Posts Tagged ‘Parliamentary Reform’

The big downside of this election

by Michael Meacher.

Apart from the narrowness in the polling between the two main parties, the other dramatic characteristic of this election is the number of people who are profoundly disgruntled and deep-down angry at the Establishment, in which they include Labour as well as the Tories, and are likely either not to vote at all or to […]

Reform of Parliament should be prime target for next government

by Michael Meacher.

People understandably are angry at what they see as a raucous and rowdy mob at PMQs and at the MPs’ expenses scandal recently rehearsed by the Rifkind-Straw scandal of access for cash, but these are the more visible aspects of Parliament’s activities. Sadly it is the much less visible dimension of how Parliament routinely works […]

Making Parliament more effective is not just a matter of longer sittings

by Michael Meacher.

Margaret Hodge, chair of the Public Accounts Committee, had a point when she said Parliament should sit for longer sessions if it is to perform its scrutiny function properly. After all the current Parliamentary session is about to end having sat for less than 140 days in the last year. But whilst Parliament certainly does need […]

Whips’ control over scrutiny of parliamentary bills badly needs reform

by Michael Meacher.

One of the key problems in Parliament which is little understood, but which hugely undermines its effectiveness, is the Whips’ stranglehold over the scrutiny of Government bills. At present Members of these Bill committees are chosen by the House Committee of Selection, itself composed of Whips from the main parties with a chair chosen by […]

MPs support big reforms in way Parliament is run

by Michael Meacher.

Parliamentary procedure seems arcane and boring to most people, but actually it matters a lot because it largely determines what gets into legislation and what does not, and why so many of the changes the public wants to see happen get blocked.   For that reason it’s heartening to see signs that the old ways, which […]

Parliament: the unfinished revolution

by Michael Meacher.

The Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions raise questions, not only about the tide of democracy surging through the Middle East, but also about evolutionary change and the quality of democracy elsewhere, not least in Britain. In the past few years we have had the expenses scandal and the collapse of trust in the political class in the […]

Labour peers are going up in the world

by Jon Lansman.

There’s always been something a bit embarrassing about Labour peers, like those elderly relatives you try to avoid at a family event. Some of them, of course, have a worthy past, and a few of them work hard and take home less in expenses than they could for a senior political job on their local council. Rather […]

Gerrymandering ahead

by Jon Lansman.

Attention on the Parliamentary Reform bill has primarily focussed on AV and the 55% majority proposed to dissolve parliament prior to the end of a fixed term. Attention should turn to the Tory aim of equalising the size of constituencies.  In fact, that is always an objective of the Boundary Commission, but as Jack Straw […]

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