According to the Labour Party website the Labour Party will try to achieve the following if they retain power at the 2010 general election on May 6th:
Since 1997 Labour has transformed the UK’s constitutional arrangements in order to break up longstanding concentrations of power, improve transparency, make government more accountable to the people and strengthen the hand of citizens against the state. Through measures such as devolution, the introduction of Freedom of Information legislation, the Human Rights Act, and reform of both Houses of Parliament, Labour has brought about a “constitutional revolution”.
But the process is far from over. It is clear that people want to change the way politics is done in this country. Labour will renew our politics with a radical, modern, open and democratic process of reform to change the way our nation governs itself.
The expenses scandal scarred our democracy. It was a problem. We acted to fix it. Now we need to implement the reforms and rebuild trust in politics. We are determined to do all that is necessary to restore trust and to ensure that all politicians – as the vast majority do already – concentrate on serving the public and not themselves. That is why we have set out a radical programme of constitutional and parliamentary reform.
At the heart of our agenda for a new politics are commitments to a referendum early in the next parliament on whether to move to the Alternative Vote system for elections to the House of Commons; the completion of reform of the House of Lords; and the full implementation of a new system of independent regulation of MPs pay, pensions and allowances.
For Labour, democratic renewal is intended to forge a new relationship between government and citizen, so that Britain is better equipped to respond to the challenges that lie ahead. We want to create a society where power is held accountable and where individuals are able to maximise control over their own lives. That core objective is what has guided the substantial programme of constitutional change which we have undertaken since 1997 and will be entrenched in the vigorous reforms we are undertaking to rebuild public trust and people’s faith in politics for the future.
The challenge is to reconnect people and politics in an age where citizens want to have their say and get involved. We know that too often the political system deters participation, and is increasingly a minority interest. We believe that widening access to power is as important as widening access to wealth and opportunity. Labour believes in encouraging greater participation. We want to encourage citizens to become more actively involved in civil society while simultaneously taking measures to remove the barriers to involvement in politics.
The public want to be able to have full confidence in the Parliamentary system. Labour’s objective is to ensure that those who hold positions of power are open and accountable and that representative institutions like Parliament are transparent, reflexive and responsive to the public they serve. We are working to increase the legitimacy of the political process, rebuild trust and encourage greater political participation in order to further strengthen our British democratic system.
Labour’s central political objective is enshrined in clause IV of the party’s constitution: to place power, wealth and opportunity in the hands of the many and not the few. Our country’s constitutional arrangements reflect – and determine – the location of power in Britain. Labour’s agenda for constitutional reform is therefore aimed at dispersing power so that every citizen is able to have their say. That means increasing opportunities for the public to get involved in the decision making process at all levels. We operate a representative democracy, and so the Westminster Parliament, must remain at the heart of this country’s governance. It remains the best way to deliver fair and effective government. It gives government the ability to tackle complex issues as they arise and space for deliberation to refine and improve policy – so decisions aren’t taken in haste and repented at leisure.
But more people are becoming disengaged from the democratic process, partly out of frustration at their distance from power. They want more say between, as well as at, elections.
We recognise the increasingly important role played by the third sector – that array of voluntary and community organisations, charities, social enterprises, cooperatives and mutual organisations that are working to make Britain better. Our approach to the third sector will be based on a combination of investment, support and recognition of the valuable role the sector plays.
We are making use of the digital revolution to support the modernisation of government and the delivery of public services. Almost half the UK population use the internet of access information about government or local council services, or to complete a government transaction online – such as a Vehicle Excise Disc application. The move to universal broadband by 2012 as a baseline service standard for all the UK will allow us to make more public services available online to more people.
Labour Party Modernising Democracy Policy :http://www.labour.org.uk/policies/modernising-democracy
I would be interested to hear both positive and negative views on Labour’s Modernising Democracy policies in the comments below?
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