March 30, 2016
David Cameron is a diabolical failure when it comes to democracy. Last May, with a free-hand and opportunity following the General Election, he could have acted but as I posted ‘Dave stumbles at first hurdle’. He won the election by default, being the least objectionable option, but has proceeded with a radical agenda as if he had been given a mandate with a resounding endorsement. What he and George Osborne fail or refuse to understand is that ‘Direct Democracy’ is about giving ‘Power to the People’. Subsidiarity is the crucial element in any democracy, and this applies as much to the EU as it does to the UK. Local Democracy is being eroded in the UK, while at the same time national UK democracy is being subsumed by the EU.
It has to be acknowledged that Dave has grudgingly stuck by his pledge to hold a referendum on continued EU membership, while at the same time doing his very best to ensure the UK remains a member. He promised to reform the EU before holding the referendum and he has failed to do that. He did not even attempt to tackle the democratic deficit within the EU structures and institutions. During his ‘negotiations’ he found a reluctance by the EU establishment and national leaders to acknowledge the widespread concerns of many Europeans, not just UK citizens. There is great unease about the direction of travel by the EU under German leadership. Sir James Goldsmith, the founder of the Referendum Party, explained this as the unification of Europe being a continuation of the unification of Germany by Bismarck and Prussia. The Prussian approach was that the people were irrelevant. Read the rest of this entry »
March 19, 2016
In July 2009 our initial proposals for constitutional and voting reforms were set out in two posts – ‘Democracy : Make every vote matter’ and ‘Lording it over the people’. Those proposals set a framework for a direct democracy where the people would vote for a head of government and executive, instead of the House of Commons acting as an electoral college and voting through the Queen’s Speech to support a single party or coalition of parties. Why should an MP who was elected with less than 50% of the votes in their constituency apply 100% of the vote to support any particular government? Especially if it was a coalition with a negotiated programme for government, which resulted in the manifestos that people had voted for being ditched. Under our proposal there would be a separate election to decide the government and another election would continue to elect the people’s representatives to the House of Commons, that would still have primacy.
An essential element is that voters would be able to vote for ‘none of the above’. Questions were asked about how this would work and what would happen if a majority of voters decided they didn’t like any of the options, with the majority voting for ‘none’ of the candidate governments? We now have an example that demonstrates such a situation. In last months general election in Ireland the people voted not to elect a government, and they did it without even having the option of ‘none of the above’. Read the rest of this entry »
March 13, 2016
A key aim of the CDP is to establish a system of direct democracy in the UK. This will require constitutional and electoral reform. It also requires a strict separation of the powers vested in the Head of State, the Head of Government and Executive body, the Legislature of the people’s representatives, and the Judiciary. The Head of State, whether a president or monarch, must not be a rubber stamp for the Executive. They must ‘rule’ in the interests of the people and be able to block or delay legislation that has no mandate from the people until such time as a mandate is given by referendum or at a general election. In return they must have a democratic legitimacy in order to withstand intimidation by politicians. They should also be above and remote from party-politics.
We have detailed, over many years, how this could be achieved with a preference for an acclaimed monarch over an elected president. The US system of a combined head of state and government, selected by party primary conventions and then by a general election, where the power to appoint a president is actually vested in a constitutional college, is peculiar to the US. It derives from the federal nature of the nation and the notion that the states have primacy. The primacy of the states has been eroded and they are trying to prise power back from Washington. The current spectacle in the US where candidates rip each other apart in an attempt to gain their party’s nomination is unedifying and destructive. Any show of then uniting around the successful candidate has a whiff of hypocrisy. The process also requires the candidates to raise vast amounts of money to fund their campaigns and then become beholding to the big donors. Evidenced by the financial support provided by Planned Parenthood to Hillary Clinton, and previously to Barack Obama, so that the Democratic Party has become the pro-abortion party. The other extreme is evident with the Republican Party where a millionaire and outsider like Donald Trump can buy his way to the presidency. Both examples result in genuine and honest people of principle being excluded from the process. This is detrimental to democracy and the common weal of the people. It is diabolical. Read the rest of this entry »