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 Post subject: Real politics
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:00 am 
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Politics is about ideas – not to be confused with retailing low-grade tittle-tattle about the rather unsavoury personalities that currently occupy political office. It would do us all a favour if the MSM realised this, and had the brains to tell the difference.

Thus, while I was away eyelid testing, Witterings from Witney has written a political piece - one for which the blogosphere is superbly adapted.

In the interests of developing the debate, I should give it a fairly robust critique, which I will do starting later today, taking as long as it takes to do it justice. So this is an early warning. Real politics is about to hit town.

View full article here

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 Post subject: Re: Real politics
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 11:24 am 

Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:04 pm
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Quote:
"It will be obvious from my 'Constitution' posts and also, to a lesser extent from the post questioning Indirect or Direct Democracy, that I favour a direct democracy such as that practised by Switzerland - one which places the people in control of their own destinies and reduces the role of politicians to one of being 'enablers'. My one addition to the form of democracy used in Switzerland would encompass the idea of 'bolting on' the idea of "Referism" as proposed by Richard North, EU Referendum, for national budgets - which is not the case in Switzerland."


This is the gist of WfW's blueprint for political change. I have only had time to scan it superficially, but I have long accepted his basic premise that the Swiss model is not only desirable in priciple, but actually works in practice - though of course not perfect it must be a massive improvement on anything our present system can offer with our mockery of "Parliamentary democracy".
The basic framework of 'direct democracy' is essentially simple, and IMHO "does what is says on the tin" - that is, delivers a form of democracy which is light years away from our archaic, bureaucratic ridden, power hungry, 'pretend democracy as found in our political class.
The piece is well thought out, big, detailed, and offers solutions which are desperately needed (EU factors apart). Nonetheless, would we not agree that our exit from the fermenting cesspool of the EU is our continuing and first priority.
Nothing can possibly change unless and until the stitch-up between our political class and the EU is broken.
Incidentally the closing link with the searing comment by an Irish 'citizen' to his government is riveting. Occupy Westminster!


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 Post subject: Re: Real politics
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:17 pm 

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Richard, would you not consider the American Constitution as a basis for change? As I understand it, it is designed to constrain the various strands of government, so that they are always in tension with each other.


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 Post subject: Re: Real politics
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:37 pm 

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I broadly agree [you have it right, if we adopted the Swiss model, it is to easy to usurp the process by block voting].

However, my question is this, what will the big question be?

Parliament must be made accountable, the executive must be separated from the legislature and the party system abolished. National security, law and order/policing and the Armed forces first then, MPs must represent their constituencies and no one else.
An annual veto/vote on the budget would certainly give us some [all?] power back.


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 Post subject: Re: Real politics
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 3:03 pm 
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john in cheshire wrote:
Richard, would you not consider the American Constitution as a basis for change? As I understand it, it is designed to constrain the various strands of government, so that they are always in tension with each other.


and ...

Ravenscar wrote:
I broadly agree [you have it right, if we adopted the Swiss model, it is to easy to usurp the process by block voting].

However, my question is this, what will the big question be?

Parliament must be made accountable, the executive must be separated from the legislature and the party system abolished. National security, law and order/policing and the Armed forces first then, MPs must represent their constituencies and no one else.
An annual veto/vote on the budget would certainly give us some [all?] power back.



To a certain extent, the US system provides a good model, especially in terms of separation of powers. I would go for a separate prime minister, who is not an MP, and likewise his cabinet. However, the US system has failed in that the Federal government income is not being controlled, and the Feds are using tax income to usurp the power of the states, with cash bribes to state institutions. They could do with a dose of referism.

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 Post subject: Re: Real politics
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 3:26 pm 
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We had these debates years ago and Helen warned of demagogery. This is why I have steered away from citizen initiatives but kept referenda alive by striking down legislation, not citizens making law, in my own effort at a constitution. Plenty separation of powers though.


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 Post subject: Re: Real politics
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 4:00 pm 
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RAENORTH wrote:
john in cheshire wrote:
Richard, would you not consider the American Constitution as a basis for change? As I understand it, it is designed to constrain the various strands of government, so that they are always in tension with each other.


and ...

Ravenscar wrote:
I broadly agree [you have it right, if we adopted the Swiss model, it is to easy to usurp the process by block voting].

However, my question is this, what will the big question be?

Parliament must be made accountable, the executive must be separated from the legislature and the party system abolished. National security, law and order/policing and the Armed forces first then, MPs must represent their constituencies and no one else.
An annual veto/vote on the budget would certainly give us some [all?] power back.



To a certain extent, the US system provides a good model, especially in terms of separation of powers. I would go for a separate prime minister, who is not an MP, and likewise his cabinet. However, the US system has failed in that the Federal government income is not being controlled, and the Feds are using tax income to usurp the power of the states, with cash bribes to state institutions. They could do with a dose of referism.


Richard - you are correct that the US system has failed. However, this does not necessarily mean that the constitution is at fault, rather the ever increasing lack of observance of the constitution fuelled by a culture of corruption, which is now rife in the congress, is the real cause of their (almost insurmountable) failures.

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 Post subject: Re: Real politics
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 4:11 pm 
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letmethink wrote:
RAENORTH wrote:
john in cheshire wrote:
Richard, would you not consider the American Constitution as a basis for change? As I understand it, it is designed to constrain the various strands of government, so that they are always in tension with each other.


and ...

Ravenscar wrote:
I broadly agree [you have it right, if we adopted the Swiss model, it is to easy to usurp the process by block voting].

However, my question is this, what will the big question be?

Parliament must be made accountable, the executive must be separated from the legislature and the party system abolished. National security, law and order/policing and the Armed forces first then, MPs must represent their constituencies and no one else.
An annual veto/vote on the budget would certainly give us some [all?] power back.



To a certain extent, the US system provides a good model, especially in terms of separation of powers. I would go for a separate prime minister, who is not an MP, and likewise his cabinet. However, the US system has failed in that the Federal government income is not being controlled, and the Feds are using tax income to usurp the power of the states, with cash bribes to state institutions. They could do with a dose of referism.


Richard - you are correct that the US system has failed. However, this does not necessarily mean that the constitution is at fault, rather the ever increasing lack of observance of the constitution fuelled by a culture of corruption, which is now rife in the congress, is the real cause of their (almost insurmountable) failures.


Well, not a total failure, but at least a partial failure ... enough to require tweaking. It all boils down to limiting the amount of money available to government, and I don't suppose the founding fathers could have imagined how much could be gathered by way of taxes, and the power it would confer.

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 Post subject: Re: Real politics
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 4:14 pm 
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Stuart wrote:
We had these debates years ago and Helen warned of demagogery. This is why I have steered away from citizen initiatives but kept referenda alive by striking down legislation, not citizens making law, in my own effort at a constitution. Plenty separation of powers though.


Helen is right ... the referendum is a double-edged weapon ... as much capable of delivering an evil outcome. In this, I have no objection to specialisation, so that those who want to govern, and have the knack for so doing, should be allowed to do so. I don't really want the job. It then becomes a matter of restraint, keeping them in their boxes and not allowing them to become over-powerful or too expensive.

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 Post subject: Re: Real politics
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 4:32 pm 
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RAENORTH wrote:

Well, not a total failure, but at least a partial failure ... enough to require tweaking. It all boils down to limiting the amount of money available to government, and I don't suppose the founding fathers could have imagined how much could be gathered by way of taxes, and the power it would confer.


It is definitely all about money and how to control the spending of it. 100 years ago (while still on the gold standard and before the federal reserve) the richest man in the US would have been able to settle the entire federal debt with his own money. Today the combined wealth of the two richest people in the US would not be sufficient to pay one month's interest on that debt.

I also agree with you about Switzerland. Having lived and worked in Zurich for a couple of years at the end of the 1980's my abiding impression was one of petty (sometimes not so petty) bureaucracy to the point of regarding Switzerland as a police state (yes it was clean but mainly because you got arrested if you dropped litter). I seem to recall that Switzerland at the time had the highest per capita income in Europe but also the highest suicide rate and incidence of drug use. I don't think this model would work in England, which is confirmed by the growing acts of 'rebellion' as we slip faster and closer to a police state ourselves.

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 Post subject: Re: Real politics
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 6:33 pm 
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It was, of course, taxes that did for Charles 1, his levying of ship money being the last straw. The resultant civil war, regicide, protectorate and eventual 1688 revolution should serve as a warning to our rulers that the camel has a back that will accept only so many straws. Sadly, though, our rulers seem as ignorant of history as of nearly everything else.

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 Post subject: Re: Real politics
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 8:42 pm 
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Quote:
Our fellow man is never so inventive as when it comes to imposing his will on others, or acquiring our money and spending it as his own. He needs no encouragement.


The most awesome line ever. We are not worthy.


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 Post subject: Re: Real politics
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 8:45 pm 
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Stuart wrote:
Quote:
Our fellow man is never so inventive as when it comes to imposing his will on others, or acquiring our money and spending it as his own. He needs no encouragement.


The most awesome line ever. We are not worthy.



PDT_Armataz_02_11 PDT_Armataz_02_11 PDT_Armataz_02_11

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 Post subject: Re: Real politics
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:28 pm 
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http://www.sovereignty.org.uk/features/ ... trat1.html


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 Post subject: Re: Real politics
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:46 pm 
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john in cheshire wrote:
Richard, would you not consider the American Constitution as a basis for change? As I understand it, it is designed to constrain the various strands of government, so that they are always in tension with each other.
Don't we need to take a step back and first decide what we want a government to do, before we decide how to control it?

The Preamble to the Constitution seemed to contain some basic defining elements, or five pillars (if I dare use that phrase) of government. Those of justice, 'tranquility', defence, general welfare and liberty, as the founding fathers put it.

If we agree on those basic requirements then, and only then, can we begin to attempt to control the money.


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