Parliamentary oversight in terms of the appointment of PM/Dep PM or the popular vote

I have a feeling but I wish push the limits. Maybe it should be in Parliament's remit to ratify the appointments but not based upon a simple party majority or coalition. Might not a cutoff point say two thirds of ALL MP's would have to vote for the candidate before final ratification? 

And ... Might the citizens choose between the party leaders during the general voting system who they feel might represent them? This might be attached to the general ballot and might act as a powerful guide to the eventual parliamentary vote? 

Christine Farquharson Apr 7, 2015

To start of commenting in phase 2, here's a summary of some of what was said during the first phase. Please remember to keep commenting and voting on ideas in order to give idea authors a sense of what is important to include in their refined proposals.

- Tom Austin: diminishing the role of political parties in UK politics is an important first step (1 down)

- degauntier: What would replace diminished parties? Cults of personality, technocratic governance? It might be a good idea to consider granting constitutional protection to smaller parties which reach a certain threshold of popularity and internal democracy. If you want to get rid of a system dominated by a few big parties, you have to make a policy decision backed with resources to support smaller parties. (1 up)

- GavinRuss supports state funding of political parties, but notes that people frequently coalesce around a charismatic leader.

- Andrew Bulovsky: What happens if no one agrees on the appointment of a PM/Deputy PM?

- JimF: Creating a 2/3 threshold for the appointment of the PM or Deputy PM creates problems of gridlock, likely making effective governance difficult or impossible.

- Tom Austin: This would not be a major problem because parties would take the long view. In a two party system, the minority party would co-operate so that it would not be stymied after it won an election. In a three-party system there would be a coalition. In a multi-party system there are more opportunities for more complex networks of support.

Tom Austin Apr 7, 2015

Going back to Gavin's original Proposal.

The operative word strikes me as being; Commitment.

Party is committed to Party, Party-MP is committed to Party, Party-leader is committed to Party (and vice versa?), Party-supporter's commitment may be spread around within Party. BUT! Whatever commitment the Voter may show towards a particular party Leader is unlikely to be reciprocated and may go no further than Party.

I was never so much against Party as I was all-for Policies. For all is Policy; policy is what has us thinking in terms of this Party or that to begin with. Why, oh why, is it seen as a good thing to supplant our internal preferences regarding Policy with Party-policy?

I simply wish there was a way to keep the 'torch' of policy lit. Failing that, we remain tied to 'leader' as we are to 'Party'.

Andrew Bulovsky Apr 13, 2015

With only one week remaining in the refining stage, the facilitators will draft some language for this idea. We'll do everything we can to redraft the original submission in line with your comments and suggestions. If the original poster would like to take over the idea they are more than welcome to at any point. Please do comment to offer suggestions on specific wording and to guide us on which suggestions should take priority (by voting them up/down).

"To help mitigate concerns of gridlock, simple majority support in the House of Commons is all that shall be required for a Prime Minister to remain in power.  To strengthen the link between the electorate and the Government, prior to an election, each party shall declare to the public who will become Prime Minister should that party receive a majority of seats."

Tom Austin Apr 14, 2015

Andrew, This whole idea may well have to go.

First sentence: The PM is the Government, and the choice of the winning Party/Group, and when a vote of no confidence is lost there should be a general election.

Second sentence: This is all well and good, IF that PPC wins their seat. (see comment above)

Malcolm Ramsay Apr 15, 2015

This could perhaps be linked with James Doran's proposal to 'Limit the powers of the prime minister' – https://constitutionuk.com/post/79757 – where the proposal is for Cabinet Ministers to be appointed by Parliament. We'd then be talking about the entire Cabinet being appointed by Parliament.

A combined clause might be something like:

  • Each party shall declare to the public who will become Prime Minister should that party receive a mandate to govern alone.
  • A majority vote in the House of Commons shall be sufficient to replace the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister within [100 days] of a General Election. A Prime Minister so appointed shall have sole discretion to replace any member of the Cabinet within [100 days].
  • A majority vote in both Houses of Parliament shall be required to replace or appoint [the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister or] any member of the Cabinet except that the Prime Minister shall have discretion to appoint a new Minister to a Cabinet post which has remained vacant for [30?] days.

The current principle, I believe, is that the Cabinet remains in place throughout the election and post-election horse-trading. In the event of Parliament not replacing members of the Cabinet, following an indecisive election, the existing Executive would simply remain in place. I think this would help the distinction between Parliament and Executive which is proposed in 'Separation of Powers' (in the Values section) – https://constitutionuk.com/post/90982 – and 'Remove the greasy pole to number 10' (in the Parliament section) – https://constitutionuk.com/post/81412

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