John Rees Evans is standing on a leadership platform advocating Direct Democracy,whereby the members of UKIP will be asked a direct question and the majority response becomes Party policy and direction. I hold my hands up and admit that when I first heard of this idea I foolishly thought that it was a non-starter. An idea invented by someone without the ability or imagination themselves to capture peoples attention with inventive and radical ideas of their own. I had visions of John standing there after a successful campaign to then ask, “Right, what do you want me to do now?” as if bereft of any original thought.
However, the more I have thought about this then the more convinced I am that this simple idea, Direct Democracy has the potential not just to change UKIP, but also to change the entire democratic process in our country, maybe even the world, and my initial misgivings were wrong.
Democracy in itself is a very simple idea. One man one vote could not be any simpler. Yet in practise it is anything but, as we are once again experiencing with the turmoil created by the EU Referendum vote.
17.4million people voted to Leave, the largest vote for anything ever in UK history, yet here we are over 12 months later still full members of the EU, while vested interests argue over what Leave actually means.
That isn’t democracy as we understand it. Nowhere did Cromwell suggest that the public vote can carry, but only when international finance, car manufacturers or supermarket chains have had their say. Yet it happens all of the time.
Our system of Government was set up in a time where to canvass public opinion was nigh on impossible, so a representation system of MP’s was an obvious solution, but how many of you have contacted your MP during an important debate to find out that after speaking to you that they still voted against what you stand for? When was the last time your MP called you to ask your view on an important vote? Never is the answer, as an MP cannot physically represent every view of the numbers of people in their constituency. Its impossible yet we persist with this system designed hundreds of years ago. Then throw into the mix the concept of the Parliamentary whip system, where Party loyalty overrides an MP’s constituency ties, and the public’s voice is set aside. Is that actual true democracy?
How many times have you heard people say that they don’t bother to vote, as they’ll just do what they want anyway so what’s the point? I hear it expressed all of the time, and those saying it are right to do so as the powers that be usually do want they want once in power irrelevant of manifesto pledges or the publics wishes. The rest of us who do take the time to vote continue to do so with the hope that by keeping on chipping away that we can change things but its nigh on impossible as over the years those same vested interests have put in place mechanisms and procedures designed to prevent us from being able to do so.
Our democracy is a charade as its run for the few and plainly exists in name only and we foolishly allow ourselves to believe that our voice is important when it so patently isn’t.
A million people marched on London protesting against Tony Blair’s war in Iraq. He went ahead with it anyway. 17.4million people voted to Leave the EU and we haven’t left as those same vested interests go through the charade of publicly complying with a vote but in reality exploring every avenue to prevent it or subvert it so that we Leave in name only.
Its a scam and we let them get away with it, as they tell us that Governance is very complicated and if they acted on every populist vote that it would be wrong. Yet the definition of populism is the majority view of the common man, which is what we the public understand democracy to be.
Somewhere over the years our system and institutions have become corrupted once again like in the days of Cromwell and the enactment of the people’s wishes becomes subverted and distorted. Unlike Cromwell though, we live in the Communication Age. At the touch of a button I can canvas the opinions and views from millions of people on social media platforms. We have the means not only to ask every single person out there their thoughts, we also have the opportunity to bypass MPs, Parliament and party politics and give the power to vote on issues back into the direct control of the public.
Think about it. A simple question asked of the public. Their votes counted instantly, and then the majority vote enacted. No greater voice than that of the people.
If an institution or vested interest doesn’t agree with the vote then that is unfortunate, as this country is for the benefit of the British Public, not of political parties, big business or billionaires who live in the Bahamas, but the people.
The ability for the public to become Parliament is the next evolutionary step in the way in which we are governed. No more Parliament in an old crumbling building, no more Lords and Ladies with snouts in the trough, no more old political parties out for their backer’s interests over the public’s.
We have had many forms of rule over thousands of years and they were fit for their time. Our current system of government is past its sell by date. Technology has advanced sufficiently to enable a true, proportional, representative democracy in this country, where the instruments and institutions of the past can be dismissed.
John Rees-Evan’s plan for UKIP should become the blueprint for a revolution in the way that our views are heard and acted upon both nationally and internationally. There is no greater force than the will of the people and finally it can be fully harnessed through using the greatest method of communication ever seen.
Direct Democracy will put the power firmly in the hands of the electorate. Its inevitable that as mechanisation impacts on the workplace, that Politicians and political parties find themselves redundant too.