Direct Democracy Movement
Direct Democracy – The Simple Solution
A growing number of nations and localities recognise the benefits that voters bring to their policy-making process and have adopted direct democracy. In general, they retain the existing representative system to "manage" day-to-day matters, but also use two tried, tested and simple voting tools to top-up the half-full democracy tank. These are:
1. The Referendum
In a representative system politicians generally initiate referendums, but in a direct democracy these can be demanded by voters, usually to challenge a new law after its issue by the legislature. In order for challengers to trigger a referendum, they commonly have to collect a pre-determined percentage / number of eligible voters’ signatures in a set time period. If they do so, the entire electorate can vote, often on a first-past-the-post basis. This is simple to implement, with a reasonable hurdle put in place to reduce frivolous challenges.
2. The Initiative
These allow voters to make innovative proposals of their own, again requiring them to sign up voters before a referendum can be called. The percentage / number of the electorate required to initiate a Proposition, as they are sometimes called, is usually higher than that for a standard referendum.
Example: The Swiss have utilised such a system at national, regional and local levels since 1848, and they vote about four times a year. They must be very happy with it, having maintained it for almost two centuries, ensuring that they routinely rank high on global happiness and prosperity indexes, with a debt level half that of the UK.
The system each nation adopts when incorporating direct democracy is decided by the people. We have already developed a tool for UK voters which allows them to "vote" on laws coming before Parliament.
Voters will then be able to instruct their MP on which way his or her electorate wants them to vote:
Already support Direct Democracy? Do you want to see voters take control and make politicians serve the public? Check out the link above.
Advantages of Direct Democracy
1. The People’s Policies
Experience has shown that democracy is enhanced when the electorate is directly involved in making policy decisions, inputting, learning and self-correcting as they go. Referendums and Initiatives allow voters to address matters that the parties might prefer not to, often out of self-interest or to avoid "controversy".
Direct democracy thus increases voter participation and satisfaction and allows society to evolve in line with the electorate's wishes, at the speed they choose. In addition, initiatives can be proposed that contrast with government policy, providing a counter to the administration's monopoly on power, reducing the apparent one-way stream of regulations and balancing policy shifts between administrations.
2. We Take Control
Our representatives have handed over significant law-making and regulation-writing responsibilities to bloated bureaucracies and quangos. This is partly a result of society becoming more complex, but it has made it much easier for special interests to see that their aims are prioritised over those of the electorate. We need to take control and reduce the influence of technocrats and lobbyists, ensuring that voters hold the most important policy-making protections in their hands.
Constitutional protections of minorities remain in such a system and can be protected and enhanced through initiatives. This contrasts with the more corruptible "representative" system which, for example, denied voting rights to black Americans for almost a century, and this by a national government that has never held a referendum.
In addition to the direct benefit of this system, the very fact that voters can call for referendums on draft laws forces politicians to think carefully about how the public will react to their new statutes. This ensures that they seek opinions first, thus laws are more likely to be aligned with the wishes of the voters even before they are published.
3. Legitimacy And Trust
Direct democracy is immensely popular. A 2017 Pew Research Centre survey found that two-thirds of people around the world, from both rich and poor nations, were in favour of voting “directly on major national issues.” In the US, 49 states require a referendum on changes to their constitutions, and surveys show that voters think that laws implemented after a referendum are more legitimate than those passed by representatives.
California is a state in which citizen-initiated Propositions are routine, and the Californian electorate are very supportive of them, stating in a 2011 survey that they favoured them by a factor of 5 to 1.
Do you believe that Direct Democracy is needed? You can help ensure that corruption is reduced, politics made more transparent and accountability increased by supporting the Direct Democracy Movement.
4. Keep It Simple
Going directly is always quicker than going via a series of stop-overs or, in this case, through representatives, parties and coalitions. This is especially true when the system suffers from complicated bureaucracies, endless delays and self-interested time-servers. The US is all too often looking to the Supreme Court and its Harvard and Yale judicial clique to resolve hot-potato issues, rather than dealing with them in the legislature by calling advisory referendums.
Direct Democratic tools can take decisions out of the hands of ideology-manacled parties and their special interest backers, cut through government guff, and present a clear decision which is accepted by the people as a democratic resolution of the matter.
5. Harnessing Our Capabilities
Direct democracies value and make use of the dispersed knowledge of the entire electorate so that all of us become joint creators in our nation's destiny. Since 1937, with only one exception, Britain has been led by a graduate from Oxford University. How diverse is that? And to compound it, many of them went to one school, Eton, so their knowledge and understanding of the life of their fellow voters is incredibly limited.
The aggregation of knowledge in a direct democracy is one of the main reasons for their success, with reliance on party élites and their oligarchical backers being the main reason for the failures of representative democracies. This is demonstrated not only by the Swiss, but by the regular referendum users in Uruguay, which the Economist ranks as the freest country in Latin America.
So, what do you want in the future?
☑️ Do you want to have a say in major decisions affecting the nation?
☑️ Are you concerned that the political class is too ready to listen to special interests and not voters?
☑️ Does the assault on freedom of speech and other liberties worry you?
☑️ Do you want to do something to improve our democracy and protect our freedoms?
☑️ Do you want to defend our values, our culture and our community by making politicians our servants and not our masters?
If you have said yes to the questions above, please use the button below to support the Direct Democracy Movement by joining today.