David Cameron has said today he would require any Prime Minister who was ‘unelected’ to face a General Election within 6 months of taking over.  He is of course referring to the fact that Gordon Brown was an ‘unelected’ Prime Minister.  But I thought we had a Prime Minister not a President.

Much as I recognise the problems with one Prime Minister handing over to another in between elections – we don’t elect a Prime Minister but a Member of Parliament.  Or that is what we should be doing.  When we go to vote [if we go to vote] our ballot papers do not name a Prime Minister (which is how we would elect one) but a number of people, most of who represent political parties.  Our choice is not between potential Prime Ministers but individual people, and we put our X against the name of the person we want to elect as our Constituency MP.

It is true there is a conflict, as many names on the ballot papers are locked to a Political party, and through recent times we have tended to choose our MP based not on how good they are or how well they will represent us – but on the name of the Party they represent.  But at least we are electing a person and not a Prime Minister.

It is the job of Government in our so called democracy to then decide who will be Prime Minister, but because our system is skewed by the political parties, it is only the party that controls more than half the seats in Parliament that takes that decision, as it is its leader that then becomes Prime Minister.

There is therefore no logic in having a new General Election if a Political Party changes its leader as it is its responsibility and nobody else’s to do that.  There should be a General Election only if the Government is unable to govern.

If it was the Prime Minister we were directly electing – then he would be a President – but we aren’t meant to have a President are we?  So the notion we should have an election whenever a Prime Minister is changed is unconstitutional.

Fiddling at the margin with a failed system won’t fix it.  The system itself needs changing.

Mike Hillard

- Mike Hillard – Tranquility Houses