Monday, 15 April 2024

Promoting the principle of self-determination

The NLP is standing in this election in two seats (Ealing Southall and Ruislip, Northwood & Pinner) but there is a growing interest in self-determination everywhere. Havering activist Graham Williamson was asked to submit a script on the General Election to a local radio station. Here is a précis of that:


Although not standing locally,  I am personally involved in assisting two candidates standing for the National Liberal party in West London (Southall and Ruslip), promoting the principle of self-determination.

Many people are fed up with career politicians claiming to act in our best interests when they are really acting for themselves.

It is not surprising then that many people do not bother to vote out of frustration. Over the years we have seen turnouts falling. The majority are not apathetic but disillusioned. We need MPs that actually listen and then act on the public’s belief rather than someone else’s interests.
Regardless of whether they do or not I believe it is time to empower the public so that they rather than politicians, decide upon their own future. Ideally, on the country’s most important issues e.g. our relationship the EU,  Nuclear weapons i.e. Trident, an English Parliament etc, should be decided by national referendums.
This is not a revolutionary idea for it works perfectly well in Switzerland where Referendums dealing with Constitutional matters and Citizens Initiatives on whatever the public sees fit. Some people might call this a form of Direct Democracy, similar to how the Ancient Greeks settled their important issues, but the National Liberals call it self-determination. I believe it is the way forward.
There is still a place for political parties in campaigning on and implementing the outcome of referendums as well as those issues the public chooses not to decide upon. Indeed we can learn a lot from Switzerland who, out of all countries, have the closest system to real and genuine democracy.
Apart from regular referendums, they elect politicians by Proportional Representation who thus in total reflect the genuine views of all the people. They run coalitions very successfully and even have a ruling Council that is chosen from all the major parties. They even run a Federal system without problem which is surely what our own Union could learn from.
As I mentioned earlier votes have fallen to low proportions in modern times. E-Voting, week long elections, and other gimmicks are not the answer but a change in the system. However I will make one small suggestion that would increase turnouts overnight. Namely by introducing a None of the Above box on ballot papers it would allow those who are unable to vote for a party of their liking a reason to caste a vote even in displeasure!

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