James Forsyth

The separation of powers

The separation of powers
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If you want to understand what the Cameroon's are thinking, Danny Finkelstein is essential reading. He used to work with them and he thinks like them, there is almost a mind meld between him and them.  His column today is all about why it would make more sense to actually separate out parliament and the executive and elect the head of state. I'm rather sympathetic to this point of view, but I don't think the Tories will do anything this radical even if they talk about it in private.  

One thing they might well do, though, is have ministers who aren't members of either the Commons or the Lords. The argument goes that the current arrangements aren't good for either the executive or the legislature. It is bad for the executive as the talent pool it can choose from is limited to members of the legislature. While the legislature is mostly filled with people who want to be part of the executive and view their membership of legislature as a means to an end. The stumbling block, though, is whether parliament would ever agree to this change and how these unseated, unelected ministers could be made accountable.