For many years the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition have been very important positions in our land. They are flattered and insulted in our press depending on the political mood and looked to as leaders. That goes without saying really doesn't it?
But despite these natural developments, our system is not a Presidential one. Well, at least, it shouldn't be. The Prime Minister should be the "First Among Many", working with powerful allies in their Cabinet to carry out the business of Government. That's how it should be. But these days, and I suppose (with a brief exception for the Major years) since the days of Thatcher, our system has begun to tend towards making the Prime Minister all powerful and destroying the power of the House of Commons in the process. Once the House was littered with rebels, strong orators and those of an individual character. But now, as all attention turns to the Prime Minister at the expense of all others, they have seemingly disappeared.
Now we have the much heralded leader debates, that shall precede our impending General Election. Here the leaders (of those parties carefully selected by the media, of course... can't have the crazies rocking the boat!) will appear groomed and rehearsed to engage in a game of political jousting little seen outside of PMQs. It shall be so much fluff, and these extra Parliamentary debates will no doubt be low brow stuff, aimed at the less intelligent voters with soundbites and easy to digest "policies" (for which read: things we'll change later). And all it shall serve to do is to allow the Prime Ministerial position to take on ever more characteristics of a President in the American style.
This will only encourage people to blindly vote by Party preference for candidates they don't know, just because they like their leader.
This is wrong! We must speak out in defence of our Parliament, of our representatives, in defence of our very way of being. The Prime Minister will always be top dog, but they must never become supreme. It's time the Government got off our telly's and back into the Houses. It's time for leader debates to be kept in Parliament where other Members can intercede and hold the leaders to account.
Grr.... Parliament needs to act, and act soon, to stop the Westminster way from becoming extinct!
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