Tuesday, 31 August 2021

The people should be able to ‘recall’ their MP if enough of them want to.

The 'Recall of MPs Act 2015' made it possible for 10% of constituents to be able to recall their MP and call a by-election but only in the limited circumstance of being found guilty of a wrong doing that fulfils certain criteria and was used successfully against Labour MP Fiona Onasanya who was found guilty of perverting the course of justice and sentenced to a term in prison.

Before that Ian Paisley, from North Antrim, was suspended for 30 days under the same law and Chris Davies, of Brecon and Radnorshire, faced a by-election for fiddling his expenses.

The law is explained here- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recall_of_MPs_Act_2015

This new law is at least a start but does not allow the recall of MPs for general incompetence which is what real democracy demands.

In California they go further and on the 14th of September there will be a vote as to whether the Democratic Governor, Gavin Newsom, should keep his job.

The California gubernatorial recall was sparked because of Newsom’s coronavirus restrictions which he was caught flouting. The full details are here - https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/08/25/california-governor-recall-election-gavin-newsom/

This extract from the article is pertinent “The mechanisms for recalling a politician in California was set up in 1910 by progressives intent on keeping a check on power.”

There in lies the whole point and a system of recall worth its name needs to allow the people to hold their politicians to account for any reason they choose thus constantly reminding them that they are our servants and not our masters.

In our second demand for 'Real Local Democracy' we are quite clear that under our proposed system of governance, with a real increase in powers at the local level, it would be up to the local people in each county to decide on such matters.

To quote from page 12 of our pamphlet :-

"Details of how and under what conditions individual MPs (and members of the upper house) are selected might be left to the electors of the county, set out in each local constitution and implemented by local legislatures. After all, if we are to have localism, then the terms and conditions governing the employment of representatives should be decided locally.

We could also envisage a situation where MPs are no longer paid from the central funds, but by their counties. It would be for the people of each county to decide how much their representatives were paid, how much should be allowed by way of expenses, and how they should be held accountable. Also, if one area wanted to introduce a method of recall, that would be up to them. Thus, do we see democracy closer to the people, with government - local and national - under the direct control of the people. Anything else is not democracy."  

Nuff said!    

If we go on accepting the political status quo then we only have ourselves to blame for the mess our politicians get us in. 

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