Ukip backing 'direct democracy'

Bicester Advertiser: Nigel Farage is backing "direct democracy". Nigel Farage is backing "direct democracy".

Voters should be given the right to stop Britain going to war and put a halt to major controversial projects such as HS2, Nigel Farage has said.

Ukip is pushing for a system of "direct democracy" that would mean a referendum could be triggered by 5% of the population - around 2.3 million people.

The party leader admitted that the power could be abused by lobbying groups but insisted it would help to restore the public's faith in government.

At a speech in central London, he said voters felt betrayed by the current democratic system and outlined a series of measures to counter the problem, including introducing tougher measures than those planned by the Coalition on allowing voters to kick out their local MP.

Mr Farage also raised the prospect of cutting off public funding for major charities, such as Oxfam and Help the Aged, arguing it was wrong that the government should be giving cash to organisations that lobby it.

The referendum powers would be more likely to be used to stop government doing things, including taking military action or introducing unpopular infrastructure projects such as the high speed rail link between London and the north, than to make it introduce new measures, he said.

Mr Farage told the Institute for Government: " I suspect one issue on which the British public has felt very strongly over the last decade or more is the whole question of foreign military interventions, an endless series of them, most of which it seems to me have made the world a far less safe place than it was before.

"I suspect if we had the ability through direct democracy to hold our governments to account, we would not have bombed Libya or even considered getting heavily involved in Syria."

Mr Farage said he would like to see a system similar to one operated in Switzerland that allows voters to trigger a poll. That saw voters in the country back a referendum proposal to ban the building of minarets by 57%.

The Ukip leader denied that his proposals would be used to introduce controversial measures, such as the death penalty, in Britain.

He added: "I accept that there are some risks with direct democracy but I think there is a greater risk and that is what we are currently living through, which is a complete breakdown of faith and trust in our democratic model."

Mr Farage said the Coalition's plan to introduce the power of recall lets voters down because it involves MPs deciding first if an individual has engaged in ''serious wrongdoing'' unless they have received a criminal conviction.

He raised the case of disgraced MP Mike Hancock who was forced to apologise in the High Court to a vulnerable woman constituent for an "inappropriate" friendship.

"I think there is an example where something has gone quite badly wrong and I think in that constituency I really do think a by-election would be called."

He said that while his party will not be in government after the next election Ukip could influence the manifestos of the major parties.

Mr Farage said organisations such as Oxfam, Greenpeace, War On Want, Help The Aged and the RSPB, and government were too close.

"I'm not for one moment suggesting that we close down Oxfam, or anything like that, but I do think that given the influence these organisations have over public opinion it is a fairly bizarre state of affairs to have the government effectively funding the organisations that lobby and I think that relationship is much too close."

Comments (4)

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5:48pm Mon 23 Jun 14

Rita Jelfs says...

Imagine the political chaos of the 'tyranny of the majority', which Nigel Farrage naively thinks will work. This is like mob vote. The Westminster system works well around the English speaking western world, and prevents tyranny. The lack of trust in UK politicians is an issue of a 'broken' value system, where politicians, banks, journalists, and the finance industry were allowed to self-regulate, by successive UK governments, leading to the political rorts, phone hacking, and finally the financial crisis. Other Western governments were not foolish as the UK, and continued to regulate - NZ, Canada, Australia. Hence their constituents have a higher level of trust in their politicians.
Imagine the political chaos of the 'tyranny of the majority', which Nigel Farrage naively thinks will work. This is like mob vote. The Westminster system works well around the English speaking western world, and prevents tyranny. The lack of trust in UK politicians is an issue of a 'broken' value system, where politicians, banks, journalists, and the finance industry were allowed to self-regulate, by successive UK governments, leading to the political rorts, phone hacking, and finally the financial crisis. Other Western governments were not foolish as the UK, and continued to regulate - NZ, Canada, Australia. Hence their constituents have a higher level of trust in their politicians. Rita Jelfs
  • Score: -5

7:23pm Mon 23 Jun 14

Jack Herer says...

Rita Jelfs wrote:
Imagine the political chaos of the 'tyranny of the majority', which Nigel Farrage naively thinks will work. This is like mob vote. The Westminster system works well around the English speaking western world, and prevents tyranny. The lack of trust in UK politicians is an issue of a 'broken' value system, where politicians, banks, journalists, and the finance industry were allowed to self-regulate, by successive UK governments, leading to the political rorts, phone hacking, and finally the financial crisis. Other Western governments were not foolish as the UK, and continued to regulate - NZ, Canada, Australia. Hence their constituents have a higher level of trust in their politicians.
Excellent post.
[quote][p][bold]Rita Jelfs[/bold] wrote: Imagine the political chaos of the 'tyranny of the majority', which Nigel Farrage naively thinks will work. This is like mob vote. The Westminster system works well around the English speaking western world, and prevents tyranny. The lack of trust in UK politicians is an issue of a 'broken' value system, where politicians, banks, journalists, and the finance industry were allowed to self-regulate, by successive UK governments, leading to the political rorts, phone hacking, and finally the financial crisis. Other Western governments were not foolish as the UK, and continued to regulate - NZ, Canada, Australia. Hence their constituents have a higher level of trust in their politicians.[/p][/quote]Excellent post. Jack Herer
  • Score: -4

10:22pm Mon 23 Jun 14

behonest says...

Jack Herer wrote:
Rita Jelfs wrote: Imagine the political chaos of the 'tyranny of the majority', which Nigel Farrage naively thinks will work. This is like mob vote. The Westminster system works well around the English speaking western world, and prevents tyranny. The lack of trust in UK politicians is an issue of a 'broken' value system, where politicians, banks, journalists, and the finance industry were allowed to self-regulate, by successive UK governments, leading to the political rorts, phone hacking, and finally the financial crisis. Other Western governments were not foolish as the UK, and continued to regulate - NZ, Canada, Australia. Hence their constituents have a higher level of trust in their politicians.
Excellent post.
When did New Zealand and Australia move West?

I think this is another excellent idea from UKIP. As Nigel points out, the current democratic system is broken, and there is nothing wrong with allowing British people to have a direct say on issues that concern them, particularly if the government is ignoring them.

Even taking the 'controversial' issue of the death penalty, if 90% of the electorate are in favour and 10% are not (or vice versa, to be fair), how can it be right that such a small minority can impose their will on an issue that millions of people have strong views on? Which party will allow a referendum on the issue, Tory, Labour or Lib Dem? None of them - but apparently we live in a democracy! And it's not as though the death penalty is a particularly important issue; it doesn't affect the economy or our standard of living, so what's the big deal? Just allow people to have their say and go with it. Real democracy.

I'd probably vote against the death penalty, by the way, but that's not important.

But it's the same principle for nuclear bombs, being part of Europe, smoking ban, etc, etc. If enough people have a strong enough view on a particular issue they should be allowed the opportunity of enabling a 'direct democracy' option, as Nigel proposes. More common sense. from UKIP.
[quote][p][bold]Jack Herer[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Rita Jelfs[/bold] wrote: Imagine the political chaos of the 'tyranny of the majority', which Nigel Farrage naively thinks will work. This is like mob vote. The Westminster system works well around the English speaking western world, and prevents tyranny. The lack of trust in UK politicians is an issue of a 'broken' value system, where politicians, banks, journalists, and the finance industry were allowed to self-regulate, by successive UK governments, leading to the political rorts, phone hacking, and finally the financial crisis. Other Western governments were not foolish as the UK, and continued to regulate - NZ, Canada, Australia. Hence their constituents have a higher level of trust in their politicians.[/p][/quote]Excellent post.[/p][/quote]When did New Zealand and Australia move West? I think this is another excellent idea from UKIP. As Nigel points out, the current democratic system is broken, and there is nothing wrong with allowing British people to have a direct say on issues that concern them, particularly if the government is ignoring them. Even taking the 'controversial' issue of the death penalty, if 90% of the electorate are in favour and 10% are not (or vice versa, to be fair), how can it be right that such a small minority can impose their will on an issue that millions of people have strong views on? Which party will allow a referendum on the issue, Tory, Labour or Lib Dem? None of them - but apparently we live in a democracy! And it's not as though the death penalty is a particularly important issue; it doesn't affect the economy or our standard of living, so what's the big deal? Just allow people to have their say and go with it. Real democracy. I'd probably vote against the death penalty, by the way, but that's not important. But it's the same principle for nuclear bombs, being part of Europe, smoking ban, etc, etc. If enough people have a strong enough view on a particular issue they should be allowed the opportunity of enabling a 'direct democracy' option, as Nigel proposes. More common sense. from UKIP. behonest
  • Score: 4

10:16pm Tue 24 Jun 14

Pobinr says...

I never understood the notion that we have to become politically married to free democratic nations for no better reason than their geographical proximity to us & that we must therefore also discriminate against those that are not geographically close enough to us to be in the club.
Especially bearing in mind there are far more English speaking people outside of Europe than in it & more people we trade with outside of Europe than in it.
So why the club?
In a world market place it's a completely artificial pointless contruct that exists soley for the benefit of those that expound it's virtues because they see it as a vehicle for their careers.
End result being more & more centralised control & less & less democracy.
VOTE UKIP
I never understood the notion that we have to become politically married to free democratic nations for no better reason than their geographical proximity to us & that we must therefore also discriminate against those that are not geographically close enough to us to be in the club. Especially bearing in mind there are far more English speaking people outside of Europe than in it & more people we trade with outside of Europe than in it. So why the club? In a world market place it's a completely artificial pointless contruct that exists soley for the benefit of those that expound it's virtues because they see it as a vehicle for their careers. End result being more & more centralised control & less & less democracy. VOTE UKIP Pobinr
  • Score: 3
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