I’m delighted to have a guest post from Sonny.
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Since the whole debate about MPs expenses two arguments surrounding the matter have arisen:
A) The suitability of Party Politics to represent public opinion (and the birth of Independent MPs)
B) The number of MPs we have in parliament.
Both heavily interlinked I feel. The vast majority of suggestions at the moment point toward fewer MPs, but I don’t think that helps the fight for greater number of Independent MPs… or democracy.
With devolution in Scotland and Wales over the past years, the trend has been pointing toward greater numbers of MPs and giving power back to local government… until the issue of expenses came about. Then the consensus shifted in favour of few. “Let’s get rid of the dead wood and cut expenses”, but are we confusing “how our money is spent” with “how many people our money is spent on”?
I believe a reduction in the number of MPs would be detrimental to a more democratic government and to the ability to elect Independent MPs. The idea of IMPs is to give power back to the people by making them more willing to vote, regain a face to politics and introduce variety. This would be hard if one IMP were to represent a bigger constituency, unable to really represent all opinions and make Party Politics more attractive. We should be working towards “A local face for local people.”
We need to engage the voter more by showing them their vote counts toward something close to their homes and their hearts. Give power back to the local authorities whilst reforming the system so that more independent MPs can come together in Parliament and govern our collective needs.
It’s like any form of sampling whether be polls, quality control or something like frames in a second of film; only by taking more samples can you get a more accurate representation of the overall picture. A large number of MPs and a proper system that allows them to work out their differences is the only way forward.
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Thanks Sonny. So what are your thoughts on whether we should cut the number of MPs have even more?
And if you want to write a guest post – I’d love to receive it, send it over to firstname.lastname@example.org.