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Started by Tinymcsmithy on Sep 6, 2019 4:30:24 PM
If parliament took a vote to abolish general elections, what would happen?

We don’t have a constitution, so would we simply become a parliamentary dictatorship of some sort?

Would it be legal, seeing as parliament makes the law? How could it be stopped?

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thisonehasalittlehat - 06 Sep 2019 16:32:24 (#1 of 49)

You can imagine a situation in which parliament could sit for some decades but eventually they'd all die. And then I guess the power would revert to the crown. I don't think they'd have to pass a law. They'd have to repeal a few laws though. And probably there would be a court challenge.

cozzer - 06 Sep 2019 16:32:48 (#2 of 49)

We don’t have a constitution



*QI KLAXON*

Tinymcsmithy - 06 Sep 2019 16:33:32 (#3 of 49)

Link to constitution please.

thisonehasalittlehat - 06 Sep 2019 16:33:39 (#4 of 49)

I think parliament would lose the court challenge, incidentally. I mean the whole thing becomes much simpler if we leave the ECHR. And Nato.

Tinymcsmithy - 06 Sep 2019 16:34:29 (#5 of 49)

What would the court challenge be though?

thisonehasalittlehat - 06 Sep 2019 16:34:32 (#6 of 49)

Link to constitution please.

It isn't in one place it's in lots of individual interconnected documents.

Like the world wide web.

Tinymcsmithy - 06 Sep 2019 16:36:12 (#7 of 49)

It isn't in one place it's in lots of individual interconnected documents.



Is the argument generally given. But I’ve yet to see this adequately shown.

thisonehasalittlehat - 06 Sep 2019 16:36:26 (#8 of 49)

What would the court challenge be though?

Fundamentals of british constitution: common laws. Rights that have been exercised consistently in the past without challenge remain rights unless explicitly proscribed, and even then often remain rights anyway. Because the right to vote has been exercised continually at least by some section of the population for hundreds of years, you can't really just remove it.

The length of term of parliament is a bit of a less well defined thing, and you could possibly extend a parliamentary term into decades and get away with it. Possibly. Although politically it would be impossible.

thisonehasalittlehat - 06 Sep 2019 16:37:04 (#9 of 49)

But I’ve yet to see this adequately shown.

It's shown every day in the courts.

AlanII - 06 Sep 2019 16:39:39 (#10 of 49)

Yes, the British constitution is, essentially, the Crown.

Tinymcsmithy - 06 Sep 2019 16:39:47 (#11 of 49)

Fundamentals of british constitution: common laws. Rights that have been exercised consistently in the past without challenge remain rights unless explicitly proscribed, and even then often remain rights anyway. Because the right to vote has been exercised continually at least by some section of the population for hundreds of years, you can't really just remove it.



Hmmmm. Perhaps. But a lot of assumptions and ‘accepted norms’, which are open to being ignored. Even the US’s bible-like constitution is currently being routinely ignored.

Winner - 06 Sep 2019 16:42:09 (#12 of 49)

If your definition of constitution is ‘something that can’t be ignored’, then there’s no such thing as a constitution, even in a theoretical sense.

Tinymcsmithy - 06 Sep 2019 16:42:46 (#13 of 49)

It's shown every day in the courts.



Laws are. And I understand the argument that the sum of parts make up a constitution, but it’s still rather flaky and open to interpretation and ‘common acceptance’, or otherwise.

cozzer - 06 Sep 2019 16:44:12 (#14 of 49)

Even the US’s bible-like constitution is currently being routinely ignored.

Well yes. So there's not really good evidence that having a better-defined, written constitution would change anything.

it’s still rather flaky and open to interpretation and ‘common acceptance’

Is this any different from the American constitution?

JohnIlly - 06 Sep 2019 16:44:39 (#15 of 49)

This was done in WWII, of course.

Smollett - 06 Sep 2019 16:44:41 (#16 of 49)

It would have to be approved by the Lords and receive royal assent (although that probably couldn't be withheld). It would no doubt then be challenged in the courts as a breach of the ECHR (which guarantees free and fair elections), etc.

thisonehasalittlehat - 06 Sep 2019 16:45:04 (#17 of 49)

Other countries' constitutions are often written documents that state how things should be done and what the limits of power are.

Our constitution is essentially everything that has ever been decided about the things that should be done and what the limits of power are - written and unwritten - plus all the ways that this has been interpreted and acted upon in the past. Which makes it complex. But also robust because you don't get into the whole right to bear arms fiasco that the USA, for example, is lumbered with.

But the US also has a common law approach, so they have a written constitution, but it is interpreted by the courts on the basis of precedence and case law. Just like ours.

thisonehasalittlehat - 06 Sep 2019 16:46:08 (#18 of 49)

Written constitutions bring advantages, but they also bring their own problems. One is not necessarily better than the other; they're just better at different kinds of problems. The advantage of our constitution is that everyone can look the other way occasionally if required.

Smollett - 06 Sep 2019 16:48:44 (#19 of 49)

Yes, the British constitution is, essentially, the Crown.



It really isn't, as Gina Miller showed with her Article 50 challenge. It's certainly a key part of it but the courts have the powers to question prerogative powers and over time those powers have been restricted.

Tinymcsmithy - 06 Sep 2019 16:50:18 (#20 of 49)

Is this any different from the American constitution?



Well, it’s haphazardly ‘curated’, for want of a better term, at best

A written specific document would say something like.

1. There will be free and fair elections at least every 5 years.

2. Arsenal are to win the Premier league at least once a decade.

And so on.

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