OPEN LETTER TO JEREMY CORBYN
DEMOCRATIC REFORM IS THE ONLY WAY TO RESTORE FAITH IN OUR BROKEN POLITICS.
As Labour members and activists, we call on the leadership to put democratic reform at the heart of Labour’s transformational programme for government – starting by replacing the unelected House of Lords.
10 years ago, the expenses scandal rocked faith in politics. Since then, almost nothing has been done to restore trust.
In that vacuum – and amid the Brexit deadlock – the door has been left wide open for the hard right to seize the narrative of ‘defending democracy’, as we saw in the European elections.
According to new research from the Electoral Reform Society, people feel they have no or very few opportunities to influence political decisions. Voters do not feel represented at Westminster. And few think our political system encourages cooperation.
It is now urgent that Labour responds to the democratic crisis we face.
Our crumbling Westminster-centric politics continues to leave voters powerless and distant from where decisions are made, with no real say over who represents them. Brexit was arguably a symptom of that feeling of disconnect.
The Labour Party exists to empower people, to give everyone a voice in our communities and our country.
The only way to address the problems society faces today, through the politics of a Labour government, is to move towards a new political system. To truly build a politics for the many we need a wholesale renewal of our democracy.
A Labour government needs to break the dysfunctional Westminster system and to repair our broken politics.
This should start with a firm commitment to abolish the House of Lords and replace it with a fairly-elected second chamber, representing the nations and localities of the UK. This would send the clearest message of all that Labour believes in ‘power for the many’.
And a Labour government must enable new ways to participate, expanding the use of ‘citizens’ assemblies’ and kick-starting a constitutional convention. This would allow people across the UK to shape the big constitutional questions of our time.
If we do not provide an answer to the democratic crisis, others will. But with a bold and inspiring agenda for change, Labour can begin to heal the divisions in our politics.
This is why we call on Jeremy Corbyn to put democratic reform at the heart of Labour’s transformational programme for government.