Tag Archives: power

Majority Government = Powerful Government: The Stability Fallacy

Our Parliament (aka our legislature) is made up of two “houses”:

  • House of Commons – comprised of MPs, as voted for in a general election
  • House of Lords – comprised of unelected Lords, appointed by the Government

When a majority Government (aka the executive) is in place it results in two fundamental truths;

  1. More than 50% of the MPs in the House of Commons are members of the ruling party
  2. The Government can appoint new Lords to stengthen it’s position in the House of Lords

Those simple facts mean that a majority enables the Government to strengthen it’s hold over Parliament. When it wants to get a bill through, it can whip it’s MPs and leverage it’s appointed Lords to vote it’s way.

Majority Governments wield more power. They are less accountable to the opposition.

Regardless of who is in power, a majority Government is an undemocratic entrenchment of power in the hands of a few, mainly the Prime Minister and his closest cabinet colleagues.

That’s why the OpenPolitics Manifesto includes a policy of separating the executive from the legislature. Our Parliament should not be so easily controlled by Government, allowing it to force it’s ideological agenda through against a relatively powerless opposition.

For that same reason, I proposed that the manifesto include a policy on abolishing the whips system (which ultimately failed) to prevent Governments from forcing their MPs to vote along party lines instead of inline with their own conscience, or better, their constituents wishes.

Image: “America” by The Prophet on Flickr, licensed under CC-BY-2.0