February 4, 2010

Came across the ‘Power 2010‘ site via ‘Big Brother Watch‘.  It previously gathered political ideas from the public, ideas people wanted to see implemented regardless of political leanings, eg. proportional representation, fixed parliament terms, etc.  Watch the vid for a better explanation…

Power 2010 are now in Phase 2, which involves everyone voting on their favourite ideas.  Power 2010 will then take the 5 most popular and try to convince everyone running for parliament in the General Election this year, to support all 5 reforms.

You can vote for as many as you want, which I find kinda strange, I would’ve thought you just vote for your own top 5.  Anyway, here are the 5 I voted for;

  1. English votes on English laws
  2. Stop ‘revolving door’ politics
  3. Transparent lobbying
  4. A second chamber of different sectors
  5. Right to recall

1 is surely a no-brainer with new devolved governments. 2 and 3 is to clean up politics and try to stop corporate influence.  4 is something I’ve thought The Lords could be a mix of business sectors and a kind of jury duty system to get members of the public into the second chamber – this is close enough. 5 is a better idea than ‘None of the Above’ which seems like a cop-out; confront an MP by threatening their job rather than just saying none of the above.

There are other ideas including, a constitution and bill of rights which are good but hardly indestructable protectors of justice.  They could make our rights more succinct and clearer but not sure if it’ll actually improve the quality of government and those working within it.

I don’t know where this cry for fixed term parliaments is coming from but I’ve heard it a few times recently.  I think it’s terrible, I was in the US during Bush’s re-election and it just turns the last year into one long electioneering campaign.  I like the uncertainty of not knowing, it keeps the ruling party in control and everyone else on their toes for the full cycle.  Saying that the US has a fixed term as justification is a false comparison as their political system is different.

Lastly, I’m not sure how effective this whole campaign will be, for example proportional representation favours the smaller parties so the big two are unlikely to accept it (although there is a bit of talk from Labour about it but it smacks of desperation rather than carefully thought out policy) and all the anti-corporate things I’d like to see hit MP’s pockets which after the expenses scandal is obviously close to their hearts and won’t be relinquished easily, but anything that gets people talking and thinking about UK politics has to be a good thing.

Most of the ideas seem great but it does produce a further problem.  At the moment it can be difficult to put your finger on the differences between the parties, if every candidate adopts these ideas then it’ll become even harder.

When I first read this I thought they were going to put together a party promoting the ideals voted in through this process…I think there’d be more chance of seeing all these changes happen this way than convincing existing MP’s and party candidates to implement them.

Maybe an idea for Power 2014, if fixed term parliaments are realised, or Power 2013/14/15 if not.

You got 18 days left to vote.

One Response to “Power 2010”

  1.  February 10th, 2010 at 10:52 am Ghazal Tipu says:

    Dear Ben

    I’m writing to you on behalf of the Power2010 campaign for democratic reform. Firstly I wanted to say thanks for blogging about us and mentioning the campaign.

    You’ll have seen that we’re now over halfway through the public vote phase of the campaign where the top 5 reforms that will form the backbone of the campaign are being voted for by the public.

    There are 29 ideas being voted on. PR is currently in the lead, followed shortly by abolishing ID cards and the database state – but a lot could change between now and February 22nd when voting closes.

    We’re hoping to mobilise as many people as possible to vote to make the result as legitimate and powerful as it can be to strengthen our hand when we finally approach politicians and with that end in mind I wondered if you’d consider featuring one of these fashionable Power2010 “Vote” buttons on your website or sidebar?
    http://www.power2010.org.uk/pages/resources

    There’s even a choice of colours: black and white. Just copy and paste the HTML into your site.

    Thanks again – and I hope you can keep following and blogging the campaign.

    If you have any questions or feedback on the campaign do let me know.

    All the best,

    Ghazal

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