Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
The fact that the Prime Minister, in the "Westminster" system and its colonial derivatives, decides the date of elections is nothing other than a carry-over from royal prerogative, as you demonstrate, Gary. It is quite unjustifiable in the current political climate, because it arbitrarily accords this vital attribute of sovereignty to a mere chief of government.

As there is no prospect of handing this power back to the constitutional head of state, nor any realistic prospect of vesting it in an elected head of state, a fixed-term parliament is the only tenable position.

The vital question in a democracy is : does the government have the confidence of Parliament?  Arbitrary dissolution turns this question on its head.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Oct 1st, 2010 at 06:53:12 AM EST
It is right that the Prime Minister has inherited most of the prerogatives of the Crown. Hopefully fixed term Parliaments will reduce the power of the Prime Minister and help the House of Commons as a whole to recover more influence over the political agenda.
by Gary J on Fri Oct 1st, 2010 at 08:30:56 AM EST
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