There is one thing that the Scottish and European referendums made clear, that important decisions shouldn’t be made by politicians behind closed doors.
British politics too often ignores our wishes and the knowledge, skills and experiences we offer. We need to put our democracy on a safer footing through a Constitutional Convention and restore faith in our political system. We all must have a voice in that process.
What’s a Constitutional Convention?
When you bring people from different backgrounds together they make better decisions than those with similar backgrounds. Constitutional Conventions are a way of bringing in wide-ranging perspectives and priorities, and ensuring that we all are at the heart of important, ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ democratic change.
A constitutional convention can be put together like a jury where we all have an equal chance of taking part. They can mirror the population in terms of things like gender, race, age and class.
Conventions like on constitutional issues like this have been held in a number of countries and regions, including Ireland, and Iceland.
The UK also has experience of constitutional conventions, most notably the Scottish Constitutional Convention which paved the way for the creation of the Scottish Parliament.
The design and composition of these conventions reflect the unique geographical, historical and political makeup of each of these areas, and the moment in time in which the conventions took place. While there are lessons to be drawn, the UK will need a Convention suited to its own distinct composition and needs.
It’s time for a UK-wide, citizen-led Constitutional Convention to decide the future shape of our country.