We propose the introduction of
direct election of Senior Government Officials
In order to reduce reliance on the whims of certain individuals the number of
these positions should be held to an absolute minimum. We do not think that a
political entity should be dominated by one individual, be it's name Mitterand,
Thatcher, Kohl, Chirac or Berlusconi. Whatever their personal and political
merit may be (or have been) it is easy to find as many mistakes as successes. As
in the case of the Roman Republic or Switzerland in more recent times an
exception will be made in case of war.
One person should not run a country
Nor should he or she be expected to do so. Too much is expected from any
incoming leader of a new government. All major political decisions should be
taken after careful deliberation and decided by mandatory referendum. The
well-being of a country would not depend on the decisions taken by a single
person. Politicians should not be allowed too much freedom. They are not elected
to 'impose' their vision on their subjects like some monarch or dictator but are elected to look after the administration of the laws and
regulations set by the legislative assemblies and ultimately sanctioned by
the consent of the people (who will always have the last say due to the
right of to start a referendum).
Separation of powers means that the
legislature is solely in charge of introducing laws and the government is
primarily focused on keeping house and making sure that the machinery of
government functions smoothly on a day-by-day basis. The unhealthy practice
that of so-called parliamentary democracies, where legislative and executive
power are linked together, makes it all too easy for parties and governments
to combine against the interests of the citizens.
Direct democracy would
involve citizens directly in the introduction of laws and severely hamper
the ambitions of individual politicians. Some try to explain the dominance of
families in the political process of various countries (Kennedy, Bush,
Clinton in the USA,
Ghandi in India etc) with the fact that the average voter does not
have the ability to judge persons on the basis of objective facts alone.
think that this is more likely to be the consequence of an electoral process
that puts to much emphasis on the selection of one leading politician and
therefore puts the discussion specific policies into the background when
election day comes. Votes are swayed by promises that often are broken
anyway when the election has been decided.
government tampers ego trips by politicians
A collective form of government would go a long way to prevent
politician's egos to get out of control. The example of Switzerland shows that any country
can happily exist without a 'Supreme Leader' - be it a Prime
Minister, a Chancellor or a President. The senior Ministers just
take it in turns and one of them is nominated Speaker for a year.
Readers should be reminded that 'Leader' has some sinister
connotations in any case as the word can be translated as 'Fuehrer'
Need we say more?
Does Europe need a President?
The Catholics have a Pope, Monarchies had (and have) Kings, the Americans
have a President. So naturally Europe needs a President? We do not think so.
The personalisation of politics in an agglomeration of states as different
as the members of the European Union is unnecessary. Much better to have a
college of ministers which designates a speaker on a rotating basis each
year. And if there has to be a President there has to be a clear separation
of powers and a term limit of one year. As we also demand the introduction
of binding and
facultative measures of direct democracy and strict separation of
responsibilities between the member states and the EU there would be severe
limits on the powers of the Presidency.