Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Why allowing the recall of MPs is still a bad idea

"The public were promised that they would be given the power to kick out bad MPs but now we find out that isn't really happening,"
complains Matthew Sinclair from the TaxPayers' Alliance, discussing a draft bill to allow the recall of MPs found guilty of serious wrong-doing.

Back in June I said that such a bill:
would mean ... that in many seats defeated parties would spend their time collecting signatures in an attempt to have the result of the previous general election set aside. Zac Goldsmith's Recall of Elected Representatives Bill envisages that it would take 10 per cent of the electorate signing a petition to force a by-election. 
If our politics were to move in this direction it would be bound to make relations between the parties even more rancorous. It would also make it harder for a government to bring in necessary but unpopular measures and take its chance at the next election. 
For those reasons, I do not find the idea of allowing the recall of MPs an attractive one.
And for those reasons, I am relieved the current bill does not go further than it does.

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