Campaign spotlight: Votes, not moats

Ciaran Norris, the Midlands regional co-ordinator for the Power2010 campaign

What's the problem?
Parliament is working for itself and not the people. Confidence in our political system is at a historic low, and people see Westminster as a world divorced from own. At the last general election, four in ten people didn't bother to vote. This is dangerous. The people we elect will have an impact on everything from our education and job prospects to how we interact globally on issues such as climate change and security.

How does it affect you?
Before the expenses scandal, I was proud that my taxes contributed towards a democratic system. But I lost my job in the recession, as did a lot of people. As the scandal unfolded, I saw how broken the system was. The abuse of expenses would have made the headlines anyway but the recession heightened the anger.

What are you doing about it?
I travel the region and encourage people to choose the system that they want. We have opened up the debate to people of all backgrounds and political persuasions, and are currently running a public vote on 29 reforms to change our political system and restore public faith in politics. All the ideas were submitted by members of the public. The five most popular reforms will form the backbone of a pledge that we ask every election candidate to sign up to, to ensure that the next parliament is a reforming one.

How can we get involved?
You can vote until 22 February for the democratic reforms you want to see introduced at
Spread the word: we need to remind the politicians that we want clean votes, not moats!

This article first appeared in the 22 February 2010 issue of the New Statesman, IRAN