I enjoy my copy of 'The Week' which gives a complete overview of world events. As well as covering the main issues in British politics, you also get the top stories around the world, selected coverage of world's press, a Health and Science section, Sport, the Arts and a Business section. This week I picked up the two items below which both have significance to our agenda.
1. Bern - figher purchase -The Swiss government has recommended the purchase of 36 F-35A figher jets from the US company Lockheed Martin, angering anti-armament groups and left-wing parties who are now calling for another plebiscite on the issue. The decision to replace the country's aging fleet of military planes was narrowly approved in a vote last year, but critics of the deal maintain that neutral Switzerland, which last fought a foreign war more than 200 years ago, has no need for cutting-edge fighter jets. The decision to buy the jets from Lockheed, instead of one of the European firms in consideration, has also been seen as a rebuff to the EU at a time of strained relations between Bern and Brussels. The government says the planes are necessary to defend Swiss airspace, and for tasks such as patrolling the skies during the World Economic Forum in Davos.
As I've mentioned before the Swiss system of Direct Democracy has many of the characteristics we are demanding as set out in our fourth demand 'The People's Consent'. In this case if enough people sign up for it the Swiss government would have to have a referendum to let the people decide if they approve the government's plan to purchase 36 F-35A jets. That's democracy in action.
2. Santiago - New constitution - A woman from Chile's indigenous Mapuche people has been chosen to lead the drafting of Chile's new constitution, as part of efforts to ensure power is spread more equitably across the nation. Elisa Loncon, a university professor and campaigner for indigenous rights, was chosen for the role by 96 of the 155 members of Chile's new constitutional body. Under her leadership, the delegates will draft a new text to replace Chile's previous constitution, which was produced during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet: it was notably pro-business, and its many critics say it has done much to exacerbate inequalities in Chile. Delegates have nine months to write a new constitution that will then be put to a referendum.
Our sixth demand seeks a codified constitution which we, having reclaimed our inherent sovereignty, would require parliament to convene and then host a convention with a view to framing our document. A draft constitution should then be published, discussed, modified as necessary and ratified by referendum.
Both items above are happening today in Switzerland and Chile and there is no reason we cannot have the same but we are going to have to get off our backsides and demand the changes, for it is very clear our current lot of self-seeking, ignorant and lazy politicians are not going to change unless and until we make them.