From The Common People
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(Return to the manifesto)

  1. We propose to make voting at national elections mandatory, and to ensure that every eligible citizen appears on an electoral roll. We regard voting as a duty.
  2. We will extend the voting franchise to all eligible citizens from the age of twelve. Citizens in secondary education receive mandatory lessons in Civics knowing they will have to wait anything up to twelve years before they will first get an opportunity to vote in a national election. That is not an incentive. Reducing the age at which they can vote will have a galvanizing effect on their interest in the governance of Britain. Everyone in these classes should know from the start that they will have a duty to vote before leaving secondary education.
  3. We guarantee that we shall never call a referendum. There is no place for a referendum in a representative democracy. There is no national debate prior to a referendum. A referendum is overwhelmingly decided by undemocratic media influence.
  4. Debate in the House of Commons should influence the result of Parliamentary voting. We promise that the executive during our time in office will never operate a whipping system, that all of our MPs will always be free to vote on behalf of their constituents according to their personal judgement. Party selection panels will obviously and necessarily consider a candidate's position on manifesto commitments, but no MP will be disciplined on the basis of their voting record. MPs should always decide the results of debates, not pressure from the executive. An MP's worth lies in contributing to debate, quality of judgement and benefit to constituents.