Gary for Lincoln Lib Dems

A blog following my political ramblings, for Lincoln and beyond


  • Lib Dem candidate for Glebe Ward. Involved in Mental Health Activism, Computing, Environmentalism and Gaming

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Posts Tagged ‘Liberal Democrat’

A New House of Lords?

Posted by Gazbook on April 26, 2010

House of Lords chamber, looking toward throne

Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday I made some attempts to talk about the parliamentary reform the Liberal Democrats would like to make, and how this reform might look like. Today I’d like to suggest how a new House of Lords might look like, fully elected by the public.

The first part is this house would do exactly what it says on the tin; the public would vote for the party they want in the house, rather than a candidate. When all the votes are counted, seats would then be allocated based on the percentage of votes; for is Labour fielded 30% of the votes, they would gain 30% of the seats; if the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition gained 4% of the votes they would get 4% of the seats, and so on. At this point I would probably rename the house to something more accurate, like the House of Senators… although if for historical reasons the public wanted to keep it as the House of Lords, then that is fine with me. As long as it has no affect on democracy in this country then I am not too fussed.

As an extension, what I find interesting with an elected upper house like this is that there would not necessarily be a need for political parties in the lower house anymore. Political parties could be banned from the lower house, or allowed providing they do not overstep the power of their constituents to have a say on laws, or agree or disagree with them.

It would also provide a separation of powers, with the House of Lords acting as the executive and the House of Commons acting as the legislature. Although just because the executive would be based in the Lords, it would not mean that the Lords should be given anymore power. It should be left as it is, with most of the power lying in the Commons. It would then be the duty of political parties, not only to appeal to the United Kingdom as a whole, but to appeal to the representatives of the constituencies of the United Kingdom who will make laws on a daily basis.

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Lib Dem members to decide coalition?

Posted by Gazbook on April 25, 2010

House of Lords

Image via Wikipedia

I should probably avoid speculation as to what happens after the election and focus my energies on getting as much support for the party. However, I would hope that, rather than make a decision on their own, the leaders of the Liberal Democrat party will hold a referendum to it’s members as to which party to side with and form a coalition government.

Building up from that, I would also like to see the party encourage/enforce debate between Labour, The Conservatives, The Lib Dems and the smaller parties. The priority should of course be electoral reform. However, I would like to see an element based on hand-picking the best people for the job in terms of ministerial appointments, and explicitly encouraging a politics based on consensus rather than competition.

How would we achieve this? I think the first part would be putting in place the single transferable vote and/or proportional representation, as well as making the House of Lords entirely elected. The second part would be to change the focus of this coalition term to cleaning up politics. Make explicit requirements for MPs to publish expenses, and to be accountable to constituents first if a certain number vote (either online or through petitions) against the putting in place of certain laws in Parliament. MPs should be accountable to constituents before their party whips.

In my opinion, the final part would be a complete overhaul of the House of Lords into a House entirely elected by the public through proportional representation; I will detail in my next blog post tomorrow how such a system might work.

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Presenter of 2nd Debate Had No Right to Influence Discussion

Posted by Gazbook on April 23, 2010

Ofcom

Image via Wikipedia

Forgive me for my banality, but my hatred of certain massive news corporations being able to influence the vote in favour of the Tories somewhat irritates me.

Even more so, on the second debate Adam Boulton made a comment that, quite frankly, really irked me. The reason for that was I feel it influenced the debate… all he brought up was the fact Nick Clegg was on the front of the front cover of The Telegraph, for reasons questioning his finances.  My problem was it was the job of the leaders to debate and question things. Adam’s role was quite clearly that of a moderator. In all honesty I feel it was part of the smear campaign against the Lib Dems that The Times, The Sun (both papers owned by the same company that owns Sky News) and The Telegraph has propagated.

I hugely encourage others to go ahead and make a complaint to Ofcom using this link. I am certain this breaks the rules of conduct Sky had to agree to in order to be able to make the broadcast. As a side note, being a part-time film editor I am fairly confident many subtle features such as camera angles, framing and the like aimed to undermine Nick Clegg. Obviously that is nothing I am firm about, but in all honesty wouldn’t surprise me given News Corporation‘s track record.

Feel free to use my letter to Ofcom as a template.

Already questioning the impartiality of Sky in political matters, I wish to make a formal complaint with regards to Adam Boulton’s comments to Nick Clegg on being “on the front cover of The Telegraph”.
Forgive me if I am wrong, but the rules for the debates made clear that the role of the presenter would be that of a moderator, rather than to interject additional comments more in the style of TV reporting. I feel his comments were nothing more than to influence the debate, when this was quite clearly the job of the LEADERS to DEBATE.
I would be interested to see how, legally, Sky stands on this issue; as being the role of a moderator Adam had NO RIGHT to influence the discussion (other than to select who was to speak and for how long).
I eagerly await your response.
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Round 2, Tomorrow Night

Posted by Gazbook on April 21, 2010

and in the interests of impartiality...

Image by tankesopp via Flickr

I have to say, I was absolutely amazed with how the debate went last week. Although in my heart of hearts I knew Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats had a message that was fresh and different to the two parties who have held a monopoly on our government for over 60 years, in all honesty I never expected him to be taken as seriously as the public had done.

Now both the Conservatives and Labour are changing their battle plans, from appearing friendly to the yellow party to becoming more hostile and questioning. I think just for our party to actually be in a position where “Labservative” are analysing every detail is a huge achievement in itself, and shouldn’t be seen with caution as it shows for the first time in a very long time we are actually being taken seriously by the establishment.

However, if Gordon and David are too hostile I believe it will show the cracks in going red and blue even more. Not only will it show that they can’t keep to one firm manifesto and campaign, but I believe the public will actually rally in support of the bullying of Nick. This is bearing in mind the viewing figures will be much lower for the next debate anyway, seeing as Sky News is not a terrestrial channel.

As I type this message, the official “We got Rage Against the Machine to #1, we can get the Lib Dems into office!” page has gone from 0 members to 127,000 in 7 days. The Tories, with a Conservative fan page, are the next closest political Facebook Group with just over 50,000 members. I think this speaks volumes for how well the Liberal Democrats have done already.

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Bickering Between Children Whilst Careful of Clegg’s Eggshells

Posted by Gazbook on April 15, 2010

Nick Clegg makes the Liberal Democrats' Leader...

Image via Wikipedia

What I saw on ITV1 tonight was not really a debate. Gordon Brown and David Cameron were so worried with getting on Nick Clegg‘s bad side that they couldn’t say a single bad word about him. And the two leaders, of parties that have had a monopoly on Parliament for over 50 years, were left to bicker between themselves.

In a sense I feel sad that Clegg was almost denied the opportunity for proper debate as it seems he was given “special treatment”. Yet at the same time I find it very reassuring that the only truly democratic party in Parliament had this platform to say “actually, you don’t have to believe them lot”.

What amazed me most, however, was the 40+% approval rating of Nick compared to David and Gordon; He ended up with more people thinking he was the best then either of his opponents put together. It has given me even more confidence that, actually, it is worth fighting for change because a lot of people would like change. Plus with a majority of people watching the programme being made up of those who will vote, it could lead to some very interesting results come election day.

Still, there is a long while yet. For those interested in the Liberal Democrats winning in a few weeks time, I’d sign up to become a volunteer for the party. You don’t have to do anything you’re uncomfortable with, and there’s an opportunity to make a difference locally.

That is why I’m Lib Dem, and why I am standing for them as a councillor. If I was in power, and if the party got in power, they would want to give it away. To you.

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Leaders Debates… The Right Direction?

Posted by Gazbook on April 15, 2010

BOURNEMOUTH, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 22:  L...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

I’m looking with interest to the leader’s debates tonight. It is the first time the leaders of the 3 main political parties (Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrats) have debated on live TV in the UK.

However, I’m also looking at the whole event with caution.

You only have to look over to our chums in the US-of-A to see a very different story to the one you see here. You get the impression that politics over there really has become a competition of performers, rather than would-be presidents. The party with the glitziest campaigns, the best-looking candidates and (obviously) the most money has a huge possibility in getting to the hearts of the nation and becoming elected.

Sadly, I also understand this is how British politics is turning.

Although I do believe it is an important step in trying to engage the country with politics. And while I look in horror at a House of Parliament that looks more like schoolboys trying to get one-over each other than actually caring about it’s constituents, you can certainly say it’s entertaining. Plus it will get the message out so people can see the policies and beliefs of the Liberal Democrat Party. The only party that wants to take power away and give it to the people when it comes to power.

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