Well, I learned something I didn’t know about parliamentary procedure yesterday. I had always assumed that the Private Members’ Bill Ballot was an actual ballot, where MPs voted for themselves or their colleagues. How naive was I? The secret is now out, and available on You Tube. It’s actually a big raffle as you can see here:
440 MPs’ names went into the box and just 20 were drawn out. Among them were 4 Liberal Democrats. We had Sir Robert Smith in 9th place, Mike Crockart in 11th, Mark Williams in 13th and Sir Malcolm Bruce in 14th. I asked Mike Crockart on Twitter last night what he planned to do. He replied:
@caronmlindsay I’m suddenly very popular and have had suggestions from many different orgs. The 4 LDs in top 15 will meet Mon to chat…
— Mike Crockart MP (@CrockartMP) May 16, 2013
He later added that it would be hard to pass up the chance to bring in a Bill on his No to Nuisance Calls campaign.
It’s interesting that all four MPs are from either Scotland or Wales. This means that the bill is most likely to be on an issue that applies to the whole of the UK. Once we know more, we’ll let you know.
Of the 20 Private Members’ Bills filed last year, 10 became law, including one which removed the legislative barriers to people with mental health conditions being MPs, jurors or company directors. You can read more about the other bills passed and how Private Members’ Bills are debated here on the Parliament website.
* Caron Lindsay is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings