UKIP Uncovered
What motivates the leaders of the United Kingdom Independence Party?

Saturday, December 11, 2004 

Thoughts on Democracy

One of the 'startling', even 'radical' policies in UKIP's already-legendary Draft Manifesto is the new 'Direct Democracy' idea of allowing the people to have a direct say on any national issue - if, say, 3% of people petition for a referendum. It's a policy that has many supporters in and outside UKIP.

As it stands, UKIP's policy reads: 'The Popular Initiative'

"If, within six months, 3% of the national electorate sign a petition requiring a referendum on some question not currently before Parliament, then the government will be obliged to hold a binding referendum on that matter within a further six months."

This worthy 'Popular Initiative' principle could of course be used in UKIP.

It might read something like this: "If 20% of UKIP Branch Chairman demand an Extraordinary Conference to discuss a motion of no confidence in the Party leadership, one will be held without delay"

The Party Secretary deems otherwise however, read his quite incredible justification for refusing an EGM from the party website linked here.

I can do no better than offer this response to that load of old rubbish than the following, which was posted on an internet forum by a one time UKIP NEC member (now long resigned in disgust!):

a. There is no stated requirement for the Branch chairs to "prove" they had an EGM - nor for the NEC to ask for such "proof" - except perhaps over and above a simple statement of confirmation. If it is subsequently found that a branch chair had been lying (and I'm sure whistleblowers abound in UKIP - so that would very quickly come to light!) then that is a matter for internal party discipline and/or legal action.

b. Similarly to (a.). There is no requirement for actual signatures. NEC officials may query the credentials of the submission, or ask for confirmation, but they cannot refuse purely on "suspicions" that it may - possibly - not be authentic.

c. It is no concern of the NEC, at this stage, that a "Vote of No Confidence" in the Party Leader may not result in a Leadership election. If the branch Chairs have requested such a vote of no confidence at an EGM - then that is what they should get. The "petitioning party" do not need a "declaration to that effect from an appropriate court". That is sheer twaddle!!

posted by Martin |5:00 PM
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