Brexit.

Kara Spengler

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It looks like Harriet Harman is going to stand for the position as Speaker. I think she would make an excellent choice. I don't think she'll be a pompous windbag or an arsehole :) The only downside to having her as Speaker is the loss of an honest, plain speaking MP.
Yes, that is always the problem when a good politician wants a bigger job. It also means they will no longer be in their current one.
 

Ashiri

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And here you got it wrong for me. A constitution provides the skeleton, the framework all other laws are build upon. So for providing the framework you don't need much nor complicated words nor fancy sentences. It can be kept quite lean and simple instead, the finer details then are part of a law.

This here for example is the constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany translated in English; this constitution was crafted with the possibiltiy in mind, that another right wing takeover of the state could happen quite soon like in the Weimar Republic, so it has features against such a thing in it.

It's clearly structured, and for example if you want to get the grasps on which human rights you've got just read Article 1 up to 19. If the UK had a consitution like the linked one, the prorogation would be impossible, because in that case only the parliament and its president decide upon when to held a debate, and when not. The government can't directly shut down parliament down like in the UK, it has not that power, which is clearly written in the constitution and federal law about how the parliament operates.
I think you are expecting a lot of the British Parliament, not to mention the government, to come up with such a constitution. ;)
Presumably there is a process for updating your constitution as I see some things that could not have been in the original.
You say "the finer details are then a part of law". So not unlike the situation elsewhere, where specialist legal advice may still be required.

Now, I do think a concise summary of the constitution of the UK would be a good thing.
 
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Bartholomew Gallacher

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Well other countries managed to give themself a codified consitution as well, so this is indeed doable. The main advantage of it compared to the UK model is that the underlying main principles are clear and part of one document, where in the UK already all ot that is scattered across so many different documents.

Or in other words: a codified constitution is more user friendly, transparent and maintainable, when done right, compared to a shoreless uncodified constitution.
 

Ashiri

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Or in other words: a codified constitution is more user friendly, transparent and maintainable, when done right, compared to a shoreless uncodified constitution.
Highlighted some important words. A codified constitution is of questionable use in some states I can think of. And the hopes were so high.
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Innula Zenovka

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The main advantage of it compared to the UK model is that the underlying main principles are clear and part of one document, where in the UK already all ot that is scattered across so many different documents.
The codified constitution is useful, or not, to the extent that it assists in resolving questions about the powers and duties of various branches of the state.

The problems we're having at the moment in the UK are caused by the applicability, or otherwise, of particular procedures in the highly unusual political circumstances in which we find ourselves.

The problem isn't that these procedures are particularly obscure -- there's no mystery about the Fixed Term Parliament Act, for example. The problem is that the government finds itself in a situation that hardly seemed possible back in 2011, when the Act was passed, and is trying to use it in circumstances no one would have dreamed of.

Similarly, it's no surprise to anyone that Parliament is prorogued -- suspended -- for much of September in most years. What's unusual is, again, the circumstances in which it is proroguing and the length of time for it's being prorogued.

The problem isn't that the provisions are obscure but that they're normally so mundane and automatic that no one ever stopped to think what would happen if some PM were to start to use them in the way Johnson has been doing.

Now I come to think of it, presumably Poland, Hungary, Italy and Turkey all have written constitutions, as, of course, does Ukraine (and I have in mind the problems going back before Russian military involvement).

They, however, haven't proved particularly effective in preventing the takeover of democratic systems by the authoritarian, populist right.

So it can't just be a question of having a written constitution.
 

Innula Zenovka

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Tigger

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The problem isn't that the provisions are obscure but that they're normally so mundane and automatic that no one ever stopped to think what would happen if some PM were to start to use them in the way Johnson has been doing.
In the software trade we call this "happy path thinking" you design rules for what people are expected to do. That's the easy bit. But for software to survive contact with the real world you have to find all the edge cases, all the deliberate ways people can screw with things and you have to figure out how to stop it. You don't generally catch them all but you cover a hell of a lot.
 

Innula Zenovka

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In the software trade we call this "happy path thinking" you design rules for what people are expected to do. That's the easy bit. But for software to survive contact with the real world you have to find all the edge cases, all the deliberate ways people can screw with things and you have to figure out how to stop it. You don't generally catch them all but you cover a hell of a lot.
Maybe -- just maybe -- we have a method of catching this particular edge case:



The Supreme Court will hear the Government's appeal over three days starting next Tuesday, but it seems -- although we're in uncharted waters here -- that Mr Speaker, and Lord Speaker in the Other Place, could, if they wished, recall Parliament.

ETA: The Scottish Court Services' website seems to be struggling, but here's a thread summarising the judgment:


ETA 2: And here's the summary judgment (full judgment expected Friday) that someone has posted on Google Docs.
 
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Innula Zenovka

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Trainwreck interview with Andrew Neil and Kwasi Kwarteng


Neil is himself, of course, politically a pretty right-wing Conservative, but he doesn't let that interfere with his doing his job asking Conservative politicians tough questions.
 
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