Data retention question

Brian Gladman brg at
Mon Jul 21 15:34:43 BST 2014

On 19/07/2014 21:12, Roland Perry wrote:
> In article <53C802A4.2070700 at>, Brian Gladman
> <brg at> writes
>>> But what do you do if your chosen independent candidate is 100% on side
>>> over data retention, but 100% off-side on things like immigration,
>>> education, transport, broadband rollout, taxation and pensions?
>> They will enter an election in which, at least in principle, their
>> constituents will select them based on the policies that they advocate.
> They do that already. You are missing the point - every MP, whether
> following a "party line" or not, will tend to have some policies an
> elector will agree with and some that they don't.

It is of course very likely that the independent MP will be elected
based on his views on the 'big' issues just as happens now.

But, although there may be some occasions such as you suggest, a far
more likely situation is that many independents will be far more open to
listening to the views of their constituents in formulating their own
positions on the many non-core issues that come up.  And with no party
line to follow (and no whips) this will typically mean that constituents
will have far greater chance of infleuncing the line that their MP takes
than they do now.

Of course, the problem then is that of making progress on such issues
when he or she gets to Parliament where there will be several hundred
different views on several hundred non-core issues.  It would need a
very good independent to make progress on non-core issues in such a
situation but it should at least mean that debates on such issues would
be more meaningful than they are now.

However, as I said earlier, it might be better to keep the Party system
but weaken it considerably by having free votes on all but a small core
of policies (e.g. votes of confidence and the budget).

   Brian Gladman

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