Saturday, 6 June 2009

Parties Propose Constitutional Reform

In the wake of the MPs' Expenses scandal, the major political parties are vying with each other to propose far-reaching constitutional reforms.

Recall of MPs

"When stopped in the street by pollsters or journalists and asked about the misdeeds of their representatives, member of the public are frustrated by their inability to recall their MPs," said a spokesman for Labour, "we propose to address this by issuing photos to each household in every constituency entitled 'This is your MP' - we feel sure that voters will start to recall them with ease."

Reduce the Power of the PM

"Far too much power is concentrated in the hands of the Prime Minster," declared a representative of the Tory party," we propose to pass responsibility for a number of as yet unspecified major decisions from the PM to committees of MPs. This will boost the power of Parliament to hold the executive to account. The fact that each committee will be chaired by members of the PM's own party is neither here nor there."

Elected House of Lords

"The domination of the current House of Lords by political appointees is increasingly seen as unacceptable," declared a Lib Dem commentator, "Consensus is being reached that it should be replaced with a fully elected senate, ensuring that its members will be as independent of political patronage as their existing elected colleagues in the House of Commons.

Fixed Term Parliaments

"It is, of course, absurd that the date of a general election is decided by the Prime Minster so long as it is within 5 years of the previous one," said a Lib Dem MP, "we propose to introduce fixed-term parliaments of 5 years with the PM only being able to call an election before that time if they think it is really really important to do so."

Local Democracy

"Devolution of power is an important new strand in political thinking," asserted a Tory spokesman, "our proposals for local referendums on the colour of council wheelie bins and directly elected lollipop ladies are the way forward."

Electoral Reform

"While electoral reform hasn't been a big issue since 1997," said a Labour MP, "support for First Past the Post is likely to ebb somewhat and it is quite possible that electoral reform will shoot to the top of our agenda - probably just after we get trounced by the Tories in the next general election."

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