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Californian-Style direct democracy promised by British government

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  • IandRgb
    Two ways to improve on the Californian direct democracy model are: -- build in more opportunities and time for information and private plus public debate of
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 26, 2010

      Two ways to improve on the Californian direct democracy model are:

      – build in more opportunities and time for information and private plus public debate of proposals. These are encouraged if the second (following) improvement is made:
      – involve the council or parliament in the citizens' initiative (proposal) and referendum procedures. A citizens' proposal *must* be considered and debated by council or parliament. The elected authority may agree with the proposal and pass it into law, or put forward an alternative proposal, or reject. If the proposal is rejected then the electorate must later decide in referendum. If there is an alternative proposal then both proposals may be put before the electorate.

      The Conservative/Libdem coalition has put forward some surprisingly advanced proposals for improving democracy in Britain. For instance, the coalition agreement among other related ideas promises:
      – We will give residents the power to instigate local referendums on any local issue.
      – We will give residents the power to veto excessive council tax increases.
      – We will bring forward early legislation to introduce a power of recall ...

      Elsewhere David Cameron promised to introduce "The right to initiate local and national referenda" ('Fixing broken politics' speech May 2009).

      Proposals and link to the coalition agreement may be found here http://iniref.wordpress.com/

      These proposals if realised would allow considerable improvement to the participation of voters in running our affairs. Experience has shown that voter apathy would decline while political responsibility, knowledge and competence would increase.

      It seems that few people have noticed the Coalition's proposals about democracy and it is probably the case that most are unfamiliar with the methods of "citizen-led" democracy which are on offer. So it would be helpful to spread the word and discuss the proposals with friends, colleagues, journalists and political representatives. Further information may be found at several British-based web sites such as:
      Wales http://campaignfordemocracy.org.uk/directdemocracyexamples/
      Direct Democracy http://www2.prestel.co.uk/rodmell/
      I&R ~ GB http://www.iniref.org/


      The above is a reply to:

      How would you vote? Citizens' initiatives abound in some US states.

      " .... The US system is by no mean perfect, however, and in some states it has been hijacked by well-financed interests and industries that have more campaigning power than the Average Joe. Keeping initiatives in the hands of ordinary citizens is the real challenge of modern direct democracy."



      I&R ~ GB Citizens' Initiative and Referendum
      Campaign for direct democracy in Britainlea

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