Democracy Debates

More Swiss-style direct democracy

Britain currently has a system of ‘Representative Democracy’ whereby regions elect a local Member of Parliament who is supposed to represent the views of his/her constituents. The system is at odds with the party political system, leaving local people at times torn between wanting to vote for their local MP, being a person who works hard for their area, and yet who is a member of a party with national policies that they do not support.

One partial solution to this problem is to use more Direct Democracy - where referendums are held on major issues of national importance, and the result is enacted (as in Switzerland).

The referendum of 2016 was long overdue. Britain needed to have had referendums before major changes to the nation were enacted. In many cases major changes were made either without reference to the governing party’s recent election manifesto, or in direct contradiction to it. Instances include:

The entry into the ‘Common Market’ in 1973, which was pushed through by Edward Heath (Conservative) without any prior consent from the people;

The ‘Maastricht Treaty on European Union’ which was pushed through Parliament by John Major (Conservative) in 1992 despite widespread opposition and concern;

Many major changes were implemented by Tony Blair (Labour) without debate or consent, including: mass immigration; ‘Human Rights Act’; the taxation of and undermining of our pension system; EU procurement rules.

Significant changes were brought in by Theresa May (Conservative) with the added twist of being done behind the scenes. People only know about them because concerned individuals have tried to bring it to the attention of the wider public. There still has been little or no debate. Examples include what appears to be the handing over of our Military to EU control, with treaties signed after the decision of the people to Leave the EU; the signing of the UN Migration Pact treaty; the notorious ‘Withdrawal Agreement’ and ‘Political Declaration’ (2018) which Boris Johnson declared “dead” (May 2019) only for him to bring them back almost unchanged as official Conservative Party policy (October 2019).

The WA and PD (withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration) are radically different to what the people of Britain voted for in 2016, which was fully explained as immediate withdrawal from The Single Market, The Customs Union and the control of the ‘European Court of Justice’.  There have been calls for a further referendum to put the WA/PD option to the people – but the movement for a ‘Second Referendum’ is acknowledged as a strategy to keep Britain in/under the EU.

Democracy in any form only functions if the politicians and state apparatus act upon the instructions of the people and behave in an honourable manner.  Honesty and honourable behaviour need to be reintroduced to Britain, beginning with the politicians, the media (especially the BBC) and in the education system.

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