News 16th April 2015

Open government in the UKIP Manifesto

by Josephine Suherman-Bailey

Josephine is a Policy Analyst at Involve. She works on the Open Government Partnership and supports the coordination of the UK Open Government Partnership civil society network.

We’ve been scanning through the party manifestos for policies relevant to open government. This is what we’ve found in the UKIP Manifesto. Have we missed anything?

UKIP Manifesto

Briefing on commitments of interest to open government reformers

Read the UKIP Manifesto here.

Topline messages Quote from the manifesto Page number
Political reform and accountability
National referendum every 2 years on issues of greatest importance to the British public
Put matters gathering over 100,000 signatures on the Commons’ Order Paper, to make sure they are genuinely debated and voted upon
Give voters real power to sack their MP or councillor if 20% of constituents demand it
Introduce an Open Primaries Bill
UKIP wants far reaching political reform to ensure that government answers properly to Parliament and that Parliament is accountable to the people. We will introduce:
The Citizens’ Initiative: Every two years we will allow a national referendum on the issues of greatest importance to the British public, gathered via an approved petition, provided the petition has more than two million signatures. The outcome of these referendums will be included in the Queen’s Speech, therefore allowing the public to directly influence legislation. We will also pledge to put matters gathering over 100,000 signatures on the Commons’ Order Paper, to make sure they are genuinely debated and voted upon, not simply brushed over, as currently happens
The Right of Recall: UKIP will give voters real power to sack their MP and scrap the bogus Recall measures introduced by the Tory-led Coalition. Under our proposals, if twenty per cent of an MP’s constituents demand it, within a period of eight weeks, a Recall ballot will be triggered. We will extend this Right of Recall to all elected politicians, e.g. councillors
An Open Primaries Bill: UKIP will introduce an Open Primaries Bill to enable any political parties that wished to do so to widen their selection process to include every local voter. Open Primary ballots would help ensure candidates in winnable seats need not be Westminster insiders.
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Government more accountable to parliament
Select Committees to approve and veto appointments of any new minister, senior civil servant, senior diplomat, senior appointments to quangos Confirmation hearings: These will require Commons Select Committees to vote to approve the appointment of any new minister, senior civil servant or senior diplomat before they get the job. They will also have the power to veto such appointments. The same rules will apply to senior appointments to quangos and inspection bodies, such as Ofsted 57
Proportional representation
Proportional representation
Restrict voting rights to British citizens
Scrap the Electoral Commission and IPSA and create new Political Standards Authority with lay members on board of governance
Remove postal voting on demand
In an age of multi-party politics, our current first past the post Parliamentary election system is unfair and no longer fit for purpose. Most MPs are elected by a minority of their voters and perhaps with as little as 26 per cent of the vote share. UKIP believes voters should know that every vote counts. We want an electoral system where each voter can vote for the party they really believe in, rather than against one they do not, for tactical reasons. UKIP will campaign for a new, proportional voting system that delivers a Parliament truly reflective of the number of votes cast, while retaining a constituency link, so every vote really does count. We will also:• Restrict the entitlement to vote in British general elections to British citizens and, potentially, countries which have reciprocal voting rights for British citizens, such as Ireland

• Scrap the failing Electoral Commission and Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) and merge their functions into a new Political Standards Authority under new independent leadership and a cross-party board of governance with voting lay members

• Remove postal voting on demand. We will scrap the existing postal vote register completely and start again from scratch. Those wishing to have a postal vote must have a valid reason for applying.

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