‘Constitutional reform since 1997 has not gone far enough.’ Discuss.
Constitutional reform is defined as a process where the fundamental nature of the system of government is changed. Since 1997, in particular under the Blair administration, many significant constitutional reforms have taken place. These reforms include the House of Lords reform, the reform of the judiciary, devolution of power in the UK and reforms regarding authority of the EU and the effects of these reforms upon the government vary. These constitutional reforms were proposed to improve democracy and the legitimacy of the governments in the UK however there has been a sense that these reforms have occurred with no real end goal therefore it makes it difficult to consider how effective they will be and if they would even make a difference due to the political framework of the UK. With the UK’s preservation of parliamentary sovereignty it in effect cancels out any proposals to move away from an elective dictatorship and to become more democratic.
One reform that has taken place since 1997 is the reform of the House of Lords in the form of the House of Lords Act (1999). This was reform was proposed in two parts. The first phase was the dispersal of hereditary peers with only 92 remaining today and it abolished the voting rights of most hereditary peers. The second phase was to include some element of election to the appointment of Lords, but due to the lack of consensus in the House of Commons on the way forward with this reform, Phase 2 of the reform has failed. This reform has had very little impact on the government because without including any voting in the procedure of membership to the House of Lords, the House of Commons remains more legitimate therefore overall it retains its powers while the House of Lords has fewer powers. Hence, this reform has not completed its aim as it didn’t fulfil its intended effect which was to make the House of Lords more democratic.
Since 1997, many...