Saturday, July 07, 2007

The power to dissolve parliament and the PM

Every so often something that just makes the headlines strikes you as odd, but then there are more important things to garb you attention.

Gordon Brown's plan to give up the Prime Minister prerogative to ask the sovereign to dissolve parliament is one of those.

No one seemed that excited - after all what real difference will it make ? Certainly today's Economist thinks it means little if the prime minister of the day commands a majority in parliament ( after all Mr Brown is not asking for fixed terms ).

But of course nothing Gordon does is by accident. This has implications, its just not had that much investigation yet. My guesses are as follows:

    1) This will be key in a hung parliament. Say we have three main parties and the Lib Dems as king maker - they can chose which party governs and prevent a further general election. They can in effect sack one party and offer the government to the other with no risk that an out going prime minister might call a general election. Think - if David Cameron did a deal with Ming and the Lib Dems - at any time they could call the Labour party back into power. The power would move from the prime minister to the leader of the Liberal Democrats !

    Perhaps Gordon calculates that this would guarentee that any minority Conservative administration would be neutered at birth. ( Since the Lib Dems are to the left of Labouir on many things and similar centre left government would not be so constrained.)

    2) The office of prime minster and in effect leader of the party would become much less powerful and the business of leadership much harder. No one could threaten his own party with a general election unless they towed the line. Weaker government must result.


Any other ideas ?

1 comment:

IanP said...

I believe that in a large part most of the Royal prerogatives that Gordon has given up are the powers that are going to Brussels.

Such as declaring a war, dissolving all the national parliaments, and potentially choosing national leaders.

Until we see the exact detail of the draft we will not know, but we DO know that he lied about the Union Jack only being able to be flown for a few days a year, so why should we believe anything else he tells us.