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A Better Way to Secure Democracy

What is ‘Democracy’?

Is it what has been instilled into most of us, the “Government of the People, by the People, and for the People”?

Or, should we regard it more as that social condition of equality and respect which individually and collectively we should have for any other individual within the community?

What it has become, of course, is another thing entirely.

Democracy as a business 'tool'

Having moved to emulate business practices, including the promotion of consumerism, as posited here, today democracy seems more of a dictatorship of the ruling political elites.

Seldom do we see the control of an institution, such as a company, being in the hands of all those involved or employed in it. More often than not our great public limited companies (PLC’s), for example, are subject to the tyranny of the financial institutions. As major shareholders, they demand both growth in dividends and share values. While they may argue that this is to protect your pensions and insurances, there is a danger, if not a tendency, for cosy self-serving relationships to develop between directors and fund managers whose salary and other benefits cannot fail to be related. Contrarily, it is your salaries and pensions that have suffered because of ‘the crash’, not theirs – as evidenced by the behaviour of top bankers.

A Pervasive, Corrupted Influence

This is an ethos that has spread into other sectors of society, like the NHS, education and local government, for example. As recently disclosed, here salaries of top management may be 10 times that of those at the bottom of the scale. No wonder many MP’s saw (and still see) nothing wrong in picking up as much as they could , or can from their positions.

When we look at the level of MEP and European Parliamentary costs and salaries, it is easy to see how ‘democracy’ has been subverted to the self-interests of those who purport to represent and ‘govern’ us. They too have been bribed to support the Europeanisation project by the rewards received for not rocking the boat.

Defining A "People's Democracy"

All of this raises once again the question of what we want ‘democracy’ to be, whether it applies only to local and national government, or if it should pervade the governance of all our structures and institutions.

In resolving these issues your “People’s Parliament” must also address the temporal nature of what they decide – whether this should be long term, protected for many generations to come, or short term, concerned for immediate decisions and returns. Or maybe it should try and address both, according to the level of application.

Who Should Protect Democracy - and How?

All of this, of course, begs the question of who are most suited to be guardians of our democracy for the future. Maybe this will vary at different levels of engagement and representation. Perhaps it will be related to the nature of its application, as for example in the very long-term management of the nations natural resources –v- the shorter periods that may be involved in day-to-day government.

Your Views

Please submit your views and suggestions to the “A Better Way to Secure Democracy” Forum, now.

Peter Oborne on Politics Cross Party Collusion and Corruption