Parlour games?

The Guardian’s Nicholas Watt recently wrote that the ongoing phone-hacking scandal and Prime Minister David Cameron’s closeness to central players in the Murdoch empire (e.g. Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson) leaves him vulnerable to having Nick Clegg “pull the plug” not on the coalition, but on Cameron himself: This is where the eyes of Lib Dems really light up. If damaging details emerge Clegg could go to Cameron and say that his party is deeply committed to the coalition but it can no longer serve under him as prime minister. At this point Cameron has to decide: does he sacrifice his career to save the coalition, paving the way for another Tory to take his place as prime minister, or […]

Some interesting links

1. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg’s appearance before the House of Lords Constitution Committee On 18 May 2011, UK Deputy PM Nick Clegg appeared before the Lords Select Constitution Committee to discuss issues such as the AV referendum aftermath, Lords reform and other constitutional matters. You can watch that session here. 2. Role and Powers of the Prime Minister The UK Commons Select Committee on Political and Constitutional Reform is currently conducting an inquiry into the Role and Powers of the Prime Minister. They’ve published on volume of written evidence, and one submission stood out for me, a paper by the Lord Hennessy of Nympsfield, FBA, Attlee Professor of Contemporary History, School of History, Queen Mary, University of London, which […]

Keyword post: Some answers to search results

This post will provide answers to actual search engine queries that led people to this blog. None of these would really make a full blog post on their own, which is why I’ve decided to answer a few in one post. 1. How many people did/didn’t vote for David Cameron? This one is very easy to answer. Exactly 23,796 people did not vote for David Cameron in the May 2010 general election. Cameron stood for election in the constituency of Witney, opposed by nine other candidates. Voter turnout in that riding was 57,769 (73.8%), and of that, 33,973, or 58.8% voted for Cameron, meaning 23,796 voters voted for other candidates. It is important to remember that in parliamentary systems such […]

Keyword post: How does the Prime Minister end up Prime Minister?

It seems a few readers have been looking for information on the procedure for electing a Prime Minister. In a parliamentary system such as we have in Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, etc., the Prime Minister is not directly elected by the voters. They are a Member of the legislative body in question, and so elected as the representative of whichever constituency they run in. They are also the leader of a political party. They only become Prime Minister if their party ends up forming the government, either on its own or as part of a coalition or other arrangement.They do not have to be the leader of the party which has the most seats in the legislature – […]

Watch those open mics

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Prime Minister David Cameron were in Nottingham promoting the government’s budget. During a round of applause, Clegg was caught off mic saying to Cameron: “If we keep doing this we won’t find anything to bloody disagree on in a bloody TV debate.” You can hear it for yourself on The World At One. It’s at the 7:13 mark. Related Posts:Do we need a Peoples’ PMQs?Coalition Works!Media agendas?Not the best, but somewhat trustedOn truth in politics

Lessons Learned – Part 2

Continuing my discussion of the House of Commons Political and Constitutional Reform Committee’s recent report, Lessons from the process of Government formation after the 2010 General Election, in this section, I will look at their findings regarding when a Prime Minister should resign and the appointment of the new Prime Minister. Parliamentary custom and convention dictate that, in the event of a hung Parliament, the incumbent Prime Minister has the right to remain in office and attempt to form a government that will command the confidence of the House of Commons. The PM has another important constitutional duty to fulfill, and that is to “ensure that the Monarch is not without an advisor, and therefore to remain in office until […]