Thursday, 28 March 2019

A new age of politics dawns

There was, until Brexit, a long-standing tradition that Prime Ministers who could not get their key policies through parliament felt obliged to resign, usually – but not invariably – to call a general election.  That tradition was shattered when parliament rejected the current government’s key policy by a massive majority – twice.  It now seems that, not content with smashing the old tradition, the current PM is trying to establish a wholly new one, which is that the Prime Minister should only feel obliged to resign if parliament supports her key policy.
It’s a novel concept, but where will it end?  Will any future PM who wishes to stay in office for a long time be forced only to put proposals before parliament if he or she can be certain that they will be defeated?  What should be the protocol if a PM wins a vote by accident – does the vote need to be re-run (with the permission of the Speaker, obviously)?  What if, despite successfully losing every vote during a complete term of office, a PM wins the next election?  Is that also to be a resignation issue in future?
On the plus side, new style politics might become a bit more fun that the old-style variety.

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