Amendments to the proposed constitution for a Commonwealth of Britain proposed by a supporter of republican democracy.
Section 1. The Senate.
1. The Senate shall be composed of one hundred and eight Senators who shall be elected regionally, by proportional representation, on the first Thursday in May by secret ballot for six years. Fifty-four Senators shall be allocated to England, to be distributed between the regions as follows:
North England Riding (a Riding is a parliamentary constituency)
North East: six
North West: six
Yorkshire and Humberside: six
Central England Riding
East Midlands: six
West Midlands: six
South England Riding
South East: six
South West: six
The remaining fifty-four Senators shall be distributed between the remaining nations of the Commonwealth as follows:
Northern Ireland: eighteen
2. Except for the election of the first Chamber after the promulgation of this Constitution, and notwithstanding a vacancy that happens by resignation or death: In England, all the seats within one region per riding shall be subject to election every two years;
In Scotland, one third of the seats shall be subject to election every two years;
In Wales, one third of the seats shall be subject to election every two years;
In Northern Ireland, one third of the seats shall be subject to election every two years.
3. No person shall be a Senator who when elected, was not an inhabitant of that constituency for which she or he shall be chosen.
4. When there is a vacancy in any constituency the returning officer for that constituency shall make arrangements without delay for the election of a new representative.
Section 2. The National Assembly.
1. The members of the National Assembly shall be elected on the first Thursday in May every fourth year by citizens who are aged eighteen or more years by secret ballot.
2. No person shall be a member of the National Assembly who when elected was not an inhabitant of that constituency for which she or he shall be chosen.
3. Each member shall be elected by proportional representation from constituencies determined by law.
4. The total number of members of the National Assembly shall be, as nearly as practicable, three times the number of Senators. A quota shall be ascertained by dividing the number of people of the Commonwealth, as shown by the last preceding census, by three times the number of Senators. The number of members to be chosen in each nation and region shall be determined by dividing the population of the nation or region, as shown by the last preceding census, by the quota. If on such division there is a remainder greater than one-half of the quota, one more member shall be chosen in the nation or region. The ratio between the number of members to be elected at any time for each constituency and the population of each constituency, as ascertained at the last preceding census, shall, so far as it is practicable, be the same throughout the country. Each constituency shall not elect less than three members, nor shall more than five members be elected for each constituency.
1. The Senate. A Senate based on population would give England total dominance in both chambers. So I looked at the American and Australian Constitutions where each state has equal representation within the Senate. But I realised that a large number of people would not accept England having only 1/4 of the seats in the Senate. Plus, if the English regions had the same number of senators as the nations, England would have dominance again. So I turned to the Canadian Constitution for an answer and arrived at a 108-member Senate where 54 seats are English, split between the 9 English regions (6 Senators per region), 18 seats are Scottish, 18 are Welsh and 18 are for Northern Ireland. Then England has 1/2 the Senate seats and thus constitutional changes cannot be forced through on the English vote alone, else this could lead to a break-up of the proposed Commonwealth.
If the English would not accept an imbalance between population and representation, then the safeguards could be construed through a set of qualifying criteria for a vote to be carried in the Senate:
For a vote to be carried in the Senate the following three criteria must be met; a majority of the Senate + a majority of Senators in a majority of the English regions + a majority of Senators in a majority of the Celtic nations.
For a constitutional vote to be carried in the Senate; 2/3 of the Senate + a majority of Senators in 2/3 of the English regions + a majority of Senators in 2/3 of the Celtic nations.
This way it would be feasible to keep the Senate at 100, as originally suggested, giving each nation and region 1 seat as of right and then extra seats based on population, whilst safeguarding the Celtic nations and the northern English regions from a dominant South.
2. I call the Lower House the National Assembly. I would have approximately 324 MPs, and the method of defining constituencies is laid down in my version of the Constitution, using a quota system.
3. The Prime Minister has to identify a member of his government to be Deputy Prime Minister in case of adverse circumstances.