Thursday, 8 November 2012

Separation Of Powers

Witterings from Witney makes an excellent point about the difference (or lack of) between the antics of Nadine Dorries and the position of David Cameron as an MP and Prime Minister (one minor difference is those in Witney knew what they were getting, but Dorries' constituents didn't expect her to swan off for a month on taxpayers' money - however the wider point remains).

So because WfW's MP also happens to be the Prime Minister in effect it leaves him disenfranchised not much different de facto to those of Mid Bedfordshire:
In the context of the question it is necessary to repeat a question that I have posed, as one of his constituents, to David Cameron; namely how can he, as my Member of Parliament, represent me against what I consider an injustice as a result of government policy when he is the Government and who actually decides government policy? This question should be put by every constituent whose Member of Parliament accepts ministerial or PPS office.
This conflict of interest between trying to represent your constituents on matters that maybe against government policy are obvious and a situation which WfW has rightly railed against for years. This also applies to residents of Buckingham with regard to the Speaker and those whose MPs are ministers or part of the government in any capacity such as mine - Ed Vaizey.

As I've noted on my blog before what we have is a 'fusion of powers' between the legislative and executive. This is most symbolically evident on the green benches, where part of the legislative sits with the government and opposite sits the rest of the legislative; the green benches usually split along tribal party lines. So instead of accountability via legislative vs executive, we have instead some legislative and executive vs the rest of the legislative. Accountability of the government is diminished as a result.

This lack of separation is in part why Cameron was so keen to reduce the number of MPs. Cynically tapping into public anger over MPs expenses, what Cameron was in effect doing was proposing to tip the balance of power towards himself - the Executive. By reducing MPs he reduces the number of backbench MPs who are supposed to scrutinise the government - thus making government legislation much easier to pass because of fewer rebels.

The current situation is not fit for purpose, therefore a proper separation of powers is a must, and the only way to achieve that is a directly elected Prime Minister as per the Harrogate Agenda.

1 comment:

  1. This is a very important point. I had often thought about it regarding the Speaker. Though until the Harrogate discussions about elected PM's I had not considered it for ministers.

    I guess sometimes, I, Like many people I imagine, miss these things that are "Hidden in plain sight".