We need the right to recall, now!

recallIn a Parliament that claims to be responding to the will of the British people it is time that all constituents are given the opportunity to express their will on matters that go beyond our decision to remain or leave Political Unions. As we hover over the precipice of departure of the EU, it is clear that in our life times we will never again be given a referendum on such a matter, or at least that any referenda in the future will not be handled so badly. That clarity comes from the various comments, discussions and decisions being taken over new economic agreements which are being promised as replacements for the partnership we have had with the EU nations. None of these will have the same level of political linkage that we have had with the EU, but realistically none will give us the same gains that we have had from the EU on wider matters such as peace and security. However as we await the 29th March for the next stage in this process to begin it is vital that the will of the British people is not simply consigned to the pages of history books. The actions of George Osborne in taking on yet another major role, particularly one that is focusing on matters 190 miles away from his constituency, without any attempt to gain the consent or support of his constituents who in effect are his employer and pay his wages shows a total disregard for democracy. He is not alone in holding a second or third or fourth job, although few MPs are so brazen to taken on a role that is so demanding and so disconnected from their constituents. Of course George Osborne could do what MPs like Mark Reckless and Douglas Carswell did when they changed parties and force a by-election and seek re-election having offered his constituents the opportunity to reject him due to his extra curricular activities. This would not however be something that any of the main parties would welcome, as it is a costly affair and if each time an MP was to take on an outside interest they were to trigger a by election, these by elections would be happening on a weekly basis. My personal view is that we need a mechanism such as right to recall which could be triggered by a substantial number of constituents, or by an MP which would act as a check or balance on the actions of an MP. This could be triggered in settings where a local area had supported a decision to remain in the EU, and their MP was unwilling to support it in Parliament. The same could be true in a setting where an MP had voted to send EU nationals back to Europe, despite local support for the opposite point of view. It must be possible to come up with a mechanism that is relatively simple and cheap to operate that would test the support of constituents for their MP. If the support fell below a certain threshold either the MP could change their response or resign from their job or else a by-election would then be triggered. A time limit could be set on how regularly such a process could be triggered to avoid this becoming a regular occurence. However I believe we need some way of raising our voices and being heard when MPs  act in an inappropriate way such as George Osborne has done.


About ianchisnall

I have a passion to see public policy made accessible everyone who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as in policies on health services and strategic planning.
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