Once again I find it necessary to cross swords with The Freedom Association, this time over the content of an article that appears under their banner and authored by their Campaign Manager, Andrew Allison.
Commenting on the fact that there was a debate in the House of Commons today calling for the repeal of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011, the article continues by maintaining that the benchmark required to call an early general election is nigh on impossible to achieve, thus taking power away from our elected representatives and putting it firmly in the hands of the Executive.
Readers will be aware that I have written on this subject previously, having had first-hand experience of being politically disenfranchised. The purpose of electing an MP is to represent you and hold the government of the day to account; plus,where necessary, take forward your grievances about policies adopted by said government.
The position in which I find myself is similar to anyone whose MP is a member of the government, be that Secretary of State, Minister of State, etc right down to those serving as Parliamentary Private Secretaries (PPS). It is a condition of holding those positions that the holder will always back the decisions of the government regardless of the source of any comment/complaint/argument. To be added to this group must be those from the back benches who hope to be promoted to ministerial office and will therefore support their party come what may; those willing to vote as their whips tell them; plus those who support their party by rote and thus can be classified as nodding donkeys.
Where the foregoing is concerned, my Member of Parliament (the Legislature) is David Cameron – but he is also the Prime Minister (the Executive). This begs the question of how can one man hold himself to account on behalf of third party as there must be an immediate conflict of interest. As I was informed, during one such meeting with my MP, where national policy conflicts with local policy, then national policy reigns supreme.
Fixed Term Parliaments or not, when one political party – or a Coalition – holds a majority of seats in the House of Commons power always has resided with the Executive due to the lack of separation of powers twixt the Legislature and the Executive and one would have thought that a think tank would have been aware of this basic point.
(For an expanded explanation with regard to the need for a separation of powers, go read this.)