What is Democracy? Rishi Sunak’s position as new UK PM

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Rishi Sunak in a meeting. London, Britain, April 2022

On Oct. 25, 2022, Rishi Sunak was appointed Prime Minister by King Charles III. Rishi Sunak was elected by the Conservative Party to which he belongs. Democracy is defined as a “system of government by the whole population…typically through elected representatives.” Since Rishi Sunak was not elected by the British people, what then is democracy, and why can a Party elect the next prime minister?

On Sept. 6, 2022, Liz Truss was elected Prime Minister by the Conservative Party but ended her term after 49 days. Although there are rules for the Conservative Party to elect a prime minister, such as a sitting Minister of Parliament, the British public is not electing these party members.

The next British general election is until Jan. 2025. So, the reason why the Conservative Party can elect its own Prime Minister is because they are still in power. Boris Johnson was elected as Prime Minister in the 2019 general election and became Prime Minister on July 24, 2019.

Boris Johnson was told to step down as Prime Minister due to “Partygate,” which included the Prime Minister being fined for breaking lockdown rules during the Covid-19 crisis.

“My fellow Conservatives, it is time for politics to be over,” Johnson said. “I am proud to discharge the promises I made for my Party when you were kind enough to choose me.”

Rishi Sunak is skilled in economics as he was Chief Secretary to the Treasury. He was also elected without contest by his party. “It is the greatest privilege of my life to serve the party I love and to be able to give back to the country I owe so much to,” Sunak said.

“Our country is facing a severe economic crisis,” Sunak said. “I want to pay tribute to my predecessor Liz Truss, she was not wrong to want to improve growth in this country.”

Democracy is not under attack, but the events in the United Kingdom call into question how democracy truly works and how legality allows for loopholes.

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