26 APR 2010

Dartmouth & Kingswear 26th April

Another full day canvassing local and national opinions in Dartmouth and Kingswear, followed by an open meeting in the evening at Kingswear Village Hall.

It was good to see so many people wanting to engage in political debate and I sense the mood now turning away from cynicism towards a real interest in the outcome of the election.

At Kingswear there was much debate about proportional representation and compulsory voting. Whilst only a minority favoured PR, about half those present wanted to see compulsory voting but with an option on the ballot paper for ‘none of the above'.

Most people wanted to see more consensus politics with a less adversarial style. There was no support for all women shortlists but a general feeling that Parliament needs to be more representative of the wider community.

In my view, open primaries are a better way of opening up Parliament than restricted lists. Perhaps more weight should be given to all party working groups and select committees, with members mostly comprised of MPs with relevant experience.

I would like to see a Parliament with more clout; where announcements are made in the House of Commons and not via spin doctors on TV, and I hope that the next generation of MPs will take a stand against the excessive power of whips, which is the cause of so much of the mistrust in our political system.

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