There were two political stories on last night’s Newsnight. Whoever normally decides these things must be on holiday.
The goings on in Totnes are a most welcome sign. In the course of each Parliament, each party should submit to a binding ballot of the whole constituency electorate its shortlist of two for Prospective Parliamentary Candidate, and should submit to a binding ballot of the whole national electorate its shortlist of two for Leader. They should also submit to such a national ballot the 10 policies proposed by the most of each party’s branches, with each voter entitled to vote for up to two, and with the top seven guaranteed inclusion in the subsequent General Election manifesto.
Furthermore, we need a ballot line system, such that voters would be able to indicate that they were voting for a given candidate specifically as endorsed by a smaller party or other campaigning organisation, with the number of votes by ballot line recorded and published separately.
And we need to require all political funding to be by resolution of membership organisations, as well as parliamentarians’ staff to be appointed from lists maintained by such organisations in return for payment of at least half of those staff’s salaries, thereby requiring politicians and parliamentarians to have links to wider civil society.