by Stephen Tall on May 13, 2008
Cast your minds back to last September…
Gordon Brown was riding high in the polls, the Tories were in disarray and the Lib Dems were polling at 13%. Gordon toyed with exploiting his momentary advantage by calling a snap election. He dithered and dithered and dithered until the polls turned and the choice was taken away from him.
Since when nothing has gone right… Labour slumped to third place in the local elections, the Tories won London, and the Lib Dems scored 24% of the vote.
So perhaps Gordon got his just desserts for trying to manipulate the electoral process for tribal advantage.
Yet the fact remains that the decision of when the voters get to vote in or kick out a government should not reside with the Prime Minister of the day. And thanks to Lib Dem MP David Howarth the days of Prime Ministerial whim may be over. The good folk at Unlock Democracy have written to Lib Dem Voice to tell us:
The Fixed Term Parliaments Bill, introduced by David Howarth MP, receives its second reading debate in the House of Commons this Friday.
A Private Members’ Bill, it has a chance of becoming law if enough MPs support it. However, as the debate is on a Friday when most MPs are in their constituents, it is absolutely crucial that enough MPs show up in order to ensure the vote does not fail.
You can help ensure this happens by writing or phoning your MP over the next couple of days and asking them to support the Bill in the second reading debate on Friday. In addition, please ask them to sign
EDM 1528 – Fixed Term Parliaments.
If you would prefer to write, use the WriteToThem.com website (you
can also use this website to look up the name of your MP) or address
your letter to [name of MP] MP, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA. To
phone, dial 020 7219 3000 and ask to be put through to your MP’s office.
For more information about why we should have fixed terms for the
House of Commons, see the Fixed Terms website.