Campaign for Direct Democracy GB

Our first major goal

Act of Parliament to enable the introduction and effective operation of citizen-led direct democracy across Britain and Northern Ireland at all levels of government. With the "tools" of direct democracy we can begin to build community and to regain supervision (control) of our public affairs, guiding and correcting the political parties, councils and parliaments, when need be.

We do not aim to abolish the present system of political parties and governments but want to improve it by adding in effective forms of participation and rule by the people, citizens.
Better democracy can of course be used to improve the rules about how governments and politics work.

How can our democracy and government work better for most of the people?
We show how you can vote and decide with fellow citizens for your own interests and values

A well tried method is to add procedures of citizen-led democracy to our indirect, "representative" system of political parties and parliament. We can call this ISSUE-TACKLING DEMOCRACY. It can be used to correct a government which has gone off-course. It can be used to introduce new ideas to the public and to make proposals for debate and decision by all the people. It can be used to block unwanted, bad or dangerous plans of a "maverick" government. It can be used to dissolve parliaments and call new elections.

Beyond voting for a candidate usually every five or so years most people have nothing to say about how we run our country or local affairs. Fortunately, there are well tried ways to improve how democracy works. Using these methods, the people, citizens, can intervene in public affairs at any time, without having to wait for an election. If we decide that we want to change something which matters to us, we can put forward a law or a veto and if there is enough support from fellow citizens we can demand that a legally binding ballot of the whole electorate must be held. The following democratic “tools” should be introduced for local and central governments.

The Initiative
With the initiative a citizen or group has the right to put forward a proposal to introduce or change law. In order that a proposal will be put to the electorate (in a referendum or ballot) an agreed number of endorsements (signatures) must be collected and validated.

The Referendum
If the required number of endorsements is obtained, there are two ways to proceed:
1) The proposal is put to the electorate in a referendum, which can lead to new law or public policy.
2) The proposal is first presented to parliament or local council, which must debate it. Parliament or council may adopt the proposal and pass it as law. Proposals which are rejected MUST be put to the electorate in a referendum. If a majority of the electorate votes for the proposal then it becomes law. Parliament or council may put forward an alternative which can go to referendum together with the original citizens’ proposal.

Want to help get better democracy introduced?

Contact INIREF        
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Start your own campaign – some hints are here


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