Saturday, May 15, 2010
It is right that this be tested out as vigorously as possible before legislation is introduced.
It will remove some of the most serious political powers supposedly still vested in the Royal Prerogative and hand them over to the elected representatives of the people of the UK. In a real sense it is a step towards a kind of Republic (with a Monarch as ceremonial head even more divorced from politics than now)..
The so-called prerogatives are, under the present constitutional understandings, actually manipulated by the Prime Minister of the day.
The fixed term, and the new exceptional dissolution powers suggested for Parliament, take powers away from the Prime Minister and for the first time vests them in the House.
There are all sorts of ramifications to this apparently simple step of fixing the Parliamentary term..
It is possible that those proposing this step have not yet sorted out all the consequences. It would be helpful if some of the distinguished lawyers friendly to the new coalition could provide an analysis of the knock-on effects so that our debates can be conducted in a calmer manner.
The proposers of this change will benefit from hearing constructive criticism and may well feel that some variations are needed in the final legislation.
Just by the way and as an example I think five years is too long for a fixed term and would be happy to argue this..