Friday 7 May 2010

President Cameron/Brown?

Labour’s Graham Allen, who was re-elected in Nottingham North yesterday, wants Parliament recalled now so that our political situation can be discussed by MPs on the Commons floor.

It’s a parliamentary election in a parliamentary system, he argues, so why isn’t Parliament involved right now?

Delay is the answer of course, and because as soon as the chamber doors were unlocked Gordon and Dave would both dash for the PM’s seat and end up scuffling on the Commons floor.

But Allen, who has backed a proportional voting system before, claims to have a way to sort out our current deadlock.

"David Cameron is alleged to be softening on a more proportional electoral system, but still apparently wants the strong leadership which first past the post normally delivers.

"He, and everyone else in politics, can have their cake and eat it too, by having a first past the post system to directly elect the Prime Minister, and a proportional system to elect the legislature."

This would basically see our Prime Minister elected in the same way as an American President and I imagine would have to see him removed from Parliament, though Allen hasn’t specified that.

We have had the TV debates, the thinking goes, and most PMs act like presidents these days anyway. So why not make them more accountable by splitting the executive from the legislature?

For me we’ve already gone far enough down the presidential route, but by all means strengthen Parliament and make it more representative.

There is an appetite for change and if Cameron can convince the Lib Dems his plans are enough, for now, then we’ll have a Lib/Con pact on Monday morning.


Jake Ellett said...


Gareth said...

"... but by all means strengthen Parliament and make it more representative."

Of the many maladies in Parliament representation of the people is really a distraction. EVERYONE is represented in Parliament even if it is not by someone they voted for.

We have in the heart of our democracy a rump of cynical and shifty politicians who have intentionally reduced politics to a beauty contest by largely sounding alike. There is a gross lack of decency and transparency in Westminster which helped encourage things like the expenses affair. The power of the whips is far too great. That there is a complete lack of accountability to the electorate once an MP is in the Commons continues to be troubling and none of the parties promised to honestly rectify that - power would remain in Westminster.

PR would not change any of this. It would simply add a cloack of legitimacy to the same bunch of shysters, conmen and blagards. The party creatures would still climb the greasey pole. The whips would still do their dirty deeds. The leaders would still be flitting around their perceived 'centre ground'.

15 million people didn't vote for any of these. How likely are they to vote with PR if they still have no one worth voting for?

Anonymous said...

Sadly the old adage (or maybe a paraphrasing of it...) remains true: The people who most want to be politicians are the people you least want to be.

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