Thursday, 5 November 2009

Letter about my pet project of Citizen MPs - NOT published in The Times

Sir,

Now that the Kelly Committee is recommending that lay members sit on the Speaker's Committee that appoints the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority and on the Standards and Privileges Committee, surely this admirable principle should be expanded to a system of Citizen MPs. A third of MPs and peers could be appointed by lot, as with Jury Service and serve for 12 months terms. Such a bloc of lay people in Parliament would act as a counterbalance to the Whips, would make our system more truly 'democratic', would do much to bridge the gaping chasm between the populace and their representatives and might restore a sense that each of us has civic duties up to and including making legislation. This suggestion may get short shrift, but as Kelly is showing, the concept of bringing 'ordinary' people into the fabled world of Westminster is now gaining credence at the highest levels.

Yours faithfully,

John Slinger

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