Friday, 22 May 2009

It's A Hard Knock Life

If any of you were reading my Tweets last night you will know that I encountered the shortest, angriest ever encounter that I've ever had on a doorstep while wearing my yellow rosette.

But it isn't all bad news. On the way back to the cars Fred Macintosh was telling me that the number that were going out unto the doorsteps with him had been increasing as the campaign went on. The other thing was that when a lot of people say I'm not voting for anyone and you ask why, the main answer is that all this expenses debacle should have been dealt with before now. Wearing your yellow rosette you can at least reply back citing dates and times that your party voted for transparency, for the end of claiming on furniture, for full disclosure or expenses, and receipts on all items claimed. In other words for Lib Dems at the moment one of the easiest voters to appeal to is actually the disheartened voters, the non-voters, the antis.

It makes me proud of my party for the stance they have long held that with notable exceptions, and yes I have had to agree about certain names on doorsteps, our party is not milking the gravy train. As a whole they have fought to reform the way Parliament works and that goes far beyond the current expenses issues. We want every vote to count, through fair voting systems. We want more transparency and understanding from the public of how our Parliamentary system works. For example you can climb on top of the Bundestag and look down into the main chamber yet Westminster is trying to prevent MPs using video footage of themselves on their own sites or You Tube channels.

We need a modern, effective Parliament which can be shown to be beyond reproach. That way we can re-establish public confidence. Last night on Radio 4's PM show I heard the analogy that our constitution, like our British nature, is largely jotted down on the back of envelopes as it would do for now. Now certainly is the right time to do something about that. Why are we scared of a written constitution anyway. The American one which is in the National Archive where President Obama was speaking yesterday is a fluid document. It can and has been amended as needs for change arise. But the basis is set and the people know that.

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