Change to a republic

Proposer
Floppy
State

Accepted

Vote Score

-1

Age

2062 days


@Floppy edited democracy.md - over 5 years ago

How can we improve the democratic process, and citizens' engagement with it?

Republicanism

The UK should become a republic, with an elected Head of State (President), and a written Constitution laying down the operations of government. This would allow the UK to become a truly democratic country.

We recommend the model proposed by Republic, which limits the power of the President to mainly a figurehead role.

Elections

Allow for full and proper recall of MPs: any e-petition to recall their MP supported by 20% of all registered constituency electors should trigger a local referendum (yes/no majority vote required) as to whether to hold a fresh bi-election.

Floppy

@Floppy - over 5 years ago

/me prepares for a flamewar :fire:

PaulJRobinson

@PaulJRobinson - over 5 years ago

Yes to a written constitution (could this be pulled out of this PR and detailed somewhere else) as I think this discussion will focus on the Head of State element of the PR?

The name of our Head of State doesn't concern me so much. But it might be worth considering that if you're going to have an elected Head of State, they could still be designated King or Queen if it helps ease the publics 'fear of change' - an elected Monarchy worked on the planet Naboo [ducks head from incoming projectiles]. Seriously though I don't see why an elected Head of State couldn't still be given the same title as we've been used to. Sometimes perception counts for a lot, particularly for a nation as tied to its history as we are, and I think this would be much more palatable to the public.

Having said that, I am very much in favour of an unelected Head of State. I think an elected Head of State would be hugely divisive (look at how partisan the USA has become as an example) and I like that the King/Queen is apolitical and entirely ceremonial. The monarch is someone to rally around, who can unify the nation during times of crisis (eg the Blitz) or around a celebration (eg the Jubilee). It's much easier to ignore the personality of the incumbent in a Monarchy. People like 'The Queen' rather than 'Elizabeth' the person. An elected Head of State would be all about the individual which is why they could be hugely divisive.

with kind regards, Paul Robinson

about.me/pauljrobinson

On 29 January 2014 09:26, James Smith [email protected] wrote:

/me prepares for a flamewar [image: :fire:]

Reply to this email directly or view it on GitHubhttps://github.com/openpolitics/manifesto/pull/85#issuecomment-33568261 .

Floppy

@Floppy - over 5 years ago

I see this as an essential democratic argument. I agree that having a purely ceremonial head of state without real power is fine (which is what Republic recommend), and I don't really care what it's called, but that office must derive from the people, not from birthright. The idea of being born into power is one of the things that's rotting democratic engagement in this country; it perpetuates the class system, and entrenches established power far beyond just the monarchy.

Floppy

@Floppy - over 5 years ago

Essentially, the model as laid out in detail at the end of the included link creates a ceremonial and apolitical office that replaces the Monarchy, but without really changing the balance of real power in the system.

PaulJRobinson

@PaulJRobinson - over 5 years ago

Yeah I've just been going through the whole Republic website which is very informative. I want to do some more reading up on it before thumbingup/down this PR. Would still like to separate out the Written Constitution aspect into another PR though as I think it's a different issue.

with kind regards, Paul Robinson

about.me/pauljrobinson

On 29 January 2014 11:22, James Smith [email protected] wrote:

Essentially, the model as laid out in detail at the end of the included link creates a ceremonial and apolitical office that replaces the Monarchy, but without really changing the balance of real power in the system.

Reply to this email directly or view it on GitHubhttps://github.com/openpolitics/manifesto/pull/85#issuecomment-33576151 .

Floppy

@Floppy - over 5 years ago

OK, let me pull that out into a separate PR. I imagine that one should go in without much controversy :)

PaulJRobinson

@PaulJRobinson - over 5 years ago

Hey my English isn't that bad!

with kind regards, Paul Robinson

about.me/pauljrobinson

On 29 January 2014 14:31, Sam Pikesley [email protected] wrote:

[image: typing]https://f.cloud.github.com/assets/885973/2030122/0b624632-88f2-11e3-9eb5-5c4107a8ebcc.png

Reply to this email directly or view it on GitHubhttps://github.com/openpolitics/manifesto/pull/85#issuecomment-33588873 .

frankieroberto

@frankieroberto - over 5 years ago

Why do you need a Head of State at all?

philipjohn

@philipjohn - over 5 years ago

That's what I've been thinking :) On 1 Feb 2014 09:45, "Frankie Roberto" [email protected] wrote:

Why do you need a Head of State at all?

Reply to this email directly or view it on GitHubhttps://github.com/openpolitics/manifesto/pull/85#issuecomment-33867641 .

PaulJRobinson

@PaulJRobinson - over 5 years ago

There are international ceremonial duties to perform where we need to send someone to represent the UK but it doesn't require anyone with political skill/power to negotiate on our behalf, or there may be more pressing matters at home requiring the PM's attention. International funerals; weddings; Olympic opening ceremonies; days of national festivity where a ceremonial Head of State is very useful. I like to think of the Head of State as like the village Mayor, but of the whole country. They are excellent when you need someone to cut a ribbon and open the local carnival, but don't want them to have any actual power. I'd much rather the PM focussed on matters of importance and doesn't have to worry about such things (because they would still need to be done, and without a Head of State only the PM would be able to fulfil that role).

with kind regards, Paul Robinson

about.me/pauljrobinson

On 1 February 2014 16:40, philipjohn [email protected] wrote:

That's what I've been thinking :)

On 1 Feb 2014 09:45, "Frankie Roberto" [email protected] wrote:

Why do you need a Head of State at all?

Reply to this email directly or view it on GitHub< https://github.com/openpolitics/manifesto/pull/85#issuecomment-33867641>

.

Reply to this email directly or view it on GitHubhttps://github.com/openpolitics/manifesto/pull/85#issuecomment-33876249 .

Floppy

@Floppy - over 5 years ago

This has also crossed my mind in the process of thinking about this. If there wasn't a President though, presumably the PM would be the de facto HoS. I think I'd rather there was a figurehead that was explicitly apolitical instead. Hmmm. Are there countries that do this differently?

PaulJRobinson

@PaulJRobinson - over 5 years ago

This is useful, and makes same points I did above http://www.republic.org.uk/blog/?p=1041

with kind regards, Paul Robinson

about.me/pauljrobinson

On 3 February 2014 13:43, James Smith [email protected] wrote:

This has also crossed my mind in the process of thinking about this. If there wasn't a President though, presumably the PM would be the de facto HoS. I think I'd rather there was a figurehead that was explicitly apolitical instead. Hmmm. Are there countries that do this differently?

Reply to this email directly or view it on GitHubhttps://github.com/openpolitics/manifesto/pull/85#issuecomment-33954889 .

Floppy

@Floppy - over 5 years ago

Yes, that blog post makes sensible points on why a Head of State is sometimes required I'm happier with that now. Any further thoughts on this from anyone?

Floppy

@Floppy - over 5 years ago

We have a couple of thumbs up, and none down, so technically I could merge this, but it's a big one, so I'll wait a little while longer I think. @PaulJRobinson, I know you have concerns on this - do you want to block, or shall we go ahead?

frankieroberto

@frankieroberto - over 5 years ago

I think the constitution should be removed from this PR and made separately.

It could also be made clearer that the elected head of state office holds no political power, and give some idea as to term length?

Floppy

@Floppy - over 5 years ago

Yep, now we've merged #95, I'll remove the constitution section from here, and add your suggestions too.

@Floppy edited democracy.md - over 5 years ago

The constitution will be created with broad participation from the citizenry, and approval and adoption shall be subject to a referendum.

Republicanism

The UK should become a republic, with an elected Head of State (President), and a written Constitution laying down the operations of government. This would allow the UK to become a truly democratic country.

We recommend the model proposed by Republic, which limits the power of the President to mainly a figurehead role.

Elections

Allow for full and proper recall of MPs: any e-petition to recall their MP supported by 20% of all registered constituency electors should trigger a local referendum (yes/no majority vote required) as to whether to hold a fresh bi-election.

@Floppy edited democracy.md - over 5 years ago

The constitution will be created with broad participation from the citizenry, and approval and adoption shall be subject to a referendum.

Republic

To become a truly democractic country, the UK should become a republic. The monarchy would be replaced with an elected President who will act as Head of State. We recommend the model proposed by Republic.

The President would be mainly a ceremonial position, and should be apolitical and not affiliated to any party. The Prime Minster would remain as Head of Government, and would be appointed by the President after a General Election, as is the case with the Queen now. The President will not be involved in the legislative process.

Presidential terms of office will be fixed at five years, with a maximum of two terms to be served by an individual.

The President will be subject to British law, unlike our current monarch, and will not be constitutionally linked to any faith.

Elections

Allow for full and proper recall of MPs: any e-petition to recall their MP supported by 20% of all registered constituency electors should trigger a local referendum (yes/no majority vote required) as to whether to hold a fresh bi-election.

Floppy

@Floppy - over 5 years ago

OK, I've updated this. Removed the unnecessary constitution bit, and added a bit more info on ceremonial status of position, independence from government, and term limits. Votes?

PaulJRobinson

@PaulJRobinson - over 5 years ago

If there was to be a republic, this is now getting closer to how I would like to see it done. Could we delete the 'subject to British law, unlike the current monarch'. Magna Carta is one of the oldest laws still on the statute books anywhere in the world, and stated for the first time that even the monarch is subject to the law. King John wasn't best pleased, but he did put his seal to it 800 years ago next year, gawd bless'im.

Floppy

@Floppy - over 5 years ago

Oh, that's a misunderstanding on my part. I thought they weren't. Changing.

PaulJRobinson

@PaulJRobinson - over 5 years ago

How do I register an abstention for a PR? ie I don't want to become a Republic, although I recognise that is the majority opinion here, and this PR represents the best outcome in that eventuality.

Floppy

@Floppy - over 5 years ago

It's a good question; simply not voting will do it, but if you want to register an actual abstention for the record, perhaps we could use ?

PaulJRobinson

@PaulJRobinson - over 5 years ago

Content to be overuled on this occasion - I'm clearly in minority - but would like to put on record my ✋ vote

with kind regards, Paul Robinson

about.me/pauljrobinson

On 10 February 2014 10:33, James Smith [email protected] wrote:

It's a good question; simply not voting will do it, but if you want to register an actual abstention for the record, perhaps we could use ✋?

Reply to this email directly or view it on GitHubhttps://github.com/openpolitics/manifesto/pull/85#issuecomment-34617394 .

Floppy

@Floppy - over 5 years ago

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sovereignimmunity#UnitedKingdom is what I'm thinking of. Will rephrase and add a link.

PaulJRobinson

@PaulJRobinson - over 5 years ago

WTACTUALF!!!! This is nuts! I stand corrected, as this seem to be completely against the principle of equality before the law as enshrined in Magna Carta. Changing my vote to 👍

with kind regards, Paul Robinson

about.me/pauljrobinson

On 10 February 2014 10:36, James Smith [email protected] wrote:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sovereignimmunity#UnitedKingdom is what I'm thinking of. Will rephrase and add a link.

Reply to this email directly or view it on GitHubhttps://github.com/openpolitics/manifesto/pull/85#issuecomment-34617572 .

PaulJRobinson

@PaulJRobinson - over 5 years ago

Stupid bloody Magna Carta. Won't be celebrating your 800th birthday next year after all.

with kind regards, Paul Robinson

about.me/pauljrobinson

On 10 February 2014 10:39, Paul Robinson [email protected]:

WTACTUALF!!!! This is nuts! I stand corrected, as this seem to be completely against the principle of equality before the law as enshrined in Magna Carta. Changing my vote to 👍

with kind regards, Paul Robinson

about.me/pauljrobinson

On 10 February 2014 10:36, James Smith [email protected] wrote:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sovereignimmunity#UnitedKingdom is what I'm thinking of. Will rephrase and add a link.

Reply to this email directly or view it on GitHubhttps://github.com/openpolitics/manifesto/pull/85#issuecomment-34617572 .

Floppy

@Floppy - over 5 years ago

:laughing:

@Floppy edited democracy.md - over 5 years ago

The constitution will be created with broad participation from the citizenry, and approval and adoption shall be subject to a referendum.

Republic

To become a truly democractic country, the UK should become a republic. The monarchy would be replaced with an elected President who will act as Head of State. We recommend the model proposed by Republic.

The President would be mainly a ceremonial position, and should be apolitical and not affiliated to any party. The Prime Minster would remain as Head of Government, and would be appointed by the President after a General Election, as is the case with the Queen now. The President will not be involved in the legislative process.

Presidential terms of office will be fixed at five years, with a maximum of two terms to be served by an individual.

The President will be subject to British law, unlike our current monarch, and will not be constitutionally linked to any faith.

Elections

Allow for full and proper recall of MPs: any e-petition to recall their MP supported by 20% of all registered constituency electors should trigger a local referendum (yes/no majority vote required) as to whether to hold a fresh bi-election.

@Floppy edited democracy.md - over 5 years ago

The constitution will be created with broad participation from the citizenry, and approval and adoption shall be subject to a referendum.

Republic

To become a truly democractic country, the UK should become a republic. The monarchy would be replaced with an elected President who will act as Head of State. We recommend the model proposed by Republic.

The President would be mainly a ceremonial position, and should be apolitical and not affiliated to any party. The Prime Minster would remain as Head of Government, and would be appointed by the President after a General Election, as is the case with the Queen now. The President will not be involved in the legislative process.

Presidential terms of office will be fixed at five years, with a maximum of two terms to be served by an individual.

The President will be equal before the law, and will not be protected by (Soverign Immunity)[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sovereignimmunity#UnitedKingdom]. The President and will not be constitutionally linked to any faith.

Elections

Allow for full and proper recall of MPs: any e-petition to recall their MP supported by 20% of all registered constituency electors should trigger a local referendum (yes/no majority vote required) as to whether to hold a fresh bi-election.

Floppy

@Floppy - over 5 years ago

Added a link to soverign immunity, but I think this can be considered as passed. Yay!

PaulJRobinson

@PaulJRobinson - over 5 years ago

NUTS I TELL YOU. THIS WORLD WE LIVE IN IS FULL OF NUTS. I KNOW NOTHING ANYMORE

with kind regards, Paul Robinson

about.me/pauljrobinson

On 10 February 2014 10:51, James Smith [email protected] wrote:

Added a link to soverign immunity, but I think this can be considered as passed. Yay!

Reply to this email directly or view it on GitHubhttps://github.com/openpolitics/manifesto/pull/85#issuecomment-34618761 .