The publication of Deal or No Deal: how to put an end to party funding scandals by the Electoral Reform Society has made me pause for thought on this issue.
For the electorate to be engaged with politics a system that represents them and that they have belief in is necessary. For the purpose of this post I am discussing the party funding issue exclusively.
With public trust in the current system at a low reforms are necessary. The ERS has suggested three ways of reforming party funding
1. A cap on the amount anybody can donate to a political party. This would reduce the possibility of a party being influenced by an individual or group.
2. An increased element of public funding for parties. At this time when the public is very aware of public funding cuts suggesting increases for parties will probably raise much objection. Bringing us in line with average European expenditure would be a start.
This would be a funding of the democratic system itself to give us stability. Its far from a perfect solution.
3. A cap on the amounts parties are allowed to spend.
These suggestions should be the basis of starting to reform party funding not the end.
Since this is a blog and I am a member of the Liberal Democrats I suppose I should really post something about the 2010 Election. I found it hard to believe the exit poll last night showing the Lib Dems with such a low seat number and agreed with comments from Lord Ashdown that the poll was obviously wrong. Well now it seems the poll was right, and perhaps even off because as I type this the Lib Dems only have 51 seats, below the poll number of 61. As well as only succeeding to win in a few of the 25 target seats, we lost previously held seats as well, some of them marginal and some of them considered safe.
I am sure that in the days ahead there will be lost of discussion about just why the favourable Lib Dem polls for the last few weeks did not convert into extra seats. There is talk of a possible Lib Dem/Labour/Other coalition at the moment, but this does not take away from the fact that it has been a disappointing election for the Lib Dems.
One good note personally is that my local Lib Dem MP has been re-elected with an increased majority, with the swing from the conservatives. It’s a small comfort compared with the national result for myself and I’m glad that all the personalised expensive advertising the Conservatives have hit the area with has had the opposite effect. I await the local election results with bated breath.
Well as a Liberal Democrat member I am happy to see how well the party has done in the British 2005 General Election. Congratulations to John Pugh on his victory in Southport, my home town, keeping the seat for the Liberal Democrats. For the first time I actually stayed up and awake for the entire election coverage from ITN on ITV. Shame about the lack of Interactive services: There was a great service from ITV on the ONdigital digital terrestrial service in 2001 but nothing on the SKY digital satellite service this time round.