I was very disappointed to see the ugly public spat over donations and expenses, over the last two weeks, between Mike Weir MP and Angus Tory candidate Alberto Costa. Angus residents deserve better from their prospective representatives. Now that their arguments have spilled over into the national press, including the BBC News website, is it not high time that Angus candidates agree how we can restore trust in our democracy?
With the recent lobbying scandal, I was particularly surprised to find that Mike Weir MP, voted in 2006 against a Lib Dem motion for limits and full disclosure for corporate lobbying. I would ask that he explain his stance on that motion, supported by the Conservatives, but defeated by Labour and SNP MPs.
The Tories have been talking about a “Broken Britain”, but it is clear to me that it is our politics that is broken. It is not enough to simply tinker with existing system, but we need a radical reform of our political institutions to ensure that the long succession of scandals under both Labour and the Tories, cannot be repeated.
Will the other candidates back proposals for a fairer political system, including the right of Angus residents to recall their MP, to cap donations to political parties, independent auditing of expenses and limits on spending by political parties? Crucially will they back a written constitution that clearly sets out the role and powers of MPs, ministers, judges, the Head of State, parliament and national assemblies?
On a separate issue, will the candidates back proposals for a fairer, proportional voting system, as used in Angus Council elections? Mike Weir was elected as MP for Angus, with just over 1 out of 5 of those eligible actually voting for him and very nearly 2/3rds of actual voters, voting against him. Surely the Angus MP needs to have a better mandate than that?
I am fully backing all of these proposals.
I would ask for full backing from Mike Weir MP, Kevin Hutchens and Alberto Costa. Angus residents can that way be assured, that whether it is myself or one of the other candidates that is elected at the forthcoming election, they will be voting for genuine, open, fairer political reform.