Remove the greasy pole to number 10

Reduce the overlap between parliament (as legislature and scrutineer) and the executive branch of govermnent. There is too much temptation for MPs to compromise their principles; not to achieve better outcomes for those whom they represent but to climb the greasy pole into government.

The unwritten constitution we have includes separation of the powers providing checks and balances. It is good in theory but does it work? Parliament is supposed to hold the executive government to account but MPs who want to get into government positions may have conflicts of interest. If only they could get that junior minister role they might have more influence and so toe a line they feel uncomfortable with, just this time and then again ... 

If there were separate elections for the executive and for the legislature some of this conflict might be avoided and, subject to sorting out funding, more independent or cross party candidates may  be elected to parliament. The career politicians who have power not representation of the people in mind could stand on "tickets" for executive office and leave the people who genuinely want to represent others to stand for parliament.

A parliament separate from the executive would be in a much stronger position to hold government to account and voters would at last be able to vote for a prime minister and his or her top team.

I am aware of the deadlock risks but on balance I suggest this greater separation.

Malcolm Ramsay Apr 15, 2015

"A parliament separate from the executive would be in a much stronger position to hold government to account"

I'm sorry there's been no debate on this idea yet. It's certainly one I think should be implemented, though perhaps not quite in the form proposed. My own, more radical, proposal didn't make it past the cut, but there's been some debate on a less radical approach in 'Limit the powers of the Prime Minister' – – so perhaps the two ideas could be brought together.


Titus Alexander Apr 17, 2015

To achieve this we would either have to have a presidential system, electing a president or prime minister who appoints government ministers "of all the talents" as in the US, with all the deadlock risks. The fact that ministers are also representatives means that they are more likely to stay in touch with at least their own electorate. In France over two-thirds of the members of the government are engaged in one or two more local mandates as mayors or deputy mayors, which may be another way of ensuring local connections.

This proposition addresses a real issue but needs more work.

Malcolm Ramsay Apr 17, 2015

I don't think the crowd would support having the Executive directly elected (I think some proposals on that were voted down in phase one) but there is support in the proposal 'Separation of Powers' (in the Values section) – – for ensuring Parliament and Executive are kept separate. I've just posted the following there:

I suggest that separation between the Judiciary and the other two branches is taken care of in other proposals, particularly Conor's threads on how judges are appointed and overseen. I'd say the easiest way of ensuring separation between Parliament and Executive is simply to require any MP who is appointed as a Minister to give up their seat (which would create two different political career paths). I suggest:

Any Member of Parliament who is appointed to the office of minister shall give up their seat in Parliament

Listed below are some loosely related links: a couple of proposals in the Government section which require the PM and Cabinet Ministers to be appointed by Parliament and another in the Parliament section which says that MPs may not have second jobs: