Direct Democracy Forum Overview:

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The Direct Democracy Forum (DDF) is a registered South African political party (IEC registration number 936). The DDF is a party of policies, not personalities.

The DDF believe in Capitalism (the private ownership of Capital, Property and the Means of Production and unrestricted access to the Market Place). The DDF believe in Democracy. But the DDF also believe that both systems need tweaking to benefit our society equitably. The DDF want both Capitalism and Democracy to succeed and to serve all in South Africa.

The DDF have six core policies which differentiates them from all other political parties. They are; 1) tax reform (TEAL or Total Economic Activity Levy), 2) Universal Basic Income Grant and Advancement Grants, 3) Sovereign Wealth Fund, 4) a People’s Senate and Municipal Forums 5) Electoral Reform and 6) Money and Banking Reform.

Central to DDF economic policies is the replacement of conventional taxes (30% or so of the GDP) with a single levy of 1/2% on the broader economy, to fund the fiscus. We call this Total Economic Activity Levy (TEAL). This is possible because there is a general relationship of 30 times (or more) of the value of the GDP flowing through the Banking System in any given year. Thus a R3 Trillion GDP will mean about 90 Trillion (or more) flows through the banks in that year. Each Rand is both a deposit and a payment which sums to R180 Trillion. 37% added for settlements within single banks pushes this to R246.6 Trillion.

OUT: 30% tax of the GDP of R3 Trillion (R0.9 Trillion).

IN:    1/2% TEAL on 246,6 Trillion (R1.233 Trillion).

This would effectively replace a 30% tax burden on profits and income (which penalises success) with a 1% TEAL on the economic activity (½% into + ½ % out of bank accounts) which is more like an economic rent than a tax. The 1% assumes you spend all that you earn. The banks collect TEAL from their clients and pay it to the revenue service, much like they do with VAT.

This same process can be used to fund a Basic Income Grant (BIG) (aka UBI or Universal Basic Income) of say R5000 per month for every adult South African Citizen, while a once in a lifetime Advancement Grant of about R200000 for each member of the same population can pay for tertiary education or other advancement expenditure. We see these grants as a joint investment in the demand side of the economy and in SA’s population, giving them opportunities and choices they would not otherwise have, which will also stimulate the supply side to pursue the increased demand. A BIG will also fund a National Health Insurance Scheme and help fund a Sovereign Wealth Fund in which every adult South African Citizen has an equal share (SWF). The BIG and the Fiscus can be funded from a 2.165% TEAL (see Teal the Big Picture ). The DDF expect the SWF will eventually fund the BIG from profits earned.

To help redress the problems of Democracy we propose a Senate, populated independently of party politics. This Senate has a rolling population (50% are replaced annually) drawn by a random process (called sortition) from a cross-section of a volunteer population, identified for example, by Age, Income, Education, Cultural Affiliation, Religion, Gender & etcetera, and arranged into peer groups. Thus far some 40 peer groups have been identified. At 10 senators per peer group this equals 400 senators. The legislative assembly and cabinet would legislate and regulate, and the Senate would approve or reject that legislation and regulation. This includes the possibility of a minority veto to block discriminatory legislation or regulation. The cost savings from replacing tax with TEAL will more than pay for the Senate. A similar structure and process is proposed on a smaller scale for Municipal Forums at local government levels.

In conjunction with the Senate proposal, the DDF envisage Electoral Reforms which 1) Elect Members of Parliament and Councils directly by Constituency, 2) allow voters to cast Votes of No Confidence at national and local elections to reflect in parliament and council votes cast against matters before these assemblies, and 3)  allow voters to Recall and Replace MPs and Councillors through recall votes and by-elections. 

These Senate and electoral reforms will give voters’ opinions more relevance on a daily basis in the country’s assemblies. 

Money and Banking reforms (M&B) are proposed so our society as  whole benefits from the efforts of the financial services sector.  This will probably include the SWF wholly owning the South African Reserve Bank and entering the financial services marketplace through part or full ownership of some commercial banks and institutions spread across the entire financial sector, so as to introduce elements of competition which do not presently exist in that sector, with the SARB controlling the upper limits for rates of interest and other (non interest) charges levied by players in the financial services sector, and, importantly, directly controlling the money supply available to the economy.   The SARB is key to these reforms and it’s remit will be to benefit, through its actions, all of the economy, rather than just a thin slice of the economy. 

We do not think these proposals are a total solution for all SA’s woes. There needs to be a framework of sound government policy and administration. In that sense, Cabinet and the Executive will be the executors of the will of parliament and SA’s population, as delivered through the exercise of direct democracy in the Electoral Processes, the Senate and Municipal Forums.  But we do think the proposals sketched above will contribute to a more prosperous and happy South Africa.

These are the core policies of the DDF.

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