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Old 08-28-2019, 06:51 AM
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Boris Johnson asks the Queen to suspend Parliament.


here..

No Parliament till mid October. Should HM agree?
I mean, constitutionally an interesting question. Should the Monarch agree to the advice of a PM who she cannot be sure enjoys the confidence of the House of Commons?
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Old 08-28-2019, 06:54 AM
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AIUI, for her to refuse would require Johnson and his government to resign, and would be a pretty unprecedented act to boot.
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Old 08-28-2019, 07:00 AM
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AIUI, for her to refuse would require Johnson and his government to resign, and would be a pretty unprecedented act to boot.
Not unprecedented. Not recent. Its a conventiona dating from the 1830's that the PM must command the majority in the House.

No one had ever thought that a PM might be someone who doesnt have the majority and who does not resign when that is the case.
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Old 08-28-2019, 09:22 AM
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Would Johnson ask HM to suspend if his camp had not already been in contact with hers and knew what the answer would be? Seems a very risky path to take otherwise.
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Old 08-28-2019, 10:02 AM
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Would Johnson ask HM to suspend if his camp had not already been in contact with hers and knew what the answer would be? Seems a very risky path to take otherwise.
Right, and the three privy counsellors would not have flown to Aberdeen without knowing that there was a purpose to the trip. If she was going to block this, she would presumably just not invite them to her private and most remote residence in the first place.

Last edited by Lord Feldon; 08-28-2019 at 10:05 AM.
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Old 08-28-2019, 10:09 AM
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It's approved (PDF):

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It is this day ordered by Her Majesty in Council that the Parliament be prorogued
on a day no earlier than Monday the 9th day of September and no later than Thursday
the 12th day of September 2019 to Monday the 14th day of October 2019, to be then
holden for the despatch of divers urgent and important affairs, and that the Right
Honourable the Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain do cause a Commission to be
prepared and issued in the usual manner for proroguing the Parliament accordingly.
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Old 08-28-2019, 11:21 AM
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Trump thoroughly approves.
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Old 08-28-2019, 04:27 PM
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Previous thread on Boris as PM: https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...d.php?t=879601
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Old 08-28-2019, 06:39 PM
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So, this basically handcuffs the controls into position until after the crash, right?
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Old 08-28-2019, 06:46 PM
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So, this basically handcuffs the controls into position until after the crash, right?
No, Parliament will sit for a handful of days before the prorogation kicks in, and for roughly two weeks after it (but still before 31st October). It's a limitation, not a complete manacling.
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Old 08-28-2019, 06:47 PM
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It becomes a popularity contest between Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson. Corbyn is so unpopular he can't from a national unity government, but seems to be the best positioned to do just that (as leader of the second largest party)... which means nobody can do it (probably). Johnson is probably unpopular too, but it's easier for him because he doesn't need to do anything.

What if Corbyn became PM and the EU said "we're tired of this, we're not moving the deadline"? Corbyn couldn't possibly negotiate a new agreement in a couple of weeks. (I doubt anyone could, including many people far more competent than Corbyn.)

Another election wouldn't help matters. Even if Johnson gets kicked out there's not enough time to create a new agreement. The UK needs to focus on what they're going to do about Northern Ireland and how to deal with the food and fuel shortages instead.
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Old 08-28-2019, 08:53 PM
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It looks horrifyingly like a repudiation of representative (parliamentary) democracy.

Maybe that's not what it is. But I can tell you that a certain fellow named Donald, inspired by this, will be dreaming of suspending Congress.
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Old 08-29-2019, 01:05 AM
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I mean, constitutionally an interesting question. Should the Monarch agree to the advice of a PM who she cannot be sure enjoys the confidence of the House of Commons?
The matter is determined now, but Her Maj acts on the advice of her PM, she doesn't count numbers.
Boris has prima facie confidence of the House until it is demonstrated otherwise.
Confidence was established when Boris was commissioned and there isn't anybody else who's putting their hand up as a better credentialed candidate for the role.
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Old 08-29-2019, 03:53 PM
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So is Boris Johnson skillfully maneuvering his way towards Brexit on his terms, or is he just throwing a wrench in the works and likely to fail?
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Old 08-29-2019, 05:16 PM
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So, this basically handcuffs the controls into position until after the crash, right?
This handcuffs the controls until 1 second before the crash, at which point it's too late to brake and prevent the crash. The only choices are to crash into an oncoming car (~hard Brexit) or crash into a guardrail (~some kind of deal).

Right?

Last edited by scr4; 08-29-2019 at 05:17 PM.
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Old 08-30-2019, 07:31 PM
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The UK "let's negotiate a new exit deal" people seem to think that magical unicorn fairies in the EU may negotiate new terms, despite the EU's state of utter fatigue and contempt of the prospect.

Of course Parliament could shorten or cancel their annual conferences and buy some working time.

But yeah, Boris. As for the sovereign, she's been properly trained to stay out of the way, which works best with a non-bat-shit PM and deeply fragmented Parliament.

Last edited by cerberus; 08-30-2019 at 07:33 PM.
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Old 08-30-2019, 07:41 PM
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It looks horrifyingly like a repudiation of representative (parliamentary) democracy.

Maybe that's not what it is. But I can tell you that a certain fellow named Donald, inspired by this, will be dreaming of suspending Congress.
I wouldn't say it's a repudiation per se since there is a tradition of this, but the timing is indeed horribly suspect. Not being steeped enough in British politics to find an exact analogy, the closest I can think of is Moscow Mitch's refusal to hold hearings on Garland as far as repudiation of conventions go.
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Old 08-30-2019, 08:11 PM
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From what I see, Brits are screaming about this rather more than we yelled about the Garland nomination. Some are calling it a coup by a would-be dictator.
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Old 08-31-2019, 10:37 PM
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What would stop as many Parliament members as want to to meet together on their own in unofficial capacity, at a ballroom or such, to discuss and debate and develop non binding but somewhat already broadly agreed to plans during that time off to present when Parliament reopens?

And if media wanted to cover these unofficial meetings? Why not?
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Old 08-31-2019, 11:21 PM
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What would stop as many Parliament members as want to to meet together on their own in unofficial capacity, at a ballroom or such, to discuss and debate and develop non binding but somewhat already broadly agreed to plans during that time off to present when Parliament reopens?

And if media wanted to cover these unofficial meetings? Why not?
Or maybe on an indoor tennis court somewhere ...
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Old 09-01-2019, 05:29 AM
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What would stop as many Parliament members as want to to meet together on their own in unofficial capacity, at a ballroom or such, to discuss and debate and develop non binding but somewhat already broadly agreed to plans during that time off to present when Parliament reopens?

And if media wanted to cover these unofficial meetings? Why not?
It's already happened. There was a meeting of the opposition leaders on Monday, and a meeting open to all Remainer MP's on Tuesday at Church House in Westminster. Both meetings were covered by the media. No Tory Remainers attended the Tuesday meeting.
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Old 09-02-2019, 12:56 PM
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Though without explicitly denouncing his Sovereign Lord, in this article Adam Tooze agrees with me:

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Of course, the queen could have refused the advice of Johnson's emissaries, but that would have deepened the constitutional crisis and drawn the ire of the populist Brexiteers....
The fact that electoral politics can be both arbitrary and subject to deadlock is why most constitutions provide for circuit breakers in the form of judicial review, multitier legislatures, and the separations of prime ministerial and presidential roles. What the U.K. crisis reveals is why such constitutional arrangements matter.... But as the British case demonstrates, in a situation of extreme tension in which the parties to the conflict are fully exploiting every means of power, there is no nonpolitical position. Merely going through the motions makes the queen into an accessory to a constitutional subterfuge driven by the survival instinct of the Conservatives....
The House of Windsor has on its side dynastic heritage, pomp, ceremony, and glamor. It has been one of the pioneers of the invention of tradition, and its PR managers are skilled manipulators of the media machine. But in the current crisis, what renders Elizabeth's position dysfunctional is that her legitimacy as head of state derives from preserving the appearance of being apolitical. At a moment of extreme politicization, that means that she has no basis on which to act. What predominates, instead, is the survival interest of the House of Windsor, leaving the United Kingdom at the whim of arcane procedural technicalities and the tactical maneuvering of England's profoundly fractured and incoherent political class.
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Old 09-02-2019, 01:58 PM
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Yeah, it sure feels to me like the Queen going along with this is more "playing politics" than refusing would have been.
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Old 09-02-2019, 02:19 PM
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Yeah, it sure feels to me like the Queen going along with this is more "playing politics" than refusing would have been.
The Queen is not the chief executive. The Prime Minister is. The Queen is simply the chief rubber-stamper. There are checks and balances, but they're based on judicial review and the sovereignty of Parliament over Government. Having said, that the UK is edging towards a constitutional crisis. If Parliament passes a bill, and the Prime Minister refuses to obey it, an intention some commentators are making suspicious allegations is being planned, then the UK will have crossed the line into a full-blown constitutional crisis.

Stock up on popcorn, it may be a thriller.
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Old 09-02-2019, 02:53 PM
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Yeah, it sure feels to me like the Queen going along with this is more "playing politics" than refusing would have been.
No, because she doesn't have political authority. The PM and Cabinet do, and they are the ones accountable to the public. That's what responsible government means: the elected government is responsible for its actions, to the Commons and to the public. And the public appears to be responding, with all the means available to the public: political pressure through marches,meetings and petitions. Some Tory MPs are pulling away from the government. That's exactly the debate that should be ocurring: what do the MPs and the people think of the policy choice made by the PM and Cabinet?

We had a similar case in Canada a century ago. The PM and his Cabinet were facing a serious corruption scandal, and Parliament was investigating. The PM went to the Gov Gen and asked for a dissolution. The GovGen refused and called on the Leader of the Opposition to form a government. That government also collapsed, triggering an election.

And what was the election about? Was it about thecserious corruption in the federal government? Nope. That issue pretty much disappeared. Mthevwhole election was fought on whether the Crown 's representative had improperly intruded in politics, and the first PM, whose government had presided over the internal corruption, was returned to office.

If the Queen had refused the prorogation, the same thing could have happened. The political issue would have been whether the monarch was intruding into politics, over the policy decisions of the government with a (razor-slim) Commons majority. That would have allowed Boris to deflect the issue onto the monarch, and away from his decision to close Parliament. And if he had resigned,the situation would get worse: who would HM call on to form a government to replace Boris and Co? Who has a majority in the Commons, if not Boris? If there's no government, how can the country be governed?

Let the people judge the PM and Cabinet, not get into a fight between Queen and elected majority in the Commons.

(As an aside, I am bemused that it tends to be the American posters who take the position in these threads that the Queen should intervene. You're the ones who decisively rejected royal authoritynin politics. Why do you argue for Royal intervention now? it's the government that has the elected members; they're the ones who take responsibility for political choices, not the Queen. It's very puzzling. )
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Old 09-02-2019, 03:36 PM
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...
(As an aside, I am bemused that it tends to be the American posters who take the position in these threads that the Queen should intervene. You're the ones who decisively rejected royal authoritynin politics. Why do you argue for Royal intervention now? it's the government that has the elected members; they're the ones who take responsibility for political choices, not the Queen. It's very puzzling. )
Well, it's not like it was any of us personally.
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Old 09-02-2019, 03:50 PM
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And now I see that dalej42 has started a thread about the rumours of a snap election if the Commons decisively blocks Brexit this week. That's exactly what the debate should be, in my opinion, not issues involving the Queen.

Boris: curtails Parliament's time to debate Brexit.

Elected MPs: "What? That means we only have a week to decide what to do [yes you wankers, because you pissed away two and a half years already since May invoked article 50]. We may have to reject this week!"

Boris: "If you reject, we're off to the polls,"

Elected MPs: "Decisions, decisions!"

And that is just the right debate to be having at this late stage. Not discussions of various century-old precedents about when the Crown acted and didn't act. It's time for the politicians to do what they were elected to do, and make a decision. If not, time for the people to vote.
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Old 09-02-2019, 03:59 PM
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(As an aside, I am bemused that it tends to be the American posters who take the position in these threads that the Queen should intervene. You're the ones who decisively rejected royal authoritynin politics. Why do you argue for Royal intervention now? it's the government that has the elected members; they're the ones who take responsibility for political choices, not the Queen. It's very puzzling. )
Because just like the Electoral College, if it holds a right which never makes a difference then it is literally useless despite its apparent power. We're not used to having useless heads of state, so thinking that she might intervene is a way of resolving this.

I'm not pro-royal intervention in this case for all the reasons you mentioned but I would be, had Boris done something which would guarantee that the UK crashes out without the consent of Parliament and the members of the prorogued parliament had a vast majority that opposed him in this. Even though I would not hold high hopes that she would intervene, I would desire it in order to prevent a worldwide recession, and it would have legitimacy in the form of support from Parliament.

Last edited by Ludovic; 09-02-2019 at 04:00 PM.
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Old 09-02-2019, 04:07 PM
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The Queen's job as rubber-stamper-in-chief is to uphold precedent. Precedent is that the Prime Minister has to command the confidence of Parliament. If a Prime Minister suspends Parliament just because he knows that he doesn't actually command their confidence, and that if he doesn't suspend, they'll say so, that's a very serious breach of precedent. When the Queen is asked to break with precedent, her job is to say no.
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Old 09-02-2019, 04:07 PM
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If there were a vast majority in the Commons opposed to Brexit, he wouldn't be PM.

And the Parliament has done nothing to prevent the crash-out, except wring its hands over all of the options presented and say "I don't like that. Don't you have something better in the back room?"

The harsh political reality is that the Remainers and the Brexiters seem very evenly divided, and that indecision is reflected in the Commons. It's not the Queen's job to intervene in a highly divided political issue. It's the job of the elected politicians to come up with a clear choice. If they can't do that, they made their choice to crash out back when they gave May the statutory authority to invoke Aricle 50 without any parliamentary conditions.
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Old 09-02-2019, 04:14 PM
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The Queen's job as rubber-stamper-in-chief is to uphold precedent. Precedent is that the Prime Minister has to command the confidence of Parliament. If a Prime Minister suspends Parliament just because he knows that he doesn't actually command their confidence, and that if he doesn't suspend, they'll say so, that's a very serious breach of precedent. When the Queen is asked to break with precedent, her job is to say no.
That argument would carry weight if Boris was trying to prevent Parliament from meeting until after the crash-out on Hallowe'en.

But that's not what he's done.

It also would carry weight if it is clear Boris does not command a majority, and that was obvious to the Queen.

But it isn't clear. A majority of 1 is still a majority.

Parliament meets tomorrow. The Opposition can move no-confidence.

If they do, successfully, the situation is different. But if they don't challenge Boris's right to govern, then they are just wankers who will continue dithering away.

Either way, the Queen has done her job: her new PM faces the House tomorrow and will have to demonstrate he has a majority.
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Old 09-02-2019, 04:14 PM
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Right, I agree on the evenly-dividedness, but just like not agreeing to proclaim a prorogation would turn opinion against the Queen, I would at least hope that if Boris did something boneheaded like set an election for November 1 that it would wake up enough Brexiteers to the erosion of Parliamentary power and they'd turn against him, but that isn't a complete given.
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Old 09-02-2019, 04:20 PM
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No, because she doesn't have political authority. The PM and Cabinet do, and they are the ones accountable to the public. That's what responsible government means: the elected government is responsible for its actions, to the Commons and to the public. And the public appears to be responding, with all the means available to the public: political pressure through marches,meetings and petitions. Some Tory MPs are pulling away from the government. ...
If a majority of PMs oppose Johnson, what can they do? Can they convene the House of Commons during the proroguation? No? Then you have a "democracy" with no checks and balances. BoJo didn't even receive a majority vote in Commons or country confirming him as PM.

It is with sadness and apprehension that we see a man take power like a dictator in such an important democracy. Especially since democracy in the other great Anglophonic power has also been subverted.

I'm sure that the U.K. is still more democratic than Siam. But even here, a Constitutional Court has overridden illegal actions of dictators. And in 1991, when protests against an unelected P.M. became too disruptive, His Majesty (nominally a figurehead just like Elizabeth) intervened, politely suggesting that the P.M. stand aside.

Yet in the venerable British democracy, BoJo, acting purely on his own whim, can suspend the power of Parliament and there is no constitutional check or balance? Is this the "democracy" you're defending?

(ETA: And while BoJo claims to be acting on the British people's chosen course, commentators I respect think Brexit was passed due to Lies. Did Russia help, or was your Fake News all home-grown?)

Last edited by septimus; 09-02-2019 at 04:23 PM.
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Old 09-02-2019, 04:21 PM
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...(As an aside, I am bemused that it tends to be the American posters who take the position in these threads that the Queen should intervene. You're the ones who decisively rejected royal authoritynin politics. Why do you argue for Royal intervention now? it's the government that has the elected members; they're the ones who take responsibility for political choices, not the Queen. It's very puzzling. )
Part of it may be the abiding interest of many Americans in the British monarchy. Part of it may be that we think, over the span of decades, that HM has shown she has a pretty good head on her shoulders. And part of it may be that we like your particular head of state a lot better than our own just now.

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...And the Parliament has done nothing to prevent the crash-out, except wring its hands over all of the options presented and say "I don't like that. Don't you have something better in the back room?"....
LOL. "Just what you see on the shelf, buddy."
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Old 09-02-2019, 04:23 PM
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Yet in the venerable British democracy, BoJo, acting purely on his own whim, can suspend the power of Parliament and there is no constitutional check or balance? Is this the "democracy" you're defending?
Over the next couple of days we'll find out if the checks and balances work. Parliament starts back tomorrow, and there's some Court actions too. Stay tuned!
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Old 09-02-2019, 04:46 PM
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If a majority of PMs oppose Johnson, what can they do? Can they convene the House of Commons during the proroguation? No? Then you have a "democracy" with no checks and balances. BoJo didn't even receive a majority vote in Commons or country confirming him as PM.

...

Yet in the venerable British democracy, BoJo, acting purely on his own whim, can suspend the power of Parliament and there is no constitutional check or balance? Is this the "democracy" you're defending?
The check is the House of Commons, followed by the people.

The House meets tomorrow.

The Leader of the Opposition can stand up and move "That this House has no-confidence in this Government." [As an aside, that would require Jermy Corbin to actually make a decision instead of grand-standing, so I'm not holding my breath.)

If no motion is made, or if Boris & Co. defeat the motion, then they have confirmed their right to govern.

If the motion passes, then Boris & Co have 14 days to cobble together a government that has the confidence of the House, and then pass a motion of confidence, showing they have the confidence of a majority of the Commons.

If Boris & Co fail to do so, then there must be a general election within 25 days. The people then decide if they want Boris as PM.

And note that because of the prorogation order, the 14 day period is shortened, because it runs out after prorogation. So if the House votes non-confidence, Boris and Co will only have a few days to pass a motion of confidence.

If Boris & Co. can't get a motion of confidence passed before the prorogation order kicks in, then there will be an election.

Overall, that seems like a pretty good check on the executive. Can the US House of Representatives get rid of President Trump by forcing an election in 14 days?
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Old 09-02-2019, 05:09 PM
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(ETA: And while BoJo claims to be acting on the British people's chosen course, commentators I respect think Brexit was passed due to Lies. Did Russia help, or was your Fake News all home-grown?)
I'm not a Brit, so not my circus, not my monkeys, not my news system. Dunno.
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Old 09-02-2019, 06:16 PM
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It's fair to say that the Queen is effectively just a figurehead when asked to carry out the Prime Ministers' request.

Sadly it's also fair to say that Boris Johnson is just a figurehead himself as Dominic Cummings is actually running the country.
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Old 09-03-2019, 03:31 AM
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Can the US House of Representatives get rid of President Trump by forcing an election in 14 days?
A current example/thread:
https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...d.php?t=881321

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… don't have a quorum of commissioners on the FEC to enforce election law. …
We do have one pending nominee that Trump sent to the Senate ALMOST TWO YEARS AGO, but the Senate hasn't acted on that yet.
Personally I'm not sure the US House of Representatives could organise a lunch order in a mere 14 days.
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Old 09-03-2019, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by septimus View Post
If a majority of PMs oppose Johnson, what can they do? Can they convene the House of Commons during the proroguation? No? Then you have a "democracy" with no checks and balances. BoJo didn't even receive a majority vote in Commons or country confirming him as PM.
It's unclear. It would certainly have been challenged in court. In fact, it was already being challenged in a Scottish court. That hearing is happening today.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotla...itics-49550874

Regardless of that hearing, Parliament already passed a bill forcing Parliament to be in session on 04 September 2019 and 09 October 2019. This was the amended Northern Ireland Executive Formation Bill 2019.
https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/c...-Bill-2019.pdf

But going with the hypothetical, could the Speaker of the House convene Parliament if a majority of MP's asked him to? I haven't seen any legal commentary on this question, but I believe the answer is yes. An MP is an MP all the time, not just when Parliament is in session. If a verifiable majority of MP's declare they want Parliament to be in session, I believe the Speaker would oblige them and it would be illegal for the government to try and stop them. Expect massive demonstrations in favour of convening the session. Hell, I'd probably join them.

For the other hypothetical, what would happen if a verifiable majority of MP's expressed no confidence in the government outside of a Vote of No Confidence? For example, if Parliament was not in session and the Prime Minister was blocking Parliament from sitting, what would happen if a majority of MP's signed a formal letter to the Queen declaring that they had no confidence in the Prime Minister? My guess is that she would defer to any judicial reviews underway that would allow her to avoid a decision. But if the courts declined to make a decision in either direction, then my opinion is that, as a last resort, she would then ask Jeremy Corbyn, as leader of the opposition, to try and form a government.

Throwing around these hypothetical ideas can be amusing. Fortunately, the UK isn't being forced to consider them for real. Yet.

Last edited by Wrenching Spanners; 09-03-2019 at 08:06 AM.
  #41  
Old 09-03-2019, 03:01 PM
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A majority of 1 is still a majority.
An MP has crossed the aisle. There is no more majority.

Last edited by Ike Witt; 09-03-2019 at 03:02 PM. Reason: A MP or An MP?
  #42  
Old 09-03-2019, 09:17 PM
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An MP has crossed the aisle. There is no more majority.
Plus 21 Tory MPs voted against the government and have had the whip withdrawn. The government's majority is now -43.
  #43  
Old 09-03-2019, 11:00 PM
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So the Queen did her duty. She took the advice of her Prime Minister, but by consenting to a prorogation order that gave the MPs time to pass judgment on the PM. Threading the needle.
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  #44  
Old 09-03-2019, 11:18 PM
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But going with the hypothetical, could the Speaker of the House convene Parliament if a majority of MP's asked him to? I haven't seen any legal commentary on this question, but I believe the answer is yes. An MP is an MP all the time, not just when Parliament is in session. If a verifiable majority of MP's declare they want Parliament to be in session, I believe the Speaker would oblige them and it would be illegal for the government to try and stop them. Expect massive demonstrations in favour of convening the session. Hell, I'd probably join them.
And I would say No, the Speaker does not have the legal authority to call Parliament into session. Only the Queen has the legal authority to end a session, and to summon a new session. That's what the prorogation power is.

The Speaker has the authority, under the Rules passed by parliament, to call the House into session when it's been adjourned. But that's simply dealing with adjournments. The Speaker can't override the Queen and exercise the royal prerogative to summon Parliament.

Quote:
For the other hypothetical, what would happen if a verifiable majority of MP's expressed no confidence in the government outside of a Vote of No Confidence? For example, if Parliament was not in session and the Prime Minister was blocking Parliament from sitting, what would happen if a majority of MP's signed a formal letter to the Queen declaring that they had no confidence in the Prime Minister? My guess is that she would defer to any judicial reviews underway that would allow her to avoid a decision. But if the courts declined to make a decision in either direction, then my opinion is that, as a last resort, she would then ask Jeremy Corbyn, as leader of the opposition, to try and form a government.
I doubt that, because she doesn't have enough evidence that Corbin can command a majority. Rather, she could call on the PM and say "I need reassurance that you do in fact have a majority. When will you be advising me to summon Parliament?" ( with the clear implication that if that was not happening soon, she might recall Parliament on her own bat). The difference between your option and mine is that under my option, she's not choosing the PM, but rather ensuring that the House gets to choose the PM.

Something similar happened in New Brunswick last year, when the provincial election returned a hung parliament. The Premier who called the election had a couple fewer seats in the new Assembly than did the other party. The leader of the other party tried to get the Lt Gov (the Queen's representative) to dismiss the Premier right away and appoint him, because his party had more seats. The Lt Gov refused, because the Premier had the right to try to work out a deal with the smaller parties and ultimately to face the Parliament. But at the same time, the Lt Gov made it clear that the Premier had to advise her in a reasonable time to summon the House, or she might be forced to summon it on her own motion. Her goal wasn't to choose between the two parties, neither with a majority, but to ensure that the House got to decide.
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  #45  
Old 09-04-2019, 04:37 AM
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And I would say No, the Speaker does not have the legal authority to call Parliament into session. Only the Queen has the legal authority to end a session, and to summon a new session. That's what the prorogation power is.

The Speaker has the authority, under the Rules passed by parliament, to call the House into session when it's been adjourned. But that's simply dealing with adjournments. The Speaker can't override the Queen and exercise the royal prerogative to summon Parliament.
This gets to the nub of a major constitutional question. The accepted theory has always been that Parliament is sovereign. But here we find (or rediscover) that Parliament only sits when summoned by the appropriate legal authority. Parliament cannot will itself into existence or continue to sit without permission. There are severe limits on what a government can do without Parliament (taxes historically being the critical point) but for a limited time a determined executive can dispense with Parliament. I don't think this was entirely appreciated.
  #46  
Old 09-04-2019, 01:15 PM
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I watched part of a recent session of Commons. The contrast with procedures in the U.S. Congress is, of course, huge.

I guess "the other place" is their term for the House of Lords? I think the U.S. House of Reps should find a euphemism to refer to Moscow Mitch's House of Evil!
  #47  
Old 09-04-2019, 01:41 PM
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I guess "the other place" is their term for the House of Lords?
Yes. Or "another place" - both terms are used. The Lords refer to the Commons in the exact same way.
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Old 09-04-2019, 03:09 PM
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U.K. Lawmakers Pass Brexit Bill, Defying Johnson

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/04/w...757uDeq2079ceY

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Having won control of the legislative agenda on Tuesday night, lawmakers wanted to move quickly on a bill that would rule out Mr. Johnson’s plan for a withdrawal by the end of next month even if there is no deal, which many say would cause chaos. On Wednesday afternoon by a vote of 327 to 299, they pushed the bill through a second stage in the two-step process.

The bill now goes to the House of Lords, which must give its assent.
  #49  
Old 09-04-2019, 03:17 PM
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Plus 21 Tory MPs voted against the government and have had the whip withdrawn. The government's majority is now -43.
So it appears that the conservatives in Britain have developed enough of a spine to put country ahead of party and give their unqualified leader the boot. I admit that as an American I am jealous.
  #50  
Old 09-04-2019, 05:47 PM
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And I would say No, the Speaker does not have the legal authority to call Parliament into session. Only the Queen has the legal authority to end a session, and to summon a new session. That's what the prorogation power is.

The Speaker has the authority, under the Rules passed by parliament, to call the House into session when it's been adjourned. But that's simply dealing with adjournments. The Speaker can't override the Queen and exercise the royal prerogative to summon Parliament.



I doubt that, because she doesn't have enough evidence that Corbin can command a majority. Rather, she could call on the PM and say "I need reassurance that you do in fact have a majority. When will you be advising me to summon Parliament?" ( with the clear implication that if that was not happening soon, she might recall Parliament on her own bat). The difference between your option and mine is that under my option, she's not choosing the PM, but rather ensuring that the House gets to choose the PM.

Something similar happened in New Brunswick last year, when the provincial election returned a hung parliament. The Premier who called the election had a couple fewer seats in the new Assembly than did the other party. The leader of the other party tried to get the Lt Gov (the Queen's representative) to dismiss the Premier right away and appoint him, because his party had more seats. The Lt Gov refused, because the Premier had the right to try to work out a deal with the smaller parties and ultimately to face the Parliament. But at the same time, the Lt Gov made it clear that the Premier had to advise her in a reasonable time to summon the House, or she might be forced to summon it on her own motion. Her goal wasn't to choose between the two parties, neither with a majority, but to ensure that the House got to decide.
Hey Septimus,

Listen to Northern Piper. He's got better answers to your hypotheticals than I do.

--Wrenching Spanners

SPOILER:

Harrumph! Damn Canadian. Can we change the subject to Westminster pubs? I'm fairly sure I know more about Westminster pubs than he does.
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