Monday, 9 August 2010

Do you want a local MP?

Should an MP be local? There is strong criticism of my MP in the local paper because it was his third attempt at gaining a seat and it was his third different constituency. The author wonders if our MP would have moved on and made somewhere else his primary aim at the next election if he had lost.

Does it matter if an MP is local? It certainly matter that an MP knows and understands local concerns. Knowing how an MP views certain problems is also important. It may be that you can guess how they would react because of their party affiliation but many times you can't. You don't even know if your elected representative will do a stroke of work. There is, of course, a far better chance of them working hard when their majority is small but it is still no guarantee. MPs don't have to clock in or do a full week's work. I proposed in one blog that we should know that our MPs are working full-time. If they choose to work longer hours that's great, but some may choose to work less and do some moonlighting.

As for the main question in this blog, we could ask football fans if the England manager should be English. Some would say it doesn't matter as long as you have the best man for the job. Others will say that it does matter. I guess both answers may be valid and you can ha ve superb MPs parachuted into a constituency, but I am sure that local candidates have a definite advantage to understanding local matters.

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