The world is awash in authoritarian leaders these days. In Turkey, the Philippines, Egypt, Brazil, Russia, the United States and other countries, the leaders of the executive branch have used a variety of techniques to limit the power of the legislative branches, and we can now add the United Kingdom to that list.
(Yes, executive power in the U.K. rests with the queen, but it is exercised by the Prime Minister and cabinet, so there!)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has suspended Parliament until mid-October in order to disrupt attempts to prevent a no-deal Brexit. When you are certain of what is best for your constituents – or at least for yourself – authoritarian leaders are prepared to make the difficult decisions.
Johnson is calculating that Brexit will be good for the U.K., and if he’s correct, he will forever be remembered as the architect of that brilliant move. The same calculation appears to be used by other modern-day authoritarian leaders – a chance to be remembered as a new Churchill or Lincoln.
If things work out, that is. I can’t help but think of another authoritarian leader who took a country in a direction that a minority of the populace favored – Adolf Hitler.
Hitler is certainly remembered, but except for a pretty small percentage of the world’s people, he is not remembered favorably.
We may not have long to wait to see how Boris Johnson and other authoritarian leaders will be remembered. Winter is coming. (Yes, that’s a Game of Thrones reference. Appropriate?)