No to 55%
Tom Harris acknowledges that Labour lost the election and accept that the new government has the democratic legitimacy to govern. There are many policies which will be introduced in the next few years. But it is utterly unacceptable to redraw the rules of parliament and of democracy – not to mention the rules of arithmetic – simply to ensure that ministers hold onto their portfolios for as long as possible.
The plan is to scrap the centuries-old convention that when any government loses the confidence of the Commons, it must resign and parliament must be dissolved. Instead, 55 per cent of the Commons must support a no-confidence motion. ..
But why 55 per cent, you may well ask? Why not 51, or 54 or 58 or 65…?
Could it be that this magic number is based on the fact that the Tories already have 47 per cent of the seats in the Commons? Surely the LibDems would never be stupid enough to fall for such a cynical confidence trick?
Can someone answer me this (and it’s a genuine question): which LibDem or Tory politician – or indeed, politician of any other party – has ever publicly supported such a radical and anti-democratic perversion of our constitution in the past? Did it feature in either party’s manifesto at the election? Or any previous manifestos?
Quite, it is a cynical anti democratic stitch up. A majority is a majority.