Statement from the Electoral Reform Society
Immediate release 09:45 19th September 2014
Contact: Will Brett (email@example.com / 07979 696 265)
Time to give all UK citizens a say
Commenting on the need for a UK-wide Constitutional Convention in the wake of the Scottish independence referendum, Katie Ghose (Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society) said:
“This referendum has demonstrated that when it comes to deciding the future of our country, people want to be asked. It would be a terrible waste if we do not build on that passion by ensuring everyone in the UK, and not just Scots, have a say in where power lies.
“Now is not the time for top-down commands on our constitution, issued by political leaders in the immediate, frenzied aftermath of this momentous vote. The future shape of the country is too important to be rushed through Parliament without consulting the people.
“We need a UK-wide, citizen-led Constitutional Convention to determine where power lies in the future. We can draw on international examples to create a process which does justice to people’s passion for change.
“Such a process needs clarity of purpose, and certainty about how its conclusions will be taken forward. It needs the full support of all the political parties, but it must also retain its independence from them.
“Above all, a UK Constitutional Convention must capitalise on the enormous amounts of interest and passion sparked in Scotland by the independence referendum, and bring that passion for determining our political future to the rest of the United Kingdom.”
For more information, interviews and comment, contact Will Brett on 07979 696 265 / firstname.lastname@example.org
- Last week The Times published a letter from the Electoral Reform Society and 18 other democracy experts, which called for a UK-wide Constitutional Convention whether or not Scotland votes for independence.
- Citizen-led Constitutional Conventions have been successfully used around the world to settle where power should lie. For a recent example, see the Irish Constitutional Convention (https://www.constitution.ie). For more information about Constitutional Conventions and what this would look like for the United Kingdom, see http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmselect/cmpolcon/writev/constconv/m24.htm See also the Irish Constitutional Convention process.