An innovative popular campaign for radical democratic reform in Britain has reached a landmark 50,000 votes in an online poll to produce a core agenda for change ahead of the forthcoming General Election.
Now Power 2010 (http://www.power2010) is motoring towards 100,000 votes over the next ten days, with more coming through each minute.
The coalition - which includes people from a range of political parties, campaign groups, academics, think-tanks and community level organisations - is supported by the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trusts. It aims to give everyone the chance to have a say in how democracy works for people in the UK.
"The message is overwhelmingly clear to our political parties: British citizens are eager for political reform, and are making sure it is on the top of the agenda. Power 2010 is pushing the agenda to make change happen," a spokesperson said yesterday.
"The 50,000 votes is a milestone but now is not the time to rest on our laurels. Regional organisers across Britain's local communities are working hard to get in paper votes from Britain's diverse communities."
The poll closes on 22 February 2010. The top five ideas for change will form the Power 2010 Pledge and the backbone of a nationwide campaign at the next election. Proportional Voting is still ahead on the leaderboard, with the scrapping of ID cards and rolling back the database state closely behind.
But Power 2010 says "If you don't think these reforms are the best or most important, fear not, there is still time to cast your votes and try to get others higher up the agenda. There are 12 days to go, so it isn't over yet!" Votes can be cast at: http://www.power2010.org.uk/votes
The first phase of the campaign (which ran from 15 September to 30 November 2009) generated over 4,000 ideas submitted by people of all political persuasions from across the UK.
These ideas were organised by academics from Southampton University and fed into a Deliberative Poll to draw up a shortlist to be put to the public vote. On the weekend of 9 –10 January 2010, a scientific sample of 130 citizens, representative of the population as a whole, gathered in London for a two-day deliberative event. These 130 citizens distilled the many ideas Power 2010 received into a manageable shortlist of proposals which have now been put to the public vote.
The vote began on 18 January 2010 and lasts for five weeks. During this time campaigners are working with individuals and organisations across the country to meet up, discuss, and vote, ensuring as many people as possible participate and tell Power 2010 the reforms they most want to see.
The five most popular ideas following the vote will become the Power 2010 Pledge and the focus for a nation-wide campaign at the next election. The aim is for as many people as possible to sign the Pledge and then take it to the candidates in their constituency, by writing to them, calling them, and attending local hustings, public meetings and MPs' surgeries.
Says Power 2010: "Together we will ask every candidate standing at the next election to make a public commitment - a pledge - to clean up and reform our politics."
Ekklesia has been a supporter of Power 2010 from its inception and development from the Real Change initiative set in motion by www.openDemocracy, Anthony Barnett and others.