We are still looking to see if we can spare some resources to comment meaningfully on an obscure part of the world, to try to be a bit more international in this blog.
In the meantime, here is an idea from the USA which is also very badly needed in the United Kingdom Parliament, the proposal for a Read The Bills Act
Given the appalling record of the last Parliament, when it was clear that so many Members of the House of Commons and the House of Lords had not actually read, let alone understood the implications of, the laws which they were voting on, and given the mammoth programme of legislation of at least 50 Bills (including Draft Bills) that the NuLabour Government has embarked on, the attractions of a United Kingdom version of the Read The Bills Act should be obvious.
"Read the Bills Act of 2005 (RTBA) requires that:
- Each bill, and every amendment, must be read in its entirety before a quorum in both the House and Senate.
- Every member of the House and Senate must sign a sworn affidavit, under penalty of perjury, that he or she has attentively either personally read, or heard read, the complete bill to be voted on.
- Every old law coming up for renewal under the sunset provisions must also be read according to the same rules that apply to new bills.
- Every bill to be voted on must be published on the Internet at least 7 days before a vote, and Congress must give public notice of the date when a vote will be held on that bill.
- Passage of a bill that does not abide by these provisions will render the measure null and void, and establish grounds for the law to be challenged in court.
- Congress cannot waive these requirements."
Will we see such an Act passed in our lifetime, either in the USA or in the UK ?