Outside the marginals

A commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010, 2015 & 2017 elections (and THAT referendum)

Archive for the tag “respect”

The Crisis of Indirect Democracy and its Consequences

Indirect democracy is a fragile child. In effect we say we (“democratically”) elect representatives to a body that then “does governing for us”. This is in stark contrast to direct democracy – which in its most extreme state has everybody having a vote on everything.

Parliaments should be shining examples of indirect democracy at work. They consist of “representatives”, not mandated delegates, who collectively form a body that should be recognised as “representative”. Their legitimacy depends, I believe, on three factors.

  • Whether elections to the parliament are recognised as “free and fair”
  • Whether the resulting parliament is recognised as “representative”
  • Whether the parliament through its collective actions and the actions of its members retains the “respect of the people”.

In the UK, I think we are, to a degree, failing on all three of the above. Read more…

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Union Barons and Government by Consent

I have mixed feelings about our “Union Barons”:

The head of the Unite union has said he will not “respect” any law passed by a future Conservative government tightening the rules on strike ballots.
BBC News Website 20 March 2015 : Unite boss McCluskey warns over strike ballot changes

But then I have less mixed feelings about our Prime Minister’s more blatant agenda:

David Cameron has said strikes should not be lawful unless a minimum number of union members vote in a ballot.

Plans for a “turnout threshold” will be in the party’s election manifesto.

But Unite boss Len McCluskey said this would “oppress the people and remove their freedoms”. He added: “Can we respect it? It ain’t going to happen.”
ibid

There is a problem, but I do not agree with the Prime Minister’s prescription. I don’t like McCluskey’s response – but I can’t see an alternative. Read more…

Surveying Muslims – so what

The survey published by the BBC today (25 February 2015) about “Muslim attitudes” should be unremarkable and yet the coverage (for instance the Today programme on Radio 4) seems to want to portray the results as alarmist.

So what are some of the headlines of the survey? Read more…

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