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MP Bill Cash introduced a simple amendment in the Commons yesterday:

“The sovereignty of the United Kingdom Parliament is hereby affirmed.”

I would think this would be a non-controversial matter for decision.  But it was crushed by a vote of 314 to 29 (I assume the Labourites abstained).  Young Turks Steve Baker and David Nuttall voted yes.  All the other Young Turks voted no or abstained.

Cash, an attorney before he entered Parliament, stated the point well here in Hansard (think Congressional Record):

The sovereignty of Parliament is not an arcane constitutional curiosity or a theology; it is an essentially practical question. We in the House of Commons are elected. I am elected. We are all, individually, elected in our constituencies. What does that mean? It means that we are voted for by people who go into polling booths and register their votes for us individually. It is exclusively on that basis that our authority to legislate is derived. It is the very root of British democracy, and its Members of Parliament have an absolute duty to protect it on behalf of their constituents. A threat to parliamentary sovereignty is a threat to democracy.

Removing sovereignty from Parliament would pass that sovereignty to some other body, whether it be the European Union, the Supreme Court or any other organisation. Sovereignty is about giving ultimate power to the people’s democratic representatives in Parliament, not to the courts and not to international bodies such as the European Union. It is that democracy which gives voters freedom to choose who governs them and how, and for which people have fought and died.

On another liberty and sovereignty front, the Parliament appears ready to pass some sort of voting rights bill for prisoners.  It is interesting that Prime Minister David Cameron said earlier (before he became PM) that he felt physically ill at the idea of allowing prisoners to vote.  It appears that his stomach is stronger now that he is in office.  The limit would be four years in prison; if your sentence is less than four years, you get the right to vote.  But others objected:

MP Dominic Raab (Esher and Walton) suggests defying the court as it’s decisions cannot be enforced:

“Strasbourg cannot enforce its own judgments, so if the UK refuses to adhere to this judgment, as I think it must, it cannot be enforced. Of course, we could face other awards against us in Strasbourg, including compensatory awards, or be referred to the Committee of Ministers, but the judgment is not enforceable in UK law. No sanctions will apply, and there is no serious prospect of our being kicked out of the Council of Europe. We can say no, given the political will. My question to the Minister is this. If the Government are not willing to rebuff Strasbourg in this case, arbitrary as it is, at what point, if any, will they refuse to accept a ruling? How bad must things be before Ministers stand up for the prerogatives of elected UK lawmakers? If we do not draw a line in the sand now and send back a clear message, we are inviting even more perverse judgments in future. It is time to draw that line.”

Another MP (Julian Lewis of New Forest East) warned the Commons that unelected judges may end up vetoing the policies of elected officials.

“This is the situation in which we find ourselves: a democratic Parliament in a democratic country is being told that we are not allowed to decide primarily moral issues, by unelected judges in a court set up to deal with the trashing of human rights by dictators and by countries very different from ours.”

We here in the USA know something about unelected judges overruling elected officials.  Sometimes that’s good (Brown v. Bd. of Education or the health care case from Virginia) and sometimes that’s bad (Roe v. Wade).  It is however contrary to the unwritten English Constitution.

MP Gareth Johnson (Dartford) simply said he was opposed in principle to inmates voting in elections.

It seems to me there is only one thing for the Tory rebels to consider:  A mass defection to the UKIP.  It’s clear that this present Government will not stand for sovereignty and liberty against the encroaching European superstate.  MP Julian Lewis cited Wilston Churchill and alluded to the solution when he cited Churchill’s twice switching parties.

There is no shame in switching parties for the good of your country.  There appears to be only one legitimate British political party dedicated to restoring sovereignty and liberty:  The United Kingdom Independence Party.  We’ll see what happens tomorrow in Oldham East.

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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