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Results 1–20 of 2218 for speaker:David Howarth

Sustainable Communities Act 2007 (Amendment) Bill: Clause 29 — Referendum on voting systems (8 Apr 2010)

David Howarth: The timing of this discussion is quite extraordinary. The day after the Prime Minister announced a programme that appears to include a referendum on electoral reform, the Government will have to troop through the Lobby to oppose that very policy. It seems to be a pattern that the Labour party proposes something to get a few votes, and when it has those votes it suddenly forgets about its...

Sustainable Communities Act 2007 (Amendment) Bill: Clause 29 — Referendum on voting systems (8 Apr 2010)

David Howarth: That is a very good metaphor. In fact, that proposal combined with the other Conservative proposal to reduce the number of Members of Parliament would make the existing system even less proportionate.

Sustainable Communities Act 2007 (Amendment) Bill: Clause 29 — Referendum on voting systems (8 Apr 2010)

David Howarth: I am all in favour of making the electoral system fairer. That is why I oppose the amendment, because the only way to make the first-past-the-post system fairer is by abolishing it and replacing it with a better system. I concede that, as the Secretary of State said, the AV system is not necessarily proportionate. I prefer the single transferable vote system, which is proportionate, and we...

Sustainable Communities Act 2007 (Amendment) Bill: Clause 29 — Referendum on voting systems (8 Apr 2010)

David Howarth: I agree with the Minister. The idea that fiddling with boundaries based on out-of-date information can make the first-past-the-post system fairer is absurd. The only way to get a fair electoral system is to have a more proportionate system. The first virtue of a representative body, such as the House of Commons, is that it represents the political views of the people of the country. This body...

Sustainable Communities Act 2007 (Amendment) Bill: Clause 29 — Referendum on voting systems (8 Apr 2010)

David Howarth: The hon. and learned Gentleman is right; it is a jemmy in the door, which we intend at some stage to use. I give way for the final time.

Sustainable Communities Act 2007 (Amendment) Bill: Clause 29 — Referendum on voting systems (8 Apr 2010)

David Howarth: The Conservatives support the system for the obvious reason that occasionally, and in some decades for very long periods, it gives them absolute power. They prefer a system that gives them absolute power, which they exchange with the Labour party now and then, to a system that is fair to all electors.

Sustainable Communities Act 2007 (Amendment) Bill: Clause 29 — Referendum on voting systems (8 Apr 2010)

David Howarth: I accept that there is all sorts of interesting research on first past the post, but all this seems to be entirely missing the point that first past the post can never be fair or proportionate, is always biased in one direction or another and is capable of producing illegitimate results.

Sustainable Communities Act 2007 (Amendment) Bill: Clause 29 — Referendum on voting systems (8 Apr 2010)

David Howarth: This really is the last intervention.

Sustainable Communities Act 2007 (Amendment) Bill: Clause 29 — Referendum on voting systems (8 Apr 2010)

David Howarth: The answer is yes, and that would also apply to the reforms of this place itself. Changing the electoral system is important for democracy throughout our system- One hour having elapsed since the commencement of proceedings on consideration of Lords amendments, the debate was interrupted (Order, 7 April). The Deputy Speaker put forthwith the Question already proposed from the Chair (...

Sustainable Communities Act 2007 (Amendment) Bill: Explanatory Memoranda (8 Apr 2010)

David Howarth: We on the Liberal Democrat Benches are content with the amendment. Lords amendment 6 agreed to.

Sustainable Communities Act 2007 (Amendment) Bill: Constitutional Reform and Governance Bill (8 Apr 2010)

David Howarth: That is a very good point. I noticed that yesterday the Crime and Security Bill went through the other place without having to be sent back to this place. That Bill could have been used for the same purpose, but was not. That is a catastrophe as well. It seems to me that the process of wash-up is washed up. Front Benchers of the larger parties should reflect on the way in which they colluded,...

Sustainable Communities Act 2007 (Amendment) Bill: Constitutional Reform and Governance Bill (8 Apr 2010)

David Howarth: Thank you, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I was tempted along that route by the Secretary of State's opening remarks, which were more general. I shall end this part of my remarks by saying that we were excluded from the process and therefore have no loyalty to it. I regret that the amendments include the removal of the Crown employment nationality provisions. The hon. Member for Hendon (Mr. Dismore)...

Sustainable Communities Act 2007 (Amendment) Bill: Constitutional Reform and Governance Bill (8 Apr 2010)

David Howarth: My hon. Friend is entirely right. Do we have just another political manoeuvre, whereby the Government appear to be in favour of something without actually doing it? I regret wasting the time of a large number of hon. Members, which need not have happened. I approve of other amendments in the group that bring in new material. The amendment moved by Lord Norton of Louth seems to be sensible-the...

Sustainable Communities Act 2007 (Amendment) Bill: Constitutional Reform and Governance Bill (8 Apr 2010)

David Howarth: The way in which the Bill has been handled throughout has been catastrophic. The Government delayed the Committee stage in this House, randomly extended it and failed to secure the Bill in the House of Lords, for which they are entirely to blame. Especially on items such as the referendum clauses, the question that occurs to Opposition Members is: did the Government ever intend this to be...

Written Answers — Children, Schools and Families: Teachers: Qualifications (8 Apr 2010)

David Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what recent assessment he has made of the level of qualifications required for teachers at (a) post-16 colleges and (b) sixth forms attached to secondary schools; and if he will make a statement.

Business of the House: Clause 9 — Duration of Act (7 Apr 2010)

David Howarth: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker.

Business of the House: Clause 9 — Duration of Act (7 Apr 2010)

David Howarth: It relates to the motion, Mr. Speaker. To be clear about what the motion is asking us to do, may I ask a question about-

Business of the House: Clause 10 — Consent to prosecution (7 Apr 2010)

David Howarth: I, too, very much welcome the Bill. The hon. Member for Huntingdon (Mr. Djanogly) is right to say that it has taken a long time to reach this stage, although he is not right to say that the Bill has been particularly rushed, given the vast amount of discussion about previous versions of the reform, both in the Joint Committee of both Houses and in the other place. Although some Bills in the...


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