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Will the Mother Country Follow Its Federated Daughters?

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Here in the United States, we get to vote separately for a national legislature, which deals with foreign and military affairs, interstate commerce and other matters which need to be decided on a national level, and for a state legislature which is supposed to have control over those matters that can be handled more locally.  The line isn't as crisp as it used to be, or, in my opinion, as it should be, but it's there, and those separate elections serve to keep government more responsive to the will of the people.  Canada and Australia also have federated governments.

Englishmen, though, only get one legislative vote -- for their representative in the Parliament of the United Kingdom.  That may be about to change, Nicholas Winning and Jenny Gross report in the WSJ.
Throughout the union's history, such authority has long been centralized in London. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have varying degrees of power, though little control over economic policy, including taxation. The changes Mr. Cameron has promised would be a step closer to the federal structure of the U.S., where there is a constitutionally entrenched division of authority between the central government and the states.
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Mr. Cameron's surprise move to offer more powers to other parts of the U.K. in addition to Scotland appears to be an attempt to appease members of his Conservative Party, analysts said. Many Conservatives have been disgruntled that Scottish voters were being offered greater powers in the run-up to the referendum but that their own constituents on the other side of the border in England hadn't.
Policies on crime, in particular, are ones that should be made closer to home.  The fact that Americans vote separately not only for state and federal offices but also for legislative and executive ones makes our government the most responsive to the people of any of the English-speaking countries. 

Going soft on crime is an elitist cause pushed largely by affluent people who can go home to their safe, leafy neighborhoods.  The resulting increase in crime is a price worth paying because it is paid primarily by other, less affluent people who must live in more dangerous areas. 

This constitutional change will likely be a step in the right direction for England.

1 Comment

"Going soft on crime is an elitist cause pushed largely by affluent people who can go home to their safe, leafy neighborhoods. The resulting increase in crime is a price worth paying because it is paid primarily by other, less affluent people who must live in more dangerous areas."

Unfortunately so true. People getting to feel good and making others suffer.

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