Wednesday, 12 May 2010

ToLi’s Theft of Democracy


ToLi’s Fixed Term Parliament ConDem-ed

The Times publishes in full the ToLi’s Coalition Document.  The paragraph on 5 year fixed term parliaments makes interesting if very disturbing reading.  The paragraph in full states:

“The parties agree to the establishment of five year fixed-term parliaments. A Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government will put a binding motion before the House of Commons in the first days following this agreement stating that the next general election will be held on the first Thursday of May 2015. Following this motion, legislation will be brought forward to make provision for fixed term parliaments of five years. This legislation will also provide for dissolution if 55% or more of the House votes in favour.[My emphasis]

Why should this require more than the simple majority which is needed for all other Parliamentary votes?

Why not 50% plus 1    = 326 votes

This additional hurdle means that 357 of the 650MPs might vote for a dissolution but the government  - of whichever colour - would survive. 

In the current situation every MP other than Tories, including Liberal Democrats,  might vote for dissolution but the government would not fall.  Only 293 votes are needed for a government to stay in power, 358 to remove it.

Surprise, surprise the Tories currently have 306 MPs!


Just when the public might get a slightly fairer electoral system the ToLi’s have shafted democracy with this disgusting proposal.

Of course, they’ll say that the 55% is needed to ensure stability of government in these difficult times. Bullshit!

This is the theft of democracy for narrow political gain!


  1. That is indeed a very strange change. I wonder if it will survive scrutiny and actually become law. I blame you Calum. You voted LibDem... Probably made all the difference too you silly man. (Expect this cry to become familiar every time you complain: "But Calum, you voted LibDem, you twit."

  2. The seat was held by LibDems and so I voted for them to try to keep the Tory out!

    I'll vote properly next time!

    You can blame me as much as you wish, Andrew, but I will accept none of it.

  3. "The seat was held by LibDems and so I voted for them to try to keep the Tory out!"

    Ah... Silly, silly Calum. To keep the Tory out he voted for the man who would put the Tories in. What has he done to our country?

  4. My conscience is clear!

    My brain is befuddled by your cleverness!

  5. Calum this is just wrong. Fixed term appointments are fine but what is wrong with a straight majority for dissolution?

  6. Jams, I truly find this incredible. This would be my response regardless of which party was proposing this obscenity.

  7. I agree, This is absolutely wrong

  8. It's absolutely outrageous. I suppose the Lords aren't bound to do anything, as there's no manifesto promises from this coalition, but any peep out of them will merely hasten their destruction.

  9. This is something that has almost slipped by, and I am glad it is starting to be noticed. It is a fairly transparent power grab, and represents a change to the very essence of our constitution, bodged together over a weekend and without any public debate.

    Hopefully it will be canned pretty quickly, or forced out when it comes before Parliament. Trouble is, the Government now has a political majority in the Lords made up of two parties, and is only restrained by the possibility of Crossbenchers voting against them.

    Also, I think five years is too long a period for a fixed term Parliament, and too long to go on a regular basis without an election.

  10. It is interesting, however, to see the supposed reason they give for it, which is that it is to prevent a weak ruling government or coalition from being able to subvert the fixed term concept by voting to call an election when it wants. So they claim it is to prevent THEM from being able to call an election not to prevent others, and that the LibDems wanted it to stop the Tories engineering an election in a year or so when they thought they could win a majority on their own. Weird. But I don't see it working and I don't think it will be passed into law anyway - already there are splits about it developing within both the Tories and LibDems, according to interviews with MPs I heard today.

  11. Andrew I don't get that.

    A straightforward change stating that the party in government (or the major party in a coalition) is unable to vote for a dissolution of Parliament would work.

    Then the other parties which might include the minor parties in a coalition need only a simple majority to bring forth an election.

  12. I agree Calum; and since writing my comment I have seen a LibDem saying "Oh No, the Tories insisted on it so we could not pull the plug on them." Someone is fibbing, confused, or both (no surprise there). But whatever... I still don't believe it will happen, given the growing disquiet (but my predictions are never to be relied upon!)

  13. I tell you, Andrew, my appeal to lead a government of national unity makes more sense by the minute.

    What might have been, the country will never know!

  14. That would be a government of national Calumity