Saturday, April 21, 2012

Of: FORUMS and forums

There are serious gaps in the practice of our theoretical democracy, with government OF the people, BY the people, and FOR the people, (government BY the people being perhaps of foremost importance, because without that, the OF and the FOR are compromised). Thus, the deficiency in government BY the people means that government OF and FOR the people just cannot happen, because of the conflicting pressures of ungoverned interests.

So, what do we do? The reason for democracy’s failure is the absence of realistic forums, for which FORUMS miss the points completely – and perhaps also deliberately.

A few days ago our local member completed a run of FORUMS in the community, in which influential groups were able to put their case with the local member presiding. But it was about their needs and his ability to help, if they voted for him! The last, with the leader of the opposition speaking, was confined in numbers to a limited number who had paid a fee for their place. Whether political donations were sought in addition – ‘cash for influence’ I do not know, but wonder!

These ‘forums’ were not convened with free access for dissidents in mind and cannot in any sense be seen as facilitating a process of government BY the people. They represented a continuation of the political disease of party politics. So, what is the solution?

The elimination of this disease depends entirely on removal of its root cause – the system of all members voting openly in our parliaments which enables and supports the venal party system.

A change to a secret ballot for all decisions in parliament is all that is required to change the representation of all members from party to independent.

Clearly, all the members would then be obliged to run free forums regularly in each electorate, soon becoming loyal supporters of constituents’ views in their forums’ free exchange of ideas about the process of government. They will quickly establish an ongoing rapport with the people, forming a vital link between people and parliament which would soon reconstitute government as government BY the people. A true government OF the people and FOR the people is thus assured as well. Can anyone dispute the validity of this claim?

Your view is welcome -

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