News 21st April 2015

Open government in the SNP Manifesto

by Josephine Suherman-Bailey

Josephine was a Policy Analyst at Involve. She worked on the Open Government Partnership and supported the coordination of the UK Open Government Partnership civil society network.

We’ve been scanning through the party manifestos for policies relevant to open government. This is what we’ve found in the Scottish National Party Manifesto. Have we missed anything?

SNP Manifesto

Briefing on commitments of interest to open government reformers

Read the Scottish National Party Manifesto here.


Topline messages Quote from the manifesto Page number
Oppose scrapping the HRA or withdrawal from the ECHR
Oppose scrapping the

Human Rights Act or withdrawal from the European Convention on Human Rights.

Given the central place of human rights in Scotland’s constitutional settlement, and their importance at the heart of our politics, we will oppose scrapping the

Human Rights Act or withdrawal from the European Convention on Human Rights.

Community Empowerment Bill
Ensure progress of

the Community Empowerment Bill

Over these coming months, we will ensure progress of the Community Empowerment Bill, which was introduced to the Parliament earlier this year. The Bill proposes ways we can improve civic and community engagement and empowerment, including on the use of public assets. SNP MPs will seek ways of extending the community asset transfer provisions of the legislation to include property in Scotland owned by UK government departments. 31
Digital connectivity
Digital connectivity Our aim is to deliver a future-proofed infrastructure that will establish world-class digital connectivity across Scotland by 2020, including tackling the digital divide. That is why we are investing in Superfast Broadband, so that at least 95 per cent of premises across Scotland will be able to access fibre broadband by the end of 2017. 33-34
Oppose plans to reintroduce the so-called ‘Snoopers’ Charter’
Oppose plans to reintroduce the so-called ‘Snoopers’ Charter’ Protecting personal data

We do not support Tory plans for the reintroduction of the so-called ‘snoopers’ charter’, which would see all online activity of every person in the UK stored for a year. Instead, we need a proportionate response to extremism. That is why we will support targeted, and properly overseen, measures to identify suspected extremists and, if necessary, examine their online activity and communications.

Proportional representation and HoL reform
Support for STV
Replace the HoL with a fully elected second chamber
This election gives us a rare opportunity to begin to repair what is an increasingly broken political system in the UK. We need to make clear to those who wield power that they do so only with the consent of the people. Almost

every aspect of the system needs an overhaul.
That includes an effective power of recall for MPs. We will continue to work with others, across the political parties, to deliver a system that gives real

power to voters to remove MPs who have forfeited the trust of their electors.

We also badly need a fair voting system for UK elections. The electoral system means political focus is on the interests of a small number of swing voters in marginal seats, and that has meant the economic and social needs of areas like the north of England, Scotland, the West Midlands and Wales have been forgotten.
The SNP supports the Single Transferable Vote, a system that makes sure every vote and every part of the country counts.
Of course, the second chamber of the UK parliament is not even elected and continues to have hereditary members who have a greater say in the future of

Scotland’s defence or welfare system than the elected members of the Scottish Parliament. The SNP believes the House of Lords should be scrapped and replaced with a fully elected second chamber.