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March 18, 2006

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Simstim

I think you might overstating the role of numerous small donations in the past finances of the big parties. The Conservatives have always been the recipient of funds from big business and of course Labour had their equivalent in the unions. Perhaps the crisis in party funding is more to do with these particular relationships than with a general decline in small personal donations.

I'd suggest that the decline in party membership has had more of a financial impact by depriving the parties of a large pool of volunteer labour that they then have to replace through the use of advertising, PR consultants, etc.

Paul Davies

Re point 2 "They’re hierarchic. This encourages us to look to leaders to help us, rather than solve problems ourselves."

Are people unwilling to look for answers themselves because the system is hierarchic, or is the system hierarchic because people are generally unwilling to think? I fear the latter.

OneEyedMan

Direct democracy stinks.

1) It puts even more power in the hands of those with more time to vote and consider political matters like the rich and the elderly

2) Who will control the agenda? If we vote on every issue on a first come, first serve basis, how will deal with the most pressing matters? If somone has the athority to control the agenda, then Romer showed that this results in the agenda setter having unlimited ability to set policy.

MatGB

Agree with One Eyed Man; direct democracy leads to great thinkers drinking hemlock at the whim of the populace.

Parties are a useful tool for grouping and predicting a candidate along broad lines. two-party politics is deeply flawed, the old left / right class alignment is dying, but use a system that allows for better choice and distinction.

Will do point by point reply when I've time, hopefully tomorrow evening.

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