Democracy

Better Politics

Too many people feel like Britain doesn't work for them and too many no longer believe that politics can answer their problems.

We think differently. We believe politics can change lives for the better and it’s our job to restore others' faith in politics.

We will break out of the traditional top-down, Westminster knows best approach, and devolve power and decision-making to people and local places.

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We will devolve more power and decision-making

  • We will give 16- and 17-year-olds the vote and improve the curriculum for citizenship education so young people have the knowledge they need to play a full part in British society.
  • We will encourage young people’s volunteering and social action by supporting the #iwill campaign of Step up and Serve, and the National Citizens Service.
  • We will take steps to ensure that the move to individual electoral registration does not leave millions unregistered, nor lead to constituencies that fail to take into account the people who live in them. This will include block registration by universities and care homes, extending Northern Ireland’s successful ‘Schools Initiative’, and exploring the scope for an automatic system of registration.
  • We remain committed to reform of political party funding and taking the big money out of politicsby capping individual donations to parties.
  • We will repeal the Lobbying Act which has gagged charities, and replace it with a tougher statutory register of lobbyists.
  • We will ban MPs from holding paid directorships and consultancies.
  • We will reform the legislative process to strengthen the public’s voice and to better hold the Government to account.
  • We will embark on the biggest devolution of power to our English city and county regions in a hundred years with an English Devolution Act. Transferring £30 billion of funding, along with new powers over economic development, skills, employment, housing and business support.

Locally

In the Scottish independence referendum in September 16 and 17 year olds were able to vote for the first time. About 100,000 under 18s - 80% of the eligible total - signed up to vote. We often hear about young people being disengaged but this huge turnout dispels that idea. Louise has been a supporter of votes at 16 for a long time but she wanted to hear from young people about what they think. She launched an app to calculate when someone could vote for the first time and lots of young people responded to her youth survey with support for lowering the voting age. It is great that Labour have included this pledge in our manifesto.

A key part of Louise's campaign has been to knock on every door, including those who aren't on the electoral register, to speak to residents about their views. Many people say they really appreciate the visit.

Louise has also committed to producing an Easy Read version of all her leaflets to ensure people with learning disabilities are not excluded from the political process.

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