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Parliament and the Constitution: The Coalition in Conflict

Thompson, L and Norton, P (2015) Parliament and the Constitution: The Coalition in Conflict In: The Conservative-Liberal Coalition Examining the Cameron-Clegg Government. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 129-144. ISBN 1137461365

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The provisions of the Coalition agreement covering constitutional issues were embodied in section 24 entitled ‘Political Reform’ (HM Government 2010, pp. 26-7). The 27 bullet points included fixed-term five-year Parliaments, a referendum on the introduction of the Alternative Vote (AV), reform of the House of Lords, legislation to provide for recall of MPs, and implementation of the Wright Committee recommendations for reform of the House of Commons. The section created inherent problems when it came to implementation. In part, these were practical. However, the most substantial problem derived from competing ideologies. There were also problems in carrying out changes not envisaged in the agreement. Governments have mandates that are permissive and not just prescriptive. The Coalition had to deal with the unplanned. Among the changes not included in the agreement was press regulation and strengthening Parliament in waging war. There were also two issues that were essentially designed to be sidelined through the use of commissions – one on English votes for English laws and the other on a British Bill of Rights. However, the referendum in Scotland in 2014 gave fresh impetus to the former and pressure from Conservative MPs, responding to some judgments from the European Court of Human Rights, reawakened demands for the latter.

Item Type: Book Section
Divisions : Surrey research (other units)
Authors :
Norton, P
Editors :
Beech, M
Lee, S
Date : 8 April 2015
Uncontrolled Keywords : Political Science
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 16 May 2017 15:34
Last Modified : 23 Jan 2020 15:03

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