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Sei'taer
05-07-2010, 04:17 PM
Not being familiar with a parlimentary gov't, I'm having a hard time understanding exactly how this works.


Treacherous Lib Dems and Cameron's massive risk (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/election/article-1274938/UK-ELECTION-RESULTS-2010-Treacherous-Lib-Dems-Camerons-massive-risk.html?ito=feeds-newsxml)


For days after the General Election of February 1974 the Tory Prime Minister Edward Heath clung on in Downing Street. He could not bear the idea of losing office.
Even though he had secured fewer seats than Harold Wilson, his Labour opponent, Heath hoped that a pact with the Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe, later to be acquitted of conspiracy to murder his homosexual lover Norman Scott, would provide the solution to his problems.
Heath offered Thorpe the post of Home Secretary.

But after a weekend of supposedly secret and increasingly farcical negotiations, all talks broke down. With deep reluctance and total lack of grace, Heath was obliged to leave Downing Street.

The abortive Lib/Tory pact was the prelude to the most disastrous and shameful period of British post-war history.

The stock markets crashed, and so did industrial production. There were violent riots in the streets and many public services broke down. Inflation soared out of control and the savings of many honest and hard-working people were destroyed.
There was talk of socialist revolution, while senior Army officers, intelligence officers and industrialists held secret talks to discuss the possibility of a military coup.
A second election, held in October 1974, did nothing to resolve the situation because it left the balance of political parties in the House of Commons unchanged.

In due course, the International Monetary Fund was called in to help Britain resolve her chronic problems. Not until Margaret Thatcher achieved an outright majority in 1979 was Britain able to secure effective political leadership.

This weekend, history is eerily repeating itself. Once again we have the spectacle of a Prime Minister refusing to accept electoral defeat.
Like Edward Heath, Gordon Brown is making the classic mistake of confusing his personal ambition with the national interest.

Like Heath, Brown is trying to stay in Downing Street by striking a deal with the Liberal Democrats. And, as in 1974, political crisis has struck at a time of economic calamity.
The stockmarkets have fallen 10 per cent in the past week, while sterling is in freefall on the international currency exchanges. As in 1974 Britain faces a financial catastrophe.
It is impossible to overstate what a disaster the result of last Thursday's General Election has been for Britain. It means that alongside an economic crisis, we face political paralysis. One might call the situation a 'perfect storm'.
A second General Election is certain to be called within months, but, as in 1974, there is no guarantee that it will be bring clarity to what is in danger of becoming a desperate situation.
But there is also a more urgent short-term problem. Though Gordon Brown remains Prime Minister technically, and continues to occupy Downing Street, he has lost all authority.
If this political chaos is unresolved on Monday, the markets will turn inexorably on Britain, just as they have turned on Greece over the past few weeks.
So Britain has just two days to cobble together a short-term solution to our problems - or face financial meltdown. And yet Gordon Brown, like Edward Heath 36 years ago, is in no real position to provide the answer. He is profoundly unpopular and has been rejected by the electorate.
So this weekend the momentum lies with David Cameron.

It is true that he did not win an outright majority. Nevertheless, he has led the Conservative Party to one of the most famous triumphs in its history, adding well over 100 seats to the Tory representation in the Commons, a feat not achieved by any Tory leader for 80 years

Furthermore, it is worth bearing in mind that he scored a clear advantage of two million votes over Labour, scoring 36per cent of the popular vote against Gordon Brown's 29 per cent.
Had that situation been reversed, such is the gross unfairness of the British electoral system, Labour would today be boasting of an electoral triumph and a near three-figure parliamentary advantage over the Tories.
That is why this weekend everything rests on David Cameron, the 43-year-old Tory leader. Cameron is utterly unproven in high office, and has never even held a ministerial job.

Yet today he has been thrust into the heart of an economic and political crisis that will define his own destiny, and the future of Britain.
On top of that he is making vital decisions on the run, and with out the benefit of more than a few hours of snatched sleep. The first of his dilemmas was the biggest: should he offer to work with the Liberal Democrats.

It had always been Cameron's intention to avoid political entanglements. He had decided, in the event of a hung parliament, that the Conservatives would govern on their own.
If the Liberal Democrats chose to sabotage the Tories they would have to take the blame for bringing down this government, and the inevitable political instability that would follow.
But late on Thursday night, when the likelihood of a hung parliament became clearer, Cameron called a crisis meeting with his closest advisers.
They met again in Conservative headquarters early on Friday morning and the strategy became clear. It was essential to offer a deal to Nick Clegg. It would be disastrous for the national interest to act in any other way.
The rudiments of this deal were spelt out in a Press conference early yesterday afternoon. Cameron is offering much more than Nick Clegg can ever have expected: the possibility of Cabinet jobs, the prospect of electoral reform, and major concessions in key policy areas.
This strategy has massive risks. As Cameron is well aware he could spark a revolt inside the Conservative Party, many of whose most senior and influential-figures believe that the party could face electoral oblivion if proportional representation is introduced.

Almost certainly he can deal with potential rebels in his own party. Much more dangerous is treachery from the Liberal Democrats themselves. The majority of the party is profoundly hostile to a Tory government.
The Lib Dems will play a waiting game. They will try to avoid responsibility for David Cameron's most unpopular decisions, and plot secretly with Labour for the most convenient tactical moment to bring down the Tories and precipitate an election that can be fought on their terms.
The most dangerous moment will most likely come this autumn, by which time the Labour Party will have found time to regroup and elect a new leader who can work more easily with the Liberal Democrats than Gordon Brown.
For his part, yesterday David Cameron acted honourably and sensibly. He acted as a national leader and future Prime Minister rather than a partisan figure driven by factional advantage.
He made the Liberal Democrats a generous offer - and Nick Clegg will damage himself gravely if he refuses it.
My bet is that David Cameron will find himself in Downing Street by Monday morning. He has already shown that he has the moral stature to be British Prime Minister. This is his moment of destiny

Ok,

Even though the tories have a majority, Brown can go on as Prime Minister without giving up power?

If he decided to stay on, he could dissolve the gov't and call for another election, or if there is no majority, then the election is imminent? I'm not sure which is correct.

The deal they are talking about with the lib-dems is supposed to give the tories a majority, or is there some other reason for making a deal?

How can the lib-dems sabotage the deal when they only have 29 seats? (thats what I can find that they have anyway)

I'm sure I'll have more questions as we get into the explanation of these. Hell, I already do have more questions, but I don't want to overload anything.

Birgitte
05-07-2010, 04:26 PM
I've got another question... How can you be arrested for murder and not be required to give up your role in government?

Even though he had secured fewer seats than Harold Wilson, his Labour opponent, Heath hoped that a pact with the Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe, later to be acquitted of conspiracy to murder his homosexual lover Norman Scott, would provide the solution to his problems.
Heath offered Thorpe the post of Home Secretary.

Seriously, British people... You make no sense. I understand he was acquitted, but it just seems like the kind of thing to make the guy untrustworthy.

Jokeslayer
05-07-2010, 05:02 PM
Your dates are messed up B.

As for the rest of it ... pass.

Sarevok
05-07-2010, 05:19 PM
WEEEEEEEEEEEEEE a politics thread I actually know something about!!! :D:D:D


Ok,

Even though the tories have a majority, Brown can go on as Prime Minister without giving up power?
He could try, untill a majority in parliament would tell him to stop doing so, which would happen very quickly if he tried to act as a full-fledged PM while he's actually not.
Note that, unlike the directly elected president of the USA, the PM of the UK (and the Netherlands and most parliamenty democracies) is appointed by the parliament. Usually a member of the parliament itself is appointed and usually the leader of (one of) the major partie(s).

If he decided to stay on, he could dissolve the gov't and call for another election, or if there is no majority, then the election is imminent? I'm not sure which is correct.
What the author is probably worried about is the following scenario:
With this election result, the elected groups have to figure something out (see furth below). If they can't after trying for months, they might have to go back to the voters and basically say "we can't make this work, please vote again to give us another seat-distribution to work with." At this point both major parties would probably have lost so much face that they would lose even more seats, making the distribution even more unworkable.

The deal they are talking about with the lib-dems is supposed to give the tories a majority, or is there some other reason for making a deal?
The deal would be to convince the liberal-democrats to basically say "we approve of Cameron being the Prime Minister". To convince the lib-dems to do so, would take much negotiation and (at least in the Netherlands)would probably mean Clegg being appointed as a senior minister.

How can the lib-dems sabotage the deal when they only have 29 seats? (thats what I can find that they have anyway)
They would sabotage the deal by not accepting. The entire probably here is that the government (being PM and ministers) must be appointed by an absolute majority of the parliament. Usually, one of the main parties had this by getting 50% of the seats. Now that they don't, they need support from someone else to get to that 50% mark. Theoretically, they might even be able to get there with the help of several even smaller parties, but that's unlikely since that would require even more negotiation.
Considering the results:
Conservative   47.1%
Labour   39.7%
Liberal Democrat   8.8%
Democratic Unionist   1.2%
Scottish National   0.9%
Sinn Féin   0.8%
Plaid Cymru   0.5%
SDLP   0.5%
Green   0.2%
Alliance   0.2%
Independent   0.2%
Undetermined   0.2%
The only possibilties are:
Conservative + Lib Dem = 47.1%+8.8%=55.9
or
Conservatie + at least 3 smaller parties = (around 50.something%)
or
Labour + Lib Dem + at least 2 smaller partners = (around 50.something%)

The options with the smaller parties is quite unlikely, so they'd have to go back to the voters...

I'm sure I'll have more questions as we get into the explanation of these. Hell, I already do have more questions, but I don't want to overload anything.
Ask away! :D

RogueSavior
05-07-2010, 09:19 PM
I totally knew how this works, too! But then Sarevok went and stole all my thunder.

Also, the Parliamentary system is at least as silly as the Electoral College.

Especially since, after all that, the chosen Prime Minister is supposed to ask the Queen for permission to run the government.

I hope that, in the near future, the monarchy of England just goes "Nope. You're all idiots, maybe I'll run things again for awhile until you figure your shit out."

Sarevok
05-08-2010, 02:42 AM
I hope that, in the near future, the monarchy of England just goes "Nope. You're all idiots, maybe I'll run things again for awhile until you figure your shit out."

That would probably mean a very swift end to the monarchy. :)

GonzoTheGreat
05-08-2010, 03:18 AM
I've got another question... How can you be arrested for murder and not be required to give up your role in government?Poor and powerless people murder. Rich and powerful people are merely eccentric. Plus, he was a LibDem, whom no one takes seriously anyway. And, besides, as pointed out, the alleged murder attempt happened a few years later.

RS, if Charles* tries to run for absolute monarch, the British might very well find another Cromwell. As the saying goes "been there, done that, got the head on a pole to prove it".

* His mother isn't quite foolish enough to do it.

Uno
05-08-2010, 02:47 PM
A hung Parliament merely brings Britain closer to the situation common in much of western Europe, where coalition governments and multi-party cooperation is the norm, as a single party rarely commands the majority in the legislature. The British just aren't used to dealing with the situation, but I imagine they'll figure it out soon enough. If they ever have the electoral reforms they've been talking about, this will at any rate become the new British norm.

Nazbaque
05-08-2010, 07:29 PM
Well I knew most of this stuff and with the rest I could have made a good guess. But one thing I can't figure out with the UK politics is the House of Lords. What exactly is their relation with the Commons? Is their power the same we-give-you-these-powers-because-cutting-your-heads-off-would-be-too-messy-but-try-and-use-them-and-we-will-cut-off-your-heads-and-take-our-chances the monarchs have or have they got even less than that?

Sei'taer
05-08-2010, 08:38 PM
I guess my next question is how can Brown dissolve the gov't if he is not really in power? Or am I understanding incorrectly that he can?

Jokeslayer
05-09-2010, 02:03 AM
Well I knew most of this stuff and with the rest I could have made a good guess. But one thing I can't figure out with the UK politics is the House of Lords. What exactly is their relation with the Commons? Is their power the same we-give-you-these-powers-because-cutting-your-heads-off-would-be-too-messy-but-try-and-use-them-and-we-will-cut-off-your-heads-and-take-our-chances the monarchs have or have they got even less than that?

The House of Lords has more power than the queen. In that they actually have some.

GonzoTheGreat
05-09-2010, 03:50 AM
I guess my next question is how can Brown dissolve the gov't if he is not really in power? Or am I understanding incorrectly that he can?I think that the best answer to your questions is "yes". That's not very enlightening, which is a good indication of the muddle the British are in currently. Simply put, their system does not have any standard method for dealing with the current situation, so they have to muddle through and hope it all works out.

And, to be accurate: it isn't the government, but Parliament, which Brown could dissolve. Getting rid of the government is something that, in theory, only the Queen can do. The prime minister can schedule* new elections, and until he is replaced, Brown is still prime minister.

* Whenever he wants, but it has to be within five years of the previous ones, as far as I remember. If he actually uses that rule right now, then it is entirely possible that he wouldn't even win his own seat again, in which case he would be out. Government ministers have to be MPs too, in the UK.

Sarevok
05-09-2010, 04:32 AM
, Brown is still prime minister.

This. Except that when he would currently try to use his powers to do anything else than fix this mess he's in, the parliament would probably tell him to stop.
This power is always with the parliament, even in normal cicumstances. But in the old situation, it's unlikely the parliament, in which his own party has a majority, would go against him in a major way. Currently, he's the leader of a governmen appointed by an labour majority, which currenly no longer has that majority.
In the ideal future scenario there would be a combined conservatives/lib-dem government appointed by a parliament in which those parties combined have a majority. It would then be unlikely the parliament would vote against the plans of said govt. since the parties would need a very good reason to do so without looking like assholes voting against their own party.

GonzoTheGreat
05-09-2010, 05:13 AM
Caveat: as far as the voters are concerned, quite a lot of MPs have already got the "looking like assholes" down pat.

Orc
05-09-2010, 08:44 AM
Poor and powerless people murder. Rich and powerful people are merely eccentric. Plus, he was a LibDem, whom no one takes seriously anyway. And, besides, as pointed out, the alleged murder attempt happened a few years later.

But even if he had been in government at the time, he's innocent until proven guilty. I've always hated when it happens in Canadian politics: Someone accuses someone else of something, they are forced to resign, and later on you find out that they did absolutely nothing wrong.

Birgitte
05-09-2010, 07:40 PM
Your dates are messed up B.

Ooops :o

In my defense, what I know of British politics is that Gordon Brown called some old lady a bigot and she was horrified when she found out.... Thank you, Daily Show.

Also... finals week. Brain is fried.

Mort
05-10-2010, 04:07 AM
Ooops :o

In my defense, what I know of British politics is that Gordon Brown called some old lady a bigot and she was horrified when she found out.... Thank you, Daily Show.



He did. He called her that and when it became news he went and apologised. When he was getting back in his car, his mic was still on from the journalists who had interviewed him, there it was recorded yet again that he called the woman bigoted. People were not happy.

Ishara
05-10-2010, 08:02 AM
Well, we're not Britan, but the way it works here is that the Prime Minister asks the Governor General (the Queen's Representative in Canada) to dissolve Parliament. Our PM has done it twice in 2 years to avoid a non-confidence vote.

Ivhon
05-10-2010, 08:06 AM
Well, we're not Britaon, but the way it works here is that the Prime Minister asks the Governor General (the Queen's Representative in Canada) to dissolve Parliament. Our PM has done it twice in 2 years to avoid a non-confidence vote.

Seems fishy...Is this S.O.P. whenever an unpopular PM doesnt want to lose his job? How do you get around it?

Sei'taer
05-10-2010, 08:12 AM
Seems fishy...Is this S.O.P. whenever an unpopular PM doesnt want to lose his job? How do you get around it?

This.

And a follow-up, can the parliament simply boot the prime minister? It seems like it should be able to go both ways.

Sei'taer
05-10-2010, 08:42 AM
This helped a little bit (not).

London, England (CNN) -- After an election that left no party with a clear majority, the final decision over who becomes Britain's next prime minister could lie in the hands of one woman who never votes: The queen.

As a head of state, Queen Elizabeth has numerous traditional roles when it comes to elections and government, yet these are usually no more than ceremonial.

However, as with Thursday's vote that saw the opposition Conservatives secure more seats than Prime Minister Gordon Brown's Labour Party but not enough to form a working government, the queen's position becomes more complicated.

Full story: Political rivals jockey for power

The queen is the embodiment of Britain's constitutional monarchy and everything is done in her name. No laws can be passed nor parliaments opened or dissolved without her approval.

Such strict protocols bind all stages of the process to install a new prime minister -- often with a pomp and grandeur far removed from the boisterous world of British politics.

The 2006 film "The Queen" offered insight into this when Helen Mirren, playing the monarch, invites a nervous and kneeling Tony Blair to become prime minister after his 1997 landslide victory.

In her six decade reign, Queen Elizabeth has dealt with 11 prime ministers, including Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher, who reputedly had a tense relationship with the monarch during the weekly audiences that are also a traditional necessity.

Typically, although it is her role to anoint prime ministers, the queen does not get involved in the political process, remaining above the fray.

After an election, the queen will wait to see if the current prime minister gets a majority or assembles a coalition before inviting them to form a government. Only if they admit defeat and resign can she start to look elsewhere.

As negotiations to form a coalition progress, the queen will be kept informed from a distance, avoiding any direct involvement in the decision.

A high level group including her private secretary and the Cabinet secretary will brief her, but she will not be drawn into controversy.

But, in the unlikely event that no decision can be reached among the parties over who should become prime minister the queen does have powers to intervene.

She can, in theory, call a fresh election or stop a new election being called if she thinks there is another solution.

The queen has faced election hiccups before. The last was in 1974 when after days of party negotiations, she invited Labour to form a minority government. That administration lasted less than a year before Britain was back at the polls.

It usually falls to royal advisers to ensure the rules work and that the queen is kept well away from the political wheeling and dealing.

GonzoTheGreat
05-10-2010, 09:39 AM
Well, we're not Britan, but the way it works here is that the Prime Minister asks the Governor General (the Queen's Representative in Canada) to dissolve Parliament. Our PM has done it twice in 2 years to avoid a non-confidence vote.

Seems fishy...Is this S.O.P. whenever an unpopular PM doesnt want to lose his job? How do you get around it?Well, a good way of getting around it (for the voters, at least) is simply electing someone else by voting for another party.
If Parliament is dissolved, that means new elections. If the voters than elect precisely the same idiots again, that apparently means they are happy with the PM, no matter what he does. More or less the case with my own country, where our current PM has fairly recently lost his fourth cabinet in a row, and we are now going towards our fifth premature elections this century, as far as I remember.

irerancincpkc
05-10-2010, 10:41 AM
I took a class on this very subject, but what I would have said would have sounded very textbook, Sare did a much better job. :D

I really do love the whole system. Awesome thing to read up on. :D

Ishara
05-10-2010, 11:22 AM
Well...yes, and no.

See, right now the PM has a minority government, meaning he should be seeking consensus and tri-partisan agreement on the issues he pushed foward in the house. But this PM doesn't like play that game and so tends to incite arguments amongst the other 3 parties while he sneakily gets what he wants.

Or, if he's threatened with an absolute parliamentary revolt, then yes, he prorogues parliament until the new session in the sping, and by that time the edge is off and people come back having forgotten what made them so angry in the Fall.

The difficulty is that this is the 3rd minority government in 5 years (roughly). Canadians are sick of elections, and sick of having the same crappy options. Right now, if the vote of nonconfidence was successful, it's a very real possibility that Harper would still be successful in an election just because the other options are so crappy.

So, he gets away with it.

Sarevok
05-10-2010, 11:24 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ishara
Well, we're not Britan, but the way it works here is that the Prime Minister asks the Governor General (the Queen's Representative in Canada) to dissolve Parliament. Our PM has done it twice in 2 years to avoid a non-confidence vote.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivhon
Seems fishy...Is this S.O.P. whenever an unpopular PM doesnt want to lose his job? How do you get around it?
Asking the Governor (or queen, in the case of the UK or Netherlands) to dissolve the parliament means there will be new elections, after which the PM will be out of a job if his party doesn't win. So doing this basically means he's tendering his resignation, but with the understanding that he'll usually stay on untill a new government has been installed.

This.

And a follow-up, can the parliament simply boot the prime minister? It seems like it should be able to go both ways.
If a vote of no confidence is passed by the parliament against a single minister, the minister is expected to resign.
If a vote of no conficence is passed against the PM (or against the government [i.e. PM+ministers] as a whole) he's expected to tender the resignation of his government to the queen and call for new elections according to what's listed above.

You may want to consider that "simply booting the PM" is not as easy as it seems, because the system needs a PM. It's the same reason the representatives in the US can't "simply boot the president".

Sei'taer
05-10-2010, 11:35 AM
You may want to consider that "simply booting the PM" is not as easy as it seems, because the system needs a PM. It's the same reason the representatives in the US can't "simply boot the president".

I understand that, but the president also can't boot out the whole house or senate and ask for a re-vote either. That's what i'm trying to understand.

Sarevok
05-10-2010, 11:39 AM
I understand that, but the president also can't boot out the whole house or senate and ask for a re-vote either. That's what i'm trying to understand.

That's... uh... simple but difficult to explain....

*goes cook dinner*

I'll have to think this one over to explain correctly.

Edit:
The main reason for parliament dissolving when the PM resigns is that the PM is (almost) always the political leader of the largest party in parliament. If he resigns, he's basically giving up on governing the country with the currently coalition.
Theoretically, there are actually two options:
1. there are new elections
2. some parties in parliament might try to form a new coalition to form a goverment (at least one of the previous coalition partners to get to the 50% as mentioned earlier)

The break in a government usually occurs towards the end of a parliamentary term, since it's usually over an issue that came up some time after the coalition negotiations where any issues that were current during the negotiations would have been decided on. Because of this it's usually more efficient to just call for new elections a year early.
Also, since (one of) the largest party (parties) has just given up, it's considered the right thing to do to ask if the people still have confidence in the parties they've chosen a few years earlier.

In other words: the PM can't technically boot the parliament. However if he resign, it's usually presumed there will be new elections. If he were to resign his government and some other parties come up and say "we'll take over for the rest of the parliament's term" the (former) PM would just walk away and either leave politics, run for parliament next year, or become a mayor of somewhere. He could probably also talk one of his party's MPs into resigning and take his/her place in parliament.

Sarevok
05-10-2010, 12:41 PM
Something else that might be interesting. I read the following in a newspaper today:
Three days after the elections there's still no government! In the Netherlands we're used to it. In fact, we've been without a government for months and things are going fine.
The article goes on to make fun of the media which wants to give 24 hour coverage of the formation of the new government, but finds nothing to report on except "politcian arrives for meeting" and, at the end of the day "politician goes home". :D

I LOL'ed. :)

GonzoTheGreat
05-11-2010, 03:18 AM
I understand that, but the president also can't boot out the whole house or senate and ask for a re-vote either. That's what i'm trying to understand.The big difference you're having trouble with is probably that in the USA, the actual dates for elections are scheduled by law. So you usually* only have elections on predetermined dates once every two years.
In countries with Parliamentary systems, on the other hand, the usual rule is "have elections after at least X# years, or when parliament is dissolved, whichever comes sooner".

Furthermore, we also have separate elections for lower level government (state/province, county and such), and those too have the same "once every X years, or in between" rule. From what I know, you combine this with your other elections, giving each voter a massive 87 different forms to fill in, thus leading to things like the Florida Funny in 2000.

Another big difference, possibly even bigger than the previous one, is that your president and Congress are actually separate right from the elections. In parliamentary systems, the prime minister generally comes from Parliament, as Sare already indicated, and thus if he falls, that ties back into Parliament's legitimacy too.

* If all of Congress were to go to New Orleans, eat oil polluted crab and die, then you might have some unscheduled elections. Alternatively, no one would even notice. I'm not sure which of those two options would be used in such a case.

# X is usually the sensible number four, but the Brits don't do sensible, so they have a limit of 5 years.

Ishara
05-11-2010, 07:09 AM
Exactly. I mentioned it before, but there's a certain weariness around elections right now. So proroguing Parliament works in Harper's favour, because he knows no one wants an election badly enough to challenge him too far on it.

Really, if the Liberal party would just find a Leader who was charismatic, intelligent and knowledgable then we'd be in business. So far, we've had charismatic and knowledgable in Chretien; intelligent (but unbeliveably arrogant) in Paul Martin; knowledgable and intelligent (but no personality) in Stephane Dion, and; intelligent in Ignatieff.

If the Liberal party had had the guts to support Gerrard Kennedy in the first place, Canadian politics would be in a very different place right now. His problem was that he was too young (not quite 40) for the party to back him in his quest for leadership. But honestly, he's charismatic, he's charming, he's damn intelligent and he knows the system at both the provincial and federal level. Too bad, really.

Sei'taer
05-11-2010, 08:04 AM
Alright, so now that Brown is apparently going to step down, then the conservatives are going to elect a prime minister, I suppose David Cameron. I'm assuming they are in negotiations with the lib-dems to help them do this even though there hasn't been a clear showing of where the lib-dems will fall on this? Then the lib-dems will either support him or he can call for a new vote? Or as, Sare said earlier, if he has support from some of the smaller parties he'll have what he needs to keep the gov't going without an election. All he needs is majority support and he can go with it, even if that support isn't really all that stable.

Now, if all that is correct (and I'm really not sure that it is), then he only needs the lib-dems to get seated as prime minister, correct? Or will a simple majority vote be enough to make that happen?

yks 6nnetu hing
05-11-2010, 08:38 AM
They would sabotage the deal by not accepting. The entire probably here is that the government (being PM and ministers) must be appointed by an absolute majority of the parliament. Usually, one of the main parties had this by getting 50% of the seats. Now that they don't, they need support from someone else to get to that 50% mark. Theoretically, they might even be able to get there with the help of several even smaller parties, but that's unlikely since that would require even more negotiation.
ehm... I thought it was always 50%+1 votes. that's why the Estonian parliament has 101 members, to make sure there's never a tie. Although, in practise, a tie can still happen since only the voetes of the present Parliament members are counted. If, say, 11 PM's are out of the building at the time of the vote, there's 90 possible votes, say 6 remain indifferent and the rest split down the middle... or any such combination.

A hung Parliament merely brings Britain closer to the situation common in much of western Europe, where coalition governments and multi-party cooperation is the norm, as a single party rarely commands the majority in the legislature. The British just aren't used to dealing with the situation, but I imagine they'll figure it out soon enough. If they ever have the electoral reforms they've been talking about, this will at any rate become the new British norm.That.


And a follow-up, can the parliament simply boot the prime minister? It seems like it should be able to go both ways.

the parliament can start a vote of no confidence against the PM or any of the ministers, or the cabinet as a whole, usually if the no confidence vote passes - also if it's a minister of the cabinet rather than the Prime Minister - it is considered politically correct for the Prime Minister to resign. If it's the Prime Minister or the Cabinet as a whole then they MUST resign. Also, depending on the country, sometimes the President (or Monarch) can ask the Prime Minister to resign.

Or, it can happen that one of the coalition partners decides they don't want to be int eh coalition any more, so they resign and so force the coalition as a whole to re-arrange themselves.

Sarevok
05-11-2010, 10:12 AM
ehm... I thought it was always 50%+1 votes.

That's what I said. :p