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Boris Johnson: A Representative of the People?

  • Opinion

By Chloë Cochran, BA Global Popular Music

It’s a trying time to be alive. We are in a climate catastrophe, it seems that violence is more rampant than ever, Brexit is the biggest disaster since the inflation of Freddos and a man resembling a Cheeto in a tupe is sitting in the Oval Office. The British prime minister, Mr Alexander Boris de Pfeffle Johnson is an unelected prime minister, but is this a byproduct of our failing democracy?

Whether you think him being prime minister is undemocratic is open to personal interpretation, as democracy doesn’t have a specific set of rules to be followed and doesn’t come with a guide book. Britain’s democracy is a representative democracy; we elect people to represent us and vote on legislation on our behalf. But if you examine the way in which he came into office, it does seem strange that 92,153 votes (according to The BBC) can get someone into office in a country that has over 67 million people. Can we really expect a man instilled into an office of power by 0.136% of the population to represent the people?  

Although, when examining the way in which he became prime minister, it isn’t unlawful. The costs of a general election may not be worth the time invested, hence allowing a new candidate to be elected by the party power is not the worst option. This doesn’t seem illogical and in fact, perhaps in less politically divided times wouldn’t hold so much baggage. But we are living in a post Brexit referendum era, and everything is loaded with consequences. It’s happened in the past, Theresa May had the same experience, although she had the foresight to call a snap general election and legitimise her appointment to office. 

Can we really expect a man instilled into an office of power by 0.136% of the population to represent the people?

Furthermore, can someone who hasn’t had to run a campaign effectively understand what the people want? He has never had to think about the needs of the general public from a standpoint that transcends party agendas. He ran a campaign during the Tory leadership, but even this, it could be argued was very one-sided. He was up against members of his party and was therefore only concerned with appealing to the party; any challenge posed within the party offered no threat to their position of power.  
This again poses an issue with a two party system in the focus of competition, rather than attempting to understand what the population needs. But even this is begging to be questioned, as his own brother has resigned from the government and parliament in alleged protest of the prime minister’s leadership, The Independent reports. This illustrates that division within the party, like division within the country, is prominent. Can an unelected prime minister effectively represent the people? Or should we all re-examine our current political system and adopt anarchy?

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