Thursday, May 13, 2010

No to 55pc

In response to a request earlier from my old friend Toque, I joined a Facebook Group dedicated to blocking the new government's daft proposal to stop this and future parliaments from being dissolved on a simple majority.

Here is what I wrote on the wall:

The 55pc proposal is the one really, really stupid idea* in an otherwise very sensible and forward-looking policy agreement by the new coalition. I am generally in favour of fixed-term parliaments in so far as we need to curb the power of Prime Ministers to seek dissolutions at the most electorally advantageous time, but there must always be an override to allow for situations where the government has lost the confidence of the House. The measure of this is and should continue to be 50pc of MPs plus one. To try to set that bar any higher is completely undemocratic, completely unworkable, and in fact completely implausible, in that no government that had lost the confidence of a majority of the House could ever hope to retain the confidence of the public.

* That was written before Cameron made Coulson his Director of Communications - easily the coalition's worst decision so far.

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