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Discuss the view that the constitutional reforms since 1997 have not been sufficiently extensive.

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Introduction

Discuss the view that the constitutional reforms since 1997 have not been sufficiently extensive A major issue and talking point within British politics has been constitutional reforms which are changes to a constitution of a nation or state which changes how a country is run. Examples of constitutional reform since 1997 are the devolution for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and the reform of fixed term parliaments. One of the arguments saying that the reforms since 1997 have been extensive is the Conservative perspective. The conservative perspective argues that the ancient constitution in other words the traditional constitution, symbolizes the collective wisdom of past generations and should be tempted with unnecessarily. The conservative perspective also states that the constitution is delicate and fragile which reformers can't understand so should leave it alone in order to prevent any damage. So from the conservative perspective the reforms under Labour have been extensive because they have changed tradition for example devolution in 1997 introduced localism ...read more.

Middle

This is seen as a big change to the UK constitution as it weakens the parliamentary sovereignty which is seen as a big change as parliamentary sovereignty is a big part of the constitution as A.V Dicey said it is the ,'cornerstone of the constitution'. Therefore the human rights act is seen as extensive due to it weakening parliamentary sovereignty. The reforms have been extensive due to them increasing the separation of powers in the UK. This was done by passing The Constitutional Reform Act 2005 which substantially separated the judicial branch from the executive. This is seen as an extensive change due to it creating a significant check on the executive's power as it could no longer manipulate the legal system as easily. Therefore is seen as an extensive reform. The planned reform by the Lib Dem-Conservative coalition to change the electoral system will be very extensive if it goes through. ...read more.

Conclusion

Therefore the reforms have not been extensive due to the ordinary people receiving no more power and the elites keeping the power. Another argument supporting the idea that the reforms have not been sufficiently extensive is the liberal perspective. The liberals argue that the package of constitutional reforms has been insufficiently radical; this is contrasted with the conservative perspective that the reforms are too extensive. An example of the liberal perspective is seen through electoral reform referendum. The liberals wanted proportional representation bringing a new type of politics to the UK. However they have only been promised a referendum on the alternate vote system which is not proportional and will only have a limited effect on the political system which the liberals feel is too feeble and not fundamental enough to change how politics is run. Therefore through the liberal critique we see how the reforms have not been extensive enough to sufficiently change the UK constitution. ...read more.

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