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Ideas for changing of General Election procedure

(9 Posts)
ElderlyPerson Tue 03-Aug-21 11:04:27

At present, when there is a General Election, Parliament is dissolved quite some time before election day and so there are no Members of Parliament for that time period.

I am well aware that ministers stay in office, this thread is not about that, so no need to inform me of that as I know about that.

This lack of Members of Parliament can cause great problems where an MP has been trying to help a constituent, perhaps with something very serious, such as a risk to having somewhere to live.

I am thinking that a good reform would be as follows.

When a General Election is due to take place, instead of dissolution taking place as it does now, Parliament would go into "Recess for a General Election" and Parliament would not actually become dissolved until 23:59 on the day before Election Day.

Thus MPs could continue to help constituents with issues and still have access to Ministers in the capacity of being an MP.

An additional reform could be that Member of Parliament is regarded as a Corporation Sole, in a manner similar to the manner that a Bishop is a Corporation Sole, so that if the human being who occupies the Corporation Sole is replaced by another human being, then the constituency work on an issue continues as it is a matter for the Corporation Sole and therefore does not need to lapse and possibly be restarted if the human being is changed.

I would appreciate discussion of these ideas please.

MawBe Tue 03-Aug-21 11:28:29

Examples of corporations sole in the United Kingdom

Auditor General for Wales[22]
Chief Executive of Skills Funding[23]
Chief Inspector of Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland)
Children's Commissioner for England[24]
Children's Commissioner for Wales[25]
Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland[26]
Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis
Comptroller and Auditor General
Corporate Officer of the House of Commons[27]
Corporate Officer of the House of Lords[28]
The Crown (sometimes regarded as a corporation aggregate)[29]
Duke of Cornwall
Duke of Lancaster
Information Commissioner
Mayor (of London)'s Office for Policing and Crime
Judicial Appointments and Conduct Ombudsman[29]
Lord Mayor of the City of London[1]
Official Custodian for Charities[30]
Immigration Services Commissioner
Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland[31]
Public Services Ombudsman for Wales
Public Trustee[32]
Pubs Code Adjudicator[33]
Receiver for the Metropolitan Police District[34] (abolished)
Registrar General
Secretary of State for... (various; most recently Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs)[35]
Solicitor for the affairs of the Duchy of Lancaster, the[36]
Traffic Director for London
Treasury Solicitor[37]
London Fire Commissioner[38]

MawBe Tue 03-Aug-21 11:31:38

There is no House of Commons in the period of an Election, but that does not mean there is no government

In addition I think one prime flaw in your argument is that sitting members might be considered to be at an advantage compared to other candidates- offices, staff , expenses etc not to mention the danger of dubious practices to curry favour with the electorate.

Katie59 Tue 03-Aug-21 11:32:16

I would have thought most MPs return to their constituencies to campaign for re-election, therefore want to create a good impression. If parliament is in recess they have more time help, maybe that’s not the way it works.

PippaZ Tue 03-Aug-21 11:34:04

It looks as if you have given that a lot of thought ElderlyPerson. It seems like a plan for the constituents. However, won't the MPs complain about not having time to campaign. Not having them out and about could be seen as positive, of course smile

winterwhite Tue 03-Aug-21 11:40:36

I would think that most MPs continue to help residents, esp with on-going cases and esp if they're standing for re-election. I can't visualise something such as a housing issue (the OP's example) being held up for that reason.

I'd rather see a situation where there were enough properly funded housing officers etc so that MPs didn't have to act as social workers.

ElderlyPerson Tue 03-Aug-21 12:23:17

winterwhite

I would think that most MPs continue to help residents, esp with on-going cases and esp if they're standing for re-election. I can't visualise something such as a housing issue (the OP's example) being held up for that reason.

I'd rather see a situation where there were enough properly funded housing officers etc so that MPs didn't have to act as social workers.

Yes, mine does as best (gender redacted) can, but does not have any more access to ministers than any member of the public.

Nor can letters as an MP be written and sent.

Certainly an MP does not have many powers at anytime but a letter from an MP is typically taken very seriously by people who are causing a constituent concern.

Grany Tue 03-Aug-21 12:43:10

And we could have an elected Head of State too.

A real parliamentary democracy
The answer to this is simple enough. There's no need to throw the whole constitution out the window. We just need to make every part of it more democratic and re-balance power between people, parliament and government. Here's how.

Create a written constitution that sets out what power each part of the political system has.
Ensure the constitution can only be changed by referendum or by a 'super-majority' in both houses of parliament (two thirds or three quarters of MPs, for example).
Give the power to set parliament's timetable to MPs, not the government.
Scrap royal powers currently used by the government, including scrapping the Privy Council.
Introduce a fully elected upper house, giving elected representatives the power to challenge and, if necessary, block laws and decisions proposed by government.
Elect an independent, non-political head of state who can act as referee and defender of the constitution. With the power to refuse to sign a law if they believe it's unconstitutional, and to help the parties negotiate in times of political paralysis this gives all sides of politics a more equal position in the constitution.
Of course the government must still have the power to govern, and parliament must have the power to make laws. But governing and making laws are two different things, and both should be done withing a system that has limits on the power of government and parliament, limits that are protected by an independent, accountable head of state.

Republic's isn't proposing a revolution, or adopting a constitution used by another country. We're making a very simple proposal: take what we have and make it democratic, top to bottom. A very British parliamentary republic, governed by the people and for the people.

Nannan2 Tue 03-Aug-21 12:55:14

Sounds like an excuse for them to have time off to me🤔.....