Guido Fawkes - Private Members' Bill

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by EScotia, Jun 5, 2012.

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  1. Douglas Carswell MP is a winner in the Private Members’ Bill ballot and has decided to crowd-source his Bill. Guido has set up a poll allowing readers to choose from five ideas what you would like to see debated. As a result of this exercise in direct democracy, Carswell will prepare a formal Bill with the table office, and present the winner to Parliament. Below are five ideas to choose from, use the voting form below to vote ...

    Open Source a Private Members’ Bill - Guy Fawkes' blog
  2. Thanks for that. Just voted for the Bloggers Freedom Bill!
  3. I just voted for..... shant tell!
  4. Voted for the first one. Would have liked to vote for repealing the European Communities Bill, but that wouldnt get anywhere. Reforming libel laws is popular, and its not the sort of thing the government can derail without looking like knobs.
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  5. Not overly impressed - didn't understand No5 and it looks as if the bloggers just want a 48 hour window in which to have a free run at making false allegations against people without being sued.

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  6. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    The comments are good, I didnt feel that I could vote for just one, after all there are some corkers in there!
  7. There is a bag hung up behind the Speaker's chair where members can deposit their Private Member's Bill. This constitutes their 'first readings' and none ever get a second reading. Interesting but pointless. People will realise the futility of a mere MP presenting a Bill to the House.
  8. Carswell's is a ballot bill - which means that it could actually get a day's debate - although he's last on the list so probably won't. You are describing Presentation bills (there are also "Ten Minute Rule" bills which get the appropriate debate and are, at best, a way of getting the govt to include something official in the next session.)

    The "Debt Relief (Developing Countries) Act 2010" (sponsor Andrew Gwynne MP) and the "Mortgage Repossessions (Protection of Tenants Etc.) Act 2010" (sponsor Dr Brian Iddon MP) are examples of recent ballot bills that became law. The "Holocaust (Return of Cultural Objects) Act 2009" (sponsor Andrew Dismore MP) was a presentation bill that became law.
  9. PMBs do not routinely become law without being adopted or at least endorsed by the sitting Government. All of Carswell's bills are fairly hot topics (some are already being done - draft libel bill is already before Parliament) so unlikely to secure endorsement.
  10. I voted No4,,,,,,Europe yuck........
  11. I'm in entire agreement with you on that. However, that doesn't stop your previous post from being exaggerated in the bits where it wasn't merely inaccurate.

    Ballot bills do not just get stuffed in a bag behind the Speaker's chair - nor do 10 minute bills. And, routinely, anywhere between a slack handfull and a dozen Private Members Bills are passed each session (22 in 96/97!) - so many of them do indeed get not just second readings but further than that through the process.

    There are lots of ways to get the government's attention to a bill - a bit of tabloid-led fury behind a private member's bill is often enough.

    Although the recent examples aren't earthshattering - the "getting married in silly places" Brandreth bill being another example - decriminalising abortion and poovery, and repeal of the death penalty, were all private member's bill.
  12. It was not inaccurate or exagerated. The executive controls the Parliamentary timetable with the notable exception of the composition of the backbench business committee which was set up by the previous government to ensure a modicum of Parliamentary time was spent discussing the proceeds of secure Parliamentary petitions. However after forcing a debate on the EU said committee is duly being castrated to ensure that its composition reflects the composition of the House and that the whips are able to control the candidates list.

    Without time to discuss a Bill it will not get anywhere and since the executive controls the timetable and often the outcome of votes through the whips this means no bill is ordinarily passed without government approval.

    To this end any Private Member's Bill which does succeed tends to touch on uncontroversial topics that either matter not a jot or do not effect the legislative or financial programme of a sitting government. Carswell's forthcoming Bill being the product of a ballot I was not aware of, however this only ensures that it gets a second reading.

    Unless a PMB is frivolous, inexpensive or otherwise not threatening to government interests it will not get anywhere. A bill for the repeal of the European Communities Act will suffer a mort subite, as will many of Carswell's other proposals.

    The 96/97 session is unusual because Major had a de facto majority of one and often relied on Unionist support to secure legislative, financial and confidence votes. To this end PMBs from people the executive had to keep sweet were more sympathetically greeted because to do otherwise might poison the well.
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  13. More political smoke and mirrors to make it look like we have some say in how they run our country.
  14. You were pontificating without being aware of the difference between ballot, 10-minute rule and presentation private members bills? You were inaccurate - Carswell's bill is not merely going to be stuffed in a bag behind the Speaker's chair.

    You were exaggerating - few PMBs get second readings, not none.

    And you are still wrong - the ballot does not ensure a second reading. It doesn't even ensure a debate. 7 days are set aside so, usually, the first 7 get a debate. Carswell is 20 out of 20.