Page Under Construction
- Why does there need to be integration between different levels of government?
- How will Local Sovereignty make members of the House of Lords accountable to elected local authorities?
- How will integrating local and central representation restore integrity to the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty?
1) Why does there need to be integration between different levels of government?
There’s a tension between our interests as members of local communities and our interests as members of the broader society, which our current political systems do not allow for. The doctrine of Parliamentary Sovereignty, as it currently operates, makes local authorities wholly subordinate to central government.
But is there any reason why votes cast at a local level should be regarded as conferring any less of a mandate than votes cast at national level? Surely, it is at the very local level that we have the best opportunity to judge our representatives, and that they have the best opportunity to understand what we want from them, and it is at the very local level that most of the omissions and failings of government make themselves felt.
Apart from anything else, as long as the integration between local and central government is missing, the sovereignty of Parliament cannot be taken for granted because the doctrine has become detached from the circumstances which gave rise to it. derelict law
The current situation, in which Westminster pays lip-service to the principle of subsidiarity but imposes its will regardless, carries real potential for constitutional conflict between local and central government. Re-establishing the Lords as the representatives of local government would restore the integrity of Parliamentary Sovereignty and remove a significant source of unrest.
2) How will Local Sovereignty make members of the House of Lords accountable to elected local authorities?
A simple way of integrating local and central representation into our current system would be to make members of the Lords representatives of local authorities, with a remit of protecting the integrity of local autonomy at central government level.
This could be introduced, without much adjustment of numbers, simply by having local authorities adopt existing members. Members would then be subject to recall by their local authority, or by public initiative spontaneous democracy.
Subsequent appointment of new members could be either by direct appointment by local authorities, or they could be elected from a list which might include a default candidate nominated by the local authority.
This relationship might subsequently be extended to make members of the Lords overseers of local government, with responsibility for ratifying local laws, in the same way that the monarch is overseer of central government. However, this is not part of our current manifesto.
3)How will integrating local and central representation restore integrity to the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty?
The doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty emerged because Parliament was the place where the three principal vectors of power came together in the form of Crown, Lords and Commons. The Lords had a voice there because they were local rulers and their presence within Parliament offered a way for the competing interests of central and local authority to be reconciled without physical conflict. The emergence of the Commons as a rival power and erosion of the power of the aristocracy, combined with the subsequent development of elected local authorities, therefore undermined the legitimacy of parliamentary sovereignty in two ways: in the obvious way that the House of Lords no longer had the mandate of independent power but also in the less obvious way that local government no longer had the means to defend their own autonomy.