Representative Democracy

It remains remarkable to me that the Government’s stated position on Brexit is: “The British people voted to leave, and the Government will implement their decision. The vote on the final deal will give Parliament the choice to accept the agreement or leave the EU with no agreement.”

A debate will take place in Parliament on Monday, 30 April 2018[1].  This is the result of a petition with over 100,000 votes, that reads: “Parliament’s vote on the Brexit deal must include an option to remain in the EU.”

I wonder how long this Conservative luddite[2] approach to political decision-making will continue.  It’s almost without parallel that a weak British executive such seek to bully a sovereign Parliament into a cul-de-sac.  So, utterly desperate are the current Conservative Party to save the Conservative Party that they resort to attempting to ride rough shod over the British constitution.

Edmund Burke would be turning in his grave.  He’s often considered as an authoritative source for modern Conservative views.  I’ll quote him from a speech to the electors of the City of Bristol on 3 November 1774[3].

“Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests; which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates; but parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole; where, not local purposes, not local prejudices, ought to guide, but the general good, resulting from the general reason of the whole.”

It’s clear that, given evidence that Brexit is not in the general good it should be rejected.  I believe, a general reasoned free debate in Parliament will surely show that Brexit, deal or no-deal, is not for the general good of the nation.  Thus, MPs must have the opportunity to vote for an option to remain in the EU.  This is not a time to smash up our representative Parliamentary democracy.  It’s a time to reinforce it.

[1] https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/205169

 

[2] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-17770171

 

[3] http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/v1ch13s7.html

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s