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MP opens up law-making to constituents with online poll
10th July 2017
Chris Bryant, the Member of Parliament for Rhondda in Wales, has told reporters ‘I want my constituents to help me make my mind up’, as he launches an online poll aimed at boosting political engagement.
The Labour politician - who has represented his constituency since 2001 - will shortly have the opportunity to present a bill to the House of Commons, which could result in whatever measure he puts forward becoming law, providing the proposal is approved by his peers.
Rather than pursuing the issue he feels most passionately about, however, Bryant has instead put together a shortlist of six which he says he receives letters about regularly, all of which he would be ‘perfectly happy to present’ to the Commons with a view to changing the associated law.
Speaking to the BBC, Bryant confirmed that the ballot would take the form of an online poll, which constituents can already access via the MP’s website. Once there, constituents can rank the issues by order of importance, with Bryant promising that he will put forward ‘either the top or the second top’ choice once all the votes have been counted.
‘Emotional attachment’ to civil partnerships
The topics presented as choices by Bryant are wide-ranging in their scope, with the MP proposing law amendments in any of the following diverse areas:
- Marriage equality
- Reinsurance related to acts of terrorism
- Assaults on emergency staff
- The removal of hereditary peers
- Advertising and labelling
- Refugee families
Bryant conceded that he does have a particular ‘emotional attachment’ to the issue of marriage equality, as he is part of a civil partnership and feels that civil ceremonies are a right which should be extended to same-sex couples. However, he was quick to point out that the choice of which law change he pursues will be purely down to his constituents: ‘There are hundreds of things I would like to change in this country, but I have to choose one’, he commented.
Whichever cause his constituents decide to advance, anyone who is engaged in their own legal work will surely be intrigued by what is undeniably an innovative approach to legislation.
Image Credit: Alkan Boudewijn de Beaumont Chaglar