Statutory instruments. A Bill of Rights. Freedom of Information. Proportional Representation.
Such ideas are not ones you hear bandied about by your average man or women on the street. Yet they were among those chosen by members of the public to try and mend the lack of trust in Britain’s political system.
For those of you who’ve not yet heard of Power2010 it’s a campaign which launched in the wake of the expenses scandal, with public trust in politics at an all time low. It’s a campaign for political and democratic reform, but with a difference. At every stage of the process it’s been the public who’ve set the agenda
Last weekend, 58 ideas were taken to a unique public debate. Over 100 people representing a microcosm of the UK population spent a weekend in a ‘Deliberative Poll’ discussing ways to bring political and democratic reform to the UK suggested in 4,000 submissions by the public to the POWER2010 website.
29 of these received over 50% support and have therefore made it to a shortlist of proposals to reform our broken political system.
Today we’re going to be turning up the pressure on politicians of all parties to heed the warning signs of a system in decline. The Joseph Rowntree-backed POWER2010 campaign is launching the nationwide vote on this shortlist to find the five most popular ideas to fix politics in Britain. When we have them, we’ll put them to every candidate standing at this year’s General Election in an intensive campaign to force them onto the agenda.
I can genuinely say that I’ve never seen a campaign like this. It turns the usual aims – winning the public over on a set of pre-determined objectives – on its head by opening up the entire process. It seems the participants in our poll felt similarly inspired:
What has really hit home is that the only people that have the power to change the system are the people. I will therefore, be encouraging friends and family to get involved and vote on the reforms….”
Matthew Hunt, a participant in the Power2010 event
We’ve seen turnout fall, public cynicism at an all time high and party membership dropping election after election. This year, we have a window of opportunity we may not see again for some time.
Voting starts today, you can vote for more than one idea, so vote early and vote often! Here’s the link: www.power2010.org.uk/vote
* Andrew May is the Power2010 Local Campaigns Coordinator.