Doing Democracy – the People’s Plan

When humans amalgamate, no matter the size of the collective, somehow, someone gravitates to the top of the pile then generally shows little, if any, inclination to relinquish that position.  Having the biggest stick (totalitarianism, the divine right of kings) is one way of getting there then staying put.

Democracy is altogether a different ball game. It not only makes the route to the top quite complicated, it makes staying there a logistical nightmare.

The obvious problem is that those ‘without’ will vote to get what they want from those who have it – tyranny of the mob anyone?

The answer is cajole the have-nots into believing that the haves actually have their best interests at heart (slashing public services, working poverty, austerity, bailing out banks, limitless economic growth, fossil fuel extraction…) and that there’s nothing much you can do about it anyway.

Elect a representative then keep your mouth shut and get on with it. Be thankful for what you’ve got because it could easily get worse, especially if you put your head above the parapet.

Those in power formulate policies, usually  to consolidate their advantage, then occasionally go through the motions of ‘consultation’ – an invitation to agree or contribute to a slight tweaking at the edges. They do not ask the public what they want so as to formulate policies accordingly. Why would they if the answers might well request action to their disadvantage, like enhancing democracy or a fairer redistribution of wealth?

That’s where the People’s Plan comes in – a consultation of the public, by the public, for the public.

The democratically obtained requirements of the public-at-large obtained this way can then be presented to those seeking election to any level of public office, for acceptance or rebuttal. Those already in power can be legitimately held to account.

If it can be done in Greater Manchester it can (and probably should) be done elsewhere.

Take a long and careful look through this website then reflect on the wider implications.  http://www.peoplesplangm.org.uk/

Democracy is a process – not  asking for it but doing it. Consider where doing it will take  us.

 

 

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Comments (1)

  1. Joe Taylor

    Reply

    Paul Mason wrote an article in the Guradian today ‘An idea for Manchester’s new mayor: let the people decide where the cash goes’, which includes – “But the People’s Plan is a good idea, and even the exercise of completing the campaign’s brief questionnaire shows where it could lead. Do you focus investment on city transport grids or intercity ones? Do you want to spread new housing developments or put them in the town centres? Do you want a big local energy provider, or several small ones?
    Even for resource-neutral questions such as these, the existing local government structures of the UK exclude most people from the choice. So, in a way, by designing Devo Manc without an elected assembly, the Conservatives have opened up the possibility of a big democratic experiment from below.”
    SEE FULL ARTICLE HERE https://www.theguardian.com/society/commentisfree/2016/oct/17/an-idea-for-manchesters-new-mayor-let-the-people-decide-where-the-cash-goes

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