Saturday, December 29, 2007

Nick Clegg appeals for co-operation to fix "Britain's broken political system"

Nick Clegg has appealed for co-operation from Gordon Brown and David Cameron to fix "Britain's political system":

Our system of government is the stage on which the battle of political ideas takes place. That system must be fair, accessible and strong. In its present state, I do not know a single person who would use those words to describe it. Members of Britain's political establishment need to ask themselves why voter turnout has fallen so far and so fast, why mass membership of political parties is becoming a thing of the past, and why people feel not just that the political system is rotten but that it operates in a way that prevents them from changing it.

Nick describes our political system as the "most centralised, ossified and unresponsive system of government in Europe today".

Nick makes a heartfelt plea:

So, if Gordon Brown and David Cameron are serious when they say that they want to cooperate, here is the litmus test. They should join the Liberal Democrats in establishing an independent British Constitutional Convention that would bring together representatives from all political parties and from every corner of British society. Its remit would be the construction of a consensus on the reforms needed to reopen the political system and revitalise public trust.

There is nothing new in the proposal for a constitutional convention. Ming often suggested it, mainly based on his experience of the Scottish convention. But Nick Clegg has very attractively packaged this proposal and coupled it with a real challenge to the other party leaders:

So here's my invitation for David and Gordon: join me in forging a new consensus on the future of British government. No gimmicks, no gestures - just hard work and real action. Are you ready?

Well done Nick Clegg! Let's hope something gets moving as a result of this initiative!

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