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SNP policy on devolution of power to electorate

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Old 27th April 2011, 12:52
iniref iniref is offline
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Question SNP policy on devolution of power to electorate

The Scottish National Party promises to let the electorate decide about national independence in a referendum vote.

But what is the SNP's policy concerning more "power to the people"?

If elected to govern would they introduce stronger, citizen-led democracy such as the citizens' law proposition, binding referendum and the right of the electorate to veto unwanted laws?

Last year the SNP was asked about this in a formal survey.

Unlock Democracy (formerly Charter88) surveyed political parties, asking,

"Direct Democracy - does the SNP have policy on increasing direct democracy - eg. Petitions committees, people's bills, referendums"

REPLY FROM SNP: "The SNP would like to see direct democracy initiatives that would see the sharing of power with people, giving them real power and a direct say over the most important issues affecting their communities. This would include the triggering of referendums on any national or local issue once a requisite percentage of the electorate had signed a petition on the matter, as undertaken in the likes of Switzerland, the US and New Zealand. We also support a new Petitions Committee in the House of Commons, much like that of the Scottish Parliament, which encourages active involvement in the proceedings of Parliament." Source Alexandra Runswick A Vote for Democracy: General Election 2010 Party Policy Guide

So, the SNP say that they support stronger, direct democracy-by-the-people.

But, in their 2011 manifesto we can find no mention of democracy reform.

Can anyone explain this?


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I&R ~ GB Citizens' Initiative and Referendum
Campaign for direct democracy in Britain
Campaign for Direct Democracy GB

Last edited by iniref; 27th April 2011 at 16:34.
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Old 27th April 2011, 14:14
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Originally Posted by iniref View Post

Can anyone explain this?


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I&R ~ GB Citizens' Initiative and Referendum
Campaign for direct democracy in Britain
Campaign for Direct Democracy GB
Err, why don't you ask the SNP directly ? And since you've raised your concern over its manifesto, can you tell us about related proposals made by the other parties in their ones ? How much do they say about it ?
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Old 27th April 2011, 15:26
iniref iniref is offline
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SNP policy on devolution of power to electorate

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Originally Posted by Scotsgait View Post
Err, why don't you ask the SNP directly ? And since you've raised your concern over its manifesto, can you tell us about related proposals made by the other parties in their ones ? How much do they say about it ?
We have provided a rapid survey under the header "Chances for direct democracy in Scotland: The parties" at Democracy-Forum : Democr@cy-Forum

Can anyone answer our question?

I&R ~ GB Citizens' Initiative and Referendum
Campaign for direct democracy in Britain
Campaign for Direct Democracy GB
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Old 27th April 2011, 18:56
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We have provided a rapid survey under the header "Chances for direct democracy in Scotland: The parties" at Democracy-Forum : Democr@cy-Forum

Can anyone answer our question?

I&R ~ GB Citizens' Initiative and Referendum
Campaign for direct democracy in Britain
Campaign for Direct Democracy GB
Once again, try the SNP rather than an on-line forum. Anything from here would be a guess.
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Old 28th April 2011, 01:21
Indy Indy is offline
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I once spoke to some quite nice folk, they believed they could float, some sort of cult I guess.

They did offer up a parliament of 8000 representatives as apparently a better representation of the people's will (calculated mathematecally), seemed a good idea but also seemed expensive. This was before the internet.

However, politicians constantly being at the beck and call of the masses who have widely differing and often ill-thought out views (sounds like the Labourites to me) might result in zero progress in a parliament.
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Old 28th April 2011, 11:06
iniref iniref is offline
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However, politicians constantly being at the beck and call of the masses who have widely differing and often ill-thought out views (sounds like the Labourites to me) might result in zero progress in a parliament.
Elected politicians are often bombarded with requests and demands from constituents and others, obviously more so since we had internet and e-mail. They cannot respond to the vast majority, even if the voters have good ideas.

A basic flaw with indirect "representative" democracy is that members of an electorate are supposed to judge on the whole range of public affairs and somehow express this in a single vote, or a very few choices, for MP representation, once every five or so years. Obviously, all important issues cannot be considered and debated during an election campaign and indeed circumstances may change and new events requiring new solutions often crop up in between elections.

With partial direct democracy such as the citizens' law proposal and veto referendum, both of these design faults (and others) can be partly corrected. With "citizens' initiatives" both public dissatisfaction and creative input from the population can be chanelled into articulate proposals, public debate and ultimate decision by referendum. The MPs and government can be left to deal with most "business as usual". Regarding the second "fault" above: Political parties tend to represent a fairly narrow segment of society and certainly cannot accurately represent "all of the people all of the time". So, having procedures which allow public input in between elections, such as proposals about matters which have been overlooked or "forgotten" promises, and the right to veto unwanted policy, would improve the quality of our governance. From time to time, on selected issues, important matters proposed by citizens could be put to the whole electorate for decision by ballot.

Further info:
Basic citizens' democracy model Proposal: New democratic procedures GB+NI
Much free material Campaign for Direct Democracy GB
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Old 10th May 2011, 14:06
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THEMADFIFER THEMADFIFER is offline
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I like what you are saying. But Ancient Athens in Scotland I cant see.
Is not what you are saying leaning closer to Socialism? Not that Socialism is a bad thing. But it could lead to over regulation, timely and costly to the state.

However, a secure online voting system that allows individuals to vote on matters of the state might be a good idea but as we know politicians like to get there way which is not necessarily our way.
So I cannot see it happening.
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