Friday, 22 May 2009

Political Reform

Suggestions and ideas.

Institutional reform.

1. A written constitution, laying out several key themes. A. Greater and transparent separation of powers between the three branches of government. Judiciary, Executive and Legislature. B. Enshrinement of political and civil rights and liberties (in accordance with the UNDHR). C. The creation of a Secular state, the division of the private and public realm. D The winding down of the monarchy and creation of a Constitutional Republic.

2. Directly elected leader, President or PM. All people, (now citizens) given a vote in helping to decide who leads the country, no longer a cabal of politicians decide who runs the country.

3. An Elected house of Lords, with greater diversity and expertise.

4. The ability for a leader to form a cross party, cross ideological Executive.

5. A greater emphasis on evidence based polices, independent committees and policy tanks should have greater say in policy making, leaders should not be able, to a far lesser extent, pander or be bullied by special interest groups, or ignorant and divisive groups in society.

6. A complete end to political donations by private individuals and corporations. At the very least it should be limited and clearly transparent.

7. Greater freedom for parliamentarians to vote on policy.

8. More debate and scrutiny for the executive proposals in the house of Parliament.

9. During election periods there should be US style presidential debates.

Secular state.

1. A truly secular state, no religious test for office, political or social polices must be secular and empirical based.

2. State no longer supports the Church of England as the state religion.

3. The slow, and controlled end to faith schools. However religious education should continue in schools but with a greater focus on teaching world religions, histories, doctrines and differences.

4. The Secular Islam project. Prominent Intellectuals, Muslim scholars, community leaders, debating and exploring and recommending how to reconcile Islam to modernity, promote understanding and awareness of Islam, with an aim to trigger a reformation within the British Muslim community to serve as a possible example to the rest of the world.


Education I believe should consist of three key things.

1. Economic success and wellbeing. Giving children a understanding in finance, and financial prudence. Training for the job world, how to undergo successful interviews, write a CV, how to communicate and team lead etc. In short more emphasis on practical tools and abilities that will help with the world of work.

2. Emotional wellbeing. A greater emphasis on sexual and relationship advice. Effective parenting. Coping with stress and mental health awareness. A more open ended and discursive exploration of the ends and values of human life.

3. Creative and critical thinking. We should turn our children into little Socrates. How to think clearly and for themselves. Grater emphasis should be placed on the attempt to develop creative or artistic impulses in children and young people. This is not for economic interests, though it could be, its more for private interest, to develop a sense of self and self-esteem.

Social Policy

1. The age of legal Alcohol drinking should be raised to 21, there should also be a higher tax on Alcohol.

2. (this now might sound comically paradoxical). There should be tentative and experimental steps to end drug criminalisation. This should initially apply say to Cannabis, MDMA, LSD but in theory could apply to much harder drugs such as Heroin and Cocaine. Any policy should be rigorously evidenced bases, reform should be piecemeal and the results should be studied intensely.

3. Prisons reform. Initially, for less serious first time offences, there should be emphasis on personal discipline, education and addressing mental health problems of offenders (many of them do). for serious and second time offenders, Prisons should be run like Military boot camps and then with the re-education elements. In short prisons should be for both punitive purposes, but, mostly for reform purposes(in cases where this is possible.)

4. The Civilisation Project. Civic centres that are the centre of public life. In short a secular, non-dogmatic, non-intolerant alternative to the role that religion functions in society. It should be committed to a wide number of activities and engagements. Local charity work, activities for young people, social networking areas for the elderly and retired. A commitment to providing information and spaces for public debate on politics, events and values. I believe it should also attempt to address peoples social, emotional and spiritual needs. (I cant go into the details here unfortunately)

5. Tax breaks and incentives for married couples, greater access for Grandparents to their grandchildren. Tax breaks and encouragements for women who have children later in life.

6. Incentives and rewards for people who do not use private health care and have not used the NHS in relations to diseases and illness relating to smoking, binge drinking and over eating. Purpose is to save money and to encourage health and wellbeing among people.

7. Greater Tax on corporations and individuals earning over 100,000 a year. A Euro/word-wide co-operation should be set up to prevent corporations from avoiding the paying of tax.

8. Greater improvement in Public transport, low-income earners should travel for free when work related.

9. More freedom for individuals to choose their working hours, greater flexibility for both mothers and fathers to look after young children.



No comments: