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Referendums in the United Kingdom
Referendums in the United Kingdom are occasionally held at a national, regional or local level. National referendums can be permitted by an Act of Parliament and regulated through the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, but they are by tradition extremely rare due to the principle of parliamentary sovereignty meaning that they cannot be constitutionally binding on either the Government or Parliament, although they usually have a persuasive political effect.

Agitate all they want for a "public vote", this exercise is morally vacant without the expressed consent of parliament to bind the government legally to the result of the "public vote."

references to legislation.gov.uk, AFFIRMED gy UK High Court recently by a number of lawsuits challenging the commission and execution of the 2016 Referendum to exit the EU.

Theoretically, enacting such legislation requires parliament to table and pass a specific bill enumerating the legal and political authorities of said "public vote", of which there are in UK law evidently NONE, to rule proceedings or capacities of parliament and government.

HYPOTHETICALLY, IF the prime minister were to exercise a prerogative to dissolve parliament thereby necessitating general election of members, the composition of the body --no matter how amenable to constituencies' demands for "public vote" to revers or alter prior legislation-- does not assure that this NEW! parliament would prevail on the High Court to vacate parliamentary sovereignty.

THEREFORE, parliament consultation of the opinion of the polity ("public vote") is not a political instrument to affect the form of UK government. It is a ritual cathexis, or a dramaturgy, to which the UK government periodically invites its captive audience participation in approval or disapproval of particular actors among its ranks.

Method of "persuasion" directed to the vote of each and every elected and hereditary "representative" of the polity affirming ONE solution to real and imagined annihilation of the nation must change before the institutions will change to lasting effect.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Feb 27th, 2019 at 08:17:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for this. Parliament is afraid of the political consequences of not honouring the Brexit referendum result and so would require a second referendum to provide cover for any decision to reverse Brexit. Equally, as the consequences of Brexit could well be dire, a second referendum would be a useful tool to off-load responsibility for those consequences on the people themselves. May's government currently resembles a game of musical chairs - no one wants to be left holding the Brexit when the music stops, and only May is tone deaf enough to carry on regardless.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Feb 27th, 2019 at 08:57:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
a second referendum would be a useful tool to off-load responsibility for those consequences on the people themselves.

The "people's vote" is politically impotent. That is what legislation.gov.uk guarantees.

That you or anyone else out there who is NOT an MP is unwilling or unable to understands that reminds me. You (pl.) are only responsible for seating and re-seating the MPs you trust to screw you left, right, and center.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Feb 27th, 2019 at 09:29:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You confuse legal with political effect...

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Feb 27th, 2019 at 09:48:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, I don't.
All laws are political acts.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 at 05:34:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But not all political acts are legal

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 at 11:01:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Illegala political acts are codified. These are enumerated crimes and are punishable to the full the extent proscribed by law --or law enforcement agents, such as "special prosecutors" and police officers.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 at 02:20:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No they can be neither legal nor illegal. They are POLITICAL!

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 at 06:04:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What is the meaning of "political" in your world, Frank?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Feb 28th, 2019 at 07:21:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
All this tells us is that the UK parliament are muppets who can't write referendum legislation properly.

You can do a binding referenda in a Westminster system quite easily: pass laws which both set up the referendum rules and what will happen if it passes or fails, and a forked commencement clause to bring the various bits into effect appropriately. NZ did this when we switched to MMP, with the Electoral Referendum Act 1993 and the commencement clause of the Electoral Act 1993, which is basicly a big "if... then" clause. We'll be doing a similar exercise next year over marijuana legalisation, euthanasia, and probably tweaking the MMP threshold.

Of course, parliament could then repeal or amend these laws if they change their mind, so they're no more "binding" than any other law in a westminster system with parliamentary sovereignty. But they're certainly no less "binding" either. And the political consequences of a parliament goign back on its word like that... well, they'd be very ugly in NZ.

by IdiotSavant on Fri Mar 1st, 2019 at 12:06:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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