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May 26th, 2014

Recall: Put power in voters hands

By Amy Lockwood

It’s been splashed across The Telegraph: a group of MPs have come together to say that they need to regain our trust. And they’re right. Many of us think that politics in the UK is broken. MPs can be sent to prison, can fiddle their expenses or break their promises and we can only get rid of them on election day.

But, we’ve got a chance right now to make things better. It looks like the government is making plans to announce new powers to sack – ‘recall’ – MPs who don’t do their job properly. Good huh? It would be, but it’s a stitch-up.

Their plans could put the power to sack MPs in their colleagues’ hands – not their constituents. The MPs who have spoken out don’t think this is good enough. They’re backing real recall – so if enough people wanted to hold a by-election to sack their MP in between elections, they could.

A real recall law is not the answer to all of our democracy’s problems. But it’s a step in the right direction. And above all, it puts the power into our hands rather than MPs’.

Real recall won’t mean that by-elections happen every day. There would be checks and balances in place so that MPs can get on with their jobs. It’s only the bad MPs who will need to worry.

We need to send the government a clear signal, which means the petition needs to be big. Every signature will build the pressure they’ll be under.

Here’s what one Conservative MP, Zac Goldsmith said:

“As an MP, I’ve seen how public pressure can force the government’s arm – and they’re particularly sensitive about public trust in MPs right now. A massive petition could give David Cameron and Nick Clegg no option but to go back to the drawing board – and produce recall with bite.”

The Telegraph article will put the government under pressure. So let’s add to it. Let’s build a HUGE people-powered petition so they know we’re watching. Click here to sign it.

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