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But I've kind of forgotten why. I like that their plan would involve axeing pretty much ALL of their MPs.
Maybe the £3 donation bit is a bit off a leftfield idea but the rest of it I could see the sense of.
'Hmmmmm, how can people be better represented? I know! Let's make each MP have to represent an even greater number of constituents! Brilliant!!!'
I think the system does need to be reformed though as it's pretty outdated.
I think the main three questions I'd ask are:
a) Is a system which encourages political parties to always oppose each (almost regardless of their stance on an issue) really the best system for running the country? In many other European countries there's more of a tendency towards parties working together co-operatively in many instances and I think that has to be more productive.
b) Is the 'traditional' way of defining constituencies by geography the best way of making sure everyone's fairly represented? When the sytem was devised I imagine most people (or at least most of those who were able to vote) who lived in a particular area woud have had similar interests and priorities. But as that's less the case now, should the system be changed?
c) Is the current parliament genuinely representative? Would a PR system with more political parties represented in parliament be a better system and allow a more diverse cross-section of people to be represented?
but PR never seemed like a great idea to me in forming a government as you end up with a mish mash that no one actually voted for. I'd me in favour of the commons as is so you keep a strong government that can actually do stuff like raise/lower tax, split spending as they want etc but with a PR upper chamber that laws have to pass through to replace the Lords.
if we charge them, then they won't bother!
would be very nice. Can't see most of the other ideas working though.
This is actually a sensible idea that people will just dismiss out of hand.
is okay I suppose, it should in theory help to limit the large amount of leverage of some small interest groups and the cap on election spending could help elections be more about ideas than who has the most posters and flyers.
The cut in the number of MPs seems like a strangely self-destructive thing for a party leader to be saying. Even if the above money business does help level the playing field in terms of how much coverage his party gets chances are that having fewer MPs will simply squeeze the LibDems so hard that they won't even be a worthwhile coalition partner for anyone who ends up in a minority rule situation.
I assume that at the back of his (or his teams) mind is that a smaller parliament means a hung parliament that will miraculously get the big two sucking up to them.
He says he wants power to rest not so much in the hands of big organised political parties but the people but the ideas I've heard from the Lib Dems in this speech and in other interviews all seem to taking power further away from the people.
Governments formed in backroom negotiations gifting increased power and importance to parties who relatively few of the electorate have voted for.
Of course apart from the school yard squabbling of the party pissing contest there are always voters to consider.
Most people these days probably already think that their MP does bugger all for them, and barely represent the community. This will surely get worse when larger constituencies are to be covered.
that if you've got less MPs, you get a smaller majority, so a larger chance of rebellion causing problems for the majority party in the govenment. This would force parties to work together rather than the childish contests we see at the moment.
Of course, as long as the crazy whipping system still applies, all it means in reality is you'll get more 2/3 line whips when it comes to votes.
as a 'power play' kind of thing, rather than actually improving representation, which is the current major failing for government.
I think you could only reduce the number of MPs if you broke the constituency link - it's difficult enough trying to acceptably deal with constituents under the current arrangements without massively increasing their number.
If you retained a constituency link, you'd need to increase allowances which would massively eat into savings on MPs' salaries.
like what the Americans have.
for MPs or Prime Ministers?
it seems like a good idea, and exactly the type of original thinking that i'd appreciate more of in politics.
Yeah, great idea. We could be like one of those countries where parties spend most of their time horse trading in endless coalitional permutations to ever get any shit done.
And of course we'd have to do what Lib Dems say without actually having to vote for them. SCORE. For them.