A Rant: How our Political System Actually Works!

My next moan is, in my opinion, an important one. It is on the general lack of understanding at how our political system works. This has generally come from reading comments on the Have your Say section on the BBC Website (I really should learn not to read that section as it makes my blood boil most of the time!)

Time and Time again we hear from people about how the British people should have a chance to vote for Gordon Brown as Prime Minister, since he gained the post outside of an election. Comments such as:

“Time to get rid of this government that has not had a mandate to govern since the day Gordon Brown assumed he had the right to become Prime Minister.”

Also comments that talk about Gordon Brown’s lack of a mandate cause my blood pressure to shoot through the roof. We really must get these people educated properly in how our political system works and stop letting the likes of the “Daily Mail” and “The Sun” to take on the role of spouting incorrect information left, right and centre that leads people to believe things work in a way that they simply don’t!

The British Political system is a partisan system. We do not directly elect our Prime Minister, and never have. Prime Ministers sometimes take office during a term of Government: John Major took over as Prime Minister in 1990 (the next election was not held until 1992) following the downfall of Margaret Thatcher.

What we do is directly elect our own local representative. Through this we end up electing a political party to govern for a period of no more than 5 years. Yes, it’s the party we elect – NOT the party leader. The Labour Party was elected in 2005 to govern this country for a period of up to 5 years. The leader of the part could change every year for those 5 years an the new Prime Minister would have as much of a mandate as the one before (in reality this makes for a very unstable government and would probably not happen). We do not have a presidential system of democracy, where we directly elect the person who leads the executive.

So, those of you who believe we should have a General Election because we never elected Brown please shut up and find something else to moan about. You never elected Thatcher, Major, Blair or anyone before them and you’re not going to elect Brown’s successor!