The South African parliamentary model is loosely patterned after the Westminster Model with an elected legislature and a second house intended to moderate the acts of the legislature (in UK a House of Lords and in SA a House of Provinces)
The Westminster model has largely been regarded with some respect and has been more or less emulated around the world. Ok this is probably because Britain was a prolific colonizer and left its stamp on many aspects of the life and politics of its former colonies. But the Westminster model is under scrutiny, indeed perhaps even under attack, particularly from those who want devolution from a centrist authority. The most recent attack on Westminster itself came from the Scottish referendum of September 18 2014 on the issue of Scottish independence from Britain, but was defeated by a 10% margin (45% for and 55% against secession).
None the less, the vote has sparked a great deal of debate about the Westminster style of government. The sentiment for a greater and closer say in the process of government is developing a groundswell in Britain and elsewhere in the world. A recent manifestation of this groundswell comes from a group of the world’s mayors, who are pushing for a parliament of mayors. See Will mayors one day rule the world?
The Direct Democracy Forum might support such a move provided the mayors were directly elected but wonder if mayors would then have the time to also act as members of a national or international legislative body and how would that work?
The idea is interesting but DDF believe that any parliamentary model that does not include elements of direct democracy in it would basically usurp the rights recognized by the DDF, for a population to approve all laws and regulations by which it is governed.
This is the core of the DDF‘s Senate model, that a legislature can be appointed in any manner provided it is directly answerable either to the electorate as a whole, by referendum, or to a senate representing that electorate, such as suggested in the DDF‘s proposal for a Senate.
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