There are some people who really don’t quite get the point of this democracy and elections stuff.
Today’s Labour Party for example.
Here’s Diane Abbott again, this time speaking to the BBC’s Today programme. She said that Labour “was definitely up for an election”, but that they would need “an explicit commitment” to rule out a no-deal Brexit – which could include legislation in parliament – if it were to back an election.
Well, OK, it’s Diane Abbott but still.
The first bit is that question of why we have an election at all? Currently, the Commons simply cannot agree on what form of Brexit there should be, even whether. The point of the coming election being to be able to resolve this. Gain a House which is able to make a decision.
So, why would we want the current House – the one that can’t make a decision – to be able to limit what the next House might be willing to agree upon?
Which isn’t enough of course because there’s more.
The crucial point of the British Constitution is that no parliament can bind its successors. On the fairly obvious basis above, elections are meant to change the way we’re ruled. So, a temporary majority in the House in favour – or against – any one course of action is not able to lay down the law that stands forever. Any new House can unpick any previous Act. That’s the whole point, that’s how democracy works.
Demanding that there be no possibility of No Deal before an election is therefore being entirely undemocratic and unconstitutional to boot.
But then, you know. Labour Party, Dianne Abbott….