Legitimacy and power would be best represented by the recent anti-terrorism legislation of March 2005. The previous anti-terror laws expired on March 15th, 2005. They, therefore, needed to be replaced by an act more relevant to the country’s needs four years after 9/11.
The government got the acts of 2000 and 2001 swiftly through Parliament, primarily on the back of the aftershock of the terror outrages in America.
The legitimacy for the 2000 and 2001 acts came from the fact that it was legislation that came from a government as elected by the people in 2001 via Britain’s democratic electoral system whereby every 5 years registered voters can express their political will at the ballot box.
Regardless of the quirks of Britain’s electoral system, it is the system that we have and we have to work with it. That system gave the current government an overwhelming parliamentary majority and in line with representative democracy, the acts were passed through the Parliamentary system and came into force in 2000 and 2001.
In February to March 2005, the government found that the power that it has can be curbed by the democratic system that exists within Westminster.
Even with its mighty majority in the Commons, the government faced a major backlash not just from the opposition but also from many in its own ranks. However, the bills passed its first reading in the Commons and moved onto the Lords. After several sittings in both houses that lasted well into the early hours, an act did receive the Royal Assent and became law before the 2000 and 2001 acts expired. The final act was not what the government, with its large parliamentary majority, had originally wanted.
As a result of the democratic procedures laid down by Westminster, the 2005 Anti-terror Law does have legitimacy as it was voted for and supported by both Commons and Lords.