12 December 2012

Do you want (Super) Rich to dictate policy?

The introduction of Direct Democracy would go a long way to limit the impact of money on policy decisions. It would not be a perfect solution to cap the influence of rich individuals but as any referendum would be preceded by a relatively long period of intensive discussion and scrutiny the voice of the people would probably be a more balanced outcome.

Hedge Funds Stride the Stage of World Affairs

10 December 2012

Would you like to have a say on the Climate Treaty?

Then join Dirdem today! Every Movement has to have a beginning - rather than moan helplessly about all the laws and regulations that are imposed on us come and join us. The first step in organising an effective campaign for Direct Democracy is to gathering of a small core group of supporters.
Doha Climate Summit ends (BBC)

5 December 2012

Term Limits - The Old Romans had it right

Maybe the Old Romans were on to something when they limited the period of office for their Consuls to one year. In addition, there were always two Consuls in office so the influence of any one person was limited. In our Celebrity-addicted age it would be even more useful to limit the power of individuals in order to constrain any cult of personality. So much political 'discourse' is now dominated not be objective discussion of the important issues that concern the citizens but worthless tittle-tattle fed by media that is only keen to push up circulations by any means. (Merkel Wins Party Re-Election, Eyes a Third Term, CNBC)

3 December 2012

Internet and Democracy - a new book

The Internet can certainly shake up the traditional (slow) dynamics of our democracies that are ruled by well-entrenched bureaucracies, lobbies and establishment parties. But it is no game changer as the example of Switzerland shows. There direct democracy was flourishing well before the invention of the Internet. (Financial Times)

Sham Consultations no substitute for referendum

Many countries require governments to hold consultations before legislation is enacted. In some countries they are optional and (ab) used by governments to deflect criticism and give the illusion that they consider the opinions of those directly affected by new legislation. In either case the outcome of these consultations often is disregarded. The only proper consultation therefore is a binding referendum.

15 April 2012

White House most expensive tourist attraction

"Donor lists and visitor logs show that of those who gave $100,000 or more, about three-quarters of them visited the White House" (New York Times). Dispersal of political decision making would make it much less attractive to concentrate political lobbying on single individuals - whether heads of government, ministers or parlamentarians.

14 April 2012

Direct Democracy helps to keep taxation low

A new study supports the thesis that direct democracy helps to maintain a low level of government spending. Free-spending politicians in the cartel of high-tax countries dominating the EU membership would be reigned in if the citizens would have a direct say on tax and spending measures.

30 March 2012

Legislation runs riot

The new Finance Bill just published in the UK runs to 686 pages and nearly as many explanatory notes. For comparison, during 1980-84 the Bill was on average 153 pages long. The trend is similar in most other countries. Nothing illustrates more clearly that the legislative process is out of control and that a radical change of the system of government is required.

15 March 2012

Government for Sale?

Rich donors get invited to State Dinner. This abuse of privilege is perpetrated by politicians from all parties. It demonstrates the need for giving the citizens a safety valve so that all decisions made by government and influenced by lobbyists can be checked at the ballot box.

28 February 2012

Super Rich control US Politics

"...we know America’s elite Super Rich gained virtual control over Washington the past three decades" says Paul Farrell (Marketwatch). Only radical reform based on comprehensive introduction of Direct Democracy will allow to neutralise the influence of Lobbies.

19 February 2012

Bonjour Tristesse - Professional Pols hard at work in France

Francoise Sagan will excuse the title, but checking the 'credentials' (or lack of thereof) of the two leading contenders for the French Presidency in the upcoming elections one can only feel sad, for France, for Europe and for Democracy in general. Both Francois Hollande as well as Nicolas Sarkozy have no experience in the real economy, outside the closed world of free-spending civil 'servants' (it should actually be the other way round as the citizens are now usually the servants, or maybe serfs of the political class). One has to be sceptical of President Sarkozy's sudden willingness to 'give' the electorate a say in some carefully selected and orchestrated referendums. This should not trick anybody as these concessions towards a real democratic government could quickly be consigned to the dustbin in case he would be reelected. Only a fundamental shift in the political system in the direction of full and comprehensive direct democracy offers any hope for a change in France's fortunes.

23 January 2012

At least partial public financing of parties and elections is inescapable

States Martin Wolf (FT). We beg to disagree. While the purchasing of political power as currently demonstrated in the US is certainly objectionable we think that the introduction of direct democracy would put a major spanner into the works of lobbies. In conjunction with other reforms (term limits, less reliance on individual politicians such as Presidents, Chancellors to name just a few) power would be based on persuading the public rather than just bribing voters to tick a box once every so often to give nearly unlimited discretionary powers to certain parties.

19 January 2012

The Rich are electing the next US President

The decision to allow give more freedom to corporations and similar entities to donate money to advocacy groups in a relatively unrestrained way illustratea that excessive reliance on a handful of judges in a Supreme Court does not necessarily result in good legislation. The 2012 Presidential Campaign is more than ever going to be decided by the spending power of the respective candidates and the contributions of the 1 per cent will in all likelihood be a decisive factor.