THE DISCONNECT between professional politicians and the people has never been greater. The decisions taken by the former are more often viewed as self-serving in the eyes of the latter.
Professional politicians, often labelled as so-called ‘elites’, are largely divorced from the everyday experiences of the great mass of people. Thus, we should not be surprised that they are often seen to take political positions and decisions at odds with most people.
The answer to this gulf between the present day ‘rulers’ and ‘ruled’ is found in the principle of Self-Determination; i.e. Putting decision making into the hands of the individual rather than ‘others’.
PRINCIPLE OF SELF-DETERMINATION
This principle can be applied largely in three areas; National, Political and Economic.
• National Self-Determination seeks to ensure decisions affecting the collective future of a nation are taken by ALL the people via referendum. This may be ‘External’, for example: the creation or maintenance of a nation-state, or ‘Internal’ framing/updating a constitution to reflect how a people should rule themselves. (We favour independent nations and liberal, democratic, states).
• Political Self-Determination seeks to ensure that the collective will of the people as well as the variety of political opinion is reflected in decision making. Thus, for example, we favour greater use of referendums to meet the former, and PR to reflect the latter (we favour a system close to the Swiss model of Direct Democracy).
• Economic Self-Determination seeks to distribute ownership as widely as possible and as close to the individual as practical by favouring home ownership, self-employment, small businesses, cooperatives and employee shareholdings. (We believe that ownership is the key to economic and social health: where workers obtain a just reward for their labours and gain a feeling of well-being through their having a genuine personal stake in society).
The above principles underpin many National Liberal policies but others are rooted in common sense and usually aim to strike a balance between conflicting opinions, as befits a centrist party.