UKIP leader Nigel Farage has today announced his party’s pledge to local democracy, ensuring that decisions take place at a micro-level, rather than at a national level. Farage also backed the use of referenda over contentious national issues, stating that the policy of giving the British people a vote was a “safety net” against the political classes.
Mr Farage was speaking at the Institute for Government – which the Guido Fawkes blog has referred to as “the most serious threat to freedom in Britain since the Communist Party” – where he pledged to support the idea of ‘direct democracy’.
The BBC reports that Farage said: “I see direct democracy working as a valuable safety net when the political class have got too far out of touch with political opinion”.
Giving people more say in decision-making, he added, could restore faith and trust in the political system which was “breaking down in a very serious way”.
“By giving people the chance to call a major national referendum or sack a rotten MP, people might feel more empowered and more favourable to government and what they are doing.”
Since Douglas Carswell MP and Daniel Hannan MEP reintroduced the idea of direct democracy into the British political mainstream, many have thrown their weight behind the idea. The philosophy chimes well with conservatives and libertarians, especially those outside of London.
The political classes took a battering in the European Parliamentary elections last month, with the anti-establishment UKIP topping the national ballot.