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With apologies – a very busy day means that I haven’t had time to digest today’s ‘Power Report’.

This list of main recommendations (lifted from The Independent) should, I hope, give you enough to talk about…

  1. A responsive electoral system for the House of Commons, House of Lords and local councils to replace the first-past-the-post system.
  2. The closed party list system to be replaced.
  3. The Electoral Commission to encouragewomen, ethnic minorities, people on lower incomes, young people and independents to stand.
  4. The voting and candidacy age should be reduced to 16.
  5. Automatic voter registration at age 16 to be introduced.
  6. Donations from individuals and organisations to parties to be capped.
  7. State funding for local activity by political parties.
  8. Text voting or e-mail voting only after other reforms.
  9. 70 per cent of the House of Lords should be elected by a ‘responsive electoral system’ for three parliamentary terms.
  10. Select committees should get enhanced powers.
  11. Limits on power of the whips.
  12. Parliament should be ableto initiate legislation, launch inquiries and act on petitions.
  13. A decentralisation of powers.
  14. Local government should be able to raise taxes and administer its own finances.
  15. Meetings of ministers with business, including lobbyists, to be listed every month.
  16. All public bodies to involve the public in their policy- making processes.
  17. Citizens to initiate legislative processes, public inquiries and hearings into public bodies.
  18. Rules on plurality of media ownership to be reformed.
  19. Public service broadcasters to involve viewers in matters of public importance.
  20. MPs to be required and resourced to produce annual reports and hold AGMs.
  21. A new independent National Statistical and Information Service to provide information free of political spin.

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