DEFENDING and DEVELOPING DEMOCRACY
- Stand up for our Civil Liberties
The best antidote to those who try to suppress freedom of speech and to those who hate and fear thinking-and-saying people is, more freedom of speech and more and more thinking-and-saying people! The best defence against attacks on freedom of speech is to use what freedom of speech we already have! That's why Alistair pledges to convene an annual public Civil Liberties Conference in the Scottish Parliament to protect and promote freedom of speech, defend and develop our democratic rights, address important topics related to our civil liberties, and fight back against the increasing attempts to suppress all of our freedoms.
- Proportional Representation
At this election we only need 5.6% of the Glasgow Regional vote to be elected to the Scottish Parliament. In 2003 we took 1,300 votes (6%) in the Kelvin parliamentary constitutency alone. If this vote is repeated throughout the 10 parliamentary constituencies which make up the Glasgow Regional list then we will be elected to the Scottish Parliament!.
We support an element of PR in the electoral system because it enables new voices to be elected and heard, and is a way to change the first-past-the-post plutocracy.
- Abolition of All-Postal, and Postal-on-Request Voting, and No Electronic Voting or Counting
The All-Postal method should be abolished entirely, and Postal Voting on Request -- for people who are not disabled, housebound, or otherwise absent for good reason -- should be abolished also. These forms of Postal Voting are destroying the integrity of our democracy.
Electronic voting is highly vulnerable to hackers and should not be considered at all. The electronic counting method -- piloted at this election in certain areas thoughout Scotland, including Glasgow -- has no manual quality control to check that the scanning machines are counting the votes properly!
- Local Referenda for Local Issues
Extend local democracy and empower local people. We advocate the establishment of a system of local referenda, which will enable referenda to be held on a ward basis, which will allow both sides to present their cases equally, and which will be binding upon the council. Parish referendums, which are already available in England, should be legally binding, and this facility should be extended to the rest of the UK.
The principle here is that the local people should be the lawmakers. Their needs must come first. The local authority must work with them to determine what the people want, rather than impose a top-down approach.
Further ideas on improving democracy can be found here