ConHome is delighted that Nick Herbert has already promised fairer-sized constituency seats but the Conservatives need a bigger ‘democracy agenda’. We’ll return to this agenda on another occasion but here are three things we hope to see:
- End the power that big money and big unions have in the political process. By the end of a Parliament the maximum donation to a political party should be reduced to something like £1,000 or even lower. Such a change would have a revolutionary impact on how political parties relate to voters. Big money donations from business, unions or the taxpayer insulate parties from real voters. The internet could be harnessed to build political parties that rely on the little guy for their income. Barack Obama has shown the way.
- Move to a system where we have more and more City Mayors. City Mayors – like US Governors – would not only be good for their communities but could be the heads of Cabinet departments of the future. Too many of our MPs lack executive experience. We need to build a system which sees a Prime Minister appointing successful Mayors to run Whitehall initiatives and departments.
- Share the BBC licence fee with a new public service broadcaster (or broadcasters) – built on a different model of impartiality (Peter Whittle explains more). Jeremy Hunt is taking steps in this direction but will he be bold enough? Ending The Guardian’s near monopoly of public sector ads should also be part of a Conservative vision to end the privileged status of the BBC-Guardian worldview.
> Step 5/10: Greg Clark must keep the lights on