This is a draft local Constituency Pact which can be amended and adapted to any constituency. It is both a tool and a grassroots manifesto for strong local democracy.
We have called it Penwith Pact because its initial target is the St Ives-Penzance constituency, and it seeks to do three things:
The first is to change the relationship between MP and constituent and build a stronger, more accountable relationship.
The second is to address the profound imbalance in power between Westminster and the regions. Those furthest from Westminster are often those most disempowered and disconnected from the political decisions that shape their lives – Cornwall especially.
The third is to distribute power and to put an end to single party rule based on a minority of votes, at both the local and national level.
How to use it
Click here to download a draft in Word or other format by going to the top left hand corner and clicking File>Download As.
Change the name to stamp it with your own identity and amend the content to suit your own aims. However we strongly suggest that you keep to the broad theme of ‘taking back control’ i.e. bringing about real devolution of power to grassroots communities.
Beyond that, other policy pledges could be added in such as addressing fracking, climate change, the dismantling of our public services, but the list could get very long. We also feel that these injustices are symptoms that have their cause in a rigged democracy gamed by vested interests and corrupted by money. The need then is to address the cause not the symptoms and rescue our democracy from the clutches of corporate power and narrow vested interests. Campaigning in silos on specific issues no longer works.
Ideally the constituency pact should be championed by a small alliance of campaign or community groups who submit this to all local constituency parties well before the next election in order to trigger a conversation within different parties and across a wider public. The aim at this preliminary stage is to have an honest, robust but civil conversation with local political parties and explore to what extent they can meet some or all of the policy pledges laid out in the Constituency Pact. Clearly some will find this easier to do than others.
At the election itself, it would again be re-submitted to all prospective party candidates and a formal response asked for. These would be posted online (ideally a dedicated website) and shared via social media so that voters can compare and contrast the different responses.
Parties that reject the constituency pact risk losing votes. We hope this acts as a pressure point to change party political agenda often determined at Westminster, to one which is shaped by local people and communities within a given constituency.