Parliament – M.Ps. behaviour

Re-imbue in MPs the idea that they are public servants.

This subject is potentially huge and covers too much to put on this site. However, there are a few easy to implement ideas:

*   When an MP (or a local councillor) crosses the floor, he/she should be subject to a new ballot. When these people are voted for it is usually on a party ticket and so changing their minds is not adhering to their election promises

*   If and when an MP is found to be abusing the position parliament must be able to fire that person immediately. It should not be the case that the offender can simply hang around for the rest of the parliament before facing the constituents in an election contes

*   The number of MPs should be reduced to around the 400 mark. It really does not take nearly 700 MPs to run this country – plus the House of Lords.

*   Redraw the constituency map so that each one has approximately the same size of population (accept that there will be some anomalies like the Isle of Wight

*   Require that all MPs actually attend the house for a minimum period during each session. It cannot be right that there are so many empty seats where important measures are being debated. If the low attendance (or non) is indicative ot the low level of interest in and the small importance of the measure under discussion – cancel it

*   Ensure that MP's benefits such as subsidised restaurants, bars, crèches, etc. are declared as such for tax purposes in the same way as everyone else in this country  

 

Why is this idea important?

Re-imbue in MPs the idea that they are public servants.

This subject is potentially huge and covers too much to put on this site. However, there are a few easy to implement ideas:

*   When an MP (or a local councillor) crosses the floor, he/she should be subject to a new ballot. When these people are voted for it is usually on a party ticket and so changing their minds is not adhering to their election promises

*   If and when an MP is found to be abusing the position parliament must be able to fire that person immediately. It should not be the case that the offender can simply hang around for the rest of the parliament before facing the constituents in an election contes

*   The number of MPs should be reduced to around the 400 mark. It really does not take nearly 700 MPs to run this country – plus the House of Lords.

*   Redraw the constituency map so that each one has approximately the same size of population (accept that there will be some anomalies like the Isle of Wight

*   Require that all MPs actually attend the house for a minimum period during each session. It cannot be right that there are so many empty seats where important measures are being debated. If the low attendance (or non) is indicative ot the low level of interest in and the small importance of the measure under discussion – cancel it

*   Ensure that MP's benefits such as subsidised restaurants, bars, crèches, etc. are declared as such for tax purposes in the same way as everyone else in this country  

 

Allow the public to elect judges and magistrates

Every 4 years we hold judicial elections, where the public, get to choose our law-lords, judges & magistrates, by election.

This will be identical to a general election, but the candidates will have no polotical ties.

furthermore, let us have our judiciary wholly accountable to a council of people, persons chosen at random every 4 years, to whom our judges will have to explain their actions, reasoning and sentencing, and to give them powers to override any judicial decision, including those of courts abroad, for example the european court of human rights, which has consistently proven to be biased against the interests of the Great British people.

Why is this idea important?

Every 4 years we hold judicial elections, where the public, get to choose our law-lords, judges & magistrates, by election.

This will be identical to a general election, but the candidates will have no polotical ties.

furthermore, let us have our judiciary wholly accountable to a council of people, persons chosen at random every 4 years, to whom our judges will have to explain their actions, reasoning and sentencing, and to give them powers to override any judicial decision, including those of courts abroad, for example the european court of human rights, which has consistently proven to be biased against the interests of the Great British people.

Ban Party Lists at Elections

For some types of election votes get to choose between Party LIsts. This is profoundly undemocratic. Voters who are, say, left-leaning, cannot diffrentiate between a hard left idealist and a compromising pragmatist, whatever their preference.

Instead of decisions about which person is elected being made by 30,000 voters (or whatever), the decision is made by a selection committee of perhaps 12. Worst case the reality is that the Selection Committee Organiser effectively puts the list together on his or her own. The top candidate is guaranteed to be elected. The 20th placed is guaranteed not to.

If a prospective candidate upsets the wrong person a jumped up Party Discipline rule is invoked to get them suspended, and Hey Presto, they don't get on the list. Party machines have favourites and will do anything to displace who is at the top of the list and gettheir candidate there. Thatcher and Blair were outsiders would never have been high on a List (OK, bad example). Churchill was seen as a troublemaker past his prime – a List system would have put Chaimberlain clones above him.

It's a scheme that Danton would have loved during The Terror period of the French Revolution. Or Stalin.

Why is this idea important?

For some types of election votes get to choose between Party LIsts. This is profoundly undemocratic. Voters who are, say, left-leaning, cannot diffrentiate between a hard left idealist and a compromising pragmatist, whatever their preference.

Instead of decisions about which person is elected being made by 30,000 voters (or whatever), the decision is made by a selection committee of perhaps 12. Worst case the reality is that the Selection Committee Organiser effectively puts the list together on his or her own. The top candidate is guaranteed to be elected. The 20th placed is guaranteed not to.

If a prospective candidate upsets the wrong person a jumped up Party Discipline rule is invoked to get them suspended, and Hey Presto, they don't get on the list. Party machines have favourites and will do anything to displace who is at the top of the list and gettheir candidate there. Thatcher and Blair were outsiders would never have been high on a List (OK, bad example). Churchill was seen as a troublemaker past his prime – a List system would have put Chaimberlain clones above him.

It's a scheme that Danton would have loved during The Terror period of the French Revolution. Or Stalin.

Abolish Elections !

Seriously, abolish Elections.

General Elections that is. I want freedom from short-term top-go management of the economy and politicians who support leaders and policies well past their sell-by dates because they know that if The Leader falls there will be a General Election, and thy too will fall.

Abolish crude system where an MP elected with a majority of 1 in a constituency where the vote was split 3 ways and turnout was low, has exactly the same weight as one with a clear absolute majority of the registered electorate.

Make votes cast against a guaranteed winner count for something.

Give supporters of a surefire winning party motivation to turn out or stay at home.

Here's how it works.

An MP elected with over 50% of the Registered Electorate is elected for 5 years.

An MP elected with 50% of the Votes Cast, but less than 50% of the Registered Electorate, is elected for 4 years.

An MP elected with less than 50% of the Votes Cast, for example where the vote is a Split Vote, is elected for 3 years,

In each calendar year there is a set Planned Election Day when MPs whose number of years is up see their constituents get another vote.  Usuallt this will be about the same time of year, but circumstances may make it sensible to change the date – floods, storms, volcanic ash, Olympics.

This way MPs who barely scape into Parliament can only claim a mandate for 3 years, ones who clearly represent their constituents can carry on for a full 5 years.  After each Mini-Election it would be clear if the previous Government still had a working majority.

Governments would change gradually, rather than do damaging full 180-degree turns every few years.

Voters would longer be afraid of voting the way they really want to. They might support a Party but loathe the local Candidate – today they vote for a candidate they loath because they don't want the other party to run the Country. In future they might be confident that whatever the result, the Government will not change in the next 12 months, allowing Local Voters to apply pressure to their Local Party to choose a candidate with Local Support rather than have a narrow clique of activists and Head Office impose a swivel-eyed idealogue.

In a typical year about 200 seats would be up for grabs, rather than the full 600-650. Poorly performing MPs and unpopular ones would soon get the message and work harder to represent their public. A strength of this idea is simplicity – apart from length of tenure, all MPs are equal – there are no fractional or weighted votes.

And if a Government totally fouled up and was unable to govern, there is nothing to stop a General Election being called, it just would not be routine and automatic. 3 years later gradualism would re-assert itself.

Make MPs more responive, stop abrupt policy reversals every 4 or 5 years. Elect MPs for variable terms.

Why is this idea important?

Seriously, abolish Elections.

General Elections that is. I want freedom from short-term top-go management of the economy and politicians who support leaders and policies well past their sell-by dates because they know that if The Leader falls there will be a General Election, and thy too will fall.

Abolish crude system where an MP elected with a majority of 1 in a constituency where the vote was split 3 ways and turnout was low, has exactly the same weight as one with a clear absolute majority of the registered electorate.

Make votes cast against a guaranteed winner count for something.

Give supporters of a surefire winning party motivation to turn out or stay at home.

Here's how it works.

An MP elected with over 50% of the Registered Electorate is elected for 5 years.

An MP elected with 50% of the Votes Cast, but less than 50% of the Registered Electorate, is elected for 4 years.

An MP elected with less than 50% of the Votes Cast, for example where the vote is a Split Vote, is elected for 3 years,

In each calendar year there is a set Planned Election Day when MPs whose number of years is up see their constituents get another vote.  Usuallt this will be about the same time of year, but circumstances may make it sensible to change the date – floods, storms, volcanic ash, Olympics.

This way MPs who barely scape into Parliament can only claim a mandate for 3 years, ones who clearly represent their constituents can carry on for a full 5 years.  After each Mini-Election it would be clear if the previous Government still had a working majority.

Governments would change gradually, rather than do damaging full 180-degree turns every few years.

Voters would longer be afraid of voting the way they really want to. They might support a Party but loathe the local Candidate – today they vote for a candidate they loath because they don't want the other party to run the Country. In future they might be confident that whatever the result, the Government will not change in the next 12 months, allowing Local Voters to apply pressure to their Local Party to choose a candidate with Local Support rather than have a narrow clique of activists and Head Office impose a swivel-eyed idealogue.

In a typical year about 200 seats would be up for grabs, rather than the full 600-650. Poorly performing MPs and unpopular ones would soon get the message and work harder to represent their public. A strength of this idea is simplicity – apart from length of tenure, all MPs are equal – there are no fractional or weighted votes.

And if a Government totally fouled up and was unable to govern, there is nothing to stop a General Election being called, it just would not be routine and automatic. 3 years later gradualism would re-assert itself.

Make MPs more responive, stop abrupt policy reversals every 4 or 5 years. Elect MPs for variable terms.

Elections – returning officers should not receive a bonus for this activity

Many returning officers are chief executives of local councils. How can it be right that these people be paid a fat bonus on top of their already generous salaries?

For example, one gathers from press reports that: the returning officers for Liverpool, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Islington, MIlton Keynes, Lewisham and Runnymede received an average of £12,000 on top of their six figure salaries The returning officer for Liverpool received £14,000 on top of his £217,000 salary; Lewisham's received around £14,000, Newcastle's £9,880, Runnymede's £6,000 and Manchester's £19,000. These people are already paid significant salaries – most of them at least £50,000 a year more than the Prime Minister.

Why is this idea important?

Many returning officers are chief executives of local councils. How can it be right that these people be paid a fat bonus on top of their already generous salaries?

For example, one gathers from press reports that: the returning officers for Liverpool, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Islington, MIlton Keynes, Lewisham and Runnymede received an average of £12,000 on top of their six figure salaries The returning officer for Liverpool received £14,000 on top of his £217,000 salary; Lewisham's received around £14,000, Newcastle's £9,880, Runnymede's £6,000 and Manchester's £19,000. These people are already paid significant salaries – most of them at least £50,000 a year more than the Prime Minister.

Cancel the postal voting system and any plans to vote via the web

The ability to vote by past should be cancelled because it is wide open to abuse as would be "web based voting". The appointment of a proxy is perferable.

Why is this idea important?

The ability to vote by past should be cancelled because it is wide open to abuse as would be "web based voting". The appointment of a proxy is perferable.

Allow Local Government Officers political freedom.

The Politicically Restricted Posts provisions of Section 1 of the Local Government Officers (Political Resrictions) Regulations 1990 and the associated provisions wthing the Local Govenment & Housing Act 1989 are draconian pieces of legislation that should be repealed.

At a time when Parliamentary and local government service is been seen by many as the increasing preserve of career-political-activists, freeing up the many thousands of local government activists to use their experience and expertise in the political realm can only bring benefits.

The original thoughts behind the legislation were in some ways well intentioned, ie, to prevent undue political influence in local government officership, but it was a case of using a sledge-hammer to crack a nut. A broad curtailment of a council officer's political liberty being put in place where a tight set of rules to prevent specific conflict-of-interest situations would have been more appropriate.

It cannot be right for a government committed to political reform to continue deny political rights and liberties to so many on the basis of a flimsy catch-all piece of out-moded legislation.

I am not asking for council officers to be able to be an elected member of the authority they work for (such a restriction should stand) but they must be allowed to campaign for any political party and stand for an authority other than their employer with the proviso that such political activity does not bring the employing authority into disreute or creat a direst conflict of interest.

Why is this idea important?

The Politicically Restricted Posts provisions of Section 1 of the Local Government Officers (Political Resrictions) Regulations 1990 and the associated provisions wthing the Local Govenment & Housing Act 1989 are draconian pieces of legislation that should be repealed.

At a time when Parliamentary and local government service is been seen by many as the increasing preserve of career-political-activists, freeing up the many thousands of local government activists to use their experience and expertise in the political realm can only bring benefits.

The original thoughts behind the legislation were in some ways well intentioned, ie, to prevent undue political influence in local government officership, but it was a case of using a sledge-hammer to crack a nut. A broad curtailment of a council officer's political liberty being put in place where a tight set of rules to prevent specific conflict-of-interest situations would have been more appropriate.

It cannot be right for a government committed to political reform to continue deny political rights and liberties to so many on the basis of a flimsy catch-all piece of out-moded legislation.

I am not asking for council officers to be able to be an elected member of the authority they work for (such a restriction should stand) but they must be allowed to campaign for any political party and stand for an authority other than their employer with the proviso that such political activity does not bring the employing authority into disreute or creat a direst conflict of interest.

Proportional voting for elections

We need to change our Voting systems for the UK General Election, Local Elections and also vote for the House of Lords. This is our country, our politics and our vote. The citizens need to be represented fairly and equally. We need to avoid systems that enables tactical voting as the smaller parties are not recognised in the results.

Why is this idea important?

We need to change our Voting systems for the UK General Election, Local Elections and also vote for the House of Lords. This is our country, our politics and our vote. The citizens need to be represented fairly and equally. We need to avoid systems that enables tactical voting as the smaller parties are not recognised in the results.

Scrap regulations requiring traceable ballot papers.

 


The regulations requiring local authorities to print traceable numbers on the reverse side of ballot papers should be scrapped/removed/abolished.

Our votes would then be secret and be seen to be secret.

 

Why is this idea important?

 


The regulations requiring local authorities to print traceable numbers on the reverse side of ballot papers should be scrapped/removed/abolished.

Our votes would then be secret and be seen to be secret.