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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
DMcG BS: Brexit #3: A futile gesture? (2640* d) RE: BS: Brexit #3: A futile gesture? 26 Mar 19


Just for the moment, I am not talking about Brexit specifically, but how our system works in terms of democracy.

We agree, I hope, that MPs are elected based on the democratic choice of the constituents of their seat? True, safe seats and other forms of bias make this less clear cut than we might wish, but I think we can grant MPs are democratically elected.

Party leaders are elected by members of the respective party, but not by the public at large. This is a very weak form of democracy because the vast majority of the country is excluded by virtue of not being members of that party.

The government is appointed by the PM, which is normally the party leader. So while the MPs are democratically elected their appointment to a ministry is not democratic at all. Most recently - accelerating massively under Tony Blair - unelected "special advisors" have been given roles in government, completely excluding any democratic component.

So in my book, it is pretty clear that the Parliament is democratically elected but the government is not.   For that reason, sovereignty lies in Parliament, not government. Put another way, when asked whether the government's role is to serve Parliament, or Parliament's role is to serve government, I go with the former.


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