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Occupy: From forum and movement to political force

iniref | 02.12.2011 19:36 | Occupy Everywhere | Birmingham

Direct democracy must become more than debate and agreeing policy in groups. Voting once every few years for an MP is a very ineffective way to run our public affairs. In order to achieve genuine reforms we must introduce those "tools" of citizen-led democracy which can enable us to steer policy continually. For this, regulations must first be drafted for Parliament, leading to a "Democracy Act" which establishes rule by the people.

In order to make sure that the movement for change can continue to be effective we must take into account how political power can be exercised. Voting a political party into power once every few years can choose principles and set a general direction (even these are not always reliable).

The critical movements have shown that many aspects of public policy need to be changed -- it does not matter if precise directions and plans have not been agreed upon at this stage.

The way to control public policy over a period of years and longer is to use democracy for deciding on public issues and policies in addition to electing politicians. The instruments or tools of democracy needed for this job are well known. They include:

# The Proposal. Also known as citizens' proposition or citizens' initiative. If a proposal can gather the support of a large agreed number of voters (electors) then a debate about the proposal must be held in public and parliament (at local level, council). If the proposal is rejected by parliament then a ballot of all the people must be held to decide the matter in legally binding manner.

# Veto Referendum. A government law or policy can be blocked if a large number of voters call for a referendum to veto.


The reality is that political power is currently monopolised by parliament and government. So we have to put MPs and candidates at future elections under pressure. Direct democracy campaigners must become active, especially in marginal constituencies, to make candidates for parliament promise, if elected, to introduce effective direct democracy.


Some ideas for action have been worked out, see at the following link:

Elections UK By-elections and General Election 2015? Help the Campaign

Your comments on all of this are welcome!

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