21 May 2009
This morning, on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme, Caroline Lucas, the Green Party's leader, was interviewed about the expenses scandal as an opportunity to transform our nation's politics and electoral system.
You can listen to the programme for the next six-and-a-half days, on BBC iPlayer (just after 840am):
Selected quotes from the interview:
Caroline Lucas: "I do believe that there really is a once in a generation opportunity here ... that there is so much anger, not just about the expenses issue, but about the way that's symbolic of a Parliamentary system that is pretty rotten."
"If you look at how unrepresentative the people are who supposedly represent us in Westminster, the very few numbers of women, the very few numbers of ethnic minorities, if you look at the way that there are so many safe seats where people just don't think it's worth voting anymore. There's an interesting correlation between those in those very safe seats, and those who are most likely to be abusing the system. Basically, they have felt very complacent. We need to shake that up."
"We need to have a much fairer voting system, some sort of system of proportional representation, where the people in Westminster will look more like the people that actually elect them, not just men in grey suits, doing things behind closed doors, that people don't understand, and when they do understand, they feel very very angry."
"We don't need to just deal with the expenses system, awful though that is. We really need a root and branch transformation of our Parliament, so people can feel proud about it again, so that public life is something honourable again - it certainly isn't today - so the whole parliamentary system is alive again. Parliament shouldn't just be something that happens behind closed doors in Westminister. Politics needs to be much more vibrant, much more alive. This is a real opportunity to do that."