In one of his many reinventions, Ed Miliband outlined his idea of creating a Public Prime Minister’s Questions where the public will be given the chance to question the Prime minister on any issue. Sound’s like a good and progressive step forward for democracy doesn’t it? The problem with this of course is that the current PMQs, where MPs question the Prime Minister every Wednesday is already a sham. The weekly question time is nothing more than a public relations exercise where the Government and the opposition try to one-up each other for the cameras, and back benchers try to make a name for themselves.
I can’t see how a Public Prime Minister’s Question time will be an extension of this, where it will be a well rehearsed show rather than a true opportunity for the public to scrutinise the Prime Minister. The second issue I take from this plan is that we live in a representative democracy. We give a mandate to MPs to carry out three primary functions, to represent, to legislate and to scrutinise. Why would allowing the public to scrutinise the Prime Minister as well as our representatives revolutionise our democracy? It won’t.
Unfortunately, like many things with Labour and Ed Miliband, this is another gimmick; pure electioneering. Why not announce that we will have referenda on all legislation? Why not hold a raffle to give a different member of the public a chance to be Prime Minister for the day as a way getting them more involved in politics? Although the latter idea of mine might increase Ed Miliband’s chance of being PM!