Richard North, EU Referendum, has responded to my original post here and here, the latter link being his 'critique' of my post. A number of points thus arise:
- My belief that direct democracy is better than the present 'charade' that passes for democracy has been correctly summarised
- It may be I am guilty of slackness in my use of the English language because when suggesting that this country should adopt the Swiss model of direct democracy I am not suggesting a 'cut 'n paste' operation, merely the principle of devolution of powers down to the lowest level; cutting the size of government; cutting the dictatorial attitude of politicians; relaxing the centrist control that is all too apparent today; allowing people to choose the type of society in which they live.
- Never having visited Switzerland I have to accept the criticism of 'petty rules & regulations', however might it be possible that the petty level of rules & regulation may have something to do with their love of 'preciseness'? That the British are more 'laid back' where rules and regulations are concerned means that the criticisms mentioned would not necessarily arise?
- The derivation of the word 'democracy' is accepted; however if 'power' is to be exerted, then I would rather it be by a majority view within the area that I live, than a majority view of a small minority of our society who have their own 'agenda' and are totally disconnected from the people
- All systems of democracy have their inherrent dangers and pitfalls, yet is that not what this country experienced in May 2010 when we ended up with 'government' being hijacked resulting in a mish-mash of policies presented in a 'programme for government' for which no-one had voted?
- Unfortunately the present system of representative democracy produces what I have termed 'democratised dictatorship' in that every 4/5 years a political party is elected and who, in their term of office, can pretty well introduce whatever laws - and however draconian - they like. We have no means of protesting, amending or annuling those laws. Had we the process of unfettered referendum and initiative, then the system of representative democracy might be acceptable - with a few caveats.
- If government is not a force for good; if in an ideal world we would not have one and the only reason we should tolerate it is because not having one is marginally worse, then surely it must follow that government should be small and constrained - something direct democracy accomplishes.
- If restraint is required, one that makes governance difficult and thus forces people to deal with their own problems; then does not direct democracy, involving the devolution of power down to the lowest level, achieve this?
- The idea of referism for budgets is totally agreed, but then surely it should be agreed for any proposal that politicians wish to make? As in the economic sense, so in the political sense does it become necessary to 'starve the beast'.