Royalty, Sovereignty, Constitution and parliament is discussed in the following article.
It is indeed an article in two parts. The first 450 words or so will set out in rather dry formal languange the roles of the British parliament and sovereignty in relation to the people of Scotland.
Should you wish to bypass this and get to the points I have to make regarding the above..just scroll down to around 500 words.
The phrase ” We the people” is the formulating words of two constitutions, that of India and the United States. These enacting words in the American constitution were in turn modeled on the Scottish Declaration of Arbroath, and they claim sovereignty of the people for the people.
The enacting formula used in the constitution of India state as follows:
We the people in our constituent assembly do hereby adopt,enact and give ourselves this constitution,signify the principle that power is ultimately rested in the hands of the people. It also emphasises that the constitution is made by and for the people and not given to them by an outside power (such as the British parliament).
In effect popular sovereignty, meaning that all power emanates from the people and the political system will be accountable and responsible to the people.
The British parliament works on a different principle in English Law.
In theory, the UK’s supreme legislative power is vested in the Crown in Parlaiment. As, however, the crown acts on the advice of the Prime Minister and the powers of the House of Lords have been curtailed, de facto power is vested in the House of Commons.
Under Scots Law however the British parliaments sovereignty is viewed somewhat differently.
The Scottish judge Lord Cooper of Culross when he decided the 1953 case of MacCormick v Lord Advocate as Lord President of the Court of Session, he stated,
“The principle of unlimited sovereignty of Parliament is a distinctively English principle and has no counterpart in Scottish constitutional law.” He continued, “Considering that the Union Lagislation extinguished the Parliaments of Scotland and England and replaced them by a new Parliament, I have difficulty in seeing why the new Parliament of Great Britain must inherit all the peculiar characteristics of the English Parliament but none of the Scottish.”
In English Law:
The legislative authority, the Crown in Parliament, has three separate elements: the , Monarch,the House of Lords, and the House of Commons. Royal Assent of the Monarch is required for all Bills to become law.
The Monarch also chooses the Prime Minister, who then forms a government from members of the houses of parliament. This must be someone who could command a majority in a confidence vote in the House of Commons.
Each Parliament comes to an end, after a number of sessions, in anticipation of a general election. Parliament is dissolved by virtue of the Fixed Term Parliaments Act 2011. Prior to it, dissolution was effected by the Sovereign, always on the advice of the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister could seek dissolution because the time was politically advantageous to his or her party. If the Prime Minister lost the support of the House of Commons, Parliament would dissolve and a new election would be held.
Now to get to grips with all of the above.
Irrespective of the Independence vote last year where remaining in the British State was narrowly voted for above Independence, In no way did such a vote remove the Scottish concept of Sovereignty of the people.
Scottish Law still remains Independent and so does the aspect of popular sovereignty of the people of Scotland…this has never been repealed. As such Scots have a different relationship with the British parliament than the rest of the UK.
In effect we are the Monarchs Boss, and what we say goes should we decide they no longer suit our purpose.
This really gives the lie to the English interpretation which controls parliament at present.
It is for this reason that MPs must offer fealty to the Crown that Irish Nationalists have never taken their seats in Westminster.
However, As the Queen of England is also the Queen of Scotland we can quite easily do so, as long as it suits us.
This position of popular sovereignty remains of utmost importance to Scots, particularly should there come a time when as has been hinted at recently, that the British Establishment may seek to disenfrachise us. There would be no surer route to a UnilateralDeclaration of Independence than that.
In this general election the Westminster parties have been treading a very dangerous path indeed, should the Scottish people decide on thursday to elect more than half of Scottish MPs as Scottish National, and in turn they become the third largest party at Westminster, and the Unionist parties seek to shut the elected representatives of the people of Scotland out. This disenfranchising would in effect break the Union.
Much noise has been made by Labour in Scotland in particular, claiming that a vote for the SNP would lead to letting the Tories back in. This contention is a lie.
Such claims may come back and bite Labour on the bum though.
Already the Conservatives are claiming in England that If they are short of a majority in the house, but the largest party, that they would have the right to form the next government.Already Screams by Labour that this is not so….well they sure cant have it both ways can they?
Whoever can get the support from the House of Commons gets to form the government..without such support, a party can not go the Queen and be accepted as her government…
As things appear to stand…. a great deal of horse trading will have to go on, and If Labour are true to their word, that they will not deal with the SNP, then they condemn us all to a Tory government, which they seem to deem more acceptable.
The sight recently of Tories canvassing at Jim Murphys Labour stall, and the suggestion that they are telling their supporters to vote Labour in that constituency must sicken even the most die hard of Labour supporters…..Getting into bed with the Tories again!
Much has also been made by the media of the prospect of the SNP voting down a Labour governments Queens speech, or its Budget and forcing a vote of no Confidence to force them out.
This will not happen… The fixed term parliament Act of 2011 has put paid to that scenario… Votes of Confidence cannot bring down a government serving a fixed term like in the past.
In all the noise and hubub of it all….The only thing anyone needs to know on Thursday, is who will best speak out for them. Who will best serve the wishes of the people of Scotland?
whoever that is… I suggest you vote positively for them, and not vote for someone to attempt to stop someone else.
Vote for what you believe in, vote for who you believe… Vote for those who will speak out for you!