Direct Democracy are a Tory think tank who have been making some interesting noises about 'localism' and other forms of democratic reform.
I have always seen the largely English UK conservative right as being one of Cornwalls biggest foes and source of many of our problems, but still, times change. The Cornish Constitutional Convention also contains individuals from the conservative camp; are they aware of DD? Have a look at what they write below, visit their website and make up your own mind .
True direct democracy
By stark contrast to the UK Government's timid dabbling, truly impressive direct democracy could be seen in action last week in the Swiss Canton of Obwalden. In a referendum, more than 90% of residents of the Canton (population 33,755) voted to introduce a flat income tax rate of just 1.8 percent. The U.S. Cato Institute argues that this result is not only positive news for tax competition within Switzerland, but will also put more pressure on Europe's welfare states to reform oppressive tax regimes. They urge voters in other Cantons to exercise their constitutional right of initiative and petition for a chance to vote for similar low-rate flat tax systems.
Cameron's localism - the post-bureaucratic age
We write on Open Democracy's 'Our Kingdom' blog about how the new 'post-bureaucratic' age message that David Cameron has been outlining in recent weeks and months is essentially a localist vision of future society. Indeed, many of the specific policy announcements that have emanated from Conservative Central Office are welcome endorsements of ideas that Direct Democracy have been advocating for some years now, such as direcltly-elected sheriffs, localist welfare reform and greater parental choice in schooling. We urge Mr Cameron to reinforce this vision during 2008 and to put forward still bolder reforms in crucial areas such as devolving town hall funding and constitutional reform, without which genuine localism cannot become a reality.