Smith, Crockart, Bruce and Williams win in Great Parliamentary Raffle

Well, I learned something I didn’t know about parliamentary procedure yesterday. I had always assumed that the Private Members’ Bill Ballot was an actual ballot, where MPs voted for themselves or their colleagues. How naive was I? The secret is now out, and available on You Tube. It’s actually a big raffle as you can see here:

440 MPs’ names went into the box and just 20 were drawn out. Among them were 4 Liberal Democrats. We had Sir Robert Smith in 9th place, Mike Crockart in 11th, Mark Williams in 13th and Sir Malcolm Bruce in 14th.  I asked Mike Crockart on Twitter last night what he planned to do. He replied:

He later added that it would be hard to pass up the chance to bring in a Bill on his No to Nuisance Calls campaign.

It’s interesting that all four MPs are from either Scotland or Wales. This means that the bill is most likely to be on an issue that applies to the whole of the UK. Once we know more, we’ll let you know.

Of the 20 Private Members’ Bills filed last year, 10 became law, including one which removed the legislative barriers to people with mental health conditions being MPs, jurors or company directors. You can read more about the other bills passed and how Private Members’ Bills are debated here on the Parliament website.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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8 Comments

  • Let’s have a bill to make Britain a full member of the Schengen agreement.

  • I’m trying to imagine a world in which the constitutional convention was that *all* bills had to originate from the backbenches, and the government were constitutionally prohibited from trying to push through, prevent, or even express an opinion on any of them — a world, in other words, where Parliament were truly sovereign, and the government were just those fellows tasked with carrying out its decrees.

  • Geoffrey Payne 17th May '13 - 12:58pm

    repeal the benefits cuts

  • Christine Headley 17th May '13 - 5:00pm

    Unfortunately, none of them is in the first six, so they are unlikely to get any of their bills enacted. Good for publicity, though.

  • Martin Pierce 18th May '13 - 7:47am

    I guess if it were a real ballot of MPs the Lib Dems would never be near the top, so probably good thing it is a raffle

  • In the light of the AV referendum the Electoral Reform society is now focussing on a campaign to achieve proportional representation in English and Welsh local government elections. We already have it in Scotland thanks to the Lib Dems. This should be a red line demand if we go into coalition again in 2015. So let’s kick start the debate with a bill to enact this now. It won’t of course succeed this time but to quote Mao – the longest journey starts with the first step.

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