Open candidacy

Proposer
philipjohn
State

Accepted

Vote Score

2

Age

2084 days


@philipjohn edited democracy.md - over 5 years ago

published: true

How can we improve the democratic process, and citizens' engagement with it?

How can we improve the democratic process, and citizens' engagement with it?

Elections

Much apathy is focused around the perceived privilege of the political class. This is reinforced by the costs of attempting to stand for election. In the digital age, where a political campaign can be waged at little to no cost, the £500 deposit required to stand for election excludes some of the most enthusiastic and contributory members of society. These are people who often spent a majority of time volunteering in their community and don't have the income to save for such a high fee. Candidacy should be open to all, regardless of financial wealth, if we are to have an open democracy.

philipjohn

@philipjohn - over 5 years ago

A proposal to allow more people to truly represent their communities

Floppy

@Floppy - over 5 years ago

How do you deal with time-wasting candidates, or people running purely to disrupt the process? Is that actually a problem? Could the deposit be charged afterwards instead of before, so there's no up-front cost, but still have a small barrier to non-serious candidates? I'd be interested to know if any systems do without a deposit, and whether they have any problems.

philipjohn

@philipjohn - over 5 years ago

Time wasters might be an issue, yes. I think the key would be to ensure that this is implemented alongside improving the administration of elections. I.e. less paper, more typing... to reduce the manual effort required to process candidates. More research needed certainly.

PaulJRobinson

@PaulJRobinson - over 5 years ago

I agree with lowering the bar to entry, but there should be some element of financial contribution to deter timewasters: perhaps £50-100 rather than £500. I think anyone getting 5% of votes gets their deposit back anyway, but few people would blow £100 just on a whim. Anything below £50 and people may be inclined to take the mickey without any intention of actually campaigining.

with kind regards, Paul Robinson

about.me/pauljrobinson

On 7 January 2014 10:37, philipjohn [email protected] wrote:

Time wasters might be an issue, yes. I think the key would be to ensure that this is implemented alongside improving the administration of elections. I.e. less paper, more typing... to reduce the manual effort required to process candidates. More research needed certainly.

— Reply to this email directly or view it on GitHubhttps://github.com/openpolitics/manifesto/pull/33#issuecomment-31727522 .

philipjohn

@philipjohn - over 5 years ago

My aim here was to have zero barriers to potential candidates given that even a small amount will be prohibitive to the poorest in society. If we are to be serious about making politics accessible to all and not just the rich (we I think we should be), removing barriers is crucial. Even if we move to charge deposits post-election that still means the big parties are fine and the smaller, low-budget candidates are penalised.

Time wasters will be an issue, so rather making it difficult for everyone we should pair this with measures to make sure the cost of those time wasters is minimal. I don't know what they are yet :)

Floppy

@Floppy - over 5 years ago

Maybe we have a proposal thing, whereby any candidate has to get, say, 20 people to propose them? Avoids obvious timewasters, but no financial barrier to entry.

Floppy

@Floppy - over 5 years ago

And the proposers could be public, so backing candidates would have an "embarrassment deposit".

PaulJRobinson

@PaulJRobinson - over 5 years ago

Good point - that already happens. 10 for a parish /town election as I recall. 20 for County I think. I assume it's more for Westminster. But you're right this does in itself prevent anyone down the pub deciding to do it just for a laugh.

Happy to remove all financial barriers to entry on this basis. On 7 Jan 2014 16:50, "James Smith" [email protected] wrote:

Maybe we have a proposal thing, whereby any candidate has to get, say, 20 people to propose them? Avoids obvious timewasters, but no financial barrier to entry.

— Reply to this email directly or view it on GitHubhttps://github.com/openpolitics/manifesto/pull/33#issuecomment-31754933 .

philipjohn

@philipjohn - over 5 years ago

Oh excellent, I didn't realise that was already a thing.

P.s. James, it's nice to be collaborating with you again. Save Parliament was a long time ago ;)

Floppy

@Floppy - over 5 years ago

wasn't it just? :)

Floppy

@Floppy - over 5 years ago

I was trying to find the number required for westminster before I merge this, just in case we need to add something.

PaulJRobinson

@PaulJRobinson - over 5 years ago

Don't take my figures on trust. Hang on...

with kind regards, Paul Robinson

about.me/pauljrobinson

On 7 January 2014 17:32, James Smith [email protected] wrote:

I was trying to find the number required for westminster before I merge this, just in case we need to add something.

— Reply to this email directly or view it on GitHubhttps://github.com/openpolitics/manifesto/pull/33#issuecomment-31758893 .

PaulJRobinson

@PaulJRobinson - over 5 years ago

Candidates standing for election as an MP require 10 electors from within the constituency to propose them on their Nomination Paper. Candidates standing for election to County Council require 10 electors from within the division. Candidates standing for election to Borough/District/Unitary Council require 10 electors from within that ward. Candidates standing for Town or Parish Council election require 2 electors from within that ward.

with kind regards, Paul Robinson

about.me/pauljrobinson

On 7 January 2014 17:33, Paul Robinson [email protected] wrote:

Don't take my figures on trust. Hang on...

with kind regards, Paul Robinson

about.me/pauljrobinson

On 7 January 2014 17:32, James Smith [email protected] wrote:

I was trying to find the number required for westminster before I merge this, just in case we need to add something.

— Reply to this email directly or view it on GitHubhttps://github.com/openpolitics/manifesto/pull/33#issuecomment-31758893 .

PaulJRobinson

@PaulJRobinson - over 5 years ago

which all seems rather low to me! I would propose requiring candidates standing in a General Election to find 20 people within the constituency to propose them on their Nomination Paper.

with kind regards, Paul Robinson

about.me/pauljrobinson

On 7 January 2014 17:43, Paul Robinson [email protected] wrote:

Candidates standing for election as an MP require 10 electors from within the constituency to propose them on their Nomination Paper. Candidates standing for election to County Council require 10 electors from within the division. Candidates standing for election to Borough/District/Unitary Council require 10 electors from within that ward. Candidates standing for Town or Parish Council election require 2 electors from within that ward.

with kind regards, Paul Robinson

about.me/pauljrobinson

On 7 January 2014 17:33, Paul Robinson [email protected]:

Don't take my figures on trust. Hang on...

with kind regards, Paul Robinson

about.me/pauljrobinson

On 7 January 2014 17:32, James Smith [email protected] wrote:

I was trying to find the number required for westminster before I merge this, just in case we need to add something.

— Reply to this email directly or view it on GitHubhttps://github.com/openpolitics/manifesto/pull/33#issuecomment-31758893 .

Floppy

@Floppy - over 5 years ago

I'd agree that a slightly higher threshold seems reasonable if we're dropping the fee. @philipjohn, fancy making that change?

philipjohn

@philipjohn - over 5 years ago

Sure, will do that this evening! Thanks guys

@philipjohn edited democracy.md - over 5 years ago

published: true

How can we improve the democratic process, and citizens' engagement with it?

How can we improve the democratic process, and citizens' engagement with it?

Elections

Much apathy is focused around the perceived privilege of the political class. This is reinforced by the costs of attempting to stand for election. In the digital age, where a political campaign can be waged at little to no cost, the £500 deposit required to stand for election excludes some of the most enthusiastic and contributory members of society. These are people who often spent a majority of time volunteering in their community and don't have the income to save for such a high fee. Candidacy should be open to all, regardless of financial wealth, if we are to have an open democracy. To deter time wasters, the current requirement of 10 nominations from the electorate to obtain candidacy will be increased to 20.