A series of lectures broadcast on BBC One in honour of the veteran broadcaster who died in 1965.
Type: Talk Show
Status: To Be Determined
Runtime: 45 minutes
The Richard Dimbleby Lecture - Elective dictatorship - Netflix
An “elective dictatorship” (also called executive dominance in political science) is a phrase popularised by the former Lord Chancellor of the United Kingdom, Lord Hailsham, in a Richard Dimbleby Lecture at the BBC in 1976. The phrase is found a century earlier, in describing Giuseppe Garibaldi's doctrines, and was used by Hailsham (then known as Quintin Hogg) in lectures in 1968 and 1969. It describes the state in which Parliament is dominated by the government of the day. It refers to the fact that the legislative programme of Parliament is determined by the government, and government bills virtually always pass the House of Commons because of the nature of the majoritarian first-past-the-post electoral system, which almost always produces strong government, in combination with the imposition of party discipline on the governing party's majority, which almost always ensures loyalty. In the absence of a codified constitution, this tendency toward executive dominance is compounded by the Parliament Acts and Salisbury Convention which circumscribe the House of Lords and their ability to block government initiatives.
The Richard Dimbleby Lecture - Proposals for reform - Netflix
A common proposal from reformers to reduce this executive dominance is to reduce the power of the majority party by adopting an electoral system based on proportional representation for the Commons. The Green Party of England and Wales, Liberal Democrats, and Scottish National Party have consistently supported PR for the Commons, although without noticeable support from larger parties. Some groups, such as Charter 88, have argued that a codified, written constitution with appropriate checks and balances is also essential to solving the problem of executive dominance, although again without popular success. The Power Inquiry in its 2006 report Power to the People made recommendations on how to deal with the democratic deficit inherent in the UK system of governance.