Is the UK Ready for Direct Democracy?

page: 1
12
<<   2  3 >>

log in

join

posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 02:32 PM
link   

...there is one country that does more than any other to embody popular sovereignty within a multi-ethnic, multilingual and multi-confessional society: Switzerland.

In this alpine republic with just seven million people, citizens' law-making is exercised on all political levels - including almost 3,000 autonomous municipalities, 26 sovereign states and on the common, federal level.

While it embraces direct democracy, Switzerland is nevertheless still a representative democracy. Most laws are made and decided by parliament. The important difference, however, between the Swiss system and the "indirect" democracy of Britain is that citizens are entitled to put almost every law decided by their representatives to a general vote - if they want.

For this to happen, members of the public need to gather 50,000 signatures (approximately one per cent of the electorate) within 100 days of the publication of a new law. In 96 out of 100 cases, no such referendum is triggered, because the parliamentary process enjoys a very high level of legitimacy. That is because the elected lawmakers know that their work will be seriously checked by the public, so do a very good job indeed.


Daily Telegraph

Compared to purely representative democratic systems, direct democracy (or ‘pure democracy’) fundamentally alters the communication among citizens and also between citizens and their elected representatives.

People are incentivised to become better informed on issues affecting them because what they think matters and has influence. The better informed citizenry give the politicians far less leeway to pursue personal interests.....and happy side effects, certainly in Switzerland’s case, include lower public expenditure, lower public debt, and lower tax evasion because people feel more responsible for their community.

With the result that...


Switzerland has emerged as the country with the highest quality of living in a survey designed to help governments and multinational companies place employees on international assignments.


Source

This is a tried and tested system with impressive results. Is there any good reason why such a system couldn’t be implemented in the UK? I honestly can’t think of one. I can come up with plenty of good reasons why we should tho’.

1. We have a successful system of direct democracy to emulate.

2. They have among the highest standards of living on the planet compared to the UK’s current ranking of 28th.

Source

3. Apart from the implementation of a framework to facilitate direct democracy the present system would not require to be dismantled overnight.

4. Direct democracy would affect change organically per the will of the people.

5. Lessen, if not eliminate, the requirement for political parties and their rhetoric.

6. It is government of the people, by the people for the people.

7. The UK’s political elite need a wakeup call – whether they be in power or not.

8. It would reinvigorate our democracy and liven up political debate.

9. It raises issues elites want to suppress.

10. It provides a simple route to repeal bad legislation.

11. It enables new ideas.

12. It restores representative government to a point where parliamentary members do actually represent the will of the people.




posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 02:35 PM
link   
Whoa, a direct democracy? Pretty cool! They better be ready. I wish America had a direct democracy, then maybe more people would be informed of the doings of Washington. I always imaged it could be like American Idol
. Text your vote! Of course 1 vote per person, and it's gotta be safeguarded against hacking. Just ideas floating around in my head.



posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 02:41 PM
link   
the problem with england is that generally you could park a 3 legged donkey with a correct political symbol on its ass and people would vote for it



posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 02:48 PM
link   
Anything that would get the masses to wake up and have a real vested interest in politics can only be a good thing.
Its about time we had more responsibility, we are grown ups after all.



posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 02:48 PM
link   
Well I certainly think we are ready do away with the old traditional rights we have come to know and love like a bad relationship. I for one will not miss our "right to corruption" and "right to media spin" that seems prevalent in our current system.

thumbs up from me



posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 02:48 PM
link   
reply to post by Maxatoria
 


What do mean 'could'? lol



posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 02:51 PM
link   

Originally posted by Welshy77
Anything that would get the masses to wake up and have a real vested interest in politics can only be a good thing.
Its about time we had more responsibility, we are grown ups after all.


Well as long as it comes with android and iPhone apps I am sure the system will be a winner with dee youf


but I do agree we really are grown ups and should have more say in the way the country is run.



posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 02:58 PM
link   
Democracy is great, if you're in the 51%. If you're the other 49%, it can get bad real quick. I've always loved the people banging on about wanting true Democracy, then turn around and bring up "minority rights". They are mutually exclusive. Democracy eventually leads to slavery, which is why the U.S. founders chose a Republic. Good luck England. I wish you the best.
edit on 8-9-2011 by navy_vet_stg3 because: Added a little to the end....



posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 02:59 PM
link   
reply to post by thoughtsfull
 



Well as long as it comes with android and iPhone apps I am sure the system will be a winner with dee youf




I was offered 40 quid of free wine to join the Tories yesterday. What's good for the goose.....



posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 03:06 PM
link   
Its not just a case of are we ready, its a case of total neccessity!

Our island has been sewn up and locked down by powerful interests groups that are a law to themselves.

Our sovereignty has been sold off too, not for our betterment, but for their own gravy train, and they did that without a mandate from the people which in my book is illegal.

The elite justify their dictator like and anti democratic acts by saying it is in our interests.

Truthfuly, have we really benifited?

No!

But they have feathered their nests at our expense!

The people themselves know whats in our own interest!

And today with the tech available, we can come together as one country and vote instantaniously on all things!

Parliament therefore is obsolete.

This type of government raises every citizens game. They become personally responsable for the countries direction.

It destroys apathy

Is TRULY democratic

And would take away the stink of corruption we have had to endure for too long.

It gets my vote





posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 03:12 PM
link   

Originally posted by navy_vet_stg3
Democracy is great, if you're in the 51%. If you're the other 49%, it can get bad real quick. I've always loved the people banging on about wanting true Democracy, then turn around and bring up "minority rights". They are mutually exclusive. Democracy eventually leads to slavery, which is why the U.S. founders chose a Republic. Good luck England. I wish you the best.
edit on 8-9-2011 by navy_vet_stg3 because: Added a little to the end....


I completely agree with you, this would be a much better system for the UK to implement, but i think we all know that that will never happen dont we?

The american system at the moment is being made out to be terrible, when in fact it is not, it is excellent, it is the politicians that are the problem out there and the other groups that are constantly attacking it. The way the constitution was written was truly excellent, and should be used in every country



posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 03:15 PM
link   
reply to post by navy_vet_stg3
 


Yes - but the Swiss system doesn't require a 50/50 split. There's a lot of issues discussed in parliament that don't interest every member of the population because their lives are personally unaffected by it. The Swiss model basically requires only 1% of the population to petition parliament to have a subject considered.

Is our present system fairer than the Swiss model?



posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 03:25 PM
link   
reply to post by christina-66
 


The Swiss have pretty much kicked the EU in the mouth and told them to get lost. They have an incredibly open media market, lack the excessive political correctness often found elsewhere, kept their right to bear arms, maintain great subsidiarity considering the path Europe has taken, lack rampant corruption, keep a stable level of freedom for all people without sacrificing their nation and culture, have politicians which stand up against Central Banks and the Bilderbergers, and all that while having among the lowest taxes in the West alongside fantastic services.

Do I agree with every aspect of ‘direct democracy’? No. But the Swiss have nearly perfected it, because it balances civil liberties, cultural preservation, and an intellectual public discourse. So in my opinion the Swiss model should spread in every Western nation because it appears to be the only one that benefits the people. In the United States it should be performed on the state rather than national level but if so 60 or 70% of people in several states vote for or against something DC definitely will listen.

As for England, I think it could definitely work. Keep your current political setup but implement alongside it the ability of citizens to recall their MP, propose initiatives, and vote on issues. Like for example the EU, a petition could be circulated and signed with enough people so as to create a public referendum on the future UK involvement in the European Union. The Parliament would not dare oppose the results if the people gave a strong answer.



posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 03:28 PM
link   
reply to post by christina-66
 


It may work with the Swiss, but that's no guarantee it will work with the Brits, and I doubt it would work with the U.S. There are different cultures that need to be considered as well.

Fair is always in the eye of the beholder. For example, people who dropped out of school and make minimum wage and don't pay any taxes except sales tax think it's "fair" to have someone who worked their ass off taxed at a 90% rate. So, using words like "fair" isn't "fair".


This is why I don't support open borders or a one world government. I think people and their cultures can be radically different, and what works for one will not work for the other. That being said, if we had a one world government, we'd all be under the same governmental platform, and I believe there would be even more animosity on the planet. I wouldn't want what Switzerland has, England has, or anywhere else has. In fact, I don't want what the U.S. has anymore. I'd prefer stripping it back to the first 10 Amendments and applying common sense along the way.



posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 03:46 PM
link   

Originally posted by Maxatoria
the problem with england is that generally you could park a 3 legged donkey with a correct political symbol on its ass and people would vote for it


I think the evidence is against such a statement. Although the British public within certain constituencies have a propensity towards different political parties, they are often not as uninformed as you may think. Constituencies change hands.

As to direct / pure democracy. The idea has merit, but a few flaws, not least who decides on the issues. Also, sometimes the best outcome is when the emotion has been taken out of an issues and people are highly informed and objective. With direct democracy you’ll get the opposite.

Regards



posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 03:52 PM
link   

Fair is always in the eye of the beholder. For example, people who dropped out of school and make minimum wage and don't pay any taxes except sales tax think it's "fair" to have someone who worked their ass off taxed at a 90% rate. So, using words like "fair" isn't "fair".


Are you suggesting that people who drop out of school should pay tax at 90% too or that high earners pay none?

Fair - 'just and honest; impartial; unprejudiced; specif., free from discrimination based on race, religion, sex, etc.'



posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 04:28 PM
link   


As to direct / pure democracy. The idea has merit but a few flaws, not least who decides on the ssues. Also, sometimes the best outcome is when the emotion has been taken out of an issues and people are highly informed and objective. With direct democracy you’ll get the opposite
reply to post by paraphi
 


We know the issues and thats the point.

The people drive the debate organically by pertitioning the government, they also set the question.

Fact is, emotions do come into it because the issues affect peoples real lives.



posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 04:51 PM
link   
reply to post by paraphi
 



As to direct / pure democracy. The idea has merit, but a few flaws, not least who decides on the issues. Also, sometimes the best outcome is when the emotion has been taken out of an issues and people are highly informed and objective. With direct democracy you’ll get the opposite.


I don't really understand your logic. One of the main problems with our current system is that people are NOT informed, they are NOT objective - they are led by the nose with a handful of meaningless statistics.

'Should we or should we not sign the Mastricht Treaty' - It would have helped if they'd made half an attempt to make its contents readily available and comprehensible to the public at large.

Or what about Gordon Brown's mysterious '5 economic tests' that had to pass before we entered the eurozone? What were they? I take it we failed anyway


The Swiss model has had precisely the opposite effect on their population as you predict. Their population is highly informed - they are mature in their decision making because they live with the consequences of their choices. Their model is some 800 years old. I dunno - Geneva or Glasgow - which has the greater appeal?

Basic Facts and Features of Switzerland's Direct Democracy



posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 04:56 PM
link   
The most effective way to get British people involved in politics right now is to legally prevent councils from passing the electoral register to debt collection companies. Because nearly 4 million Brits are too scared of the consequences to even register to vote. So that's do-able.

Direct democracy ? Mm. It's just referendums, really. Or is that Never-end-ums ?

And they mean popularism, the way the wind blows on any given day. Do you really want permanent government by Daily Mail & Matt Drudge readers ?

The "normal" British public will soon tire of referenda, voting numbers will dwindle until you're only left with a hard core of really, really worthy but tiresomely right wing no life politico ugly bugs for whom voting in referenda would define their very being.

No thanks !
edit on 8-9-2011 by DoubtingThomas1 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 8 2011 @ 05:08 PM
link   

Originally posted by DoubtingThomas1
The most effective way to get British people involved in politics right now is to legally prevent councils from passing the electoral register to debt collection companies. Because nearly 4 million Brits are too scared of the consequences to even register to vote. So that's do-able.

Direct democracy ? Mm. It's just referendums, really. Or is that Never-end-ums ?

And they mean popularism, the way the wind blows on any given day. Do you really want permanent government by Daily Mail & Matt Drudge readers ?

The "normal" British public will soon tire of referenda, voting numbers will dwindle until you're only left with a hard core of really, really worthy but tiresomely right wing no life politico ugly bugs for whom voting in referenda would define their very being.

No thanks !
edit on 8-9-2011 by DoubtingThomas1 because: (no reason given)



This is not having referendums on the colour of a bin!

We are talking the big issues that affect us all such as the lisbon treaty et al.

Surely you can see that?

This is the only form of government that really does give the person on the street a voice.

Here we sit and bitch and moan about the state of the country but feel powerless to change it.

This form of government redresses that, puts the onesus of the state of the nation for its direction and gives the citizenry the power to act.





new topics
top topics
 
12
<<   2  3 >>

log in

join