Thoughts on politics and life from a liberal perspective

Wednesday 13 May 2009

In praise of Douglas Carswell MP

I do not agree with all of his political views by any stretch but Douglas Carswell the Conservative MP has really impressed me recently. He seems to have a genuine grasp of what is wrong with politics and is determined to do something about it.

It is he who is trying to drum up support for the motion to have the hopeless Michael Martin removed as speaker. As Mark Littlewood said on 5 live earlier today, it should not fall to a back bench MP to have to do this but the establishment will not move so Douglas has stepped in. Kudos to him for that. It is a brave move and the hierachies of both main parties do not like mavericks so he is potentially damaging his chance of advancement but somebody has to do it. I just hope he now gets plenty of support from across the house. Martin has to go.

But the thing that has most impressed me is his support for electoral reform. Most Tories who talk about reform end up suggesting less MPs or something else that would not fix the system and instead be in their favour electorally. Whereas Douglas is in favour of STV with multi-member constituencies. It is unusual for a Tory to advocate this but he has done so today in a blog post where he also advocates open primaries which I am also in favour of.

I wish there were more Conservative MPs like Mr Carswell who are willing to stand up and be counted as well as seriously and honestly debate the state of democracy and politics without the knee-jerk recourse to solutions that would lead to partisan advantage.

EDIT: I have just spent 35 minutes watching a speech he gave at Oxford University a couple of months ago about what is wrong with politics in this country and I have found that I agree with most of what he says.

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