Bernard Hall, Cuddington
Waddesdon Community Centre HP18 0LX
By Haddenham Webteam - 15th July 2016 9:30am
Some residents of the Buckingham constituency, which includes Haddenham, have felt frustrated that the Speaker of the House of Commons (currently John Bercow) stands as an independent candidate at general elections and that, traditionally, the main political parties do not stand against that candidate.
This prevents voters in the Buckingham constituency from voting along party political lines and, it is argued, the Speaker cannot support and promote the interests of Buckingham constituents.
John Bercow has argued that his position as Speaker actually gives him privileged access to Government ministers — and that, as a consequence, he has much greater potential to influence Government policy than he would as an MP, acting through 'corridor conversations' and other (arguably less effective) communication routes at Westminster.
Nevertheless, some would prefer to see the Speaker role established as a separate entity, and for the Buckingham constituency to have its own MP.
A petition has been created to allow such a view to be offered to the UK Government.
Here is the wording of that petition:
The Speaker (and the three Deputy Speakers) are not allowed to speak or vote in debates which means that they can't represent their constituents properly. We believe that the Speakers should be staff roles rather than being an MP which effectively disenfranchises four constituencies (approx 280,000 people).
This has been considered several times before by the Procedure Committee. Ref: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201012/cmselect/cmproced/1573/157305.htm
But we don't agree with the idea that the Speaker is 'most representative of the popular will' (quoted, 22.) since he is not allowed to express the opinion of his constituents in debate. His ability to speak to Government Ministers is not adequate compensation — since they stick to their views anyway.
The editor of this website does not agree with the assertion that Ministers "stick to their views anyway" — indeed, he believes that John Bercow is a very effective constituency MP and would not wish to encourage readers to add their names to this petition. However, he does consider it appropriate to help raise awareness that such a petition exists.
If you choose to support the petition, you can do so here: