"Direct democracy, classically termed pure democracy, is a form of democracy and a theory of civics in which sovereignty is lodged in the assembly of all citizens who choose to participate. Depending on the particular system, this assembly might pass executive motions, make laws, elect or dismiss officials, and conduct trials. Direct democracy stands in contrast to representative democracy, where sovereignty is exercised by a subset of the people, usually on the basis of election. Deliberative democracy incorporates elements of both direct democracy and representative democracy.Ever helpful, there is another link that talks of the wider idea of democracy.
Many countries that are representative democracies allow for three forms of political action that provide limited direct democracy: initiative, referendum (plebiscite) and recall. Referenda can include the ability to hold a binding referendum on whether a given law should be rejected. This effectively grants the populace which holds suffrage a veto on government legislation. Initiatives, usually put forward by the populace, force the consideration of laws or amendments (usually by a subsequent referendum), without the consent of the elected officials, or even in opposition to the will of said officials. Recalls give people the right to remove elected officials from office before the end of their term, although this is very rare in modern democracies."
I am somewhat confused. The links both suggest some form of fluid governance driven by The People. It strikes me that we now have so many differing 'people' in this country that one will never have a consensus. What I - an Englishman now vaguely Scots of some 76 years of prejudice untouched by political correctness - want as compared to Mrs. Abdul Ghul who has just lately learned sufficient English to qualify for a vote must be space-type distances apart.
"A veto on Government legislation" is just so new and way out that it would take very many years for us, the electorate, to learn how to go about this and just as long for any central power to find ways of verifying a supposed desire as genuine and all-inclusive. As an example, it seems that some 60% said 'Not In My Name' but - none the less - we entered into a desperate alliance on little more than the whim of a poodle and a man who heard voices from God. How long would it have taken to check that it was 60% and not 49.999% recurring, how many said GO if the trigger time were proven at just 25 minutes or some such checking exercise. It would be pointless setting aside some matters for exclusive decision by a mendacious Government. The duty of Parliament is Defence of the Realm; ample room there for weasel-words.
Referendum? The anti-antics of Brown show this is a Tory concept but even here the path has many tin tacks. Anyone 'clever' enough to be an Oxbridge candidate can form questions with the skill of our best thriller writers so as to slant responses the way they want. And, what is a referendum without full analysis and easily comprehensible explanations of what is being reviewed? More time. More expense. More confusion and opportunity to obfuscate and mislead.
Putting those elected on trial? The sad history of recent pig-trough politics shows how well that might work.
No - sorry Iain. I admit that I am not sufficiently interested to make much effort for a line by line examination review of the Manifesto. Your classification of it as 'Power to the People' with "with a real feel of direct democracy" says it all to me I'm afraid.
To revise that film quote as "What has the future ever done for me?" sums up the impression that today's release has done for me. My ballot paper will still end up with the protest "None of the Above" endorsement.