To what extent have constitutional reforms since 1997 reduced the power of the UK government?
Constitutional reform is the process of changing the way in which a country may be governed. There are many reforms that have arguably changed the UK constitution in such an extent that the power of the elected government has been reduced or restricted. Changes such have these have occurred much more frequently in the years since 1997. One reform that can be seen to have reduced the power of government in the UK is the act of devolution or decentralisation. An example of this is the establishment of a Scottish Parliament and a Welsh Assembly in 1999. The creation of these bodies meant that regions in the UK that are not very close to London, and in turn Parliament, could have easier access to politics as the people in that area could have their opinions heard better. Many would say that as a result of Devolution the UK was becoming more democratic and so this change to the constitution was a good thing. However, this reform may look positive on the surface but if it as looked at in more detail it is clear that this may not be the case. Even though there are now democratic bodies in places that are some distance away from London, parliament and government still hold sovereignty and so can dictate what changes these devolved bodies can or cannot make. On the other hand, if devolution becomes more prominent in the UK, the general public may begin to lose respect for government and instead listen to more local political bodies when looking for direction on current issues. As a result of this government power may be reduced by reforming the constitution in this manner since 1997. Another way in which the government’s power could be seen to be reduced is the reform of the House of Lords. This is because there is speculation over whether after enforcing Stage 1 of the reform (the removal of hereditary peers from the House of Lords, other than 92) the process should...
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