[Part 1 was published yesterday, you can read it here.]
Governing party majority not necessary to bring about Brexit
It is not necessary for a governing political party to command a Parliamentary majority in order to get laws passed. This can be done by sensible argument, as recent votes have demonstrated.
It is not necessary or indeed desirable to hold an early General Election just because the government cannot get their version of Brexit passed into law.
MP’s are constituency MP’s even though the majority of them are elected on a political party basis. As such they have a duty to their constituency and to their country which should override their duty to their party. This includes respecting and delivering on the 2016 UK EU referendum result.
Guernsey: one of many examples of a Parliament which is effective without any “governing” majority.
It is worth noting what some other jurisdictions do in respect of their Parliamentary procedures to see that they can still be involved with policy implementation, even when it might vary from that of the governing politicians.
When the pact was agreed between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, the Crown Dependency of Guernsey argued that they were the forerunner of coalition agreements, as they were a coalition of Independents.
As a former elected Member of the Guernsey Parliament for thirteen years ( 1991-2004), I can attest to the fact that all the elected representatives are Independents and they vote in their senior members of government themselves from among their elected colleagues. Although there is no “opposition” any elected member/s can make alternative political proposals to those favoured by the government, and this is an accepted part of the representative democracy there.
Similarly, we should not be upset if in the UK Parliament, elected Members do not support government proposals from time to time. Guernsey, like numerous jurisdictions, has had fixed term Parliaments for years, and the UK should not change the Fixed Term Parliament Act of September 2011 for what appears to be party political expediency.
We should also not be upset with the Commons Speaker, John Bercow, for his influencing of debates.
It is said he has a remainer bias and some of his decisions have been questioned. However, in other Parliamentary democracies, it would be deemed perfectly in order for Members to make their own proposals and amendments.
It is also perfectly in order for a Parliament to want to scrutinise legislation and amend it where appropriate.
It did the Leave side no good at all to be seen to be wanting to rush through a very poor Brexit Bill, whereas some of the Remainers were seen as wanting to do this job properly.
Has Dominic Cumming’s advice faltered or been ignored ?
It seems that Boris Johnson is either being given poor advice on the Brexit issue by his strategist Dominic Cummings, or simply making poor judgements himself. None of this is helping the Brexit cause.
It is a reminder of the fact that there were two Brexit campaigns during the referendum campaign, in competition with each other.
Would the Election achieve a changed Parliament?
This call for an Election is based on trying to get this fake Brexit deal through Parliament.
The government is demanding that the Fixed Term Parliament Act is circumvented by goading the opposition MP’s into voting for an election.
If this election was granted and if the Conservatives are successful, it could result in either a betrayal through no delivery of Brexit or the pretend Johnson/May deal.
In other words those who voted to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum will have been let down and their faith in democracy damaged beyond repair.
If the Labour and/or other parties are successful, it is highly unlikely that Brexit will ever be delivered at all.
It appears that Boris Johnson is basically taking a huge gamble and assuming the Conservatives will gain seats and a big workable majority to get this “deal” through.
He and his advisers have not taken into account how fed up the public is with the Conservative government of many years. The public could be attracted by the blatant remainer Liberal Democrats or the alternative social programme of the Labour party.
Or they could vote elsewhere. Unless UKIP stages a remarkable recovery, they have little chance indeed.
However, The Brexit Party, if they distance themselves from the Conservative party and take on at least a couple of radical new policies which are attractive to supporters of all parties, could break into power and ensure there is a clean break Brexit.
Is the alternative answer that of an agreement to hold an Election for a Parliament which would sit for eighteen months before another Election has to be called ?
Another problem with breaking the Fixed Term of Parliament is that it is publicly being asked for in respect of one reason – that of Brexit – but the reality is that the election is for the next five years. The public could be voting for one party to achieve Brexit but then getting a lot of other policies they did not really want.
This is why the only reasonable reason for an early General Election should be for a period of say eighteen months, on the subject of getting the Brexit issues resolved, and then having another General Election at the end of that period. This would have to be in the resolution.
That is the only way there could be a benefit in having an early General Election, and it should be as early as possible, not December 12th. Indeed many prefer the earlier option.