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Soapbox: ‘Time to scrap voting and get proper democracy’

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Voting should be scrapped and ballot boxes thrown out – to give the public more say over the running of the country, according to one campaigner.

Writer Paul Evans is calling for people to be given a monthly £20 "personal democracy budget" – allowing them to choose where government funding goes.

He proposes replacing MPs with "agents" who have to work to keep the public happy and distribute the cash.

He said people would get "ownership and equal control over the public sphere".

Presenting his argument for the latest in the Daily Politics' Soapbox series, Mr Evans said: "The ballot box doesn't give us a very good way of telling the government what we want them to do. It allows politicians to treat us like dummies.

"[With] a ballot paper, you get one square on a box every few years and that's the only input you have.

"I am not proposing to take control off of people. I am proposing to give a whole new layer, a much greater layer of control, than they have."

Conservative MP Paul Masterton and Labour's Kate Hoey – guests on the Daily Politics – seemed unimpressed by the proposals, suggesting it sounded as if the proposal was basically changing the name "MP" to "agent".

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