Archive for the ‘Constitutional Reform’ Category

Honduran Charter Cities Trample on Democracy   Leave a comment

I’ve written a blog for the Independent on the latest anti-democractic move from the global elite. This time, the Honduran government have decided that new cities cannot possibly be built without the suspension of democracy. You can read it here:

http://blogs.independent.co.uk/2012/01/16/honduran-charter-cities-trample-on-democracy/

Posted January 16, 2012 by suzydean in Constitutional Reform, Freedom

In agreeing to enfranchise UK prisoners, we forget that voting is more than a right   Leave a comment

This artcle was written in Feb 2011 for Open Democracy

A decision by the European Court of Human Rights on giving prisoners the vote in the UK is causing controversy. Following a case taken to the ECHR in 2004 by a prisoner, John Hirst, the government is being advised to enfranchise prisoners in time for the May elections or face substantial compensation payouts. Hirst had won his case by arguing that not being allowed to vote while in prison was a breach of his human rights.

The rest of this article can be found here: http://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/suzy-dean/in-agreeing-to-enfranchise-uk-prisoners-we-forget-that-voting-is-more-than-righ

Posted February 4, 2011 by suzydean in Constitutional Reform

A book to set democratic alarm bells ringing   Leave a comment

This book review was first published in October 2009 for the Spiked Review of Books

Martin Bell’s account of the expenses scandal has insights, but his willingness to embrace infringements upon parliamentary sovereignty in the name of restoring trust denigrates democracy.
British news headlines have been dominated for months by the MPs’ expenses scandal at Westminster. A large number of politicians, including the prime minister and the leader of the opposition, have been accused of over-claiming expenses for such trivialities as cleaning and gardening. In a few cases, the behaviour of politicians has been borderline fraudulent. The whole affair has brought parliament into disrepute.

The rest of this review can be read here: http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/reviewofbooks_printable/7647/

Posted February 4, 2011 by suzydean in Constitutional Reform

Fiddling with local government won’t restore trust   Leave a comment

First published in May 2008 for Open Democracy.

Local government has recently been given the arduous task of leading the way towards “more active citizenship, empowered communities, and ultimately, the revival of democracy.” A White Paper, expected early this summer, will explain how. In the long run it is hoped that citizen involvement at the local level will lead to an increase in public confidence in the services and institutions delivering them.

The rest of this article can be found here: http://www.opendemocracy.net/blog/ourkingdom-theme/suzy-dean/2008/05/21/fiddling-with-local-government-wont-restore-trust

Posted February 4, 2011 by suzydean in Constitutional Reform

Government should persuade us to support the Lisbon treaty – not tell us it is none of our business   Leave a comment

First published in March 2008 for Open Democracy.

Following last Wednesday’s demonstration outside Parliament for a referendum on the EU constitution (Lisbon Treaty), by the aptly named ‘I want a referendum’ campaign group, debate continues this week in Parliament over whether the new treaty should be put to referendum or not – finishing in a vote tomorrow.In 2005, shortly after the French and Dutch rejected the EU constitution in a referendum, all parties promised the UK a referendum as well. But now, some three years later, Labour are arguing that the Lisbon treaty is substantially different from the 2005 constitution and so no referendum is necessary. They maintain that Parliament should have the final say, while the Tories, along with a number of Liberal and Labour MP’s continue to push for a referendum on the basis that the 2005 and 2008 EU constitutions are almost identical.

The rest of this article can be found here: http://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/2008/03/04/government-should-persuade-us-to-support-the-lisbon-treaty-not-tell-us-it-is-none-of-our-business

Posted February 4, 2011 by suzydean in Constitutional Reform

Bill of Rights will be used to prescribe behaviour   Leave a comment

First published on Open Democracy in Feb 2008.

Last Thursday, while visiting George Washington University, Jack Straw declared that the proposed Bill of Rights and Responsibilities would involve a mixture of symbolic and declaratory principles on cultural and social issues as well as justiciable rights.[1] Going beyond the traditional scope of a Bill of rights, such as the US bill which stops at outlining those rights that are political, the impending here is set to build on the Human Rights Act[2] by covering social, economic and environmental rights, along with responsibilities.

Rather than being seen as a codification which will clarify and expand upon people’s existing rights, this new bill should be treated with caution.

You can read the rest of this article here: http://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/2008/02/21/bill-of-rights-will-be-used-to-prescribe-behaviour

Posted February 4, 2011 by suzydean in Constitutional Reform

Down with coercive participation   Leave a comment

This article was first published in Jan 2008  for Spiked-Online.

‘Participation’ is central to political discourse in Britain. It’s not hard to see why: political legitimacy arises from popular support, which is something today’s political parties all too clearly lack. One way or another, politicians simply have to try to engage the public. And they’ve not been short of ideas. From youth parliament to citizens’ juries and e-petitions, government and think tanks alike have succeeded in churning out a whole host of reconnection strategies over the past decade.

You can read the rest of this article here: http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/article/4257/

Posted February 4, 2011 by suzydean in Constitutional Reform