Politics

Responsible Government – in Dilution

Walter Bagehot, the Victorian expert on responsible government, raised the question in 1867 of whether the English political system was truly one “in which the government was responsible to Parliament, and Parliament was responsible to the electorate”. The ideal until then was that parliament, in the exercise of its ultimate power, might remove a government from office, or, when less severe measures were called for, at least check abuses of executive power by insistence upon the censure or resignation of a minister. The likelihood, however, of the imposition of effective parliamentary checks on power has been greatly eroded by the…

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