Welcome to Policy Forum
Policy Forum relaunches a centuries old British tradition of open debate and discussions amongst free citizens to propose solutions to shortcomings in representation and decisions by parliament. Early gatherings were the Putney Debates organized by the Levellers in 1647 proposing universal suffrage, although not including women. Women only gained the vote almost 300 years later.
The Levellers also proposed important provisions to avoid the formation of political parties to prevent a permanent arrangement between wealthy benefactors and professional politicians whereby constituents are no longer able to vote for representatives but only having the choice of voting for representatives of political parties.
Political parties have become proxies for benefactors. The prospects of politicians depend on how, in parliament, they follow the "party line". Economic policies tend to support the interests of benefactors. In the inevitable policy outcome of winners and losers, benefactors are always the main winners. Constituents have no say in such policies but their circumstances decline. Political party membership constitutes less than 1.3% of the electorate. The number of individual benefactors whose companies and media organizations influence policy formulation, number less than 1% of the electorate.
Let us, as free citizens, perfect our democracy through collaborating in open debate motivated by our desire for a more representative government. Equitable policies need to support the preferences of the majority. Through peaceful means, we need to continue our journey to establish a participatory democracy on these Isles.
| "...for really, I think that the poorest he that is in England hath a life to live, as the greatest he; and therefore truly, Sir, I think it's clear, that every man that is to live under a government ought first, by his own consent to put himself under that government; and I do think that the poorest man in England is not bound in a strict sense to that government that he hath not had a voice to put himself under..."
Thomas Rainborough, Putney Debate, 1647.