Direct democracy in a new Scottish constitution?
mm at iniref.org
mm at iniref.org
Fri Aug 29 23:20:31 BST 2014
In a letter to The Scotsman newspaper, Michael Duncan wrote, "Democracy
is more than just about people voting for who governs them, it is also
about having proper institutions that provide a check on the powers that
government wields." (link)
'Tis rather amusing that someone, from a UK perspective, offers the
Scots advice about democracy.
Nevertheless the sentence quoted above is wise.
Certainly, a House of Lairds, as a second chamber of parliament, is not
what we want or need. Nor is a constitutional court adequate to provide
"checks and balances" in a parliamentary democracy. For constitutional
matters perhaps, but for everyday politics of state, no.
A better way to scrutinise, supervise and, from case to case, correct
our elected representatives would be to apply some methods of direct
democracy. With "the brake" the people can veto a bad or unwanted
government proposal or law -- using the optional referendum. With the
"gas" (accelerator), an agreed, large number of citizens can put forward
a proposal (citizens' initiative) which must go to binding referendum of
the whole electorate.
Recently an expert in constitution wrote, "And for big decisions there
is of course the referendum; if it is appropriate to use direst
democracy to determine the independence question why not use it for
other major decisions which Scots will make in the future?" (link)
Campaign for direct democracy in Britain
Citizens' Initiative and Referendum I&R ~ GB
http://www.iniref.org/ Link to site index
http://www.iniref.org/carta.htm Election campaign call
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