Monday, October 09, 2006

I wish the Brits would take a note from our Constitution

but I'm not holding my breath.

I took a look at the Telegraph and found this article, Law chief wants new constitution. To me, the most telling part is this:The United Kingdom was probably the only developed country in the world without a clear statement setting out the rights and responsibilities of the Government, Parliament and the judiciary, he said in an interview with The Daily Telegraph.

See anything missing there? Not a word about the rights of the people(Subjects of the Crown or Citazens or whatever), only 'the rights and responsibilities of the Government'. Which is why, barring a miracle, Britain is screwed.

He does point out a problem with no constitution:"At present, much of what we regard as our unwritten constitution consists of laws that can be changed by a simple Act of Parliament and conventions that may be open to dispute," he said. That's happened over and over. But how much better could it be if the big concern of the people writing a constitution is the 'rights and responsibilities of the Government'? They just write in that Parliament can change any rights of the people they bother to note, and that's that.

All's not lost, he does seem to have picked up on one of our problems:
When there was a dispute in court over whether ministers had exceeded their power, there was a "strong case for the British public knowing that the government is doing the right thing".

But he added: "We need to be wary of unwittingly transferring responsibility from democratically elected MPs to unelected judges."
It appears he's seen the crap we have with judges playing legislator, and would like to avoid that. Join the damn club. However, we also get this from another official:
Lord Falconer, the Lord Chancellor and Constitutional Affairs Secretary, came out firmly against the idea of a written constitution in Manchester last month, pointing out that it would allow judges to take decisions on matters best left to Parliament. And, of course, if you have an actual written constitution, you can't just do whatever the hell you want.

I'm not particularly religeous, but there are times I think about falling to my knees and thanking God for the wisdom and foresight of the people who wrote our Constitution. We've got real problems, no question; it would be so much worse if we were stuck with what the Brits are.

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