The article I wrote (Statement) has prompted a few comments; and those comments, whilst welcome, appear to me to be missing the point of this Forum. Whilst comments are welcome. comments on comments will not on their own, I suggest, get the desire to implement direct democracy any further forward.
Restoring Britain homes in on the point that political parties are the arbiter of who can stand in any particular constituency; he also raises the point that Westminster is the 'battleground', when surely it is our nation that is the 'battleground'.
Flyinthesky agrees, adding that there is little point in local democracy if they have to operate within the constraints of national policy.; adding that there is a need for greater political activation and organisation.
Tony Day counters that the only way to get change is to 'put more bums on the green baize seats'; whilst mentioning Frome as an example of what can be achieved where local democracy is concerned.
At the time of writing Restoring Britain (@5.25pm) raises another interesting question about possible pressure by mean of social media.
To take the foregoing comments in sequence,
- how about an article on 'Primaries' (ie, in any constituency all the electorate decide which candidate for a political party can stand - ie they are thus 'elected'? How about, within that same article, the suggestion that if we are to have direct democracy, the candidate elected at a general election is liable to recall (without any 'input' from Parliament) by his/her constituents? How about electorates setting the remuneration of their MPs - those that 'perform', as their electorate wishes, get paid more than those who don't? That idea immediately shifts the 'battleground' from Westminster to the electorate; does it not?
- How about local authorities being self-governing entities on 'reserved' matters? Suppose local authorities had total control over taxation, policing, education, transport, for example. Flyinthesky, also mentions a need for greater political activation and organisation - so how can this be brought about and thus achieved?
- Tony Day opines there is a need for the formation of a political party as the way forward, then how about an article on how that could be achieved? What should be the aims of its constitution? Is there a need for a political party?
- Restoring Britain then hints at the need for social media pressure, so how about a concerted twitter campaign arguing against those political decisions which should be those of the people and using the hashtag dd4uk or the arrow symbol
To begin the formulation of any system of direct democracy for the United Kingdom, what is needed is for an individual, or a group of individuals, to 'take control' of a subject and produce a well-researched article incorporating a plan showing how any particular subject could be implemented, looking at all the ramifications contained therein.
The early indications of this Forum is that it could well become another 'talking shop' - and four years have been wasted, doing just that by another direct democracy group so please do not let us emulate them.
Forgive what may seem frustration or impertinence on my part, but this is, for those of you who wish, like me, to see direct democracy introduced in this nation, the opportunity to see well researched suggestions how that can be achieved. Six requirements for direct democracy have been suggested - has anyone actually read them,or even thought about them? If so, do we agree with them or disagree?
It may be some of you are working assiduously preparing articles for discussion - if so, how about an advisory article to that effect to 'wet the appetite'?
Over to you........................