Expand freedom of information. No more ID cards. Stop the creeping intrusion of the database state. These ideas are often seen as exclusively the domain of civil liberties campaigners, who are considered by some politicians as just another vocal minority. The Power2010 deliberative poll put paid to this notion.
The poll was a groundbreaking political event. Nearly 200 people, demographically representative of the country as a whole, came together in London for two days to sit down and discussed 58 ideas for political and democratic reform. Their task was to consider and to rank in order of preference desirable reforms in the way that Britain is run.
The shortlist they came up with is now available on the Power2010 website to be put to a 5 week public vote.
Of the six sections of political reform discussed rights and freedoms took significant prominence.
Five of the six reforms on rights and freedoms made it to the shortlist. Scrapping ID cards and rolling back the database state shot to number 5 out of 58. A written constitution and a strong bill of rights both made the shortlist and expanding the scope of the freedom of information act was in the top 10. It's worth emphasising at this point that the audience was as representative sample of the general public as we could hope for, from right across the UK, of all classes and all levels of knowledge about politics.
Civil Liberties campaigners should take heart. When the cold facts are presented about the balance between individual rights and the state, the public are on their side.
However the Power2010 process doesn't end here. After five weeks of public voting, we're taking these reforms to the people. All are welcome to vote and campaign on those issues they feel should make the Power2010 pledge. Those five which make it will become the major focus of our campaign in the run up to the general election, where we'll throw all our effort behind making politicians sit up and listen to the public's demand.
You can vote now on the ideas at www.power2010.org.uk/votes.
Let's make the politicians sit up and listen!