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January 6, 2010

Campaign aims to ‘fix our broken politics’

With the Tories already off and running, the Westminster election campaign is clearly going to dominate proceedings in the coming months. LPL has been contacted by a new grassroots campaign – POWER2010 – which aims to renew and strengthen our democracy from the bottom up. POWER2010 has generated enormous interest. Every candidate at the elections will be asked to support five big ideas to change politics for the better. LPL supporters are invited to help shape what these big ideas should be.

POWER2010 is a unique campaign to give everyone the chance to have a say in how our democracy works for us.

What is different about POWER2010 is that you’re in the driving seat. We’re not asking you to back our goals. We’re asking you to help create them.

At the next election we will work to ensure every candidate commits to the reforms you most want to see as part of a nation-wide campaign to reinvigorate our democracy from the bottom up.

Why now?

We were all outraged over MPs’ expenses. But this scandal was only a symptom of a much bigger problem. Simply cleaning up the expenses system and sacrificing a few token offenders is not enough to fix our broken politics.

The serious challenges we face today, from climate change and financial breakdown, to attacks on our civil liberties, can only be tackled with a healthy democracy that works for all of us and not just a powerful few.

But it is already too late for this set of MPs. They lack the time and the will to make the kind of changes that are needed.

With only months until the next election we must now focus all our efforts on ensuring that the next Parliament is a reforming one. POWER2010 is designed to do just that.

POWER2010 has its roots in the Power Inquiry, which was established by the Rowntree Trusts in 2005 and undertook the biggest ever inquiry into the health of Britain’s democracy.

What are we doing?

Our plan is simple. We want to identify the five key reforms that will change the way we do politics in this country – and we want you to tell us what these should be.

Together we will ensure every candidate standing for election backs these reforms so that the next Parliament delivers the change we need.

Tell us your ideas

This phase of the campaign (which ran from September 15th to November 30th 2009) was all about you telling us your ideas – the democratic and political reforms you most want from the next Parliament.

In just a short space of time it generated a fantastic response with over 4,000 ideas submitted by people of all political persuasions from across the UK- you can take a look and comment on some of the best of them here.

These ideas have been organised by academics from Southampton University and will be now be fed into a Deliberative Poll to draw up a shortlist which will be put to the public vote.

Deliberative Poll

On the weekend of 9 –10th January 2010, a scientific sample of up to 200 citizens, representative of the population as a whole, will gather in London for a two-day deliberative event. These 200 citizens will distil the many ideas we have received into a manageable shortlist of proposals which will be put to the public vote.

The public vote

The public vote begins January 18th and lasts five weeks until 22nd February. During this time we will be working with individuals and organisations across the country to meet up, discuss, and vote, ensuring as many people as possible participate and tell us the reforms they most want to see.

The five most popular ideas following the vote will become the POWER2010 Pledge and the focus for our nation-wide campaign at the next election.

Election campaign

The aim is for as many people as possible to sign the Pledge and then take it to the candidates in their constituency, by writing to them, calling them, and attending local hustings, public meetings and MPs’ surgeries.

Together we will ask every candidate standing at the next election to make a public commitment – a pledge – to clean up and reform our politics.

In this way we will ensure that the next Parliament is a reforming one and delivers the changes our broken democracy so desperately needs.

What can you do?

POWER2010 is a campaign led from the bottom up – it’s thanks to your support and your participation that it will succeed.

There are many different ways to get involved in the campaign and you can check them out here.

If you support POWER2010’s call for a new politics then a great place to start is by signing our Declaration saying that the democratic system is broken and change must come from the people.

Who are we?

POWER2010 is funded by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust and the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust and supported by a wide range of individuals and organisations.

Click here for more information about the POWER2010 team.

We can be contacted at:

Southbank House
Black Prince Road
London SE1 7SJ


Tel: 020 7806 6239