The Party System by Hilaire Belloc

By Hilaire Belloc

Pertinent to the USA, Britain, and different Western democracies, this publication explains that what humans think occurs in nationwide assemblies and parliaments is considerably various from the truth. rather than being areas the place debate is severe, passionate, and aimed toward the nationwide curiosity, in actual fact such a lot participants of those institutions act on behalf of strong, unelected pursuits. They be aware of, implicitly, who quite runs the country—and their simply genuine activity is to make a decision in the event that they are looking to attempt to rock the boat (thereby risking their wage, their popularity, their future), or remain silent for worry or prefer. The publication demonstrates past any doubt that the very nature of the process is adversarial to democracy as laypeople are aware of it.

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Men of all opinions were puzzled, bewildered, and somewhat perturbed by the Conference, not knowing that it was but a more formal type of those thousand private Conferences between opposing leaders behind the Speaker’s chair and at dinner parties and social clubs which give their real direction to the politics and to the destinies of modern England. Past and Present It is an error to suppose that the Party System was always the organised imposture which it is today. There was a time when it had a meaning – nay, even within times comparatively recent it meant more than it means now.

How shall we define their state of mind? 4 Of the crowds that line the towing path every year from Putney to Mortlake there are few that have ever been to either University, have ever known anyone who has been to either, have even the remotest or most shadowy connection with either. ” Note that this is not a mere question of backing your judgment on the merits of the two crews. Not one man in ten knows anything about that, and many are proud of always sticking to the same side year after year, of being always 29 The Party System “Oxford” or “Cambridge,” whether their favourite colour wins or loses.

9 If we take the year 1870 as the pivot year, we shall find that in the forty years that preceded 1870, nine Administrations which could normally command a majority of the Commons were upset by the independent action of members of that House. In the forty years that have passed since 1870 only one instance of this happening can be mentioned – the defeat of Mr Gladstone’s Home Rule Bill of 1886. There the circumstances were in many ways exceptional, and even that example is now nearly a quarter of a century old.

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