Democracy of the People, a legacy of the Diggers and Levellers?

Michael Macpherson mm at
Fri Jun 27 11:37:29 BST 2008

More democracy from "below". Or should it be "from above"?

In Swiss descriptions of how their country is governed, the order of 
things is illustrated by a pyramid standing on its apex.  Why? Because 
it's natural to show that their democratic system puts the citizens in 
charge. The various tiers of government -- town councils, cantons 
(states of the federation), the national parliament and second chamber 
(Bundesrat) are shown further down in the hierarchy. By citizens' 
initiative the Swiss people can demand a veto ballot on any law, and 
even change the constitution. In local government the citizens control 
financial budgets, land development and planning decisions.

About half of the states of the USA and a number of other countries 
quite similar to ours also have citizens "direct" democracy, i.e. the 
right to select and decide on public issues as well as to elect politicians.

In the UK, its countries, cities and towns our democracy is about a 
hundred years behind the "state of the art".

For how much longer will we continue to accept the "elective 
dictatorship" (and rule by "quango") which passes for democracy in this 

At I&Rgb a campaign has been launched to promote and educate about 
citizens' democracy. Please contact us via info @ and visit 
the web site  We aim to expand the 
campaign by finding people who want to become active, see the link to 

We would like to co-operate with TLIO and might begin by asking the 
Democracy of the People with "initiative and referendum": a legacy of 
the Diggers and Levellers?

Michael Macpherson
Peace researcher and medical doctor

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