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12 October 2013 @ 08:07 am
Voting  
I wished we had the British system so we could quick call an election before vast chunks of the electorate forget what turds the Republicans are, but I learned that the British don't have the British system anymore.
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nojaynojay on October 12th, 2013 12:37 pm (UTC)
The "British system" is an agreement by the current Con/Lib coalition that they will let the current government run for five years and not call a snap election before then. It's possible the next government might make the same pledge but they're not bound to do so by any sort of fixed rule. Parliament could write fixed election periods into law but the next Parliament could overturn it as easily. Indeed the current Parliament could vote no confidence in the government and force it to call an immediate election before the five years are up but that's separate from the government suddenly deciding to call an election and "go to the country" as we say over here.

It's one of the many advantages to not having a written Constitution, we're not hobbled by a set of Parliamentary rules a bunch of male white property-holders (and slaveowners too, in the main) wrote for their own benefit 250 years ago.
Andrew Duckerandrewducker on October 12th, 2013 01:09 pm (UTC)
That's not correct - The Fixed Term Parliament Act was passed in 2011.

The next government could repeal it, of course, but doing so would look pretty bad, IMHO.
nojaynojay on October 12th, 2013 01:35 pm (UTC)
I could envisage a situation where under fixed-term elections the incumbent government loses a bunch of backbenchers to a teaparty-type insurrection but the opposition in a similar state of disarray can't or won't call a no-confidence vote. The government can't govern and can't pass laws because of its dissident wing and they can't go to the country to call a halt to it by hitting the big Reset button because of the laws already on the books. Even if the entire Cabinet resigned there wouldn't be an election called.
Andrew Duckerandrewducker on October 12th, 2013 01:37 pm (UTC)
I can envisage many, many situations.

But one where one party falls into complete disarray, and the other isn't able to take advantage of it, seems remarkably unlikely. Getting into a state where they middle of the two main parties can't get together to fix it seems beyond the bounds of likelihood to me.

Whereas "The party in power chooses the election date in order to give themselves an advantage" seems rather more likely.
nojaynojay on October 12th, 2013 01:45 pm (UTC)
A combination of the mid-70s Tories and the early-80s Labour would fit my scenario. If anti-Europeanism in the Tories takes an uptick driven by the UKIP (and we're seeing faint signs of that at the moment) then Call Me Dave could be in trouble but Labour and the Libs would have to support the Tory xenophobes to realistically get that vote of no confidence tabled, something that would be hard to justify as other than political posturing and expediency.
Andrew Duckerandrewducker on October 12th, 2013 01:47 pm (UTC)
If the Conservatives couldn't govern then the cabinet could either sulk, or they could call for a vote of no confidence in themselves, have it passed with the support of everyone else, and call an election that way.