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What does 'Parliamentary Democracy' mean to you?

(45 Posts)
biba70 Wed 22-Jul-20 14:30:44

In view of the recent decision to disallow our MPs to represent us in Parliament - does 'Parrliamentary Democracy' still exist today? Discuss.

lemongrove Wed 22-Jul-20 14:35:56

You mean that only a percentage of MP’s can actually sit in the Chamber?
It won’t be forever, but there is really no choice, given the pandemic .

Whitewavemark2 Wed 22-Jul-20 14:49:52

lemongrove

You mean that only a percentage of MP’s can actually sit in the Chamber?
It won’t be forever, but there is really no choice, given the pandemic .

No - do keep up lemon it is that this government has prevented our representatives from being able to vote on any trade deal they may get with any country. This will include hiving off bits of the NHS, lowering our environmental and food standards etc. You will no longer have a say in the matter, whatever your Political leaning.

lemongrove Wed 22-Jul-20 15:06:25

Then the OP should have said what she meant, we are not soothsayers.
The government have a mandate to govern, so I don’t see why all MP’s should have votes on trade deals.

Curlywhirly Wed 22-Jul-20 15:12:56

Lemongrove "The government have a mandate to govern, so I don't see why all MPs should have votes on trade deals".

What??????!!!!!!!

lemongrove Wed 22-Jul-20 15:17:34

Nothing would ever happen ( or would take years) if everything had to be voted on.
It’s up to the government to agree trade deals because of Brexit.
Remember the log jam in Parliament last year?

Illte Wed 22-Jul-20 15:18:31

Well, I'm sitting idly in the garden and I found the title of the post quite interesting and stopped to have a think about the question.

I'm not sure what it means. A Parliament where all elected members, have a vote a d the biggest vote wins the day.
Or a Parliament elected by a democratic principle where the majority party then gets to decide.

I thought it was a really interesting question so I was a bit disappointed that it was just a lead in to the same old political wrangling

MaizieD Wed 22-Jul-20 15:47:32

The key point of Parliamentary democracy is that it is Parliament (i.e the totality of MPs of whatever party) that is sovereign, not the Executive. The Executive is the Crown's 'arm' in parliament. It is not sovereign. This is the bit that people don't seem to understand. The Executive makes proposals, it is up to Parliament to scrutinise those proposals, suggest amendments and to vote on proposals, which may well have been amended by a parliamentary majority vote. If Parliament doesn't like what is proposed and votes it down, or amends it the Executive (government) has no power to go against parliament's decision.

This is how it should be. This is what parliamentary sovereignty is about and it was developed to curb the supreme power of the monarch. That is what the Civil War in the 17th C was all about, Parliament versus the Monarch. Parliament won.

The government have a mandate to govern, but only with the consent of the people as expressed by their representatives in parliament.

This is why there was so much outcry over the Henry VIII clauses in the Withdrawal Act, which gave the Executive powers to act without the scrutiny of Parliament and why people are now horrified by Parliament itself voting to deny itself the power to scrutinise trade deals. Contrary to what people believe, government does not have absolute power.

I am astounded that MPs are so ignorant of the principles of parliamentary sovereignty that they vote to curtail it.

Perhaps it's time for another Civil War...

lemongrove Wed 22-Jul-20 15:52:11

The government of the day do decide on many things, not everything is voted upon.
I don’t think we want another civil war thanks MaizieD😱

MaizieD Wed 22-Jul-20 15:59:25

The government of the day do decide on many things, not everything is voted upon.

Only if they've been given the authority to do so by Parliament.

growstuff Wed 22-Jul-20 16:05:41

I agree with Illte. It's a fascinating subject and one which people much wiser than I have written about at length. I'm going to be busy for a while, but it would be good if this thread develops into a grown up discussion.

Maizie The electorate now is very different from in the past. The UK has only had universal adult suffrage since 1928(?). Does that make a difference?

"Democracy" must be one of the most maligned words in political debate because there is no agreement about what it means or whether it's even achievable or desirable.

Spangler Wed 22-Jul-20 16:06:22

biba70

In view of the recent decision to disallow our MPs to represent us in Parliament - does 'Parrliamentary Democracy' still exist today? Discuss.

“If voting made any difference they wouldn't let us do it.”
Mark Twain.

Whitewavemark2 Wed 22-Jul-20 16:09:49

At its most basic it means government by the people for the people. One person, one vote.

There isn’t a perfect democracy on this earth but some countries are better than others.

What is alarming is that democracy has to be constantly fought for in this country. I would very much like to see a written constitution.

MaizieD Wed 22-Jul-20 16:42:49

Maizie The electorate now is very different from in the past. The UK has only had universal adult suffrage since 1928(?). Does that make a difference?

Goodness, we didn't cover things like that in that 'course' in my degree grin

I can't see that the theory and principles have changed. The Separation of Powers still holds (just about) and parliamentary procedures and traditions are very much based on 'custom and practice' worked out over 3 centuries.

I think that the widening of the suffrage makes it more difficult to satisfy the electorate as a whole because there are far more competing interests in play. After all, when the only interests represented in parliament were those of the aristocracy and the middle classes, whose interests very broadly coincided (money and power) it was easier to satisfy the electorate.

Once the 'working man' and all women were included there are obviously more radical conflicts of interest. People get very frustrated and disillusioned with 'democracy' if they constantly feel ignored and uncatered for. And disenfranchise themselves because of it. (But I don't think I really need to tell you that...)

"Democracy" must be one of the most maligned words in political debate because there is no agreement about what it means or whether it's even achievable or desirable.

I don't think it's a topic which attracts much in depth interest here on Gnet...

Davidhs Wed 22-Jul-20 17:00:26

Democracy ended when we elected a Tory Government with an 80 seat majority, it is unthinkable that it will be overturned, they can do exactly as they want. So we are stuck with them for 4 1/2 yrs, although it’s highly likely there will be a change of leader fairly soon, Gove wants that job.

There is no point arguing what should or should not happen or how many MPs actually vote it makes no difference. I suppose civil disorder or rioting in the streets might change minds but I wouldn’t even bet on that.

MaizieD Wed 22-Jul-20 18:16:09

I suppose civil disorder or rioting in the streets might change minds but I wouldn’t even bet on that.

It did for Maggie T

Davidhs Wed 22-Jul-20 19:05:45

The Iron Lady - U turn if you want to, the lady’s not for turning, did she turn?, too long ago for me.

LOL

Blinko Wed 22-Jul-20 19:11:44

Davidhs she turned on the question of the Poll Tax. She was reportedly horrified that people marched and rioted in the streets.

Grany Wed 22-Jul-20 19:15:06

The Labour Party is back in the pocket of the establishment.

They have no fire, no guts, no opposition, no principles, and remain 30 points off where they promised us the party would be under any other leader but Corbyn.

Johnson and Cummings can’t believe their luck.

Not a single question from Keir Starmer at #PMQs about the Tories voting against protecting the NHS from future trade deals on Monday.

What a massive open goal missed!!

If it was Jeremy Corbyn making these mistakes, Centrists would be shrieking it from the rooftops.

Why would Keir Starmer settle a case that Labour's lawyers said the party would win? And why would he choose to spend members' dues on compensation to people who might not have been owed it?

As Corbyn says, the reason can only be political.

Illte Wed 22-Jul-20 19:21:35

There. And I hoped it was going to be an intellectual, abstract sort of debate🙄

MaizieD Wed 22-Jul-20 19:59:15

Illte

There. And I hoped it was going to be an intellectual, abstract sort of debate🙄

You really should know better!

I tried...

MaizieD Wed 22-Jul-20 20:01:05

Really not sure what your post has to do with what Parliamentary Democracy means to you', Grany hmm

Illte Wed 22-Jul-20 20:08:08

I'm fairly new, Maizie though I have learned to avoid the obvious "have a go" threads. But the question made me stop and think even before I opened the thread. So I was hopeful.

It didn't have to be political did it? I mean the question remains regardless of political persuasion or who is in power.

Thanks for trying.

growstuff Wed 22-Jul-20 20:12:55

*I think that the widening of the suffrage makes it more difficult to satisfy the electorate as a whole because there are far more competing interests in play. After all, when the only interests represented in parliament were those of the aristocracy and the middle classes, whose interests very broadly coincided (money and power) it was easier to satisfy the electorate.

Once the 'working man' and all women were included there are obviously more radical conflicts of interest. People get very frustrated and disillusioned with 'democracy' if they constantly feel ignored and uncatered for. And disenfranchise themselves because of it. (But I don't think I really need to tell you that...)*

That's what I was wondering. Before universal adult suffrage, MPs were elected (and Parliament represented) a narrow range of interests. The mid nineteenth century changes meant that business had an interest, rather than just the landed gentry, but Parliament was still more like an academic debating chamber.

The original "democrats" of Ancient Greece weren't representative of the whole population either. Only about 30% of Athenians were eligible to vote (no females of course). It just meant that the leader had no automatic right to rule autocratically.

growstuff Wed 22-Jul-20 20:14:32

I have been disenfranchised for years. I live in a seat, where the majority is rock solid and will never be overturned.