Democracy and civil liberties


The huge turnout for the Scottish independence referendum showed that people are passionate about politics.

But they are increasingly disillusioned and disenfranchised. They feel that they are no longer represented by a political system designed to protect the interests of a small, self-interested and wealthy elite.

Our political system has reached a crisis point.

People’s Constitutional Convention

Caroline is urging the leaders of all parties to commit to a People’s Constitutional Convention.

It would continue the conversation started in Scotland about how to make their country better and give people, not politicians, the chance to shape the future political settlement of this country.

Among other things, a convention would allow people to vote on whether they want:  

  • a fairer voting system
  • an elected House of Lords
  • to lower the voting age
  • to give local authorities more power
  • more regional government

Yes to an EU referendum

Caroline has long argued for EU reform, to make it more accountable and more transparent. She is calling for a referendum on the EU as soon as possible. 

She is not anti-EU but she is pro-democracy.

People should have a say on an issue of such importance to their everyday lives. And pro-Europeans should have the chance to set out a compelling vision of Europe based on peace, sustainability and human rights.

No to the gagging law

“I am so heartened to have you as our voice in parliament... I really hope you continue to be our advocate and continue the opposition to bills like this”
Nicki Edgell, Stanmer Villas (on lobbying bill)

In a healthy democracy, everyone should be able to express their views. But the Government has pushed through the “gagging law” to severely restrict what groups such as charities, grassroots organisations and campaigners can say in the run up to an election.

Caroline tabled a number of amendments to the Bill and voted against it. She has promised to continue to campaign for this new law to be scrapped.  It is anti-democratic, contravenes civil liberties and means that important voices of dissent will not be heard.


Caroline is standing up for a whole range of other measures that will protect democracy and civil liberties.

  • Fighting the EU’s proposed Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership deal, which will tip the balance of power even further in favour of unaccountable corporations and against democratically elected governments and their citizens
  • Backing the digital democracy campaign for electronic voting for MPs at Westminster
  • Proposed a motion to stop terrorism laws being used to limit freedom of the press
  • Supporting prisoner voting rights
  • Standing alongside Sussex and Brighton University students to defend the right to  peaceful protest on campus
  • One of only a handful of MPs to speak out and vote against the blanket retention of our data – a practice that’s been ruled unlawful by the European Court of Human Rights
  • Met the Government’s adviser on the commercialisation of children to discuss internet censorship, arguing for an evidence based approach to protect people from harmful content instead
  • Demanded a full public inquiry into the mass surveillance of citizens