Whatever happened to reforming the political system?

Stuart Wilks-Heeg

In May 2009, as leader of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg announced his 100 day action plan ‘to save British democracy’, ‘take back power’ and ‘change politics for good’.  Clegg’s proposals were for an urgent and  far-reaching set of political reforms, including fixed-term Parliaments, a mechanism for voters to be able to recall MPs, a referendum on adopting the ‘AV+’ electoral system, an elected second chamber, and a cap on donations to political parties.

Clegg’s call to arms was prompted by the MPs’ expenses crisis, as a result of which the leaders of all three major parties came to proclaim that British democracy was in crisis and in urgent need of  reform. Against this backdrop, he explained the rationale for swift and radical action in the following terms: Continue reading