26 December 2016

Brexit Referendum - Lessons to be learned

Citizens of the UK got a master class demonstrating how a potential referendum can be abused and become a political football. A 'promise' to hold a referendum about the country's future relationship with the EU was not worth the paper it is written on.
At present any referendum that is generously conceded by the governing class it is not really done in the full spirit of giving power to the people. That would only be the case if a referendum would be a permanent part of the political process or could be demanded to be held whenever a qualified number of citizens demand one.
Some may criticise that it is unfair that a small majority makes such a far-reaching decision which could bind the other half of the citizens to a policy their do not agree with.
This is a valid point and any referendum that has far-reaching implications, in particular about a constitutional matter, should require a more substantial quorum to make it binding.
This point conceded one would have to contend with the objection that all the decisions that led the UK to become deeper and deeper integrated into the EU should in turn also have been subjected to a referendum with an equally high quorum hurdle.
As matters stand, the citizens had hardly any say. Even the original referendum about joining the then EEC was based on promises that were never kept.
In any case a referendum is merely being used under duress or used as just another trick to push through policies that the 'Elites' want to pursue can be abused. This is the usual argument against Direct Democracy and while it has the ring of truth to it is is based on a wrong form of referendum.If politicians honestly want to return power to the citizens (or as they always claim: 'Listen to the People') they would not cling to their power and support Direct Democracy and introduce it as binding requirement when any significant political decision is made.

Moaning no substitute for proper Democracy

Election Campaign promises forgotten, endless criticism in the Media disregarded - all too often the citizens feel helpless in face of poorly executed or plain wrong political decisions.

The easy solution is obvious, but very uncomfortable for the 'Elites' that are in control of Government and the Civil Servants, Bureaucracies and Quangos that often benefit from these policies.

A headline in today's Daily Telegraph illustrates this: "Foreign aid contractors that do not deliver value for money to be named and shamed under new plans"

A few questions come to mind immediately: Who decides what is 'value for money', will the naming scheme ever be implemented? by whom? and will it have any positive effect?

But the more relevant question really is: who appoints these contractors? who decides on what terms they are engaged and who supervises them?

There is zero democratic control in all this - the citizens have no opportunity to get involved.
And the REALLY important question raised by this headline is the following: Why should the citizens be forced to make donations to foreign entitites, many of them in the grip of corrupt cliques?

There is no hindrance for private citizens to donate whatever amount of money they wish to give to Mr. Mugabe or to India (which seems to be able to afford its own space programme).
The state should only do what the initiative of private citizens cannot achieve.

In addition, all government policies and their implementation, in particular the allocation of public funds, should be subject to the will of the citizens.

1 December 2016

Establishment Politicians hate Referendums

No wonder Jean-Claude Juncker begs EU leaders not to hold referendums...because voters might choose to leave