Also of interest, in the category of narcissism and political science, is the Making Minority Government Work Report, published on the third, and produced by the Institute for Government and University College London’s Constitution Unit. Operating in contemplation of
“much else about the Scottish political system – including the fundamental relationships between executive and legislature, government and opposition, and ministers and civil servants – remains sufficiently similar to that of
that cross-jurisdictional lesson-drawing can be a worthwhile exercise.” (2009, 55). Westminster
Is this a fair assumption? How do we discern between fundamental aspects of relationships, and those that are contingent? In particular, what about the ghostly, diffuse presence of political cultures inside these institutions? While certainly, I’d agree that counter-examples can refute political claims about unavoidable iron laws of causality – in particular that minority governments must collapse – I’m not convinced that it is helpful to reconstruct your own conceptual, deterministic vision either. In fairness, I don’t think that Paun is doing this in any radical way. However, an analytical focus on roles and forms and institutional norms can actually conceal the other, immaterial influences that cause things to be done in one way rather than another. The shaping forces which don’t make it into the official account of parliament’s operations - its tittle-tattle, the hidden transcripts of its operating culture – must be taken into account. Political philosophy is all very well – but our ideas are incarnated, and other, sneaky notions creep in alongside, far too often being treated as beneath the analytical dignity of scholars.
Its at this level, rather than the conceptual potentialities of political philosophy, that I'd suggest that many of the pressures on such a government can best be understood. Its the unscribed particularities and understandings in Westminster which we'll have to attend to, in assessing the survivability of any government of the minority.