The Real Definition of ‘Parliamentary Democracy’

In a self-publicising interview today before the release of his memoirs the ex-Prime Minister of the United Kingdom David Cameron reveals that he had offered Boris Johnson, the now Prime Minister a ‘top job’ in the cabinet if he supported the Remain campaign…  From my perspective and (I would like to think) the perspective of most people; the decision whether or not to vote Remain’ or ‘Leave’ in the 2016 referendum was one based on opinion after having weighed up the pros and cons of the argument.  It would seem however that for (at least some) British politicians the decision was apparently one likely to be based on whether or not someone offered you an important job.

Is this the sort of leader and leadership that we want?  Do we want the decisions for the future of the country to be based around whether or not the person making the decision is getting a promotion out of it?  Isn’t this just another example of ‘the end justifies the means’?

It is presumably OK to bribe a politician to vote with you as long as it is for a cause in which you personally believe.  It it also presumably OK for a politician not to have any principles other than the principle of pursuing their own career.

In an environment where a representative of the people can be convinced to change their position based on something other that the argument in hand, there ceases to be any representation of the people – the representation becomes purely personal.  For the United Kingdom, this means that the only votes that count are those of the 660 Members of Parliament.

This therefore is the true meaning of ‘Parliamentary Democracy’.


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