Two different conceptions of it are widely held in the UK, representative and direct. In 2019, they collide.
Posts by Jonathan Clark
Jonathan Clark was a Fellow of Peterhouse; at Oxford, he was a Fellow of All Souls College; latterly he has been Visiting Professor at the Committee on Social Thought at Chicago, and Hall Distinguished Professor of British History at the University of Kansas. His latest book is a study of Thomas Paine.
A Prime Minister might, in the autumn, ask the Queen to prorogue Parliament until the day after exit is legally due on 31 October.
Jonathan Clark: Representative democracy is waning, direct democracy is waxing. So its MPs themselves who will “come to heel”
The object of the exercise is to absorb within a stable democratic practice a new element which, if unabsorbed, may have fatal effects.
Does authority reside with Parliament or the People? And are MPs representatives or delegates? Both must be answered.
In the 1997 election, the Party lost 11.2 per cent of the votes and 178 seats, ending with just 165; a loss on this scale next time is perfectly plausible.
Jonathan Clark: Is it time to sweep away our political parties – and clear the decks for Leave v Remain?
The electorate are less and less convinced by such arguments about party identity and destiny. Far underground, the tectonic plates are moving.
In the post-leave springtime, it will be worth considering what would happen if all three were abolished and replaced by a single Turnover Tax.