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Thursday, 27 January 2011

Democracy

This post was prompted by an item on the Blog "Witterings from Witney" entitled "Voting Systems." As far as I can see, Democracy works fine, as long as you don't allow politicians to become a "class" on their own. Then you don't have Democracy, you have what Plato called an Oligarchy. Add in a permanent "government" of bureaucrats who are never challenged, never dismissed and form the single biggest employment and political bloc in the electorate and you no longer have a democracy but something between an Oligarchy and the dreaded "Authoritarian" level Plato abhorred. I actually posted most of this as a 'comment' to the post linked above, but then felt it needed to be expressed here as well.

In my view we actually need to rethink what "Democracy" actually means. For far to long we have suffered a rule by a ruling elite who only consult us for forms sake. Perhaps it is time to introduce a wieghted ballot and certainly one where each voter has to express a preference for the "manifesto" their party of choice wishes to impose. The final straw for me was the last government's continual parroting of "we don't need a referendum, it was in our manifesto." A document unread by 95% of their own voters and probably even fewer outside of it. Considering they were elected by less than 30% of the total electorate they could hardly claim to be representing a "majority."

Democracy as it was understood until the Politically Correct and the terminally incompetent entrenched themselves in Parliament and the Civil Service, was about the Rule of the Majority for the benefit of all, including the minority members of our society. They have turned that on its head so we are now ruled by Minority Interests and any suggestion that the Majority should be heard is immediately labelled as "oppression" or "Institutional ****-ism (of your choice)."

So, for my money, here are my suggestions -

1. Scrap First Past the Post and replace it with a double transferable vote. First Vote for a LOCAL candidate of choice, Second vote for a Party of Choice.

2. Include a Yes/No list of Manifesto "Desires" for each candidate and Party. Failure to indicate a preference for any item on these lists to be an automatic registration of NO to the unregistered item.

3. Limit the term of office for both elected Members and Senior Civil Servants to a maximum of three terms (3) without exception and the term to be fixed at 5 years each. (Senior Civil Servant - all posts above Grade 7. Fixed Term contracts of maximum of 12 years and NO knighthoods, peerages or any other accolade unless there has been demonstrably outstanding performance while in office.)

4. Abolish the Whips. Every vote in the House to be secret and FREE.

5. Give us an elected Upper House, subject to the same rule of a maximum of Three Terms.

6. Give the Upper House the power to veto bad legislation and to oversee the promulgation of Regulations by "Ministers" - in reality the Mandarin using the Minister as a smokescreen...

7. Revise the Constituencies. 10,000 in Scotland = 1 MP in Westminster; 100,000 in England = 1 MP. While this is not uniform it illustrates the problem. Some Welsh and Scottish cnstiuencies return MPs on a disproportionately small electorate, yet have the same influence as the larger majority in England who are ignored. (Think Jack Straw = There's no such thing as an "English" identity...)

8. If Scotland can have a "Parliament" and Wales an "Assembly" both funded by English tax, why can't the English have their own Parliament? Why should Scottish and Welsh MPs have a say in the running of England?

The EU could be good for a Britain now reduced to a twentieth rank player by years of socialist handouts, Union destruction of commerce and industry and our economic base (Our shipping, the life blood of the nation, is now all foreign crewed, owned and flagged thanks to the RMT!) if we could just make up our minds about whether we want to be part of a major power or continue to pretend we can be a major power when the reality is that the Civil Service has reduced us to the status of a "developing nation" with its strangling bureaucracy and creative use of gilded directives. Much of the "Over Regulation" the Media in the UK blame on Brussels is actually the result of the creative 're-interpretation' by the UK Civil Service to fir their agenda - which is frequently in opposition to what the relevant Minister thinks his/her Department is doing.

The truth is that Whitehall is autonomous. It is run by Civil Servants for the benefit of Civil Servants. Departments are often attempting to duplicate efforts and services already provided by another department and frequently contradict one another. No rationalisation is ever possible because the size of the Permanent Under Secretary's pay and perks depends on how large a Fiefdom he/she can hold onto. The bigger you can make your Deaprtment, the greater your status and prestige in this elite within a ruling elite. At times deliberate sabotage of another Department is resorted to in order to maintain the status quo for your own. Anyone who thinks the Civil Service is about actually serving the nation, or indeed, the electorate and their elected government, should be compelled to spend a year working in this environment. They'd soon learn the error of their ways...

Come to think of it, first step in restoring democracy - abolish the Civil Service!

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