10th May 2016
The Campaign for Free Parliament (CFP) is to offer £10,000 prizes to the winners of local contests to find the best independent candidate in every Westminster constituency. The new campaigning group has secured financial backing in its attempt to level the playing field so that candidates can be selected for their ability rather than their political party.
CFP believes that the tribalism generated by party warfare is impairing the ability of parliament to make sound long-term decisions. Campaign Director, Martyn Greene, commented: “Most MPs enter parliament with the intention of implementing positive reforms. However, the more talented and well-intentioned they are, the more frustrated they end up becoming. Although their primary duty is to their constituents, few dare defy the Whip. Not only would their chances of promotion fade but they would also face demotion and withdrawal of their party membership. Although they could continue as independents, very few ever have and there are currently no independent MPs in the House of Commons.”
‘Votes for all’ turned out to be a Pyrrhic victory. Rather than making good use of their new power, by seeking out the best people to represent them, the fledging electorate succumbed to snake-oil salesmen. In derogating power to political parties instead, they created organisations that would seldom work in their best interests. However, they soon discovered that they now had someone to blame when things went wrong. Since then, a great deal has indeed gone wrong but the ability to apportion blame on others has become so addictive that political parties still prevail.
The House of Commons is now more akin to a gladiatorial arena than a secure base for democracy. As a result few dare enter and the majority of MPs, including our Prime Minister, have never held a position outside of the political bubble. Our campaign is about making sure that Parliamentary decisions are made in the best long-term interests of the electorate rather than for political point scoring.
See also: How would it work?