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Scottish National Party,
Gordon Lamb House,
3 Jackson's Entry,

and to whom this may concern ...

Citizens' Initiative and Referendum I&R ~ GB

Tories outfoxed: What next?

Congratulations to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon !!

You and your expeditionary SNP peace-troop in London 
have done for fox hunting in England and Wales (cartoon), at least for a wee while (1).

Now let me present a more serious reform that the SNP at Westminster could help to achieve.

Nicola, if I may, in the draft constitution (Independence Bill) for Scotland you wrote ... "the people are sovereign" (2). We argue that this is true not only in Scotland but also in any modern, democratic state. So, the people of the UK are "sovereign" too. Sovereign means owning and holding political power in the state.  It means that all we citizens have political rights. These rights must be useable, they must be capable of practical expression, or the claim of sovereignty remains an empty slogan. International conventions which we in the UK have signed as a Union guarantee our rights to exercise our power, both indirectly, by electing members of parliament and directly, to decide on public issues (commonly by means of citizen-instigated referendum).

So we can see that our democracy and public governance are incomplete because the direct form of decision making by the people, with rare exceptions, has been denied to us over many years, by successive governments of different political persuasions. We are looking at a major deficit of democracy. This deficit  should be corrected by adding elements of direct democracy into our system of indirect democracy. Wisely, your party the SNP has expressed support for this stronger sort of democracy (3).

Now, we know that most people in Britain, voters, want more say and that in opinion surveys large majorities have approved the principles of citizen-led direct democracy. But, we also know that most politicians oppose direct democracy and that they have acted, against the will of the people,  to prevent it from being  introduced.

How can we obtain better democracy against this built-in resistance? We must campaign and act for legislation to introduce much better democracy in the United Kingdom and its countries.

Which reforms, what sorts of better democracy, do we want and need? The term Modern Direct Democracy sums it up.

We need methods of DIRECT DEMOCRACY which enable the electorate to:

put forward proposals to make or change law; proposals well supported by the public must be placed before the whole electorate for decision by ballot,

block unwanted law or government policy, by holding a veto-referendum,

recall MPs who have failed, or lost the confidence of, their constituents.

This means effective participation by people, citizens, in public decision making. It does not have to mean abolishing parliament or government; clearly for the foreseeable future this would be unwise. With direct democracy "We The People" can take on more responsibility for (local and central) public matters, experience shows that we would become better informed about and scrutinise what our politicians are doing. We can occasionally, as an electorate, make proposals in policy or law, we have the power to propose a veto of unwanted government policy and if need be to force a referendum about a proposal or veto. Politics becomes re-vitalised, better equipped for the challenges of our time!

Chance to win on direct democracy with a multi-party majority at Westminster
In the House of Commons a proposal for the right of constituent voters to recall (sack) their MP recently received a large majority – Ayes 127, Noes 17, see the Hansard report about this (4). After suitable lobbying by constituents and education of MPs, a Direct Democracy Bill could well receive considerable support ;-)

We ask and urge the Scottish National Party to support and promote the proposal outlined here.

1. Cameron ‘sounds bugle of retreat’ in fox-hunting vote http://www.thenational.scot/politics/cameron-sounds-bugle-of-retreat-in-fox-hunting-vote.5197

2. The Scottish Independence Bill: a consultation on an interim constitution for Scotland
ISBN: 978-1-78412-545-5 Published by the Scottish Government, June 2014

3. SNP policy on direct democracy and referenda  https://iniref.wordpress.com/2012/03/07/snp-policy-on-direct-democracy-and-referenda/

4. Hansard report: Recall of Elected Representatives. Motion for leave to bring in a Bill http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmhansrd/cm131204/debtext/131204-0002.htm#13120494000002

Citizens' Initiative and Referendum I&R ~ GB