All the best, Jo…

This afternoon, MPs who really shouldn’t have been in the House of Commons, either through very advanced pregnancy or serious illness, had to go in and vote on that Brexit amendment.

One of them was our Jo Swinson, who is two days past her due date with her second baby. It is entirely unsurprising that she made it in to vote. Anyone who knows how committed and determined she is will know that unless she was in fairly advanced labour, she would made it. She still deserves respect for doing so. Most women have stopped going into the office by due date + 2.

In the 19th year of the 21st century, it is ridiculous that there is no procedure in place to enable MPs to cast their votes by proxy if they are indisposed for whatever reason. The House voted for it some weeks ago, and it is not difficult to set up. I wonder if the Government would have found a greater sense of urgency to do this if the MPs in question had been on the Conservative side.

Jo tweeted about her day and, of course, she had something for us to do too.

To be fair, I really should commend Baby Hames for staying put to let Jo vote. The wee one will be joining the rest of the family soon and we at LDV wish them all the very best as they get to know each other.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

Read more by or more about or .
This entry was posted in News.
Advert

3 Comments

  • Whilst proxy voting would without doubt improve access to parliamentary voting, there are downsides.

    A key part of parliamentary democracy is the debate that precedes votes which voting members are expected to participate in (which can just mean be present and listen)

    Of course members can attend and not listen/play on their phones/fall asleep/vote tribally at the instruction of the whips, but the principle of being exposed to debate from both sides before making up your mind and casting your vote is a powerful one. This might sound highly paternalistic that a member of parliament doesn’t know how they want to vote and must be mentally nursed through it in the debating chamber (Naz Shah’s experience yesterday being a case in point), but on the flip side it’s highly arrogant for a member of parliament to think they know it all already and don’t need to listen to opposing views before deciding. The issues of today are extremely nuanced and not as black and white as our simplistic and partisan media portray them as. Most of us have the ability to change our minds if exposed to something we hadn’t heard of or considered before.

    I have similar views about the widespread use of postal voting (different to proxy voting I know, but have similar problems of principle), which means voters are not exposed to the full election campaign before they cast their vote. I can think of 3 elections where I would have cast my vote differently had I done so 2 weeks before polling day rather than in the polling station.

  • Richard Underhill 21st Jun '18 - 8:26am

    Arrange a pair with Theresa May, giving the PM more time to concentrate on her important work.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarAlex Macfie 20th Nov - 1:10pm
    When the NI Assembly was last in session, with DUP and Sinn Féin sharing power, our sister party, the Alliance Party, formed the Official Opposition...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 20th Nov - 1:07pm
    Layla should press for a resurrection of 'Sure Start', which was hammered during the Coalition years and after. The charity Action for Children estimates that...
  • User AvatarLaurence Cox 20th Nov - 12:57pm
    One of the lessons I try to convey to junior doctors (or in my case and after nearly a decade, more junior junior doctors) is...
  • User Avatarmarcstevens 20th Nov - 12:48pm
    Layla comes across well and in time would make a good leader. She is also very receptive to what works well and what doesn't based...
  • User AvatarPeter Hirst 20th Nov - 12:39pm
    What is becoming increasingly obvious is that in the turmoil of today's politics transparency, FOI and a free and unhindered media are becoming the hallmarks...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 20th Nov - 12:34pm
    @ David Allen "Roy Jenkins answered the nuclear question by saying (roughly) that in principle he would be prepared to press the button, but he...