Thursday, 21 May 2009

Reforming politics

This piece is the Guardian is a ray of hope from the parliamentary debacle of the past few weeks. Constitutional reform was needed 200 years ago and and is as pressing now as could ever be. Let us hope that Brown takes this as an opportunity to make radical changes.

Sadly I doubt that he has either the time or the will to bring in proper reform and I guess that he will suggest another fudge.

My top 5 reforms:
  1. Proportional representation at all levels of government (I almost don't mind what type but the way that the London and Scottish elections are run seems to work).
  2. Elected upper house. Possibly the most bizarre aspect of a government that calls itself democratic is to have parliamentarians who are not elected.
  3. Cap on donations and / or public funding of parties with sufficient support
  4. 'Digs' for MPs who need to stay over night in London, not second homes.
  5. Constituents decide on pay for their MP??? The concept that MPs cannot afford to live on four times the minimum wage is just pathetic.
I am happy that MP's get work related expenses covered (most employers should do this anyway), but to suggest that ordinary people might be kept out of politics if salaries are £65k plus second home is frankly obscene. If an MP can't get by easily on half of that then they clearly have little understanding to how most people have to live.

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