Tuesday 31 July 2018

The collective will of the people should be paramount.

Our six demands are based on the premise that democracy means 'people power' with sovereignty recognised as residing ultimately with 'the people' as opposed to Parliament.

A frequent point that comes up, when commenting on Dr North's blog EU Referendum, is that the people's views can not be trusted and it is better to leave decision making to our politicians.

I completely reject this view and believe very strongly that the collective views of the people are on balance of greater value than those our politicians arrive at.

Then its usually argued, by those who don't trust the people, that our politicians are better informed but, I then point out, that the reality is that they live in a bubble and receive a great deal of their information form lobbying organisations. So then these anti-democrats say that the people are also subject to much 'duff' information so again it is best to leave decision making to the professionals.

My view is that those who argue this way are afraid that their own views will not tally with the collective will of the people - they are certainly not real democrats.

Just consider this analogy about information adapted from the book 'Homo Deus'. When you read the Bible you are getting advice from a few priests and rabbis who lived in ancient Jerusalem. Similarly our current batch of politicians, with far too many becoming MPs after being political researchers, have very limited experiences of life. In contrast the views and opinions of the people take in all ages and backgrounds and have evolved and been shaped and controlled by the harshest quality control tests of natural selection.

Finally, if you really believe in democracy then you have ultimately to accept the collective will of the people and I for one have greater faith in them than I do in our politicians. Of course the more in tune our politicians become with the people the less we would need to interfere in their decision making. However we would always have demand four, 'The People's Consent,' to express our views, if our politicians were to reverted to the current governance of  'we know best what's good for you'.  



Wednesday 25 July 2018

The use and value of referenda.

It's at times like this, as the government's Brexit train heads for the buffers, that I think about the advantages of our fourth demand 'The People's Consent'.

This demand covers three uses for referenda during the political process. The first allow for the people to raise a new issue but the result would only ever be advisory. The second gives the power to the people to stop proposed government legislation and the third would allow the people their say, over certain types of decisions made by government or official bodies and by elected and appointed officials, including ministers and judges.

It is the second area that would now be really useful, if our demands were in force, as it  would allow the people the final say on the terms the government finally puts to parliament.  This is because  we clearly state that all constitutional measures or any laws which had the effect of changing the constitution would automatically trigger a referendum for the people to decide if the agreed with what was proposed in the bill.

This would of course render the current debate, about a second referendum, redundant as we would be given the final say after a nationwide debate on the issues.

There is not much not to like about our fourth demand 'The People's Consent."

Thursday 19 July 2018

Dirert Democracy Liechtenstein style.

I was just driving back for my local shop listen to the World at One on Radio Four and Blair was featuring in I believe the final report on how we avoided joining the Euro. The reporter pointed out how Brown had introduced his five economic tests, for the Euro, thus in effect ruling out us joining. To this point Blair replied:-

" You know, why, unless one wanted to make some kinda political point, would you ever rule anything out?"

Well there you have the utterances of a truly expedient politician who has not one principle on which he would be prepared to stand.

The rot to our governance accelerated under Blair's governments and is now long overdue the reforms we propose in our six demands.

Switzerland is usually cited as the home of Direct Democracy but little old Liechtenstein, small as it is, practices it in bucket loads.

Copy this link and listen to the current Prince of Liechtenstein, Hans-Adam II, being interviewed about how DD in his country works:-     


The interview lasts around 30 minutes which I found very interesting with the main lesson I learnt being that one does not have real democracy until the views of ordinary people really do matter.

Tuesday 10 July 2018

Is Direct Democracy catching on?

Direct Democracy gets a mention at the end of this eight minute clip on Alice Weidel who is the leader of the Alternatives for Germany (AfD) speaking to Merkel in the Bundestag.


I apologize that you have to type in the link or copy and paste it into Google but I haven't yet sorted out the problem.

Tuesday 3 July 2018

Parish council referendums

Two of our six demands involve the use of referenda and over the years the government has used them over devolution, an alternative voting system and of course, most recently, leaving the EU.

Critics often say that holding frequent referenda is unworkable, and so it would be without checks and balances and bench marks that have to be met before they take place.

As this link explains Parish referendums are alive and well in Hadleigh.


For some reason, I must get fixed, links don't seem to work on this blog so here is the essence:-

It turns out that all is not well in Hadleigh. The town council has been riven with factional in-fighting. This has percolated into the pages of the Suffolk Free Press and the East Anglian Daily Times. Now a group of well-organised dissidents, under the banner “Hadleigh Together”, have forced a referendum of confidence in the town council, alleging mismanagement and that it is dysfunctional. The town goes to the polls on Thursday. Both sides had issued leaflets putting their case. The dissidents’ case can be found here and here.

I can honestly say that I had never heard of such a thing. So I did some digging. And I found out that I know rather less about the English political system than I thought. For parish residents have long had the right to call for parish polls on whatever topic they choose, provided that a third of electors present at a parish meeting are in favour (and not fewer than 10). At this point the local district council must hold a poll. The result is advisory only.  The Hadleigh Together group have called for just such a parish poll.

This mechanism has been used hundreds of times over the years (no one seems to know how often, no one seems to have been interested enough to keep track). The subject matter has been many and varied: at least one parish conducted a parish poll on whether to hold a referendum on EU membership – it passed convincingly, as it happens.

All this time commentators have been telling us that referendums weren’t a longstanding part of British politics and it turns out they were wrong. Voters up and down the country have been passing judgements on car parking arrangements, low level radioactive waste and whether to allow a Tesco’s for many years. No doubt you all knew this. I didn’t.

The people's increased participation in our democracy can best be achieved through referenda as the people of Hadleigh are showing.