Democracy, does it exist in the UK?
Freedom of speech, expression and thought
The right to vote
Government of the people, for the people by the people
By these tests of democracy are we truly a democracy?
The answer is no, why?
Let us exam:
1. Freedom of speech, expression and thought; today pressure groups and ideologues put severe restrictions on these rights. So does the taking over of responsibility from the person to the state (we will do your thinking for you). Racist or phobic frequently used taunts to stifle freedom of speech. Political correctness used in case of giving offence Chairman/woman changed to chair dehumanising us we are now inanimate objects (you find it more difficult to push a person around far easier an inanimate object doesn’t protest or push back). Opinions are suppressed by the expedient that they will offend the sensibilities of another group (you can not question the orthodox view, if having torn a section of societies assumptions to threads through reasoned argument, they may not have wanted to know the truth in first place and knowing it made them terribly upset). Admirable as equality, not being racist or phobic are, being foisted upon a gagged public does as much harm as good. The rights and wrongs are overshadowed by dragging a reluctant public by coercion rather than by consent. Lack of debate means opportunities to avoid unintended consequences are not avoided (immigration is an example; although in general immigration is on balance a good thing unrestricted access is not. Ask a Native American if they minded a few colonists arriving from Europe they would probably say no, ask them what they thought when immigrants in vast numbers arrived taking their assets and spreading crime and disease and subverting their culture the answer would be different). With debate these short comings can be recognised and proper provision made.
2. The right to vote; oh yes we do have that but it is a long way from a true right to vote. Agreed it is not restricted to candidates of a one party system and is not subverted by stuffed ballot boxes although that is on the increase with the postal vote. But what our voting system does do is not give you a right to cast a vote on each and every issue. Instead of voting on individual laws or policies you vote for a candidate who represent a whole host of policies some of which you may agree upon and some you may not. A truly democratic voting system where a vote is allowed on all policies (referendum type law and policy making, don’t believe those who would say it is impracticable) would make things an awful lot different and the outcome would reflect the majority view instead of in many cases that of a self interest don’t care about you minority group or one group who from their gain has been your loss.
In our society today democratic freedoms are anathema to those who would shape society to fit their utopian ideas (they are right and you are wrong and that’s that). Democratic freedom would restrict their world order ideas and expose their short comings and hidden agendas. We have seen the effect before Stalin and Hitler for example and today, China, Zimbabwe, Burma and many more.
A truly democratic political system would make a wholly different political landscape than we have today. Government of the people, for the people by the people, would be a fact instead of the façade that it is now.
True democracy would lead to:
Consensus and acceptance
A greater interest in politics and how our country is run
Government by all and not a small power corrupted elite
Open debate on all issues even some contentious and unpleasant ones and accepting that individuals and small cliques tend to make poor decisions more often than good ones. The voting public collectively will make wise decisions more frequently than unwise ones and ones that serve the majority instead of as it exists now only furthering the ends of minority groups. If the public get it wrong now and then it is our fault and nobody else’s so blaming our selves and no other will ensure we do not become complacent hide our head in the sand and abdicate responsibility to others.
Let us start by doing away with the party whips (preferably do away with parties), and insist on MPs consulting properly with their constituents (all of their constituents not just the party faithful) on every issue be it either law making or policy. Stop Politian’s running government leave that to the civil servants under our direction, which would put pay to megalomaniac ministers imposing their often disastrous policies down our throats.