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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
allanc Lyr Add: England My England (310* d) RE: England My England 09 Nov 09


"make up of House of Commons"

There have been several posts in this thread suggesting that Scots are controlling the voting in the House of Commons. Of course it is for the most part complete nonsense. At the last election Labour came out with an overall majority of 66 seats in the UK as a whole. The total number of Scottish MPs was 59 and because of the skewed system Scotland did send a Labour majority of 23 to Westminster. In fact by number of seats Labour had a bigger majority in seats from England (ie 43) than it had in its 23 majority within Scotland. The idea that 23 Scottish MPs can control the voting is silly.

The problem is not Scotland v England. Rather it is Labour's half finished constitutional changes and their willingness to abuse the democratic process and of course probably the Tories would have acted no differently. The myth is that Scottish MPs can vote on English only matters and not the other way round. Actually it is false. Scottish MPs can vote on English only matters it is true. It is unfair but at least for the most part it is only a theoretical democratic deficit. I think there have only been a couple of cases where it actually made any difference and it probably only made the difference because Scottish opposition MPS like the SNP members refused to vote on matters that didn't concern them. At the same time the Labour administration in Edinburgh (supported by the Lib Dems) used the Sewell Motion over 60 times. This meant they bypassed the Holyrood parliament by passing on what should have been devolved legislation back to Westmisnter. Hence all Westminster MPs got a vote on these measures when none of them (whether they be English or Scots) had any democratic mandate to do so.

It is wrong that Scots MPs should vote, and of course may be forced to vote by the party whips, on measures that don't concern them. Even though sometimes it is quite difficult to say what does and what doesn't concern them as any matter concerning overall government funding directly affects overall funding in Scotland. Scotland suffered a massive democratic deficit and it took a massive campaign to eventually sort it out. No doubt if there was a tiny majority and because of Scottish votes the English suffered a real democratic deficit rather than a theoretical one then the problem would be sorted pretty quickly as the vast bulk of MPs are English. There are various solutions with the UK structure. A full federal UK; an English Parliament; or when concerning English only matters an English Grand Commitee made up of only English based Westminster MPS. The last solution appears the easiest but it could theoretically make for static government in England. For instance of the govt didn't have a majority in England and couldn't get other party support to carry out legislation on English only matters - whilst having enough UK members to survive and vote of confidence at full UK level.


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