Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Things That Piss Me Off About Hung Parliaments

Well not about hung Parliaments themselves but people's reactions to them and perception of them.

1) "Unelected Prime Ministers". This is a hold over from before the election. The sort of idiotic issue that only the uneducated journalists of our rotten press could come up with. But when I heard William Hague, one of the great Parliamentarians of our time, mutter those words I knew something was up. There's no way anyone with his experience could use that phrase except for politically dubious reasons. Obviously he wishes people to accept David Cameron as our "elected PM" but in so doing he makes things very "constitutionally" wonky and really sets the Tory party up for future falls if our system isn't reformed. Let's be clear here... under our system we do not elect Prime Ministers. The Prime Minister is the person who commands the majority support in the house. That is it. That could be Mr Cameron. Or Diane Abbott (please God no). Clear? Me either... but that's our unwritten constitution for you.

All this talk about how awful unelected leaders are, puts our monarch in a nasty situation (and who elected you Ma'am?)... which does not please this old royalist one bit. Be warned Mr Hague.

Personally I think all this "unelected PM" and "illegitimate Government" stuff the Tories are banging on about is going to lead to a constitutional crisis. And quite frankly, I agree with the Queen.

2) Proportional representation. Have ever so many people been so deluded for so long? I don't mind positive arguments FOR FPTP but the negative arguments against PR (whatever your flavour) just do not hold true. MOST Governments in the developed world work under some form of PR. And let's face it... those countries are just fine. Sure each system comes with it's own problems but FPTP is far from perfect and doesn't even win "best of a bad bunch". So let's stick to the facts and not mind-numbingly stupid suggestions that coalitions don't work etc.

3) The voters voted for... This is currently journalists and politicians favourite one. The public voted for... cheesecakes on a Thursday. The public voted for... power sharing, alternating daily between Cameron and Brown with Clegg taking over every other Wednesday and Bank Holidays.

I'm truly amazed they were able to deduce what this strange creature called the public wants simply based on a combination of our votes. Like reading tea leaves. FPTP allows people only to express their preference for who their MP is. Nothing more.

4) All coalitions in a hung Parliament where no party secured more than 50% of vote or seats will be a coalition of the losers. Simple.

Sigh. I don't think this is going to end well for anyone, as the level of intelligence required for this sort of politics seems quite beyond our politicians and journalists. Look... if the Irish can do this, so can we!! :p

If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist


Paul Dennett said...

On "Unelected Prime Ministers": This annoys me as well, but the thing that annoys me more is that the party most responsible (or at any rate not least responsible) for promoting a presidential style of leadership in the UK is (wait for it...) the Liberal Party, who were the first to implement One Member One Vote for leadership elections in the 1970s. This has never been logical in a parliamentary system (MPs should elect a leader from amongst themselves), even though voting for leaders (and voting generally) is kinda fun.

Jae said...

On that I certainly agree in terms of a Parliamentary leader under our current system. It's a nonsense for an entire party to vote for the leader when it's only the command of majority support in Parliament that matters.