PMB Ballot

On Thursday we’ll find out the results of the Private Members’ Bills Ballot.

20 lucky backbenchers will get their names pulled out of a hat, which means they get priority listing for debate on a Friday. I say ‘names’ – actually there’s a book, with numbers listed chronologically, and MPs get to choose what number they put their name against. Interesting to see which MPs just go for the sensible next number available on the list option, and how many choose their ‘lucky’ numbers.

It’s all entirely random as to which numbers are selected. I’m hoping to be successful in the ballot so I can resurrect my Food Waste Bill, but with 300 or so members entering the ballot, the chances are pretty slim. My next option would be to try to persuade one of the twenty, or better, one of the top ten, to take it up instead, but there will be loads of charities, campaigns, lobbyists, etc trying to get them to consider other options. I know when one of my colleagues, Sharon Hodgson, topped the ballot in her first year in parliament, the office fax machine went into overdrive. Great feeling of achievement though, to get legislation on kids with special educational needs through in your first year of being elected; which she did.

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  • Steve Kelly  On May 16, 2012 at 12:01 am

    Why can’t MPs put forward a private members Bill on a rota basis. Surely that’s fairer.

  • kerrymccarthy  On May 17, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    I guess because they wouldn’t get through them all in a five year parliament? And how would you choose who went first? And because nothing in this place ever happens in a sensible way?!

  • quietzaple  On May 17, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    I’m always dubious about direct democracy because I suspect that it is still more open to influence from the foreign and channel islands billionaires who own/lead our national media .. BUT

    Isn’t there a case for some of the 20 slots being allocated according to our votes in some sort of competition between petitions and their pre choice declared champions?

    If we are to have more participatory democracy – which I have recently opposed elsewhere – then something like this may be better than some of the other options.

    Too tired to do the work I said I would tonight, unless I get some pre sleep sleep: speculation far easier.

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