Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Parliamentary Democracy 101

From Peter Russell today, "Constitution and precedent are on coalition's side." A good summary of the correct principles at play in the current situation. And this comment from Russell on the prospect of the coalition forming a government:
If this happens, again there would be no "usurpation" of power but a proper application of the rules and principles of parliamentary democracy. It has been very disturbing to hear over the last few days, from people who should know better, wild unparliamentary theories about our system of government. Elections are not simple popularity contests in which the leader whose party garners the most votes gets all the power.

I am greatly concerned that there is so little public knowledge of the constitutional rules that govern our parliamentary system of government. These rules are not formally written down in a legal text or taught in our schools. Maybe the most important lesson to take from the situation we are now living through is to begin to codify as much as we can of this "unwritten" part of our Constitution and to ensure that it is well taught in our schools.(emphasis added)
The people who should know better are letting us down.