Claim our existing political right to govern ourselves

mm at mm at
Wed Sep 3 19:07:04 BST 2014

Claim our existing political right to govern ourselves

Many UK citizens have wondered just how we arrived in the 21st century 
with such an archaic and unfair political system. The long, recent 
debate about independence for Scotland has stimulated here some critical 
thought about democracy and state constitution – allegedly also in the 
remaining UK. The following comment addresses Scots but may interest 
some fellow inhabitants of our currently shared island home.

Many Scots argue that, different to England and the UK, in Scotland 
political power belongs to the people. The people are "sovereign". In 
the UK, sovereignty is said to belong to a mystifying entity dubbed "the 
queen in parliament" or similar. We are told by politicians and 
"experts" that because parliament is sovereign then the people cannot 
veto or overrule parliament or government. A referendum result, they 
decree, can never be legally binding on parliament.

What does this mean for we "ordinary" citizens?

If we want to be in charge of our own public affairs, if we want 21st 
century democracy, then we must demand a guarantee that

Sovereignty equals Political Rights.

Which political rights are most important from the people's perspective?

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights was ratified by 
Scotland with the UK in 1976. Here is the section on political rights:

"Article 25. Every citizen shall have the right and the opportunity, ...
(a) To take part in the conduct of public affairs, directly or through 
freely chosen representatives;
(b) To vote and to be elected at genuine periodic elections which shall 
be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret ballot, 
guaranteeing the free expression of the will of the electors"

So, we already have written law which guarantees our rights to elect 
politicians and to decide directly on public issues. The only practical 
way to do the latter is to call and obtain binding referenda.

If Scotland votes for independence then we will be able to use these 
political rights to decide our constitution and to design the sort of 
government which we want.

Campaign for direct democracy in Britain
Citizens' Initiative and Referendum I&R ~ GB Link to site index Election campaign call

More information about the Diggers350 mailing list