Restoring Trust In Democracy
A significant proportion of the UK's population are non-religious, or are of another faith. Having Bishops in the House of Lords no longer provides useful representation. We are committed to House of Lords reform but this should be part of any changes, or undertaken as an interim measure.
Currently people may act as ministers without any knowledge of the field. Minimum standards of knowledge and experience would be set for each ministerial position.
Scottish and Welsh MPs may vote on issues that affect England only. Because of devolution English voters are relatively under-represented. A new English government would be formed with separately-elected members.
Currently, more powers are devolved to the Scottish Parliament than to the Welsh Assembly.Devolved powers would be extended so both regions have the same powers.
Elected representatives may currently defect to a different party and remain in office. This may result in voters feeling unrepresented or misled. A defection to a different political party would trigger a by-election for that post.
The candidacy deposits for elections (e.g. £500 to run for MP) favour wealthy candidates and parties. Abolishing candidacy deposits would improve access for independents and small parties. We would encourage participation by including Information on how to stand for election with voter registration materials.
The issue of MPs' pay has been very controversial. We would reform MPs' pay. A possible incentive for MPs to think more widely about society. may be to link their pay to a prosperity measure. MPs wage would be fixed to its current multiple of the median wage. As the median wage changes, MPs wages would be scaled proportionately
When MPs have other jobs it may be a distraction or cause a conflict of interest. MPs would only be permitted to work a maximum of 10 hours per week on other roles. This would make it feasible for people who own farms or small business's to become MPs, but remove the major conflicts we have seen over recent years.
Some politicians may vote in favour of policies that benefit themselves financially. MPs would be banned from voting when they have a financial interest in the result
Donating to political parties gives large donors undue influence, which unbalances our democracy. There would be a cap on total political donations per year. No person or organisation would be permitted to give more than £5000 per year.