Friday, 7 May 2021

Personal Self Determination = True Democracy

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AS STRANGE as it seems, there doesn’t seem to be any agreed or hard and fast definition of what really constitues ‘democracy.’ Despite this, the term is continually used (and sometimes overused!) particularly by Establishment politicians.

Everyone agrees that the term ‘democracy’ has its origins in ancient Greece. The word comes from demos, meaning ‘common people’ and kratos, meaning ‘strength.’ From this, it’s also generally agreed that the term means ‘rule by the people’. So far, so good. However, that’s where we of the National Liberal Party differ with all establishment parties. This is because we have great problems with the idea of ‘representative democracy.’

‘Representative democracy’ is the current system employed in the Houses of Parliament, at Westminster. Here, ordinary people are absent participants – therefore, politicians are chosen to act in place of the electorate for the life time of the parliament.

In reality, this means that ‘representative democracy’ only offers a façade of what could be called true democracy. Once an MP is elected, they can, more or less, do what they want – or vote how they like. They effectively do the thinking for their electorate. Additionally, no-one truly knows who they’re voting for. This is particularly so atnational level. Whilst some information is available on political candidates, not many voters know who’s really backing their wannabe MP.

And the National Liberal Party – NLP – are not the only folks to raise such a query. Indeed, the famous fantasy author Professor JRR Tolkien had this to say:

‘The true equation is ‘democracy’ equals government by world financiers. The main mark of modern governments is that we do not know who governs, de facto any more than de jure. We see the politician and not his backer; still less the backer of the backer; or, what is most important of all, the banker of the backer.’

Even if only part of what Tolkien describes is true, it becomes fairly clear that ‘representative democracy’ – especially at national level – is not fit for purpose. As we mentioned earlier, we’re really only living under the illusion of democracy. The National Liberal Party believes that this is a farcical situation and needs to be replaced.

Real power needs to be taken away from the corporate elites (including the banksters) and restored to the people. The electorate need to have more input into the running of the country than merely trotting off, like sheep, to the polling station every few years.

If we have difficulties with the farcical system of ‘representative democracy’ used to populate the House of Commons, then imagine the problems the NLP has with the House of Lords. At least the Commons pretends to be democratic – the Lords doesn’t even try!

The House of Lords consists of 795 seats. Of these 90 are filled by hereditary peers who’re elected among themselves – with another two peers who are considered ex officio members. The rest are all appointed. As most people should know by now, the political system always looks after its own. Thus, both the Tories & Labour Party tend to ‘kick upstairs’ those MPs who have served the system well. Is it any wonder that many people consider the House of Lords as some form of ‘old boy network’ with a few token females thrown in for good measure?

The NLP values loyalty. We also like tradition. However, we feel that the House of Lords represents a form of loyalty & tradition that needs to go. But what should it be replaced by?

Arthur Joseph Penty (1875 – 1937) was one person who gave this some thought. Penty was a noted Christian Socialist – who advocated a return to the Guilds – and Distributist. In his 1906 book The Restoration of the Gild System, he had this to say:

‘As to the form which the Government of the future will take it is not improbable that the division of function between the Upper and Lower Chambers will continue, with this difference, that whereas the lower chamber would be elected by the people in their private capacity the members of the Upper Chamber would be nominated by the Gilds.

Such an arrangement would seem to secure for democracy what at present it appears to be incapable for itself the leadership of the best and wisest. Accurate thinking does not readily lend itself to platform oratory, and so it happens that owing to a disability to enforce their views at public meetings the community is deprived of the services of a large section of the most thoughtful members of the community. The creation, however, of an upper chamber whose members were the nominees of the Gilds would remedy this deficit by removing oratory from the list of necessary qualifications for political life, and with the wisest at the helm the present anarchic tendencies of democracy would be checked; the principle of authority on a popular basis would be thereby established, while a balance of power between the various interests on the State would be automatically maintained.’

The NLP regards Penty as a ‘point of reference’ in that we believe he has either said and/or done things that we find of interest. We certainly believe that his views concerning an Upper Chamber – based on members of the Guilds – provides plenty of food for thought. It has some merit to it and ought to be debated as such. One thing is clear though – the House of Lords has to go! And it needs to be replaced with an institution that recognises that the people remain sovereign at all times. In short, we feel that True Democracy can only be achieved via a system whereby Personal Self Determination is ensured!

• CHECK OUT our original Democracy Posters e-posters:

Swiss Model! http://nationalliberal.org/swiss-model

Why Are The Swiss Happier Than The British? http://nationalliberal.org/why-are-the-swiss-happier-than-the-british

Our Political System Has Failed! https://nationalliberal.org/our-political-system-has-failed

Replace Westminster! http://nationalliberal.org/replace-westminster

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