What Are The Strengths And Weaknesses Of The British Constitution?


1 Answers

Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Having browsed the web, this is what I have found: (NB, some points are repeated)

-In order to change the UK’s constitution all you need to do is pass an act of
parliament. This means the UK can adapt to changing circumstances. Is this always
a good thing?
-Because the House of Commons is elected (and supreme) we can see a continuous link to democratic principals since the electoral reforms of the 19th Century. This can be linked to a decrease in power of our unelected second chamber.
-Our electoral system and fusion of powers means that government is usually allowed to push through its manifesto promises. Does this imply a tyranny at the heart of British democracy?
-Conservatives believe that tradition is an important part of our constitution. Our institutions are ‘tested by time’. If it isn’t broke don’t fix it!
 Provides a coherent system of government
 Evolved over time, reflecting the values of the British People
 Parliamentary sovereignty ensures a clear centre of authority
 The rule of law protects the rights of citizens
 Government is responsible – it is accountable to parliament and the electorate
 Government is effective – it can implement their policy programmes
 The constitution is flexible and easily adapted

 Parliamentary sovereignty and a strong executive produces centralised government
 Local and sub-national governments are not constitutionally protected
 The rights of citizens are weak and not safeguarded effectively
 Pre-democratic elements survive e.g. The monarchy, House of Lords
 Changes to the constitution do not require special procedures e.g. A referendum is not required.
-With so many sources to our constitution it is sometimes difficult to know what the constitution says. This is especially true of the unwritten parts….. Such as?
- What do you think the term elective dictatorship means?
- Even though the Human Rights Act 1998 defends our rights, they can syill be disregarded by parliament-for example, terrorist legislation.
- Our constitution can be accused of being overly central. This is because:
› PM tends to dominate the cabinet
› The Commons dominates the Lords as the Lords can only delay legislation
› Government controls parliament through the Whips
› Central government controls local government

Answer Question