"Have you ever noticed how statists are constantly "reforming" their own handiwork? Education reform. Health-care reform. Welfare reform. Tax reform. The very fact that they're always busy "reforming" is an implicit admission that they didn't get it right the first 50 times."
Lawrence W. Reed, economist, in The Freeman
Readers of this blog will be aware that I am a firm believer in a participatory form of democracy and would favour a move to a system similar to that practised in Switzerland. For too long governments have continually ignored matters that are of interest to the public whilst interfering and subsequently legislating in matters that should ultimately be decided by the public. Just today we hear that the rules on primogeniture are to be changed; that a permanent move to British Summer Time is being suggested; that Thorbjørn Jagland, secretary general of the Council of Europe, said he would accept the Tories’ plan to scrap the Human Rights Act – if the idea was to enshrine the convention in UK law.
Under our present system of representative democracy we are subject to our elected representatives deciding matters that affect us, even though they had no mandate so to do at the time of their election - and when they do, they move the goalposts whereby we end up with an even more draconian law that was first envisaged. On the subjects of primogeniture and an advance to British Summer Time, I do not recall these two matters being part of any party's manifesto and, in any event, if changes are to be made, surely it is the public that should so decide? Just who the hell is Thorbjørn Jagland to decide what changes to the Human Rights Act can be made and lay down conditions on acceptability? Who the hell elected him - and more to the point, who needs him when we have our own representatives, who are all 'statists' regardless of party, already meddling with our existing Bill of Rights and Common Law? Returning to the question of primogeniture, the No10 website has just issued this statement from David Cameron, one that states the current rule which says that anyone who marries a Roman Catholic can’t become monarch will also be abolished. This immediately presents the situation whereby, as any child of a Catholic has to be reared in that faith, it would be possible to have a Catholic monarch resulting in all the ramifications of that situation.
The root problem in the present system of electing our representatives lies in the manifesto system, one whereby a 'basket' of proposals is offered to the electorate who - if we set aside tribal loyalists - then has to make a decision on which 'basket' best serves them better. The decision making process then becomes harder still when all parties basically offer the same proposals, or omit proposals that the electorate would like to see. That this leads to a 'democratised dictatorship' must be plain for all to see and the sooner the system is changed so that the public can, by means of a referendum, halt any policy proposed by their politicians with which they do not agree or propose a law of their choosing, the better.
David Cameron may well believe that the great strength of our constitutional approach is its ability to evolve, however I would suggest it is the people who should decide when and how any evolving takes place and not some democratised self-anointed dictator.