Saturday, 8 May 2010

My conditions for cooperation. Yes drug policy IS that important.

These are the conditions I think we should demand be met by a potential coalition partner.

On electoral systems: Each party must guarantee at least a referendum on AV. A 3-option referendum including STV should be acceptable to Labour as I would hope they would be confident of arguing the case for the middle-ground option.
This referendum would of course have to be run using the AV/STV method.

Positions in a coalition cabinet: The one position of greatest importance is Home Secretary. It is the department in which policy has differed greatest between the other two parties and ourselves. It is the department in which Liberal Democrat power could undoubtedly improve our society whilst saving money on things like sentencing policy and effective crime prevention measures.

We should also have as a condition an impact assessment/enquiry into current drug policy. The potential savings to be made from moving to a sensible, evidence based control and regulation approach are immense. Controlling and regulating currently illegal drugs has the potential to save over £10Bn in criminal justice costs while at the same time reducing burglary rates by 80%, street prostitution by over 90% and drastically reducing the prison population. It is the area of policy where huge savings can be made while creating huge benefits to society.

If we are not to go the way of Greece, we need to find the policy options which save money while making people's lives better. Control and regulation of drugs is the most obvious of these.

I would also like to see movement towards our redistributive tax plans.

Ewan Hoyle.

Glasgow South

Founder of Liberal Democrats for Drug Policy Reform
Blogger at:

No comments: