Parliamentary reform: House of Commons

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by stoatman, Jun 16, 2009.

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  1. On a completely different track from Gordon Brown's current red herrings of an elected House of Lords and a Alternative Vote system for the Commons, I would like to propose 2 (unoriginal) changes to the way the Commons is run which I believe would have a much more beneficial effect on any tinkering around the edges with voting systems designed to result in a permanent lib/lab coalition.

    1. Term limits for MPs
    2. Rolling elections at fixed intervals (rather like the US system)

    1. Term limits would immediately destroy the so-called "political class" of professional politicians, sitting in the same safe seats from the age of 25 to the age of 75, since after a certain number of terms they would be out. They would then have to live in the real world and personally experience the results of their policies. This may sharpen a few minds when it comes to proposing and voting for legislation. As for how many years in Parliament the limit should be set at, I would suggest somewhere in the region of 10-15 years (2-3 full current terms).

    2. Rolling elections would allow democratic change to happen rather more quickly than at present, and again would keep the government on its toes. This might hopefully stop the problem that we currently have of essentially electing a new more or less benevolent dictatorship every 4-5 years. The counterargument is that less might get done by Parliament, but is that such a bad thing? If one views a Parliament's record in how much stuff it does in how little time, then the Blair/Brown regime has been the most successful government in history...

    I know that these ideas are unoriginal and have already been mooted in passing in various other threads, but they seem to warrant a discussion on their own.
  2. Simple solutions.
    An online petition with 5000 signitories forces a bi-election for any MP or maybe 20,000 signitories for a Minister or Front bencher
    A criminal offence of corruption in public office carrying a minimum 10 year term.
    A petition (say 40,000 people?) is enough to call a nationwide referendum on any issue, mandatory voting in these referendums.

    Make the politicians properly fear the electorate, only then will they do what is right rather than what is beneficial for themselves.
  3. Or to make life even more interesting for our politico's, the online bielection petition only needs to obtain as many signatures as the size of their majority ( you would really have to be Keneth Williams or Franky Howard to say that line on TV)

    Also attendance at the House, Expenses etc published every year like a school report
  4. No, if an MP does a good job and his or her constituents want them to continue to represent them why should they be barred. The only people who should be able to hold an MP to account should be their constituents, not Parliament, not the government, not the PM, not even the court (although a mechanism to cause a by-election if an MP is convicted of a offence should be in place) and certainly not some committee full of placemen.
  5. That means you end up with exactly the same shite system as now. The restriction means that you don't get some throbber coming from university, snagging a safe seat and occupying it until s/he retires. It means that politicians are deprived of the opportunity of regarding their job as MP as a lifelong affair. It also allows a faster turnover of fresh blood. And who knows? There might even be a few talented ones among them.

  6. And what of it, if that's what the constituents want then so be it. What needs to happen is a much greater participation in our democracy, if we could have a turnout of 80% plus at an election the political map would be redrawn.
  7. We need to be breaking up the cobblestones. Where is our Robespierre? The whole of Parliament needs a reform and we cannot trust the present incumbents to tinker with the system and tell us that they have improved it.