Posted by alangdundee on 14th October 2010
On Tuesday there was an early day motion in Westminster on a referendum on proportional representation.
Although a small number of MPs from a number of parties voted for it – not a single Lib Dem did!
Anyone who has watched the Nick Clegg video where he pledges to oppose and vote against increases in tuition fees won’t be surprised.
We sincerely hope that all those who voted for the Lib Dems because they were
radical and different from Labour and the Tories will have reconsidered doing so again in future.
Posted in Accountability, Election, Westminster | No Comments »
Posted by alangdundee on 26th May 2009
David Cameron has been all over the press today with his sweeping radical reforms as he likes to call them.
seriously consider[ing] the possibility of fixed-term parliaments
- reducing the number of MPs by 10%
- Text alerts on progression of Bills.
- More publication of expenses
- possible curbs on the whipping of votes
- backbenchers would get powers to choose the chairmen and members of select committees
These, he claims, will
transfer power from the state to the people. Sounds good, unless you realise this is a man who voted for people to be detained by the state without charge for 28 days.
So lets look at the list:
seriously consider[ing] the possibility of fixed-term parliaments.
Not only is it a pitiful reform but it is surrounded by two weasily non-commital caveats. Why not fixed numbers of terms for MPs if you want to fix terms? (The SSP voted for 2 terms at our conference a number of years back)
reducing the number of MPs by 10%
In a parliament which is a representative type this makes the body less accountable, not more.
Text alerts on progression of Bills.
Post a reply if you can name one Bill currently going through parliament.
Yep, thought not.
The bills are available here if you wish to see.
More publication of expenses
Long overdue, but whilst MPs make the rules they then defend themselves by not breaking it is toothless and purely populist.
possible curbs on the whipping of votes
How exactly would this be enforceable? Notice again the weasely caveat.
backbenchers would get powers to choose the chairmen and members of select committees
Well hold me back, that is exactly the demand being made by everyone on a daily basis, the problem with parliament being the backbenchers don’t get to choose chairmen of talking shops. Sounds more like throwing a bone to get the support from backbenchers though.
Reforms which were noticeable by their absence included
- Reducing pay of MPs or linking to some measure of wages/income. Might we suggest a maximum of 5 times the state pension? Then there might be some action on pensioner poverty.
- Abolition of the unelected and undemocratic House of Lords
- Abolition of the unelected and undemocratic Privy Council
- Recallability of MPs – by petition of a percentage of constituents or triggered by voting against election promises or by changing their political affiliation
- Proportional Representation – deliberately excluded by Cameron
- Extending the franchise
- Overhauling voter registration to remove the current ease to commit fraud with postal vote registration.
None of these are revolutionary demands. They are basic reforms which are far more radical than anything Cameron has just dreamed up. Of course further reforms would be a real democracy, with the parliament chosen by lot, rather than the oligarchy we have now.
Posted in Accountability, Campaign, Civil Liberties, Election, Equality, Public Services, Scotland, Tories, Westminster, Youth | 1 Comment »
Posted by alangdundee on 12th May 2009
The media for a week has been full of stories of the outrageous
expenses claims by MPs.
From tampons (for a man) to moat cleaning there is seemingly no receipt these parasites will not claim for at taxpayers expense.
This is not democracy.
David Cameron: Quick, someone grab a receipt, the peasents can pay for this meal
Democracy is not just crossing a box once every four years, it is also about transparency and accountability.
If the police won't get involved we'll have to catch the leaker ourselves.
The Scottish Socialist Party has a policy we call the
Workers Wage. Our elected representatives take home no more than an amount linked to the average wage of working people. This helps keep your elected representatives linked to the life you lead – they know how much a council tax rise affects you because it affects them too.
There is no chance of any of our elected representatives having you pay for their chandeliers or moat cleaning and most don’t own their first home never mind second, third or gated estate.
Come June the 4th vote for a representative who will be representative of the lives of most people in Scotland – vote Scottish Socialist Party.
Posted in Accountability, Election, European, Labour, Media, Public Services, Tories | No Comments »
Posted by alangdundee on 8th November 2007
VoteWise is a site where you can grill candidates on their policies. Have a look at the page on the Lochee by election where Alan Graham is standing for the Scottish Socialist Party
Posted in Accountability, Election | No Comments »