The dissolution and convocation of the draft law of the parliament, which would repeal the Fixed Term Parliaments Law approved in 2011, has been approved by the deputies in second reading tonight with 367 deputies voting in favor and 65 against.
Labor MPs were not ordered to vote for or against the new bill at this stage. The opposition party supports the repeal of the 2011 legislation, but does not support the government’s proposals to return to the old system.
“The legislation before us is transferring all power into the hands of one individual, the Prime Minister,” said Cat Smith of the Labor Party, arguing that the power to dissolve parliament and set the date for an early general election must rest. in parliamentarians. .
The shadow minister of the Cabinet Office told his colleagues: “I do not agree with the  Take action, and I support its repeal, but I do not agree with what the government has presented as a replacement for that. “
The 2011 Law allows early elections to be held only if a simple majority of deputies in a Commons vote chooses not to express confidence in the government and 14 days elapse without a vote of confidence being passed, or if two-thirds of the all deputies explicitly vote in favor of an earlier election.
The new legislation would repeal the 2011 Law and confirm the maximum term of a parliament in five years, after which an election must be called. The prime minister could request the dissolution of the monarch before that date.
Smith told the House of Commons this afternoon that returning to the old system would be a “regressive step” and that politicians should instead seek a “fair and equitable playing field” similar to that seen in other democracies.
“This bill today has a lot to do with the question of where the power is,” Smith said. “I think the Fixed Term Parliaments Act was problematic and there were certainly aspects of it that I will be very happy to see in the end.
“But the principle of having fixed deadlines, in and of itself, is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it puts us on the same level as many of the western and progressive democracies around the world. It puts us in line with our own parliament here. “
Smith said that making the monarch the sole control of the dissolution runs the risk of leading the Crown into controversy. “The most effective way to avoid such a constitutional crisis would be to leave the dissolution decisions in parliament,” he added.
He also noted that while the Labor Party called for the repeal of the law in its Manifesto 2019, there is no “way” the legislation would have been presented to MPs this afternoon if it had not provided an electoral advantage to the Conservatives.
Smith highlighted a comparative study of 27 Western democracies that found that ruling parties gain an electoral advantage of 5% on average when they have the ability to determine when elections take place.
“For those of us who live and breathe politics, that’s the difference between potentially forming a government or falling out of government,” he said. “That is why it is so, I would say, undemocratic to allow all power to be in the hands of a single individual.”
The second reading is the first opportunity to debate a bill, where parliamentarians discuss the principle of the legislation. It is usually a wide-ranging discussion, as MPs seek to highlight different aspects of the proposed law.
Having passed the second reading stage of the legislative process in the Commons today, the legislation will now move to the committee, report and third reading stages, before being considered by the House of Lords.
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