David Camoron is making some vague noises about constitutional reform (that us proles aren’t allowed to express an opinion on of course) with a suggestion that he might look at fixed term parliaments.
Whoop-de-fucking-do. Fixed term parliaments are generally a good idea but is it enough to re-engage a disaffected electorate and restore trust in thieving bastard politicians? No.
So how about this for a suggestion: directly elected Prime Ministers.
Instead of voting for a candidate and then the leader of the party that had most candidates elected being made Prime Minister and forming a government, why not hold elections for the post of Prime Minister? It also neatly deals with the problem of a party changing its leader and some other lame duck MP taking over as Prime Minister without a mandate mid-term.
The problem with the electoral system we have in the UK is that the top job in government is reserved for one of only a handful of people. Republicans complain that a pleb like you and I can never become the most important person in the country but they’re missing the biggest injustice in the power game – the fact that your average voter can never aspire to hold the top job in government because you have to be the leader of the political party with most MPs to get it.
Ideally, the Prime Minister would be an almost presidential figure – leader of the country, not the party – but without the executive powers. The Queen should, of course, remain as head of state and bills should continue to require royal assent. The Prime Minister, once elected, should appoint a cabinet based on a system of proportional representation with a minimum number of independent MPs (and by independent I mean not a member of a political party, not just an MP who’s resigned the whip or had the whip taken off them).
What reasonable excuse is there for effectively banning independents or supporters of any of the smaller parties from heading up a government?
And while I’m on my soap box, there should be a basic requirement that a cabinet minister is qualified or at least experienced in the area their ministry covers. We could then avoid the situation where, for example, we find ourselves in the depths of recession with a marxist lawyer as Chancellor of the Exchequer rather than someone with a qualification in macroeconomics.