The Campaign for a Free Parliament will put up £10,000 cash prizes for the winners of ‘primary’ competitions to select independent candidates for Westminster. The scheme will be initiated by a 2016 by-election and be fully operational in time for the next general election in May 2020. These competitions will ensure that candidates are chosen on their merit from within their own constituency. The prize will be used to fund the candidate who goes on to fight the election proper.
All those who voted in the primary will also be invited to crowd-fund the winning candidate’s campaign. As a condition of the competition losing candidates will not stand against the winner. This process will not only give voters more candidates to choose from, it will also enable candidates to stand on their record. The competition will accommodate a maximum of six candidates per constituency.
Two new secure voting platforms have been developed to enable the primary competitions to be held: Vote England and Vote Scotland. Every entrant aged thirty or more, will have their biography and beliefs published on a campaign website free of charge. Voters across the country will therefore be able to select the best possible candidate. All candidates must sign up to the Bell Principles and agree that they will not stand against the winner.
Candidates will be expected to produce their CV along with a broad statement of principles rather than a manifesto. We believe that all policies should be formed in parliament rather than used as electoral bribery. Any candidate who becomes an MP will also be expected to agree to recall by their constituents but with the option of standing in the consequent by-election.