Move Parliament out of the Palace of Westminster

Proposer
Floppy
State

Rejected

Vote Score

-998

Age

2206 days


@Floppy edited manifesto/democracy.md - about 6 years ago

Given each EU member country has the right to select the electoral system they use to elect their own MEPs, the Open Party List sytem (using the 'most-open' method) will also be used for elections to the European Parliament.

Location of UK Parliament

The Palace of Westminster is in need of urgent repair, but is also unsuited for the open and transparent operation of a modern democracy. We propose to permanently move the UK Parliament to a new, custom-built facility, somewhere close to the population centre of the country, such as Birmingham, Manchester or Sheffield. The Palace of Westminster would be maintained as part of the Westminster UNESCO World Heritage Site, perhaps as a museum.

Transparency

Require all MPs to retrospectively publish their diaries on a daily basis as open data.

philipjohn

@philipjohn - about 6 years ago

Hell yes 👍

tmtmtmtm

@tmtmtmtm - about 6 years ago

This one needs much more expansion, in terms of (a) why it should move at all, rather than simply repairing Westminster. In what way is Westminster "unsuited for the open and transparent operation of a modern democracy"? (b) why it should move out of London, and what the wider implications are of so doing (e.g. is the goal to create multiple capital cities, à la South Africa, or would other centres of government also move?); and (c) what the criteria for the new location should be.

tmtmtmtm

@tmtmtmtm - about 6 years ago

It's also worth looking at other countries who have moved their Parliament. The most recent one I know of is Georgia — who are now, only a few years later, looking at moving it back to Tbilisi again. It's a heavily politicised issue there, but there are undoubtedly useful lessons to be learned from it.

PaulJRobinson

@PaulJRobinson - almost 6 years ago

I'm certainly in favour of a new building. But it's not just Parliament that is in Westminster. It's also the heart of Government. All the various ministries would need moving out of Whitehall as well - thousands of civil servants would need relocation compensation or redundancy. It would be a huge undertaking. The current repair project is likely to see Parliament relocated for 5 years, but I suspect it will be somewhere near Whitehall for the reason I set out above. 👎

philipjohn

@philipjohn - almost 6 years ago

All the various ministries would need moving out of Whitehall as well.

Yeah, and? ;)

Floppy

@Floppy - almost 6 years ago

Perhaps I can split this up into a "new building" proposal and a "up north" proposal.

@Floppy edited manifesto/democracy.md - about 6 years ago

Given each EU member country has the right to select the electoral system they use to elect their own MEPs, the Open Party List sytem (using the 'most-open' method) will also be used for elections to the European Parliament.

Location of UK Parliament

The Palace of Westminster is in need of urgent repair, but is also unsuited for the open and transparent operation of a modern democracy[^4]. Privilege, exclusion and confrontation are built into the very architecture. We propose to permanently move the UK Parliament to a new, custom-built facility, designed to make policymaking accessible to citizens. The Palace of Westminster would be maintained as part of the Westminster UNESCO World Heritage Site, perhaps as a museum.

Transparency

Require all MPs to retrospectively publish their diaries on a daily basis as open data. [^1]: Do we need a written constitution? - The Constitution Society [^2]: Campaign against royal secrecy [^3]: Rebooting Democracy: A Citizen's Guide to Reinventing Politics - Manuel Arriaga

Floppy

@Floppy - almost 6 years ago

I've tried to address the questions and concerns here. This no longer states where the new facility should be, just that one is required.

Floppy

@Floppy - almost 6 years ago

Although, in response to @PaulJRobinson, much of the work of government is already spread around the country - it's by no means all in Westminster.

Floppy

@Floppy - almost 6 years ago

@frabcus you were in favour of this before I wrote the actual proposal - fancy adding your vote here?

frabcus

@frabcus - almost 6 years ago

This is OK, and I've voted for it, but it is a bit dull now!

I agree that moving to, say, Manchester raises questions about central departments. I'd argue we should split Parliament from the administration. That then raises practical questions on how to do that in practice (ones that inevitably lead to thoughts of a presidential system, which nobody really wants or needs).

So needs much more thought on how exactly it would work.

Floppy

@Floppy - almost 6 years ago

Yep, there are lots more questions to follow on from this one. Thanks for the vote! Now we just need @PaulJRobinson to agree to the simpler version, and we can move on.