The party defines itself by the five core policies. So that members and non-members clearly understand what the party stands for, these cannot be changed. At present they are principles the details of which will be decided according to the party constitution
All other policies will be decided according to the constitution
Below is a provisional list of headings for the Mani-festo each with a link to a page
That page contains provisional ideas for discussion.
Read this, as work in progress. Only DRP paid up members can comment and so if you want to have your say:
Constitutional Court Supreme Court
Functions of Government Public Services Board Monetary Policy Board
National planning strategies
Coordination of regions
ISSUES DISCUSSED IN THE NEWSLETTERS NOT LINKED TO THE MANIFESTO
British Republican History
In any constitutional democracy such as ours, the key offices of state are separated.
Three such key offices are traditionally recognized:
- The Head of State (the monarch or the president)
- The Legislature (parliament)
- The Judiciary (judges and the legal establishment)
In a new constitution for our times, other offices of state are possible, as the DRP argues for, but let’s just take these three.
In Britain, these three offices are separated, and have been since the middle ages.
For this reason Britain was used a model for the newly created republics of America and France in the eighteenth century.
But there is one vital difference between Britain and a republic.
The Head of State is the monarch.
Technically the monarch has enormous power but in practice does not use it.
This means that all the power flows to the head of the legislature – the Prime Minister.
And so the office of British Prime Minister is the most powerful of offices in any western constitutional democracy, and you can see this in the day-to-day operation of government – even with a coalition.
Prime Minister Cameron, through his cabinet, decides health service reforms, when to go to war, when to have a referendum on Europe and so on.
Just occasionally we see a chink of democracy working especially if the Prime Minister seems to be losing their head as in August 2013 when Cameron’s wish to launch Tomahawk missiles at Syria was chucked out by parliament.
But this is a rare event.
It is a fundamental principle of republicanism that the constitution must guarantee that no one office accumulates excessive power.
The separation of powers is the means by which this is achieved
But this can only work if every office of state has real and unchallengeable power under the constitution.
This is why we need a president with real power to balance that of the leader of the legislature.
People often say that they do not want a presidential system because they do not want to see, say, a President Blair or a President Cameron.
But this is to fundamentally misunderstand republican constitutions.
A President Blair would, under the kind of constitution the DRP propose, would have had far less power than that of the actual Prime Minister Blair that we knew.
His power would have been balanced and curbed by the other offices of state
The office of president cannot be a ceremonial office, as, for instance, in Germany or Ireland, for that means the change away from monarchy would be superficial.
We have seen how the Irish system has taken that country down the road of economic disaster and endemic corruption.
We have seen how the German system has produced a Chancellor (German Prime Minister) with excessive power.
In designing the new Republican Constitution for Great Britain we should learn from existing republics that have a president with real power, such as the USA and France.
But the British Republic will not too closely based on these
The new office of British President to replace the Monarch will emerge from British traditions and British character.
[Elec ted separately – more democracy]
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