Flashcards in Constitutional Reforms Deck (31)
what was the HoL reform Act 1999?
-ended hereditary right to be a lord
-appointed life peers who were appointed on merit
- stage 2 was wholly elected HoL
give examples of life peers?
-Lord sugar (business)
-Lord Coe (sport)
-Lord Lloyd-Webber (culture)
give 3 problems solved by the HoL reform Act 1999
- removed conservative bias of house
- more representative as wider range of people - more minorities, more women, more religious
- more expertise - more legitimate house
in 2018, what is the makeup of the Lords?
why is the lords now more democratic ?
-represents wider range of society
-if PM just appointed friends would reduce legitimacy of govt
give 3 ways in which HoL reform Act 1999 didn't go far enough
- HoC remains superior to HoL
- failure to go through with stage 2 - HoL would have more power and reduced power of PM - could claim legitimacy
- 24 bishops + 2 archbishops - not representing other religions - we are multicultural country
why do commons remain superior to lords?
they are elected - more legitimacy
what problems did the HoL reform Act 1999 create?
- ultimately gave more power to PM - had control of every branch
- gained more lords legitimacy so more likely to challenge govt - more bellicose
- increasing in size still - nearly 1000 today
What is an example of the Lords challenging the govt?
- terrorism act, reduced it from 90 - 28 day detention
What was devolution in 1998?
- transfer of power from central govt to region - Scot & Wales
- Scotland gets tax varying powers +-3% of UK +primary legislative power
-Wales got secondary legislative power
What problems did devolution in 1998 solve?
- pleased strong Scottish movement in Scotland
- differing needs for different areas - decentralisation - more power closer to the people
- reducing calls for independence/ decreasing risk of UK breakup
why was nationalist movement in scotland pleased with devolution ?
-19 yrs of tory rule who they hadn't voted for - thatcher era
-generally voted labour
- Poll tax - thatcher tested on Scots 1yr before England
in what ways was devolution in 1998 not successful?
- Scottish independence referendum 2014
- limited powers to both bodies (only have devolved powers)
- wales had different settlement to Scotland
- UK law remains supreme
what problems did devolution create?
potentially further devolution
slows down decision making
increased costs and bureaucracy
give examples of further devolution
2011 Wales - primary legislative powers
2014 - scottish independence referendum
what was the Fixed Term Parliaments Act 2011?
- elections happen every 5 years on a fixed date
- unless 2/3 MPs vote for one
in what ways was Fixed Term Parliaments Act 2011 successful?
- prevented elections being called based on popularity - fairer, more democratic
- reduces power of govt, particularly PM
in what ways was Fixed Term Parliaments Act 2011 not successful?
- didn't prevent snap election in 2017
- 5 years is actually quite long - shorter terms would have provided more accountability
- govt saving popular policies until the end to gain popularity
What was the Human Rights Act 1998?
- codified fundemental rights for everyone in the UK
- comes from ECHR
in what ways was the Human Rights Act successful?
- protected rights better e.g. right to life, not be tortured, guarantee of fair trial etc...
- limits power of govt. , can no longer just ignore rights
- more power for judges who now have one document to interpret
in what ways was the Human Rights Act not successful?
- not well enough protected as no parliament is binding on any other
- potentially prioritises the rights of the few over the rights of the many
- far more challenges to govt. - rights based culture - people are far more willing to challenge + sue people
What was the Constitutional reform Act 2005?
- reduced power of Lord Chancellor
- created UK supreme court - opens 1 oct 2009
- set up the Judicial appointments committe (JAC) - independent body to appoint judges
How was the Constitutional reform Act 2005 successful?
- reduced role of Lord Chancellor - used to be in all 3 branches of govt.
- limits the executive/legislature branch of govt. by holding them accountable
-limits power of PM who can no longer have a role appointing justices
give an example of judiciary holding govt to account?
How was the Constitutional reform Act 2005 unsuccessful?
- supreme court is not sovereign
- only limited ways in which it could have gone further
- unelected judges with far more power than they used to have
What was the electoral reform 2011?
-referendum to change electoral system in UK to AV voting instead of First Past the Post
What were the results of the 2011 AV referendum?
- 42% turnout
- 67%/33% NO vote
What are the problems of FPTP?
- governments are elected on a minority of the votes cast in a general election
- leads to a lot of wasted votes - those who vote green and UKIP
- leads to many people voting tactically
- some votes have more value than others
What is an example of a government winning with the minority of the votes and what is it called?
- 2005, Labour won with 35.2% of the vote
- tyranny of the minority