Fixed-term Parliaments Bill
HC 436, Second Report of Session 2010-11 - Report, Together with Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence
- House of Commons - Political and Constitutional Reform Committee
- TSO (The Stationery Office)
'Fixed-term Parliaments Bill - (HC 436)' is the second report of the 2010-11 session, from the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee, and examines the Fixed-term Parliaments Bill.
The principle behind the Fixed-term Parliaments Bill is that it is wrong for a Prime Minister to be able to time a general election to his own partisan advantage. Due to the speed of the Bill being expedited through Parliament, there has been no prior consultation on pre-legislation, which the Committee believes the issue deserves.
If the Bill is enacted, the Committee expects that future Parliaments will run for their full fixed-term, and that this will become an unremarkable aspect of our modern democracy.The proposed requirement for a super-majority in the House of Commons to vote for an early general election is novel for the United Kingdom, and the consequences of the provisions for confidence motions contained in the Bill are uncertain.
The report proposes two options that the House may wish to explore as possible ways of simplifying the provisions in the Bill for ending the fixed term prematurely:
(i) A super-majority might not be necessary if a Parliament following an early general election lasted for only as long as the remainder of the term of the previous Parliament.
(ii) A super-majority could be dispensed with if an early general election could be called only with cross-party agreement.
Dispensing with the super-majority could also arguably avoid the need for separate provision for an early general election where no government could be formed that commanded the confidence of the House. The Clerk of the House believes that the Bill as currently drafted could allow the courts to question aspects of the House's internal proceedings.
|Format||Paperback||Published||21 Sep 2010|
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