Britain's political crisis now resembles America's

You could call it a constitutional crisis, and many are doing so. The Speaker of the House of Commons has used the expression "constitutional outrage", and some are going further: #stopthecoup is trending on British Twitter.

Alternatively, you could dismiss it as nothing more than a bit of unattractive "parliamentary chicanery", as a Brexiter friend of mine just did over the phone. But however this saga ends - with Brexit or no Brexit, an election or no election - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's move for an unusual and unprecedented five-week suspension of Parliament, announced on Wednesday, will end by helping to discredit Parliament, and to discredit democracy, in one of the oldest democracies in the world.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 30, 2019, with the headline 'Britain's political crisis now resembles America's'. Print Edition | Subscribe