British Democracy: Its Restoration and Extension
Modern parliamentary democracy first developed in Great Britain and Britons played a major role in spreading democracy around the world (for example, through the Commonwealth). However, at the start of the 21st century, Britain itself was no longer a fully independent democratic country.
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British Democracy: Its Restoration and Extension Modern parliamentary democracy first developed in Great Britain and Britons played a major role in spreading democracy around the world – for example, through the Commonwealth. However, at the start of the 21st century, Britain itself was no longer a fully…
As part of the European Union bloc, unelected and immovable foreign authorities determined a large part of its laws, policies, and taxes. Domestically meanwhile, such things as extra-parliamentary bureaucratic lawmaking, curbs on local political autonomy, moves from direct to indirect representation, and restrictions on the private funding and advertising of political parties had diminished democracy.
This study provides a detailed review of the main political independence and constitutional reform requirements for restoring and extending democracy in present-day Britain.
1. The Restoration and Extension Of British Democracy: An Overview of the Main Requirements
Introduction and summary of the contents*
2. National Political Independence and Democracy: Withdrawal from the European Union
The basic incompatibility between EU membership and the maintenance of parliamentary democracy, business-economic freedom, and the rule of law in Britain* The undemocratic nature of EU law- and policy-making institutions: the Parliament, Ministerial Councils, Commission, and Court of Justice* Democratic objections to the proposed new bloc Constitution*
3. The Reform of Parliament and Central Government
Proposals for reforming the House of Commons, Lords, and Monarchy* The case for (e.g.) restoring to MPs the exclusive right to elect the parliamentary party leader/Prime Minister, a new constitutional ban on the delegation of parliamentary legislative and fiscal powers, and a direct territorially (county) elected Upper House* Limiting the powers of the executive* Civil Service reform* The abolition of bureaucratic regulatory authorities and other quangos*
4. Judicial Independence and the Rule of Law
Proposals for their protection and extension in Britain* Reversing the negative effects of (e.g.) EU bloc membership, laws that allow the executive to assume emergency powers and suspend ancient basic legal rights in peacetime, the growth of state regulatory bureaucracies that make, adjudicate, and enforce their own laws, and corruption and abuse of power in the civil justice system* Preventing governments from manipulating judicial appointments – and the judiciary from interfering in matters that are the legitimate prerogative of elected politicians* Deregulation and the extension of normal rights, freedom, and equality under the law to businesspersons*
5. The Legal Protection of Democracy and Freedom: The Case for a New Written Constitution and Bill of Rights
The main arguments for a written judiciable Constitution* Existing basic legal limits on governmental power in Britain, the United States, and Europe* The case for a new Supreme Court-enforceable Bill of Rights to protect economic, political, judicial, communication, and personal rights and freedoms in Britain*
6. The Restoration of Local Democracy
The decline of local democracy – and the main requirements for its restoration* Local/county versus mega-regional government* The restoration of local policing* The restoration of the link between taxation and political representation at the local level* The reform and reduction of local taxation* The limits of local government in a free society* Local electoral reform*
7. Electoral System Reform: Increasing Competition and Voter Choice and Influence
The basic similarities between political electoral and commercial protectionism* Anti-competitive electoral regulations, official subsidies, and curbs on party funding, advertising, and campaign spending (etc.) in Britain* The case for their abolition* Direct versus indirect political representation* The threat to open competitive democracy from state party funding and establishment* Increasing the number of elected positions and candidates in Britain* Substituting direct for indirect political representation* Proposals for widening the franchise, equal-sized constituencies, up-to-date electoral registers, two-stage elections, more referendums, increased tele-voting, and better protection against electoral fraud, malpractice, and error (etc.)*