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Electoral Reform

Written Constitution

  • The British constitution should be collected into a single written document that defines and regulates the powers of the British government, and the rights and duties of its citizens.

  • The constitution could either be created by a citizens’ panel, with approval and adoption subject to a referendum, or created as a “blank slate”, with every addition done as an amendment by Parliament with a super-majority vote (e.g. 75% in favour).

  • Provision for calling a national constitutional convention to alter the constitution should be made in statute law. The law should call a constitutional convention if a super-majority (75%) of members of the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly, the Northern Ireland Assembly, and the English Grand Committee (if no English Parliament exists) vote for such a convention to be held. In the event one is called, members should be elected on a non-partisan ticket under a proportional electoral system, and it should have free power to make amendments to the constitution.

Party Funding

  • Limit all donations and loans to political parties to a maximum of £5,000 from individuals who appear on the electoral register.

  • Only individuals appearing on the electoral register are able to fund political parties and each individual is absolutely limited to transfer a maximum of £5,000 in any calendar year. This is the total amount that may be transferred and includes every type of financial activity in addition to straight forward donations.

Transparency

  • Require all MPs to retrospectively publish their diaries on a daily basis as open data.

Cash for Access

  • “Cash for access” shall be explicitly declared an illegal act warranting criminal prosecution, with sentences comparable to similar offences wherein officials have been found to be in wilful receipt of a bribe.

Devolution

  • We support the principle of subsidiarity, in the general sense that decisions should be devolved to the most local organisational level capable of effectively handling the issue.

  • As the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly and Northern Ireland Assembly are currently devolved entities subject to the overarching Houses of Parliament, we would equalise their devolved powers in a manner that maximises the powers the devolved bodies have, and, as per the West Lothian question, establish a new devolved parliament for England, in-line with previous polling. The UK Parliament will retain control over macro-economic, foreign, and defence policy and its members would be elected by separate national STV votes, with the proportion of seats designated to the politicians of each country decided by the population percentages drawn from the most recent census data. This way, everyone gets a say in their country, and everyone’s country gets a proportional and fair say in the union.

  • Currently resources are redistributed from each region according to their ability to pay, according to their need. To ensure this continues, all current taxes set by Westminster would become “federal taxes” and distributed appropriately. Each regional Parliament would have the power to establish top-up “regional taxes” either on income, VAT, capital gains or however they see fit, and keep any revenue generated. Those wishing to attract investment may choose not to levy any regional taxes at all, or keep them lower relative to their neighbour.

  • In the case that a local area is unable to deal with any issue effectively, there shall be an escalation path available to ensure that the issue can be decided at the next broader level.

House of Lords Reform

  • We believe in replacing the House of Lords with a more representative chamber. However, there are immediate reforms required and so while we will work to replace the House of Lords, we will apply incremental reform to the Lords beforehand to improve our democracy in the meantime. These reforms are outlined below, in the order in which we’ll hope to implement them.

  • We will immediately end all new appointments to the House of Lords, swiftly ending the undemocratic selection procedure, including internal by-elections.

  • The House of Lords should not contain more Lords than MP's. We will place a cap on the Lords equal to the number of MP's at any one time. We will remove those Lords with the lowest attendance thereby dropping the current levels to match the House of Commons members.

MP's pay and expenses

  • MP salaries should be linked to other public sector wages, and should rise and fall at the same rate. We propose that this should be set as a multiple of the median public sector wage. If current wage levels are taken as a starting point, the multiplier would be roughly 2.5, but the precise figure should be decided by an independent panel of citizens when the legislation is prepared. Other salaries (for instance, for ministers) would also be linked to public sector wages in the same way.

  • All persons holding elected public office will be barred from standing as a candidate in any election other than for re-election to the same post. An exclusion will apply to holding parish and district-level councillor positions simultaneously.

  • Allowed expenses would be reduced to only those costs incurred as part of their job; for instance, travel and accommodation.

  • Second home allowances will be scrapped, and MPs will instead have accommodation provided through parliament. This could be in dedicated accommodation, existing hotels, or long-term leases as appropriate. All MPs would be treated equally under this system.

Separation of Powers

  • In the UK, our executive branch (the government) is made up of members of the legislative branch (the Commons and Lords). They will become separate entities.

  • British subjects shall pay no fee to enter parliamentary grounds.

Electoral Reform

  • We will create a UK Constitutional Court to rule upon Constitutional matters.

  • The prime minister shall be limited to 2 terms in office.

  • All MP’s shall be limited to 3 terms in office.

  • The introduction of ‘none of the above’ on ballot papers.

  • There should be a public referendum before going to war except for invasion by a foreign military or immediate threat.

  • Party manifestos should be legally binding.

  • The abolition of the majority of MP’s perks.

  • Transparency of all remaining perks.

  • MP’s bound by the same laws that apply to everybody else.

  • Election of committee chairmen and parliamentary officials.

  • Committee hearings for senior civil servants and heads of executive agencies.

  • Annualised budgets for each department and agency.

  • Scrapping state funding for parties and real transparency in donations.

Open primaries.

  • Ban all forms of monetary lobbying.

  • An end to the so-called “public-private sector rotating door.”

  • Make the Elected Representatives (Prohibition of Deception) Bill law.

  • Pass a Reserve powers act, guaranteeing the supremacy of Parliament over foreign treaties and domestic judicial activism.

  • Central government shall be shrunk by at least 25% within our first term as government.

  • De-centralizing powers will be given to each local government and national assembly.

  • A proportional representation system enacted instead of the current first past the post system.

  • A referendum put to the electorate on the adoption of creating a Republic instead of the outdated, useless and corrupt system we have now.

  • Direct democracy will be enacted locally and nationally at all levels of nationwide government.

MP's for overseas constituencies

  • Introduce regional representation for overseas citizens into the House of Commons. At least one MP per continent would be a great place to start and would help give a voice to the 8% of British citizens living overseas.

  • Elected representatives at any level of government should be able to be recalled and replaced if needed. At the local level (Mayors and Councillors), 30% of any given constituency must have no confidence in their representative’s ability to manage their constituency and represent the people of it, and sign a petition saying so. At the national level (the MPs of devolved entities, and, under the current system, MPs sitting in the Westminster Houses of Parliament) this number rises to 35% and at the Union/Federal level (Union/Federal MPs under the proposed STV system) this rises further to 40% but must be 40% of the people from the country which they represent.

  • Once one of these occurs, the necessary election arrangements will be made and there will be an election for that representative’s position specifically, in which the same representative may run to be allowed to continue their role, regardless of the level of government.