Essay on Debate on Whether Britain Should Adopt a Written Constitution

Essay on Debate on Whether Britain Should Adopt a Written Constitution

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Debate on Whether Britain Should Adopt a Written Constitution

Currently Britain’s constitution is an unwritten one. This doesn’t
mean that it is literally unwritten but that it is set down in many
different documents. Additionally there is no set bill of rights as
there is in The United States of America. The constitution of the
U.S.A. is written and codified. In America a bill of citizen’s rights
was set down in the mid 1770’s and is entrenched in the constitution.
In order to change the bill of rights a two thirds majority is
required in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. A
consequence of this is that it is very hard to change the U.S.
constitution. It is, in fact, so difficult that since its creation,
it has been changed only twenty six times. Ten of these changes were
in the first five years of its existence.

A constitution can be described as “a set of rights, powers and
procedures that regulate relations between public authorities and
individual citizens.” Put simply, a constitution governs political
behaviour. Andrew Heywood describes the constitution as “a set of
rules that seek to establish the duties, powers and functions of the
various institutions of government, regulate the relationships between
them and define the relationship between the state and the
individual.”

Heywood also suggested four ways of classifying a constitution; by
form, is it written or unwritten, codified or uncodified. By ease of
amendment, by which constitutions are described as being flexible or
rigid. By the degree to which it is observed and finally, by its
institutional structure. By institutional structure, He...


... middle of paper ...


...tion on a
greater scale along with electoral reform, proportional representation
greatly increasing the number of Liberal seats in parliament.
Liberals ultimately believe that the current “rules of the game” are
too partisan and there is too little, if any consensual decision
making.

Ultimately, I believe that in order for there to be a significant
change to the British constitution, in terms of changing its format, a
referendum would be necessary. Our current constitution and system
does, however seem adequate and serves its purpose. Here the old
adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” seems to apply neatly.
America’s Constitution seems outdated when one considers that it has
been changed only sixteen times in the last two hundred and fourteen
years. Overall, flexibility appears to be an attractive quality.

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