View Full Version : the problem is..

6th Apr 2004, 18:50
Another thread debates the USA. It's got round to politics as usual. Not America bashing but Americans would be justified in complaining that only their political system is being dissected in this way.

The aim of this thread, my friends, is to identify with precision and rapier-like wit the core problems of each country's political framework. Also, no politician bashing. We already know who you would [email protected] in front of.

I'll kick off:

No written constitution. Gives PM enormous power. Not enought transparency in government.

Less transparency in government than the UK. Judiciary over-politicised.

Everywhere: too many career politicians. The system is becoming too closed.

6th Apr 2004, 18:58
The problem with the French (and the 5th Republic) is that the politicians don't lose their heads when things go awry...unlike their predecessors. SSSSccccchhhhhhhong...plonk!

6th Apr 2004, 19:04

No oath of Allegiance.

A prime Minister who wants us to be part of Europe, without giving us the "good bits" (eg Alcohol and tobacco tax levels).

A judicial/prison system that isn't working.


Send Clowns
6th Apr 2004, 19:07
No written constitution. Gives PM enormous power. Not enought transparency in governmentNot true. There is much written constitution, from the Magna Carta through to the Bill of Rights and many more, just not a single document. Not all is being upheld. The constitution has tremendous advantages, unfortunately someone elected a PM that does not respect its conventions and thinks that a majority in parliament suggests his policies have majority support, so he can change the constitution by his own will without even a vote in parliament. So many MPs are such modernist twits who can't see the value of honour and of the systems that have worked for centuries, that they support anything for the party, so have not yet stopped him. Why do people vote for these fools?

Many countries: proportional representation. Allows complete power to the political classes, as they decide on list priorities and the resolution of hung parliaments that are almost guaranteed by the system. It is very hard to remove an individual representative from the legislature or a party from office.

tony draper
6th Apr 2004, 19:21
I venture to suggest that no PM in this country will ever respect the conventions of any written constitution or bill of rights if they can get away with it,and never will unless he/she is forced to do so, its in the nature of the beast.

6th Apr 2004, 19:29
They might if the hangman was still waiting patiently. And prosecutors were paid by the head. Instead of which all our disgraced politicians go onto earning huge sums on the lecture circuit or else working for multi-nationals who for some reason bear no grudges...

6th Apr 2004, 19:33

I actually agree with part of your post! (don't worry, it won't last).

But of course I'll start with the part that I don't agree with. In all other countries, there is a codified 'basic law' or constitution that is deliberately difficult to change and regulates the relations of the various parts of government to each other. Not so in UK: precedent, prerogative and parliamentary will are the only elements.

Proportional representation does not necessarily mean party lists. Some countries run effective representative democracies with them. I happen to think that the UK could do with a proportional element in the system.

But yes, you point out some strong drawbacks. In France, at least until recently, there were no ethnic minority deputies from metropolitan France. I'm sure the party system had a great deal to do with this. They don't have PR for the National Assembly any more but they still have it for regional government, which is where political careers start. (my source) (http://www.assemblee-nat.fr/juniors/elections.asp)

And PR can lead to political stasis, as in Belgium.


In the nature of the beast. It is the nature of a beast called a constitution that it is difficult for a PM or President to ignore it. However, in the USA, it does seem to be crumbling at the edges...

Mostly Harmless
6th Apr 2004, 21:43
Us! I just canít for the life of me believe whom we keep voting into office.

6th Apr 2004, 21:59
One's old politics master:

Why on earth would we want something as simple as a written constitution dear boy!? A mature and sophisticated country has a mature and sophisticated relationship with its constitutional affairs.

My one-liner:

UK: 5 year parlimentary terms mean that no government will ever attempt anything bold, because the fruits of its labours will only appear after the next election, by which time the opposition may well be in power and they'll take all the credit.....and as a result we get stasis, tinkering and the same old problems, generation after generation....

6th Apr 2004, 22:12
I hope you realise the two statements are contradictory.

7th Apr 2004, 01:15
Over governed. There is a need to cut out one layer of politicians - suggest at state level. Let the leaders of the local councils be the representative in Canberra - at least they know what's going on in their own locale.

7th Apr 2004, 12:27
UK - Non-English MPs being allowed to vote for or against legislation pertaining to England but not vica versa.

Buster Hyman
7th Apr 2004, 12:44
Voting should be compulsory, as in Oz. Apathy is not, then, a factor.