Tackle challenges such as brexit and climate change by reforming UK democracy!

Caroline Lucas is a member of the UK parliament for the Green Party of England and Wales. On 18th March 2019 she wrote in an article for The Independent on-line news,
"Our ancient political system is proving incapable of addressing 21st century crises. Representative democracy provides an incredibly blunt mandate – especially under the first-past-the-post system. Every five years a government is elected, generally with the votes of less than a third of the population, on the basis of a take-it-or-leave-it manifesto containing hundreds of policies. In power, that government will potentially have to respond to a whole new set of issues. There has to be something better." (3)

At The Independent web site INIREF commented on this article  as follows:

In the brexit saga as in other matters of state the government and our elected MPs cannot effectively be guided by the owners of our democracy, the people. They are beyond our supervision and control. Better methods of democracy could bring improvements here. One of these methods is the citizens' ballot which may be used to propose policy and laws, to make, change and cancel law, and to veto bad or unwanted government and parliamentary action. These instruments would be needed rarely, as most law-making and government would be done as before. Direct democracy would bring fine-tuning as well as an emergency brake to our institutions. Proposals for reforms of this sort were presented some years ago by the Green party and most impressively in recent times by the Scottish Greens (1).

With elements of direct democracy built into our mainly indirect, "representative" system we as citizens and electorates could participate more effectively in public (our own) matters. Matters of state constitution such as the way in which we appoint our MPs, the electoral system whether proportional representation or single transferable vote or some other, must in a democracy be determined and decided by the people. Vital environmental policy can also be tackled and expedited by a citizenry empowered with tools of direct democracy (2). New forms of public deliberation as mentioned in Caroline Lucas' article could be helpful, if the people so wish.

1. From Scottish Green web site seen 2016

"Scotland can champion a more open and participative law-making process:

Citizens as legislators. Citizens should be able to play a direct role in the legislative process: on presenting a petition signed by an appropriate number of voters, citizens should be able to trigger a vote on important issues of devolved responsibility. As we proposed on the one year anniversary of the Independence Referendum, this is the Scottish Greens' preferred way of deciding to hold a second referendum on Independence. If a new referendum is to happen, it should come about by the will of the people, and not be driven by calculations of party political advantage."

COMMENT by INIREF: Very good! This reads like a promise to introduce effective, modern direct democracy which could be used by citizens to intervene in local and central law making and government. Similar reforms have been put forward by INIREF, the campaign for direct democracy in Scotland and the rest of Britain. See www.iniref.org

2. See the recent citizens' initiative campaign for protection and rescue of countryside and agriculture, in Bavaria, Rettet die Bienen – "Save our Bees" (and many other species) https://volksbegehren-artenvielfalt.de

3. Brexit and climate change are a product of our failing democracy – but there’s another way of doing things https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/brexit-climate-change-citizens-assembly-democracy-ireland-texas-a8827861.html