Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine
"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman."

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Is Direct Democracy the Silver Bullet?


Within the eurosceptic movement, and to a fair extent without, there is a great dissatisfaction with government - but there does seem to be a resigned acceptance that nothing can be done. We know that there are hard times ahead once the next, whatever government, comes into power the likelihood is that people’s standard of living, in very real terms, will reduce significantly. Those with a needed speciality will be immune to a fair degree, but those who are easily replaced will feel the pressure, probably in terms of performance expectation, from their employer.

The eurosceptic movement offers the best hope of resistance, but each of these small parties can do nothing alone for the only meaningful measure now is seats at Westminster. Apart from Nigel Farage for UKIP and Nick Griffin, plus perhaps a couple more for the BNP - the most likely outcome is that no eurosceptic party will have any representation in the House of Commons after the General Election.

These parties are not amalgamating or forming successful alliances and apart from this, many have internal conflicts which slow down progress. Lord Pearson was right, those involved in the eurosceptic movement are strongly minded individuals which means it is very difficult to get them to agree on anything.

Surely it must be dawning on the leadership of all these parties that another General Election is about to pass by without material gain. Status quo will once again be established and a small group of the political class will be in charge, probably directed by an even smaller group of the wealthy elite. These are not generally very concerned about the hardships the people suffer, for in the main, their concern is winning power, profit and their careers.

If any alliance is to be formed, to have any hope of agreement, the policies around which they group must be few and very popular with the electorate. Since these are eurosceptic parties, an in/out referendum on the EU is a certain policy - few voters will object to such a referendum and many would welcome it. A promise to halt immigration, except for critically needed skills, and I would argue - measures to encourage many of those who have arrived in recent years to return to their land of birth. For there are very strong indictors that the amount of surplus food available from exporters will be reducing as the global population continues its rapid growth and we can, presently, feed only 60% of our poulation. These, with the addition of direct democracy, would complete the policies for the alliance.

It is of note, that none of these policies are presently being offered by the mainstream parties. Direct democracy is the route by which the other policies of the eurosceptic parties can be achieved. If a petition can be raised with x% of the voters signatures - then a referendum must be held on that issue.

Whether you want an English parliament, Christian values, a lifting of the smoking ban, the right of gays to adopt or not adopt, a ban on the Burka, a separate government for each region or a single government, or whether you want greater or less representation by women in government, if you think fox hunting should remain banned or re-established, if you think their should be more or less local government etc, etc, etc - each could be determined by referendum. Direct democracy would create change - the question to be answered is whether you would prefer changes to be determined by the people or by a small elite who do not want very much to change at all?

It seems to me that unless such an alliance is formed, there is little chance of power being removed from those who govern us - now or any time soon. It does seem the way a peaceful revolution could be achieved.

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