I live in the United Kingdom, a parliamentary democracy. Let’s recap where we are right now:
- We stand on the brink of the greatest constitutional change in living memory.
- Leading the charge is a Prime Minister who has never won a general election.
- In fact she has never even won a leadership election of her own party, having won by default when her opponent dropped out.
- We are proceeding on the basis of a whitepaper that was thrown together literally overnight and than contains no meaningful analysis.
- Debate has been squeezed into hours, compared with weeks for the much less important Maastricht treaty.
- MPs for the devolved Scottish and Welsh assemblies have been allowed almost no time to speak (though Mark Harper took a full hour).
- The supine opposition party has pledged, before even knowing which amendments if any are to be accepted, to vote for the bill.
- Oh, and the policy that May is forcing through is one that she does not believe in, but has adopted from Nigel Farage –a man who has stood for Parliament seven times, and lost every time. But he gets to dictate policy.
This doesn’t feel like a democracy at all. It feels like a dictatorship, and one totally unprecendented in my lifetime.