Richard North, EUReferendum, has posted the third part of his views on the aspect of Direct Democracy and the effect it should have on the governance of our country. In this post Richard North mentions that there are 14,000 treaties into which this country has entered and that all have been agreed by the government of the day with no recourse to the people for their assent.
Richard North links to the ‘Ponsonby Rule’ which, in effect, allows the government of the day, were a vote to be called, to rely on any treaty – or any other ‘measure’ – receiving assent from Parliament by means of ‘whipping’ their MPs accordingly and relying on the underlying wish of MPs to support their party in the hope of personal advancement within government – a system which cannot in any way be described as democratic and is but another illustration of what I have termed ‘democratized dictatorship’.
On the question of ‘treaties’ Richard North writes that whether it is appropriate for all, he is not certain as he states some are just ‘tidying-up’ and thus ‘administrative ‘fixes’. This of course begs the question that if treaties, or some treaties – and who decides which are important – demand the assent of the people, then does not the same principle demand that any treaty, or supplement to a treaty, also demand the assent of the people? Come to that, does the principle of public assent not apply to any decision politicians wish to make/agree/sign -be that national or local – that ‘bind’ the people?
As previously stated, if agreement that the people are sovereign and that,ultimately, anything that affects them must be their decision at the end of the day, then where ‘assent of the people’ is concerned it is an ‘all or nothing’ questions – one cannot start setting degrees of assent. The principle of ‘assent of the people’ works in Switzerland, so why cannot it work in this country?
Back in November 2011 I posted that there was a better way, to which Richard North responded with a ‘critque‘ – to which I replied. In his ‘critique’ Richard North responded that what we need is restraint, a system which makes government physically difficult, keeping externally-imposed rules to the minimum, and forcing people to deal with and settle their own problems – as far as is possible – without external interference. I have to ask: is that not the function of direct democracy?
If it is accepted that the power of a political class needs restraint then there is only one cure – and that is the adoption of direct democracy whereby the people are the final arbitrator on any matter that affects them; there is no other way.
Of course, if anyone knows different…………………..?