The UK ruled under an elective dictatorship?

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Bonafide
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The facts;

Parliament consists of the Sovereign, House of Commons and House of Lords and is the supreme body of law making in the UK.

Parliament is dominated by the House of Commons, which can override the House of Lords under Acts of Parliament, in paticular the acts of 1911 and 1949 which restrict the power of of the House of Lords by only allowing the House to delay a Bill passed by the HofC for 1 year.
(Consequently, a Bill passed by the House of Commons without going through the HofL will become a valid Act of Parliament (given Royal assent))

In the UK the executive and the legislature are fused.

The Prime Minster dominates the HofC because he/she controls the majority of MP's (one way or another)

The consequence;
being the UK is run under an elective dictatorship.


Potential solutions; the obvious solution is to have a complete seperation of powers in the UK, reforming the role of the Prime Minister so that he is not part of both the legislature and executive. Other solutions are having a coalition goverment, thus one party can stop a potential act of tyranny from another. (Although in theory it would still be elective dictatorship, it is potentially a safer one) Or, to have a governement with a small majority or no majority at all.

Arguably there are safeguards in place, such as the judicial review to pevent such an elective dictatorship to become tyannical, keeping the executive in check with the intra vires of Parliament Acts, Constitutional Law and other primary legislation.

However, I'm not necessarily pointing out the potential hazards of having an elective dictatorship, but more so establishing whether we have one.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Would you agree or disagree?
And, if you agree, is it something the general public should be worried about? If so, what are the best solutions?
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Psyk
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Surely an "elective dictatorship" is a contradiction? If we can vote the PM out, then it's not a dictatorship, and if we can't it's not really elective. I realise there are some countries that hold elections just for show when the people don't really have any say. But we change our leaders all the time, so it's hardly a dictatorship.
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revron77
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(Original post by Psyk)
Surely an "elective dictatorship" is a contradiction? If we can vote the PM out, then it's not a dictatorship, and if we can't it's not really elective. I realise there are some countries that hold elections just for show when the people don't really have any say. But we change our leaders all the time, so it's hardly a dictatorship.
You vote someone to power, they have the ability to dictate. In very very simple terms, everything except for pure anarchy is a dictatorship.
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FDR
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(Original post by Bonafide)
The facts;

Potential solutions; the obvious solution is to have a complete seperation of powers in the UK, reforming the role of the Prime Minister so that he is not part of both the legislature and executive. Other solutions are having a coalition goverment, thus one party can stop a potential act of tyranny from another. (Although in theory it would still be elective dictatorship, it is potentially a safer one) Or, to have a governement with a small majority or no majority at all.

Arguably there are safeguards in place, such as the judicial review to pevent such an elective dictatorship to become tyannical, keeping the executive in check with the intra vires of Parliament Acts, Constitutional Law and other primary legislation.

However, I'm not necessarily pointing out the potential hazards of having an elective dictatorship, but more so establishing whether we have one.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Would you agree or disagree?
And, if you agree, is it something the general public should be worried about? If so, what are the best solutions?
Personally I don't think there is a problem at all, and don't understand why you do.

I don't see what the point of reforming the role of PM would be, but from what you've put, it sounds similar to the president in the US, and would just make passing laws much more difficult and complex, and that wouldn't be in anyone's interests.

As for having Coalitions, a government with a small majority, or a minority government, wouldn't either of those be determined by democracy; i.e if a party won enough seats for a slim majority, then it could choose to form a coalition or rule as a small majority government, whereas if it won enough seats to rule as a government, then it could, and it would have the mandate to rule as such.

Your 'solutions' seem more like problems, as forcing a party that won a majority large enough to govern to form a coalition in which the coalition partner had power to prevent the majority party from passing laws would certainly not be democratic, and I don't understand at all what you mean by it would be 'safer'.
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Bonafide
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(Original post by Psyk)
Surely an "elective dictatorship" is a contradiction? If we can vote the PM out, then it's not a dictatorship, and if we can't it's not really elective. I realise there are some countries that hold elections just for show when the people don't really have any say. But we change our leaders all the time, so it's hardly a dictatorship.
As far am I am aware we cannot vote the PM out. We can protest.
But, we have no real power. The House of Commons could motion a vote of no confidence against the PM, but as I said in the OP, the Prime Minister controls the majority of MPs (one way or another), and so arguably it's unlikely a vote of no confidence would occur.

Taken literally the words 'dictatorship' and 'elective' do contradict. I'm not suggesting the UK is under complete dictatorship though. So, I ask for the term not to be taken literally, but as a way to describe this 'problem', because whether you like it or not, the facts show elements of dictatorship. This may help; "In 1976 Lord Hailsham described the British system of government as an ‘elective dictatorship’. What he meant was that the government, once elected, is able to behave like a dictator owing to the weakness of Parliament."

Regarding your last point, a dictatorship is not defined by how long someone be in power. It's moreso defined by how much power they actually have. Which, in the UK, the PM has a LOT of power.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting that we have an Adolf Hitler or Kim Jong on our hands. I'm not even suggesting that it's a bad thing.
But, I do think it's important that the general public know how important their vote is, in order to give it to the right person.
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Llamageddon
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Questions to which the answer is no ITT.
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zippity.doodah
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completely true; we have mechanisms in place where party leaders (often ministers of the government) have an enormous degree of practical abilities to force their fellow party members in the house of commons to vote the way they want, either through the carrot (e.g. bribing them with ministerial or lord positions) or a stick (suspending/firing them from the party or not allowing them to keep their candidacy at the next election in their seat). take the example of the raising of tuition fees; how many liberal democrats were able to disobey their party leaders in reality even though they knew completely that they were elected with a very particular mandate, as the only party committed to abolishing tuition fees?

so, obviously, the remedy of this would be to have the members of the house of commons themselves (or at least the coalition side of the house) elect ministers (like they do in australia), and not the prime minister/other coalition leaders and where ministers can only be fired with the consent of those MPs and not up to those party leaders, and as well as this, the house of lords should either be abolished (my preference in our unitary state) or elected with absolutely no connection to the government/HOC. in this kind of system, the prime minister would become mostly a spokesperson of the government and the man/woman that largely connects the government with the house of commons (e.g. prime minister's question time, etc) with influence over ministries though not abilities to fire ministers himself/herself (as that would be the responsibility of parliament) but could recommend their withdrawal to the house
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Bonafide
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#8
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(Original post by FDR)
Personally I don't think there is a problem at all, and don't understand why you do.

I don't see what the point of reforming the role of PM would be, but from what you've put, it sounds similar to the president in the US, and would just make passing laws much more difficult and complex, and that wouldn't be in anyone's interests.

As for having Coalitions, a government with a small majority, or a minority government, wouldn't either of those be determined by democracy; i.e if a party won enough seats for a slim majority, then it could choose to form a coalition or rule as a small majority government, whereas if it won enough seats to rule as a government, then it could, and it would have the mandate to rule as such.

Your 'solutions' seem more like problems, as forcing a party that won a majority large enough to govern to form a coalition in which the coalition partner had power to prevent the majority party from passing laws would certainly not be democratic, and I don't understand at all what you mean by it would be 'safer'.
Talk about putting words into someones mouth! I've not said that it is a problem. I've said it could be a potential problem. I'm just being devils advocate.

As for reforming the role of the PM, well, I agree, it would cause a greater seperation between the powers. Thus, making it more like the US's constitution. Which arguably would make it more complex to pass laws. But, doing so would prevent any possibility of tyrannic behaviour. It would be a matter of weighing the pros and cons. Hence why it could be a possible solution.

A coalition wouldn't be democratic, but it would be safer, and by that I mean, there is less likely to be tyrannic behaviour.

I personally like the way it is. Like I said, I'm just being devils ad'.
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gladders
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#9
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(Original post by revron77)
(I may go completely off topic)

I'd concur, we do live in a dictatorship. Free speech isn't free, its dictated by a man with a badge. I can't even say a group is bad without having my door knocked in by the police for not towing the national line.
I call shenanigans. I doubt very much anyone's knocked on your door for saying something contrary to 'the national line', whatever that is.


Every man should be allowed to speak freely without the government using its force to tell people whats right or wrong. You can't even protest against the Queen without being arrested! This nation has become a joke!
Yes you can.
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revron77
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(Original post by gladders)
I call shenanigans. I doubt very much anyone's knocked on your door for saying something contrary to 'the national line', whatever that is.

Yes you can.
You call shenanigans? Well it appears you've been rapped in wool my friend.

You really don't believe people have been arrested for not sticking to the national line? Heres a video of a royal protestor arrested at his home before the royal wedding because he wouldn't support the royals publicly.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UscFYYCKOxg

That one video demonstrates you can't protest against the Queen without the police using its power against you for using your free speech.

Welcome to reality Gladders!
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alexgr97
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(Original post by revron77)
(I may go completely off topic)

I'd concur, we do live in a dictatorship. Free speech isn't free, its dictated by a man with a badge. I can't even say a group is bad without having my door knocked in by the police for not towing the national line.


Every man should be allowed to speak freely without the government using its force to tell people whats right or wrong. You can't even protest against the Queen without being arrested! This nation has become a joke!
Ah yes, let's allow libel and inciting racial hatred whilst we're at all. Be thankful that the nature of our constitution allows us to have many more rights than most other democracies.
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Psyk
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(Original post by revron77)
You call shenanigans? Well it appears you've been rapped in wool my friend.

You really don't believe people have been arrested for not sticking to the national line? Heres a video of a royal protestor arrested at his home before the royal wedding because he wouldn't support the royals publicly.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UscFYYCKOxg

That one video demonstrates you can't protest against the Queen without the police using its power against you for using your free speech.

Welcome to reality Gladders!
And here's a video of people protesting against the monarchy without being arrested:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXDlmzqzadU

Don't get me wrong, sometimes the police are too heavy handed when it comes to protesters. We certainly could have better freedom of speech in this country. But nor do the authorities silence people who speak against them.
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gladders
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(Original post by revron77)
You call shenanigans? Well it appears you've been rapped in wool my friend.

You really don't believe people have been arrested for not sticking to the national line? Heres a video of a royal protestor arrested at his home before the royal wedding because he wouldn't support the royals publicly.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UscFYYCKOxg

That one video demonstrates you can't protest against the Queen without the police using its power against you for using your free speech.

Welcome to reality Gladders!
Psyk's responded to this and nullified your 'point'. I am friends with a number of republicans who have been involved in quite public demonstrations against the monarchy. No police action has been made against them, and they remain 'at large'.
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revron77
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(Original post by alexgr97)
Ah yes, let's allow libel and inciting racial hatred whilst we're at all. Be thankful that the nature of our constitution allows us to have many more rights than most other democracies.
Allow the hatred regardless, freedom of speech is freedom of speech. You dislike racism, that is your issue. Speak out against it! But don't petition the use of force against your opponents.


(Original post by gladders)
Psyk's responded to this and nullified your 'point'. I am friends with a number of republicans who have been involved in quite public demonstrations against the monarchy. No police action has been made against them, and they remain 'at large'.
Why are you using quotation marks for a word I haven't used in replying to you?

Now basically Gladders, what you are saying is. The fact that some people get the right to speak but others do not somehow nullifies the issue. So only certain people can speak freely and as long as they can, its fine in our system to use the force of our police to shut down others? That's ridiculous and you know it!

I provided a video showing police shutting a man down for speaking against the royals. There was even more people on that day that were arrested before they could even leave their house because they would dare challenge the beloved royal family! The fact in this nation that this can happen and you can throw it aside as if its nothing Gladders is disgusting. Have some common decency and stop defending the government on blatant abuses.

Here is another article on the same day: http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2012/m...ice-high-court

Another 20 people were arrested for wishing to use free speech. Again, I suppose you shall brush this under the carpet as if freedom to speak is a right only granted to certain people and thus "nullified".

EDIT: Found something interesting, you are apart of TSR's monarchist society. No wonder you so happy to dismiss proof the crown is using its monopoly of force to shut down freedom of speech when it wishes.
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James222
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The term your looking for is imperial presidency or sofa cabinet as invented by tony blair.

I would much rather have australian style system of a active senate that can act as break against a lower house trying to rush in laws. I used to favour a Presidential System but that just gets locked down in gridlock and presidents have too much power
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gladders
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(Original post by revron77)
Why are you using quotation marks for a word I haven't used in replying to you?
In wasn't quotation marks - it was inverted commas.

Now basically Gladders, what you are saying is. The fact that some people get the right to speak but others do not somehow nullifies the issue. So only certain people can speak freely and as long as they can, its fine in our system to use the force of our police to shut down others? That's ridiculous and you know it!

I provided a video showing police shutting a man down for speaking against the royals. There was even more people on that day that were arrested before they could even leave their house because they would dare challenge the beloved royal family! The fact in this nation that this can happen and you can throw it aside as if its nothing Gladders is disgusting. Have some common decency and stop defending the government on blatant abuses.

Here is another article on the same day: http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2012/m...ice-high-court

Another 20 people were arrested for wishing to use free speech. Again, I suppose you shall brush this under the carpet as if freedom to speak is a right only granted to certain people and thus "nullified".
No, that's not what I'm saying. People are entirely at liberty to say what they like about the monarchy in this country and there's abundant evidence of that - not least that there are plenty of republicans in Parliament and the Guardian, a widely-read national newspaper, is overtly republican too. If what you say was true, wouldn't these be suppressed?

There were people being arrested, but that can be put down to overzealous policemen. There remained hundreds of republicans at large (there was the alternative jubilee elsewhere in London).

EDIT: Found something interesting, you are apart of TSR's monarchist society. No wonder you so happy to dismiss proof the crown is using its monopoly of force to shut down freedom of speech when it wishes.
:rolleyes: yes, you got me. I'm a monarchist, therefore I must be in favour of repression of my sworn enemies. I personally called the police and informed on all those people on jubilee day. Muahahahahaha.
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Old_Simon
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Agreed. One lone vote every five years is almost symbolic. Secondly Labour / Con both occupy the centre pretty much these days. Plus without telling us Parliament sold us to EU. So there is no democracy left.
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RayApparently
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(Original post by James222)
The term your looking for is imperial presidency or sofa cabinet as invented by tony blair.

I would much rather have australian style system of a active senate that can act as break against a lower house trying to rush in laws. I used to favour a Presidential System but that just gets locked down in gridlock and presidents have too much power
Actually the Prime Ministerial system gives a PM waaaay more power than a President in a Presidential system. Increased media focus and basically movies just make the President seem really powerful.
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RayApparently
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#19
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(Original post by Bonafide)

What are your thoughts on this topic? Would you agree or disagree?
And, if you agree, is it something the general public should be worried about? If so, what are the best solutions?

I agree but I don't think the public should be worried. The safeguards put in place are just that, safeguards. It would take a remarkable person to become a true dictator of Great Britain.
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Josb
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(Original post by Bonafide)
The facts;

Parliament consists of the Sovereign, House of Commons and House of Lords and is the supreme body of law making in the UK.

Parliament is dominated by the House of Commons, which can override the House of Lords under Acts of Parliament, in paticular the acts of 1911 and 1949 which restrict the power of of the House of Lords by only allowing the House to delay a Bill passed by the HofC for 1 year.
(Consequently, a Bill passed by the House of Commons without going through the HofL will become a valid Act of Parliament (given Royal assent))

In the UK the executive and the legislature are fused.

The Prime Minster dominates the HofC because he/she controls the majority of MP's (one way or another)

The consequence;
being the UK is run under an elective dictatorship.


Potential solutions; the obvious solution is to have a complete seperation of powers in the UK, reforming the role of the Prime Minister so that he is not part of both the legislature and executive. Other solutions are having a coalition goverment, thus one party can stop a potential act of tyranny from another. (Although in theory it would still be elective dictatorship, it is potentially a safer one) Or, to have a governement with a small majority or no majority at all.

Arguably there are safeguards in place, such as the judicial review to pevent such an elective dictatorship to become tyannical, keeping the executive in check with the intra vires of Parliament Acts, Constitutional Law and other primary legislation.

However, I'm not necessarily pointing out the potential hazards of having an elective dictatorship, but more so establishing whether we have one.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Would you agree or disagree?
And, if you agree, is it something the general public should be worried about? If so, what are the best solutions?
In France, the president is elected for five years and it's impossible to impeach him. By contrast, the British PM can be dismissed at any time by a vote of the Commons.
Therefore the French president seems much closer to the "elective dictatorship" you mention.
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