Nick Clegg has launched a website today called "Your Freedom" which seeks to get public input into the process of deciding which laws should be repealed.
Here is Mr Clegg outlining the idea behind the initiative:
The law that I would put at the top of my list for repeal is the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. In my view this law has been shown to be hopeless in its aims of reducing drug use and actually perversely increases that harms caused to society. Many of the problems caused are actually due to this act rather than the drugs themselves.
It should be replaced with a system of regulation which seeks to educate and minimise the harms caused by drugs.
A reform of this nature also surely fits in with the main tenet of the initiative to improve people's freedom?
I am encouraged to see that within a few hours of its launch there are already 17 entries for drugs and the category has entered the tag cloud on the right hand side of the front page (along with one for Cannabis). This one seems to be very well worded and has the most votes so far in this category. One potential issue is that there does not seem to be any filtering so already we are seeing more than one suggestion that essentially say the same thing. I hope a good way to aggregate all the votes and suggestions for the same things is found.
I note with interest the specific words that Clegg uses, namely that the government will choose the "best" ones. I wonder what criteria they will use for this and whether if there are laws that get lots of suggestions and votes to be repealed the government will just ignore them if it does not fit in with what they want. They have certainly given themselves wriggle room for this.
I hope however that they use this exercise to seriously think about what the public are telling them and respond accordingly.
We have had enough sham public consultation from the previous government. Let's hope this time it is different.