Veto power prevents a ruling class
Feudalism is a political system in which an oligarchy controls a country’s resources. In this system, most people own no land and have no share in the profits of their labour. They live and work on the estate of a Lord of the Manor, who charges them fees or taxes for using his land. Most people have no social mobility and no chance of owning their own land. Rich people are the authority and they make rules to enrich themselves. They are the ruling class, which they call the Government. The knights enforce the rulings of the land lords and the church demands that the peasants worship and praise the (Land) Lord. Feudalism was preferred by the rich and powerful because it took their power and wealth to the next level.
What causes the rise of feudalism? The rich are like most people. They like to make money, keep wealth in the family and marry people of the same class. The ownership of estates is inherited and limited to a group of bloodlines. After generations of marriage, the rich become their own tribe known as the aristocracy. They are bound by blood ties and the shared goal of protecting their privileged position. The aristocracy is the union of the rich and in every country, they were synonymous with the ruling class. Today, the major corporations are owned and directed by people who are in-laws and distant relatives of one other. The result is collaboration, corporate mergers and cartels. The boards of directors of major corporations appoint their successors by preselecting the candidates that shareholders may vote for. In this way, the elite can perpetually appoint each other to positions of power. Many directors sit on the boards of multiple organisations, which keep them controlled by a tight-knit group of people. One solution to this problem is for members of an organisation to demand a scratch vote when voting for new directors. This lets them vote for None of the Above (NOTA). If the majority of members vote for NOTA, the board must hold a new election with new candidates added to the existing voting list. Members can lobby the board to include a candidate on the list that they want.
The Industrial Revolution was a dynamic process that led to the rise of the middle class. This rise in wealth increased the bargaining power of the common people and forced the rich to negotiate with them. The common people won the right to vote. Today, the middle class is disappearing, and democracy will disappear along with it. Land and capital goods are being concentrated back into the hands of the few. Land is unaffordable, causing people to get heavily into debt to the rich or to remain a tenant their whole life. Oligopolies run industries and the limited competition is owned by a handful of banks and wealthy families.
Voters leave it to politicians to sort out these economic problems, only to find they get worse. Politicians are judged by the performance of the economy when they don’t really control it. Central banks have the most impact on the economy because they manipulate the interest rates of money. Central banks are independent from the influence of voters and can do what they like. New investments in housing and capital goods are artificially stimulated by lowering interest rates. But when it is time to reap what is sown, the central bank suddenly raises interest rates. Everyone stops spending and puts their money in the bank. The new investments don’t make a return and go bust.
Some economic threats are the result of the policies of politicians. Examples are the dismantling of industries because of the alleged greenhouse effect, or Agenda 21, which aims to convert farmers’ land into wilderness and move the population into compact ghettos. How is it possible for some policies to be imposed on a population that mostly opposes them? The Government is confident that when it leaves office, the Opposition will leave its legacy intact. These days, the Opposition doesn’t do the popular thing of getting rid of an unpopular legacy. After years of opposing the Government, they build upon its legacy when given the chance. What does that say about them? The Opposition views the Government’s legacy as progress. The Government and the Opposition mutually agree on laws that the citizens mutually oppose. This is what politicians call progress.
In a representative democracy, you choose a representative to vote for laws to get passed, amended or scrapped. You delegate your voting rights; therefore, you don’t personally vote on the laws of your country. In fact, you just vote for a different ruler. In an election, each contending ruler offers a bundle of policies to voters. The bundle contains good, bad and ugly policies. Voters choose the bundle they think is the lesser evil. The rulers know this and can get away with anything if they are better than the greater evil. They can prioritise policies that empower themselves and their sponsors.
Instead of delegating your voting rights to a representative, you should retain them. Voters are the source of power in any democracy and they regulate the regulators. Therefore, they should be trusted to make informed decisions. A simple method of direct democracy is to have veto power. This means that any government proposal is put to a referendum. The referendum simply identifies the proposal and asks voters for a yes or no response. If the majority of respondents vote “yes”, the bill passes. If they vote “no”, then politicians go back to the drawing board. They can make amendments to the bill and initiate a subsequent referendum. Other proposals that could be subject to a veto include tax increases, infrastructure projects, council by-laws, international agreements and wars overseas. Changes to the law can also be proposed by citizens through petitions.
Veto power enables the public to stop agendas being forced upon them. It gives voters more choice and therefore more reason to think carefully about politics. No changes to the law will be possible without winning the majority’s support for the change. Conversely, there will be no barriers to changing laws that the majority wants changed. In a direct democracy, the only policies that will survive are those that have a broad consensus. The political values of a country may shift but democracy finds the middle ground. Proposals that only benefit a lobby group can be vetoed. Lobbyists will have to advertise their requests to the public instead of negotiating with politicians behind closed doors.
The larger the population of a country, the more diluted the power of voters becomes. When empires get too large, the colonies break away and form independent states. Decentralisation and secession help to prevent a concentration of power. The alternative to democracy is various forms of oligarchy. Dictatorships always censor the press, confiscate firearms and turn the legal system into the Inquisition. The ruling class is free to detain and torture anyone. Citizens have no way of limiting bureaucracy and oligarchy. We need more democracy, not less.