There was some discussion on the previous thread about whether today's announcement that parliament will soon be prorogued can appropriately be described as a "suspension of democracy", given that brief prorogations in preparation for a Queen's Speech are a normal part of the Westminster system. But there is something (beyond the obvious cynicism of the timing) that makes this prorogation unusual. James Cleverly noted today that it's absolutely routine for a "new government" to present a Queen's Speech - but if this is a new government (and it obviously is, given that its policy platform is a radical departure from what went before), who elected it? No-one, unless you count the tiny percentage of the population who are card-carrying members of the Conservative party. It hasn't received a direct mandate at a general election, and crucially it hasn't even received an indirect mandate from the elected parliament - it has yet to be tested in a confidence vote. Incredible though it may seem, after a month it still hasn't been established that there is any democratic basis whatsoever for Boris Johnson to be our Prime Minister. He owes his position simply to appointment by the unelected monarch on the advice of his predecessor.
The legitimacy of those who govern us during brief spells of prorogation derives from them enjoying the confidence of parliament - and in this case that legitimacy will be lacking, unless Jeremy Corbyn tables a vote of no confidence next week and loses it. So, yes, I think it's entirely appropriate to characterise today's decision as a suspension of democracy.
Before the news officially came through that the Queen has approved Boris Johnson's prorogation request, this was my reaction on Twitter -
"Rather appropriate that the Queen is in Scotland as she receives the phone call asking her to suspend democracy. I wonder if she'll 'purr' down the line. I certainly hope she 'thinks very carefully' about her decision..."
Of course I was being slightly mischievous there, because I'm sure the Queen's advisers will have told her that she didn't really have a decision to make. Convention dictates that she must accept a request for prorogation prior to a Queen's Speech. However, there are other circumstances in which convention does still allow her some discretion, and we may be hurtling towards those circumstances. ITV's political editor Robert Peston reported earlier that a government source had told him: "If MPs pass a no confidence vote next week, then we'll stay in No10, we won't recommend any alternative government we'll dissolve Parliament and have an election between 1-5 November -- and that means no time for legislation."
If the government goes down that route of temporary, outright dictatorship, then the Queen can stop them. She has the power to sack Boris Johnson as Prime Minister with immediate effect if she concludes that he no longer has the confidence of the House - and if he's just lost a vote of no confidence, such a conclusion would be a no-brainer. Convention does not prevent her from taking action, and the modern precedents are clear. In 1975, the Governor-General of Australia sacked the Prime Minister Gough Whitlam and replaced him with the opposition leader. The Governor-General exercises exactly the same powers on behalf of the Queen that she exercises on her own behalf in the United Kingdom. And within her own reign, there's an example of her using her discretion on the selection of a Prime Minister - in 1963, she went ahead and appointed the Earl of Home as PM, ignoring advice from Harold Macmillan to wait until further soundings had been taken among Tory MPs.
My guess is that the Queen is so allergic to being seen to intervene in the political process (except to stop Scotland governing itself, obviously) that there isn't a cat in hell's chance of her using her power to eject an illegitimate Prime Minister. But the problem for her is that the government will have put her in a position where she has no option but to make a political decision, one way or the other. Doing nothing will in itself be a decision, and it'll make her the midwife of a No Deal Brexit. That could be a catastrophic error that would destroy the monarchy's reputation among a whole generation of pro-EU citizens.