Open Source a Private Members’ Bill

Douglas Carswell MP is a winner in the Private Members’ Bill ballot and has decided to crowd-source his Bill. Guido has set up a poll allowing readers to choose from five ideas what you would like to see debated. As a result of this exercise in direct democracy, Carswell will prepare a formal Bill with the table office, and present the winner to Parliament. Below are five ideas to choose from, use the voting form below to vote (your email is required to validate your votes).

1. Bloggers Freedom Bill: the law on copyright and libel developed in an age when very few people ever published anything. Today, millions of people blog and tweet. The law needs to reflect this. While other people’s intellectual property needs to be safeguarded, and people need protection from libel, this law would provide bloggers and tweeters with some protection against being sued, with a 48 hour period of grace before legal action could be taken.

2. Defence Procurement Bill: too much of the defence budget is spent in the interests of big defence contractors, and not in the interests of our armed forces. This Bill would make it a legal requirement to put most defence contracts out to public tender, and prevent those who have worked for the Ministry of Defence from working for defence contractors without clear safeguards.

3. Great Repeal Bill: there are too many rules and regulations. The government’s Freedom Bill, which promised to do something about it, has turned out to be pretty useless. Instead, the Great Repeal Bill – the world’s first Wiki-Bill – would repeal a vast swathe of unnecessary red tape. The details of the Bill are here.

4. Repeal of the European Communities Bill: Britain joined the European Economic Community in 1973. It has turned out to be an economic and political disaster. This Bill will get us out.

5. Competing Currencies Bill: having struggled to save the Pound, this Bill will save the value of the Pound. It will prevent ministers debauching our currency to help pay their debts. While the idea of competing currencies is not new, the internet – which allows different currencies to be used seamlessly – is, making it practically possible. Translations of the Bill will be available in Greek, Spanish and perhaps even French.

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