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Apathy is born of impotence, not ignorance. Or so the amazing response to the Power 2010 vote to find the public's top ideas to fix politics would suggest with over 20,000 votes cast in under a week.
Proportional representation has stolen an early lead with over 3,200 votes, followed by scrapping ID cards and rolling back the database state, with a written constitution and fixed term parliaments bunched at 3rd and 4th place with around 1,600 votes each and Ekklesia’s support for capping political donations has seen it surge by 100 votes per day.
There is a vigorous exchange of views taking place in the discussion threads as people come together to educate themselves about the reforms, while those with greater knowledge trade arguments on the pros and cons of reforms.
In support of Fixed Term Parliaments, John Hamilton writes : "A four year term as standard is long enough and would perhaps encourage a more dynamic form of government. Also. the Prime Minister should only be able to stand for two terms. The ruling party would not then have the advantage (or disadvantage!) of an incumbent Prime Minister."
John Duckett, meanwhile, raises a possible downside: "The one problem I can see with this is that electioneering would begin in the third year and bore every one rigid. A three week campaign as now is more than long enough."
On the ID cards thread, Steven Auld makes an interesting point: "Too many government IT projects in the last 30 years have gone overdue and over-budget, they have failed to earn widespread support from its service users, and are still regarded "unfit for purpose".
Yet the perpetrators (contractors) responsible for these failures have not been penalised or sacked from their jobs. Instead, they have been awarded knighthoods and given the roles of privy advisers to the government on this very project - while still employed by their company."
When people have a space in which to learn and be heard, and when their voice translates into action, they participate and democracy begins to stir in its sickbed.
Take a look, vote and join in the discussion. If your favourite reform is nowhere near the top of the list, don't worry, as there are still over 31 days to go until voting closes and a lot could change between now and then. Keep voting for the reforms you want to see and encourage your family, friends and colleagues to do the same. Help build the discussion and rekindle a truly popular politics.
The five ideas having the most support in a month's time, will form an authentically democratic agenda for reforming politics, drawn up by the people and for the people. Be sure to have your say!
Guy Aitchison is communications director of Power 2010, of which Ekklesia is one of the supporting organisations.