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Promoting Democracy and Human Rights

Part of Points of Order – in the House of Commons at 6:18 pm on 13th October 2008.

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Photo of Jo Swinson Jo Swinson Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Foreign Affairs) 6:18 pm, 13th October 2008

Absolutely. When the right hon. Member for Walsall, South was saying how wonderful the Electoral Commission was, I had last May's elections in Scotland in mind, which were not excellent, and I believe that one of the recommendations made in the aftermath of those elections that the Government should take up is the suggestion that it should be up to the Scottish Parliament to look after its own elections.

On democracy, it has been 18 months since this House discussed House of Lords reform and voted overwhelmingly for an all elected upper House, yet it has taken more than a year to get to White Paper stage, and the Government seem to be dragging their feet.

Therefore, although I will focus the rest of my remarks on human rights and democracy abroad, there is no room for complacency on these issues at home either, and if we were to assume that we had it all sussed, that could be perceived as arrogant, and be counter-productive in international negotiations on this topic.