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"Constitutional reform had gone too far, or not far enough?" Discuss

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Introduction

?Constitutional reform has gone too far, or not far enough.? Discuss. (40 marks) Constitutional reform is a process whereby the fundamental nature of the system government (as well as the relationships between governing institutions) is changed, or where change is proposed. In the case of the UK this may also involve the process of codification. Such reforms have arguably been frequently present over recent years, with the introduction of numerous constitutional reforms since 1997-the Golden Date, some might argue. The UK currently has a Two-and-a-Half Party System, with the Liberal Democrats being the half. As such, there are of course many competing points of view, some of which differentiating due to a party?s position on the political spectrum. This essay will identify and explain the differences in opinion concerning whether or not constitutional reform has gone far enough. The Conservative party, made up of many traditionalists of Great Britain, very much believe that constitutional reform has gone too far. They believe that numerous sudden changes have occurred since 1997 under Labour, but there has not been a pause. Britain therefore needs to stop and see if the system is working, before any further/additional-and perhaps unnecessary-changes are made. ...read more.

Middle

constitution as it outlines the rights of the people, and in a sense, limits government power. A codified constitution could also allow human rights to become entrenched (the device which protects a constitution from short-term amendment). As human rights and liberties are at the heart of many Liberal Democrats, it is obvious why they wish to have a codified constitution, and are not at all content with the current uncodified constitution. This may be because the government has found ways to go around issues in the past, due to the uncodified constitution not distinctly outlining their power, roles and limitations. The Liberal Democrats also believe that a codified constitution could be more democratic, in the sense that popular sovereignty (sovereignty lies with the people, as is the case in America) could be integrated. The Liberal Democrats are also in favour of devolution, which fits in with the idea of federalism (the process by which two or more governments share powers over the same geographic area). During the 1990s and in the run up to the 1997 general election, the Liberal Democrats developed a joint policy with Labour, showing their commitment to devolution. ...read more.

Conclusion

This would of course be very beneficial to the Conservatives, but would be very damaging to Labour. Hence why Labour believe that Scottish Independence is a step too far. In conclusion, each of the three main parties have different opinions concerning the true extent of constitutional reform: with the Conservatives predominantly believing that it has gone too far, the Liberal Democrats believing that it has not gone far enough and Labour lying somewhere in between. However, under the coalition, the two members have compromised and have strayed slightly from their original views. The Conservatives, for example, have proposed to reform the House of Lords, which is arguably quite ?untraditional? of them. The Liberal Democrats have agreed to reduce the number of MPs in the Commons, even though there will be less scrutiny and they will lose out. The numerous differences in opinions and views over constitutional reform has sometimes allowed for some parties to spring up: the bid for Scottish Independence created the Scottish Nationalist Party and issues concerning the EU have created UKIP. It can be strongly argued that constitutional reform has not gone far enough, in the sense of improving democracy, as several aspects of the UK remain undemocratic, such as reducing the number of MPs in the Commons and not completely reforming the House of Lords. ...read more.

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