UK Constitutional Law & Party Manifestos

Anthropology, Economics, History, Sociology etc.

Moderators: Calilasseia, ADParker

UK Constitutional Law & Party Manifestos

#1  Postby mark1961 » Dec 12, 2010 8:58 am

Boring title for something so exciting. We Brits are now indulging in some of the most serious political rioting for more than 20 years. If you don't count the Globalization protests which don't apply exclusively to things British. I've taken the liberty of posting this here rather than in the more political sections since this I think is a matter of law rather than politics. There is no legal section here so I've put it in one of the adjacent slots so to speak.

Anyhow:

Given that Party Manifestos are required by law to be published before elections to what extent are politicians who are subsequently put into government have to adhere to them?

Maybe it's that I now hate the Liberal Democrats even more than the Conservatives now but well I think they've screwed the pooch on two counts manifesto wise and so rendered the present government illegitimate. On constitutional grounds.

Firstly on student tuition fees which they promised repeatedly both in writing in their manifesto, doubtless in other venues and far and wide verbally.

Secondly in not insisting on the type of electoral reform which again they repeatedly espoused in both written form (and in their manifesto if I'm not mistaken, correct me if I'm wrong) and verbally.

I've heard it said and it is indeed true that the first issue is moot since now all the main political parties now support tuition fees in some form. However the LibDems before coming into power did say that they'd abolish. Therefore the point still stands. They did what they implied they never would do.

My point is this:
What is the point in voting if a party manifesto can't even be taken as a statement of intent. Does this state of affairs if it is actually lawful render Democracy as practised in the UK meaningless.
User avatar
mark1961
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 957
Age: 59
Male

United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: UK Constitutional Law & Party Manifestos

#2  Postby chairman bill » Dec 12, 2010 9:24 am

We don't have a proper democracy in the UK. That is the problem.

Vis a vis the issue of the manifesto, I think we should distinguish between those things contained therein which a party fails to implement, and those things which it promises but then acts in diametric opposition to. I can excuse the occasional issue of not getting around to something, but with the LibDems & tuition fees, the promise/pledge was made, and we now discover that Clegg et al had already decided they wanted to scrap the pledge at the same time as they made it. Truly duplicitous.

Also of concern, and this applies to all the parties at the last election - the things not addressed in the manifestos. Labour were proposing to continue with Darlings move to deal with the deficit, and the Tories to cut more quickly. But no party was clear about the true nature of cuts they intended to implement. The Tories are now implementing things that had they been upfront about, would have ensured they never got into power. They of course are now using the deficit as a smokescreen for idealogical cuts in the public sector, strikes against the poor, the disabled & the dispossessed. Wholesale moves to hand as much as possible to the private sector are further things not mentioned in their manifesto, but which are true to form. Again, no one, not even Tory voters, voted for what they are doing now. And it's not as if they are simply responding to unforseen events - again, these are idealogical moves, planned from the outset. I can remember nothing quite so brazenly partisan & idealogical, and unmentioned in a manifesto, since Thatcher came to power.
“There is a rumour going around that I have found God. I think this is unlikely because I have enough difficulty finding my keys, and there is empirical evidence that they exist.” Terry Pratchett
User avatar
chairman bill
RS Donator
 
Posts: 28319
Male

Country: UK: fucked since 2010
United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: UK Constitutional Law & Party Manifestos

#3  Postby mark1961 » Dec 12, 2010 9:40 am

Yeah that's all well and good but I was hoping for opinions on my precise point. About the possibility that the present UK government is illegitimate.
User avatar
mark1961
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 957
Age: 59
Male

United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: UK Constitutional Law & Party Manifestos

#4  Postby chairman bill » Dec 12, 2010 9:52 am

My point was that failing to achieve stated 'intent' isn't the issue. The big, big problem is hiding your true intent, either by not mentioning it, or by promising something completely different, whilst alway intending to do different.

So far as I'm aware, party manifestos have no legal standing. As to the legitimacy of the current government - nobody actually voted for a coalition. And before someone gets up on their hind legs to announce that in grown up politics, in coalition governments, compromise is essential, and that the British people knew all along that a coalition was possible, the simple, actual, indisputable fact is that nobody voted for the coalition manifesto. So yes, I question the legitimacy of the government. If you are going to offer a coalition manifesto, return to the people on that basis (a second election), or set out your intention to seek coalition in event of a hung parliament beforehand, and be clear about which other party you will support & work with. My MP put himself & the LibDems forward as an alternative to the Tories. That proved to be a case of misrepresentation.
“There is a rumour going around that I have found God. I think this is unlikely because I have enough difficulty finding my keys, and there is empirical evidence that they exist.” Terry Pratchett
User avatar
chairman bill
RS Donator
 
Posts: 28319
Male

Country: UK: fucked since 2010
United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: UK Constitutional Law & Party Manifestos

#5  Postby mark1961 » Dec 12, 2010 10:08 am

AFAIK manifestos themselves are a legal requirement and must be published before elections. That they may be ignored subsequently you are saying is lawful I take it. Therefore if we are both right sadly the present government is legitimate. Oh well.

I now see voting and/or participating in any way in political activities in the UK as pointless.

Anybody else care to comment?
User avatar
mark1961
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 957
Age: 59
Male

United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: UK Constitutional Law & Party Manifestos

#6  Postby mark1961 » Dec 12, 2010 6:06 pm

One last hope and idea. I'll try to research a definitive answer.

I've sent a letter to my MP-a Conservative about this. What he says in reply (if he chooses to) will affect me in one of two ways. If there is doubt as to the legitimacy of the government I will take further interest in UK politics. If we do have a lawful government I'll eschew as much as possible any thought about what most people think of as politics henceforth.

The phrase "I've had it up to here" does spring to mind but I live in hope. No reply will provoke me to further researching on my own part in confirming my previously stated suspicions.

I'm quite happy to follow the laws of my land it's just that I now fear voting is pointless and will not do so in future.
User avatar
mark1961
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 957
Age: 59
Male

United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: UK Constitutional Law & Party Manifestos

#7  Postby Steve » Dec 12, 2010 6:34 pm

mark1961 wrote:
I'm quite happy to follow the laws of my land it's just that I now fear voting is pointless and will not do so in future.

Voting is still the only way a politician gets elected and this is not optional so voting should not be optional.

Try again.
As your desire is, so is your will.
As your will is, so is your deed.
As your deed is, so is your destiny
Blue Mountain Center of Meditation
User avatar
Steve
RS Donator
 
Posts: 6908
Age: 66
Male

New Zealand (nz)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: UK Constitutional Law & Party Manifestos

#8  Postby mark1961 » Dec 12, 2010 7:15 pm

Steve wrote:
mark1961 wrote:
I'm quite happy to follow the laws of my land it's just that I now fear voting is pointless and will not do so in future.

Voting is still the only way a politician gets elected and this is not optional so voting should not be optional.

Try again.


If it were illegal not to vote then I'd vote or do the minimum possible like follow a legal requirement to turn up at a polling station and not enter a vote in some way. If I were required to actually vote then I'd pick a candidate at random. Truly random. I'd take a dice with me into the polling booth. Play on behalf of each candidate in a knockout competition and the winner gets my vote.

Until my original question is answered I refuse to participate in any legal way I can. Or if legislation were passed that political parties if elected have to follow their manifestos or hold referenda. That condition would satisfy me. Until then as I said before I ain't playin' any more. I'm takin' me ball home with me. That's it I'm finished with em'. My political sensibilities are now dead, bereft of life they cease to be. For the reasons I stated Democracy in my country isn't democratic and therefore if it is lawful I refuse to participate on principle.

If it is determined by me that the present government is legitimate. If it were illegitimate however technically trivial I'd be happy and continue to be well er, political.

There really should be a Monty Python smilie. Don't you think?

Anyway joking aside I am serious. This is a sea change for me. I until this weekend used to be quite left wing about things. You're seeing a person's belief system altering before your very eyes. Honest.
Last edited by mark1961 on Dec 12, 2010 7:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
mark1961
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 957
Age: 59
Male

United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: UK Constitutional Law & Party Manifestos

#9  Postby Aca » Dec 12, 2010 7:22 pm

What happens if a series of events forces a government to act upon issues that were not mentioned in the manifesto but they have to be dealt with?

I don't think that anyone can predict, with absolute certainty, everything that might need legislating/acting upon. Having to take the issue to a referendum is a cumbersome solution....
on an island marooned in the Middle Ages
User avatar
Aca
 
Posts: 3454
Age: 45
Male

Country: Malta
Malta (mt)
Print view this post

Re: UK Constitutional Law & Party Manifestos

#10  Postby mark1961 » Dec 12, 2010 7:24 pm

I'm not sure about things not mentioned in a manifesto. Or indeed what must be included in such a document. These questions I await answers to or are seeking for. Good point btw. I didn't actually think of that one-how comprehensive a manifesto must be in order to qualify as being such. Or indeed if a manifesto is actually a requirement for a participating political party. It may just be traditional for all I know. I have assumed so far that it is a legal requirement.

Although I'd understand immediate action independent and/or contradictory of a manifesto taken as an emergency measure if something really unexpected cropped up. Like say for instance responses to the financial crisis of recent years.

Otherwise I'm sure most big decisions can wait for a referendum. If they aren't covered or contradict policy as laid out in the manifesto.
User avatar
mark1961
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 957
Age: 59
Male

United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post


Return to Social Sciences & Humanities

Who is online

Users viewing this topic: No registered users and 1 guest