Summoning Parliament

(Note: Not the information you’re looking for? I do try to help people as much as I can and regularly monitor key word activity on this blog to see what is bringing people here. If this post doesn’t answer your questions, please consider contacting me with details regarding what information you’re looking for, including context (i.e. if it relates to something currently in the news). I might be able to answer your question(s), or at least direct you to a site that might provide more answers. I will reply to you by email, and if it’s a very interesting question, I may even write a proper blog post about it.) Following the May 2010 UK general election, I remember being […]

Lessons learned – Part 1

Last week, the House of Commons Political and Constitutional Reform Committee released their two-volume report Lessons from the process of Government formation after the 2010 General Election. It’s a fascinating reading, if, like me, you find this sort of thing fascinating. The report (found in Volume I – Volume II is written evidence) tackles the following subjects: Constitutional Rules and Conventions, Practical aspects of government formation, the Coalition’s Programme for Government, Pre-election and post-election activity, and the Cabinet Manual. I want to discuss only a few of the points made and raised in the report. This will probably take the form of at least two, perhaps three, posts on this subject. (Note, while the links provided above are to the […]

A Parliament, by any other name…

In an earlier post, I vented about the Canadian media’s tendency to declare the results of recent elections “minority governments” even before it emerged what sort of government would be formed. I wrote that it would be preferable to refer to outcomes wherein no party won a majority of seats as a “hung parliament”, as occurs in the UK. Recently, a friend of mine referred me to a blog post that proposed the term “balanced parliament”. Today I learned two things. First, that the term “hung parliament” is of relatively recent usage even in the UK, and second, that the Liberal Democrats (and the Scottish Nationalist Party) use the term “balanced parliament”. Regarding the history of “hung parliament”, I refer […]

Musings on rep by pop

In countries with representative democracy, we elect people to a legislative body to represent us. The representatives form an independent ruling body (for an election period) charged with the responsibility of acting in the people’s interest, but not as their proxy representatives, that is not necessarily always according to their wishes, but with enough authority to exercise swift and resolute initiative in the face of changing circumstances. While following the results of the recent Australian election, I noted that Australia’s House of Representatives has 150 seats, less than half the number of the Canadian House of Commons (308). Of course, Australia has a smaller population than Canada, but not quite that much smaller. Australia has about two-thirds the population of […]