"Supine parliament" needs new website says Essex MP

Douglas Carswell MP (Con) Clacton Image copyright bbc
Image caption Douglas Carswell is an MP who believes in direct democracy

If you are nursing a burning question that you would like aired at Westminster, now's your chance.

All you have to do is bung it on a new 'e-petition' website.

There's just one snag; you need to get 100,000 signatures.

Needless to say, one of the first ideas being floated on the internet was to bring back hanging.

Good opportunity

"That's no bad thing," Douglas Carswell, MP, tells me.

"As someone who is very much against the death penalty - we sneer at people who want it.

"Now we could be forced to explain why we can't have the death penalty in a civilised society.

"We should have to make the case - I haven't heard it made for 20 to 30 years.

"It's a good opportunity," says the Conservative member for Clacton, who is a keen advocate of direct democracy.

Support required

The new online petition website, run by DirectGov, has replaced the former Downing Street online page.

Should any of the ideas garner enough support, it will then be up to the Commons backbench business committee to give it parliamentary time.

"Parliament is supine and spineless but the only reason it's getting off its backside and MPs are doing their jobs is because of scrutiny.

"These debates would take them out of their comfort zones. We should explain what we can't do as well as what we can."

The rest is up to you...

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