move into the 21st century and keeping the various parts of the state in check and within their designated area of responsibility.
No because...
It cannot be argued that a move to a written constitution is a move towards the 21st Century. Yes, it would be a change, but not a modern one. Currently, the UK's unwritten constitution allows for just as much protection as a written constitution would. The only difference would be that many papers would ahve to pass before any constitutional change was made, this makes change more difficult. The benefit of an unwritten constitution is that what works can stay and what does not can easily be disgarded and adapted. This is not so with a written constitution.

Plato recognised this in his book Statesman when he said that written laws are not knowledgeable, they make no allowances for unique cases. It is for this reason that we have a judiciary who can adapt the interpretation of written laws. However, we cannot have a judiciary interpreting a written constitution as this would in fact create more fluidity than a constitution can cope with.

The system we have in place in the UK is the right balance, and instead of falling in toe with other countries, they should take heed of how the UK operates.

Should the Uk Undergo Radical Constitutional Reform?
Yes because...

Introducing electoral reform for Westminster

We should adopt electoral reform at Westminster and scrap the current FPTP system that is out of step with the voting preferences of the populus. The method that we adopt for electing our representatives should be debated and voted upon by the country and not just in the corridoors or Westminster or the party headquarters. The types of electoral model that should be up for discussion would be STV or Single Transferable Vote, AV+, AMS and others.
No because...

Should the Uk Undergo Radical Constitutional Reform?
Yes because...

Abolish the House of Lords and creating a fully elected Senate

We should finally abolish the House of Lords and move to create a fully elected or majorty elected upper house, this new upper house would be called a Senate and would move to end the current trend where peers sit in the legislative. The number in this new body would be reduced from the current 724 to between 350-450.
No because...
The powers of the legislative House of Lords are limited. They in fact only have a power which enables them to delay the ascent of legislation proposed by the Government. If the House of Lords rejects a Parliamentary bill 3 times, the legislation can then be passed. Given that there is normally a years delay between one Bill and the next, this gives the House of Lords a very limited power. Despite how limited it is, it is useful should an undesirable Parliament be elected in. Once elected, the House of Lords is the only hault on Government power, surely we do not wish this safety catch to be abolished and replaced by the same elected parties who will only follow their party lines anyway?

Should the Uk Undergo Radical Constitutional Reform?
Yes because...

Seperating the Legislative and the Executive.

The legislative and the Executive should be seperated and follow the model of the French and US system. The government from the PM downwards would no longer sit in the legisaltive once they were appointed to government, however they would continue to be held accountable to parliament and by parliament, introducing legislation, being scrutinised by MPs, delivering statements and so forth. The legisaltive would be wholly concerned with working to represent their constituents, introducing bills and implementing legislation, holding government to account and serving on committees either as members or chairmen. This end government control over the legisaltive and allow the legislative to gain the freedom that it has last and indeed requires in order to function effectively. The executive would be free to govern the country and to introduce legislation from its manifesto and through their time in office.
No because...

Should the Uk Undergo Radical Constitutional Reform?
No because...

Our unwritten constitution is more stable

Currently our constitution rests on bed of thousand of years of subtle changes and evolution. The procedures contained within the UK constitution have sedimented and form a tightly wound ball that has been all but written. There is no way that any draftsman could put into words what this history has created. Subtle changes in words would change the whole system and this would promote unstability, not stability which is what proponants of written constitutions argue that they provide.
Yes because...
Any written constitution would include ancient texts and treaties which would sit alongside any new texts and provisions that were needed. To change the system would not cause instability and indeed if you look at countries that have written constitutions they are less prone to constitutional crisis than those without. Any written constitution would act as a check against government overreach in its powers, something that is greatly needed after both the increase in power held y the executive at the expense of parliament under the Labour and Conservative governments.


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