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So this is engaging with the British people

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posted on Aug, 15 2009 @ 09:45 AM
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My local MP have been "elected" onto the Parliamentary Reform Committee and has put a leaflet through my letter box. I guess that all my MP's Constituents have received this single sheet leaflet titled "UP FOR DEBATE"

(The text of the leaflet)

UP FOR DEBATE



Dear Friend,

Voting at 16? President or Queen? Should we have Proportional Representation? Over the past six months, events such as the expenses scandal have pushed these questions right to the top of the public agenda. Issues such as how we should elect our politicians and how much power the Prime Minister or the Queen should have are now UP FOR DEBATE.

I have recently been elected onto the Parliamentary Reform Committee, which will be forming policies on how politics can be made to work for you in the 21st Century. This gaves us a unique opportunity to have the voices of our area heard at a critical time for parliament. The committee is made up from politicians from many parties, working together to improve the current system. I believe that this is too important just to be left to politicians and I want to give people in this constituency a chance to make their views knowm. Do you think the system is sick? How can we make things better?

Please spare just five minutes of your time to fill in this survey, and feel free to photocopy or scan it if more of your household want to take part. every household we hear from makes our voice louder when I take the results direct to the Reform Committee. This is your chance to tell parliament how you want it to work for you.

Yours sincerely,

(Signature)

David Drew MP



HOW GOVERMENT WORKS



Structure and institutions



1) Do you think we should have a Queen or an elected President

(Possible answers as a tick box) Queen or President

The House of Lords is the second chamber of Parliament, and complements the work of the House of Commons by making laws and scrutinising the Government.



2) There are a number of ways to decide who sits in the House of Lords. Do you think the House of Lords should...

A) be fully elected, like the US senate?
B) be partley elected and partly appointed?
C) Be replaced by people elected by trades and professional groups (e.g. doctors, farmers, miners, layers)?
D) Be appointed or inhert their title, as is the case now?
E) be abolished completely?

(Possible answers as a tick box) A, B, C, D, E

3) Should we have a fixed-term parliament (e.g. four or five years) rather than having the Prime Minister decide when to call an election?

(Possible answers as a tick box) Yes or No

Political Paries are currently funded by members' fees, donations from businesses, organisations like trade unions and by large gifts from wealthy individuals.



(Possible answers as a tick box) Yes or No

4) Should the State fund political parties, leaving taxpayers with the bill, but protecting parties from donors trying to buy political influence?

(Possible answers as a tick box) Yes or No

5) Should we limit spending by political parties (between and during elections) to improve competition?

(Possible answers as a tick box) Yes or No

Local County and District Councils currently set policies and budgets on local matters, and council tax. They cannot change national policies like income tax or immigration.



6) Should the powers and role of local councils be increased?

(Possible answers as a tick box) Yes or No

7) There are currently 646 MPs, who represent an average of 92,000 people each. How many MPs should we have?

(Possible answers as a tick box) Fewer, About the same, More


THE PEOPLE


Elections and the people's voice



8) Should we have a Bill of Rights like the United States, clearly saying what our country stands for and defining what rights we have?

(Possible answers as a tick box) Yes or No

9) Do you think voting should be made compulsory?

(Possible answers as a tick box) Yes or No

10) Do you think the voting age should be lowered to 16?

(Possible answers as a tick box) Yes or No

11) Would you be more likely to vote if you could do so over the internet?

(Possible answers as a tick box) Yes or No


At the moment, politicians can only be removed from office by their party or by parliament



12) Do you think that voters should have the right to force their MP top face an election if they believe they have abused their position?

(Possible answers as a tick box) Yes or No

13) Should government make greater use of referendums?

(Possible answers as a tick box) Yes or No


We currently vote using the First Past the Post system of voting, in which politicians are elected by a simple majority of voters per constituency. In Proportional representation systems, seats are shared out between the parties based on their total national or regional share of the vote.



14 ) Are you satisfied with the current voting system, or would you prefer a different system like Proportional Reprensentation?

(Possible answers as a tick box) Satisfied, Want change, Not sure

Any further comments (large box)

Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey - Please return it free of charge (no stamp needed) and by the 26th August to:

(Address given but not included in this post)

Keep an eye out for the results at the beginning of September in the Dursley Gazette and Stroud News and Journal.

There will be a series of debates around the constituency to discuss the results of this survey, and debates the issues covered. They will be held in September in:

(Details and addresses of the locations for the debates given but not included in this post)

Each meeting will start at 7pm. I hope to see you there

(End of text)

[edit on 15-8-2009 by Freedom ERP]




posted on Aug, 15 2009 @ 09:53 AM
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So my local MP thinks these are the questions right at the top of the public agenda?

If this is what my MP thinks are the issues at the top of the public agenda, my MP is more out of touch that I think.

What about the economy? Keeping a job? Our military engagements? Crime? The NHS?

Just when will my MP and all MPs wake up and realise that this is just another whitewash exercise designed to divert our attention from the very real issues our country faced.

And just how much has this cost?



posted on Aug, 15 2009 @ 10:05 AM
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You need to calm down, seriously. MPs organise themselves into committees to look at different aspects of reform that they think is needed. One way of finding out what the voters want is to conduct surveys. As far as I can see, you are angry and offended because your MP has had the cheek to ask you your opinion.
Fill in the survey and maybe take the time to go to the meeting and make your views known to your MP not to us, it will be democracy in action.



posted on Aug, 15 2009 @ 10:16 AM
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reply to post by labyrinth101
 


I intend to do both but I am angry because my MP thinks these are important issues and has vasted momey on this. There are far more important issues I want my elected offcials to focus on.

Just look at the questions. How important are they? Not very. Not one of these questions will improve the economy or make my direct life any better.

And this is the first time since my MP has bothered to ask opinions by this means.

Labyrinth101, you are too generous on the motives of our MPs and how would you answer the questions?



posted on Aug, 15 2009 @ 10:49 AM
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This is why democracy in the UK is going down the drain, not the MP’s survey but the attitude of the OP. If it doesn’t address solely what the individual is concerned about then it’s not worth bothering with; exemplified by the line “Not one of these questions will … make my direct life any better.” MPs are damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

Stop whinging and engage in the system; if you don’t think these are important issues (others, like me, disagree) then get in touch with your MP or another MP who may be more directly involved with the issues you are concerned about.



posted on Aug, 15 2009 @ 11:07 AM
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reply to post by Mike_A
 


I frequently engage with my MP on what I see are the issues, and guess what, they still continue to avoid issues that impact people in real life, and I am very involved in politics to ensure that thsoe who are elected know what I expect of them.

It is a shame Mike_A, that you tar everyone with a single brush, who questions what our MPs are doing. What do you do to engage in politics locally and nationally.

Rahter than just flame people who want to make a difference, engage and do something.

And of course, I am interested in what the impact is on me. None of the questions that my MP askes will improve the quality of my life, the protection of the economy, improve the NHS etc.

My MP, as you put it is dammed because these are far from real issues that impact my daily life. I am my MP focussed on issues are are important and impact my daily life.



posted on Aug, 15 2009 @ 11:27 AM
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I’m not tarring everyone with the same brush just you. You said it yourself; if it’s not what you want it’s pointless.

Personally I find the questions in this survey to be very important, as I’m sure many other do; who are you to admonish this MP for asking them just because you personally don’t deem them to be relevant to you?


Rahter than just flame people who want to make a difference


What difference? You’re criticizing this MP for asking his constituency’s opinion! That is what I take exception to and that is what is wrong with the general public attitude towards our democracy. Why would any MP bother to consult the electorate or listen to them when the standard reaction is a cynical attack on them, accusing them of being out of touch? If you’re making a difference then it is only to make public consultation less appealing and less likely.



posted on Aug, 15 2009 @ 12:10 PM
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Just reply back asking him how much he has claimed in expenses in the past 8 years, and whether he thinks he'll be in a job come the next election because he thinks the public will have forgotten


He's a Labour man, so I bet the response is interesting!

Electoral reform has been - I do beleive - on the back burners of Parliament for a while, so its interesting to read this. Although its not dealing with massive issues at the fore of current politics the scope of it is far reaching and the reccomendations of the select committe could very well change some of the other things that actually are at the fore.



posted on Aug, 15 2009 @ 02:20 PM
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Queen or President

An act of treason by the MP.

Off with his head.



posted on Aug, 15 2009 @ 03:31 PM
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reply to post by Mike_A
 


So I am tarred because I would rather my MP spend it time on the big issues rahter than some small issues that impact our MPs more than they impact us. You are more than entitled to think these issues are important, I just choose to disagree.

This is the first time that my MP has done this. With all the several issues in the last 10 years, war in Iraq, management and funding of the NHS, supporting the British economy, Europe and the Euro.

Because MPs have been caught cheating the British people, suddenly they want to ask us our opinions on these issues.

My MP has never formally asked for anyone's opinion on the war in Iraq. He just voted as the whips told him to.

My MP has never formally asked for anyone's opinion on the Euro. He just does what the party tells him to do.

So yes I have every right to admonish my MP for suddenly taking an interest in some small issues.

Nothing to do with an election inside 12 months and my MP facing being out of work. Of course, he is interested. He wants to remain on the gravy train.



posted on Aug, 15 2009 @ 03:36 PM
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reply to post by neformore
 


Great point and I checked his expenses on line, Nef, and he does not seem to have taken advantage as much as other MPs.

And very strange that electoral reform is such an important issue now.



posted on Aug, 15 2009 @ 04:03 PM
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They’re small issues to you, so you’re saying he shouldn’t talk about them. That is why I think you’re wrong.

If he’s not asking your opinions on other issues then that is a separate problem. Your attitude is one of “if my concerns aren’t being addressed then no one’s should be”.

Part of this is due to his position on a committee. He can’t reasonably be expected to send out letters for every issue that comes up, that is why he holds surgeries, has a website and why you can send a letter or email to him (he is apparently very prompt with his replies). Since he is on a committee however, and his constituency may not be aware of this particular position of influence he therefore makes it known so that people can take advantage of that fact.


So yes I have every right to admonish my MP


You have the right but it doesn’t mean it’s a clever thing to do. You’re moaning about him never asking your opinion and as soon as he does… you moan about it!


By the way David Drew voted against the Iraq war. He also voted against government position in a further 132 votes.


[edit on 15-8-2009 by Mike_A]



posted on Aug, 21 2009 @ 09:09 PM
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reply to post by Freedom ERP
 


Dear Freedom-What Would You Think About This?:
Thank you for sharing this with us. I don't know about England, but the U.S. needs some changes just like the ones mentioned in your post. I have suggested in a couple of threads recently that the U.S. needs to find a diplomatic way of having a "vote of confidence", or a "recall" of our Presidents, midway through their terms if they are not leading the country in the right direction. (Or simply shorten their terms to two years.)

They are becoming too complacent in my opinion and forgetting who they work for. And then they kiss our sweetasses when election time comes around. Our House and Senate needs the same concept placed on them. And they should have long time limitations placed on their ability to own stock on companies that do business with the Government. Ex.) The military/industrial complexes.

Our members of government wouldn't send out questionnaires like yours did to you because ours don't give sh*t about us and most of them don't even try to pretend they do. We'd be better off electing our President in a lottery!!! I gotta go take my blood pressure med's now and answer the door. There's a couple of guys in black suits w/ guns in a shoulder holster at the door, must be my pizza I ordered....
Peace,
CBS



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