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Abolish the parliamentary “wash up” procedure

Comment 1st July 2010

I propose that the parliamentary process known as the "Wash Up" be abolished and any bills that remain before parliament when it is dissolved for an election be held over until parliament is reformed after an election.

This process is open to abuse and makes a mockery of parliamentary debate.

Parliamentary debate is a tool where legislation is crafted for the good of the people of this country, it should not be curtailed simply because an election is imminent.

Why does this matter?

The wash up procedure is a means whereby bills can be fast tracked and become law before parliament is dissolved when an election has been called.

This turns the idea of the democratic process into a farce, bills before parliament do not receive the scrutiny they deserve during this procedure, many MP's are busy, do not turn up for debates & only turn up to vote as the whip directs.

A case in point would be the Digital Economy Act, a lcomplex bill with many issues, passed through the house "on the nod", only now are those issues being questioned.

Another would be the Serious Organised Crime Act, with amendments specifically added to deal with Brian Haw, which failed in this task because it wasn't debated sufficiently.

Legislation should be considered and deliberated over, not rammed through as quickly as possible because you are in a hurry.


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