Harris’ Political Dictionary

by jamesbharris

Harris’ Law. A political law by which the leader of one political party is better placed to realize the agenda of another. The law results from the natural need of a leader to demonstrate their authority over their own party, and that the best way to do this is by making the party support them in something it finds unpalatable. Hence, Obama supports cutting Social Security in the States, Angela Merkel commits Germany to a nuclear-free future, and David Cameron seeks to bring about legal gay marriage in the U.K. Although these leaders come from on paper the ‘wrong party’ to advance such positions, they have found themselves adopting them despite or to spite their own party’s traditional stance, though in fairness to Obama, the U.S’s contorted political landscape has seen him unable to even compromise his principles effectively. It is also a way in which a leader seeks to define their own particular period as party-head and distinguish it from what has gone before. Of course it is not a consistent rule as in other cases the leader simply tries to realize the party’s actual agenda (see Attlee: NHS) or an agenda no-one thinks is a good idea (see Blair: Iraq).