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Who's Blunkett? surely we have got rid of him?

Good luck to Oliver.The electoral commission might be useless but they are the only barrier that exists to prevent electoral fraud.Peter Riddell in the Times makes the point today that the Labour party are resisting attempts to curb fraud because they fear it would hurt their vote.Is there really no end to the corruption of this government?

Err, how about people in England being granted the same privileges as the Scots and voting for our own government, to our own English Parliament?

Article 3 of the Act of Union says 'That the United Kingdom of Great Britain be represented by one and the same Parliament, to be stiled the Parliament of Great Britain.' - so how did we end up with two?

Article 4 of the Act of Union states That all the subjects of the United Kingdom of Great Britain shall from and after the Union………have the same Rights Privileges and Advantages

The Conservatives pretend they are the Unionist Party, but that Union no longer exists, by default.

"Err, how about people in England being granted the same privileges as the Scots and voting for our own government, to our own English Parliament?"

An English Parliament? Fantastic idea. Add another lay of bureaucracy, spend hundreds of millions on an English Parliament building (how about another Millennium Dome?) and undermine (er if not eradicate) the purpose of Westminster...Sounds great.

Devolution has created this mess, I do sometimes wish Scotland and Wales could have either kept the status quo or demanded full independence. The overrepresentation of Wales and Scotland in Westminster should be reduced and Scottish/Welsh MPs should be barred from voting on matters solely affecting England and that are dealt with by devolved bodies in Scotland and Wales. I don’t know how any conservative however can advocate creating an additional unnecessary layer composed of an English Parliament or ghastly devolved bodies. It’s bad enough that we’ve got MEPs who most of us have never heard of with pay and perks unheard of among anybody outside the cancerous EU bureaucracy.

Hi Disillusioned,

Most people calling for an English parliament are not calling for a single additional layer, or a single additional building.

The most common proposal is to change the function of the HoC to be the English Parliament, then to make the HoL become the national legislature for uk issues like defence. Someone here proposed the new 'lords' would be elected for life, representing regions, and thus only be replaced on their death, freeing them from being skewed by the current government etc.

Simple, democratic and cheap, resulting in parliamentary balance being restored.

I support the proposals put forward by our party. The W. Lothian question - English votes for English laws is the simple solution.

The Institute Of Democracy and Human Rights (IODHR) based in Warsaw made a series of proposals for improving the British electoral system.

Why not implement their proposals?

click for URL link to Postal Voting piece on rightlinks


(I wish I knew how to make the link appear as a word like everyone else seems to do!)

Chad @ 16.04: "The most common proposal is to change the function of the HoC to be the English Parliament, then to make the HoL become the national legislature for uk issues like defence".
No, that would be dangerous with governments having large majorities like the current one. Although an attractive proposition (taking over the HoC for an English Parliament), you must have a revising chamber to monitor all proposed legislation.
However, the West Lothian question does seems very pertinent at the moment. Why not set aside certain days in the week for English matters only?

Disillusioned @ 1556...
An English Parliament? Fantastic idea. Add another lay of bureaucracy... "

OK -

(i) Withdraw from EU. That would abolish one layer
(ii) Single Tier local government. Another layer abolished.
(iii) No Regional Assemblies. Third layer gone.

The "Union" is no more than a romantic figment of imagination.

In recent days I have heard a number of prominent Scottish politicians and celebrities say that the people of Scotland have "no historical or moral obligation to support England".

So be it - but they cannot expect English taxpayers to continue to subsidise their economy and allow their continued over-representation until the West Lothian question is answered in full.

In the words of Chesterton: "we are the people of England; and we have not spoken yet."

I’m sympathetic to what you’re saying Andrew…But most Scots don’t want full independence and what about defence and foreign relations? England would be weakened militarily if Scotland was independent and we did not have a shared armed forces. And I don’t see how shared armed forces could exist with an independent Scotland, Scots are not going to tolerate Scottish troops being sent abroad to fight a war declared by England. What about US bases in Scotland? Britain’s international status would really decline if we fragmented…I don’t know tbh, I don’t think there are easy answers.

The way I'd run it:

1) Ballot papers are printed with a single nationally-unique serial number on each. Serials are random and scattered within in a large numberspace, so it's hard verging on impossible to guess a valid one correctly. Print it on as a bar code for efficient checking.

2) Ballot papers are randomly assorted, then mailed one per voter a month beforehand.

3) Put a cross in the box with a ballpoint pen, and either drop the paper in the box on the day, or mail it in beforehand, at your preference.

4) At most one vote per valid serial. No valid serial, no vote.

Someone here proposed the new 'lords' would be elected for life

No thanks - it is bad enough having superannuated barristers as judges for life - possibly the only life term that is served !

Labour claims that secure voting methods will reduce the numbers on the Electoral Roll and reduce turnout. Err yes, No doubt Messrs Michael Mouse and Donald Duck will find the voting process more onorous.

They also trumpet the fact that there were few prosecutions following the all postal votes fiasco of 2004. But they deliberately avoid the point.

There were few prosecutions because it was virtually impossible to prove any impropriety had occurred.

And, where it was possible to detect impropriety then it was still difficult to determine who was the culprit.

And if you knew damned well who the culprit was it was still virtually impossible to prove it to the standards needed by the courts.

And, even if you could do this the local Knackers were more than likely to turn around and say "p*** off your w*****s or I'll do you for wasting my time".

Signed for ballots are essential, NI numbers are highly desirable, and the little pot of ink to put your fingers in, which we insist on in Bosnia and the like would be pretty useful.

The present system is marginally corrupt, but corruption is like a bad apple in a barrel. If you beleive your opponents are going to the limits of honesty then you have the choice, do the same or lose. The ones who take the second course don't last long.

There is a lot of uncertainty about the effect an independent English Parliament would have on the stability of the Union, the economic and bureaucratic costs and it's viability as an effective legislature. I won't cover the views already expressed but there is considerable detailed explanation of the advantages -- both for England and the Union -- on the website of The Campaign for an English Parliament: thecep.org.uk. Their opinion poll findings are illuminating.

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