Tuesday, January 24, 2012

UK: My article in Politics.co.uk and another look at their recall

I have an article in Politics.co.uk on the proposed UK recall law.

Here's another article discussing the UK law. This article does have a few facts a bit off (the Swiss had the recall before the US -- though they rarely used it) and of course, the US starting playing with the recall well before the 1900s.

Note this comment:
Some 22 countries now allow powers of recall for various politicians, with Canada one of the most active. Since 1997, voters in the state of British Columbia have filed some 24 recall petitions.
Here's the ending -- worth checking out if you are interested in the UK angle:

In essence, Goldsmith's Bill means that if you don't like your MP you can try to get rid of them. The power is in the hands of the people rather than a committee. Indeed, this is much more about voting for your MP as an individual, rather than representative of a party. But to prevent political parties simply trying to unseat an opponent, Goldsmith would put the recall threshold at 20 per cent of voters.
Of course, direct democracy – like voting for Big Brother or the X-Factor – has its attractions. However, I am not necessarily convinced it strengthens policy-making or Parliament. Just look at California, the state is in a mess thanks to political grid-lock and partisan electioneering. However, we do need to keep thinking about reviving our flagging democracy and getting people involved in politics. Maybe some form of right to recall for wrong-doing is a part of that, but not, surely, for MPs just expressing controversial or unpopular views. In reality, I don't think any MP would want disagreements to get that far – especially if there is an Arnie waiting in the wings.

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