- "Our Fight for Democracy"
- Index of book
- Preface of "Our Fight for Democracy"
- Book - Order Form
- Introduction - The Meaning of Democracy
- Roman Britain to Magna Carta - 1215
- Parliament to the Divine Right of Kings 1216 to 1603
- Monarchy to a Republic and back 1603-1685
- Bill of Rights to the American War of Independence - 1685 to 1780
- Pitt the Younger to Catholic Emancipation - 1780 to 1830
- The Great Reform Act and its aftermath - 1830 to 1860
- The Second Reform Act to the end of the Century 1860 to 1900
- The Twentieth Century - Votes for women at last - 1900 to 1928
Monday, September 24, 2012
A vote for all the people.
The General Assembly of the United Nations needs to be reformed. By giving each member one vote in the Assembly there is a huge distortion in the democratic process. George Monbiot points out that:
in the UN General Assembly, the 10,000 people of the Pacific Island of Tuvalu possess the same representation as the one billion people of India. Their per capita vote in other words is weighted 100,000-fold.
Complicated though it might be, the best solution would be for all the members of the UN General Assembly to be elected by the people from within each country. This solution was favoured by the Nobel Prize winner Albert Einstein.
The citizens of each country should elect members of the United Nations General Assembly. There should be one member for each 6 million population. Those countries with less than 6 million population should join together with others in an alliance to achieve the 6 million.
With such radical reforms the United Nations would then be able to regulate legitimately global corporations and it should also have the powers to control the WTO the IMF. This would be a major step forward.
By the beginning of the new century, by the United Nations’ count, 140 countries of the world, out of 190 in all and with two thirds of the world’s population, had multi-party electoral systems. The number of authoritarian regimes was down to 26, from 67 in 1985. For all who believe in democracy, this is a magnificent triumph – but for all its glory, still less of a triumph than it may appear if we look more closely.
Most countries are now full or partial democracies, but their citizens are turning away from democracy and becoming disenchanted. They care less for democracy, believe less in it, participate less in it and have less trust in those that govern them, because in most cases democracy is distorted.
For too long the politicians have ignored the impact of globalisation on democracy. Globalisation is here to stay. There is no turning back, but ways must be found to ensure that multi-national corporations are accountable, that nations recognise the effect their policies have on other nations, that force or the fear of force is not the way to conduct our affairs. The obvious institution to handle these matters is the United nations, but we have seen that without radical reform the task would be too great for it. Should that be the case then a new institution consisting of the democratic nations of the world must be created. Such a body would have to be democratic but would draw its strength from the votes of the peoples of the world. Perhaps in time it would develop into a World Parliament. It would be a federation of nations, leading to World government. Its time will come.