Electoral Reform

ELECTORAL REFORM:

PDF: Electoral Reform 200820

Definitions:

  • SMF:  Senate and Municipal Forums
  • IEC:  Independent Electoral Commission.
  • Kgotla – meeting of all villagers where all can speak and all can be heard.
  • MDPN – Municipal, District, Provincial and National.
  • NCV – No Confidence Votes
  • MP – Member of Parliament.
  • PC – Provincial Councilor
  • PR – Proportional Representation.
  • DC – District Councilor
  • MC – Municipal Councilor
  • Executive – Members of Cabinet, Provincial Executive Councils, Municipal Management and Executive Councils, Mayors, Premiers, Presidents and Vice Presidents and their deputies and municipal managers and service delivery management.

Elections:

  • Elections are based on constituencies defined by the IEC under the auspices and control of the Constitutional Court
  • All elections for MDPN Legislative Assemblies will follow a 4 year cycle.
  • The elections for each respective MDPN Assembly can occur in the First, Second, Third and Fourth year from the date of a National General Election. Alternatively, Municipal and District elections can occur in the Second year and  Provincial and National Elections in the Fourth year from the date of the prior National General Election (to be decided)

Terms of Office:

  • Elected representatives in all MDPN Legislative Assemblies shall serve four year terms of office, from the date of their election or will serve until the date of the next election.
  • The proposed SMF Senators and Representatives shall serve for two years, with the oldest serving half of each body being replaced annually.

Candidates:

  • Candidates for elected MDPN assemblies stand in their own names for the constituencies in which they reside.
  • Candidates for MDPN legislative Assemblies are nominated by voters of those constituencies, suggested to be as follows: 
    •  Municipal candidates require nomination by say 200 voters from their constituencies.
    • District candidates require nomination by say 300 hundred voters from their constituencies.
    • Provincial Candidates require nomination by say 400 hundred voters from their constituencies.
    • National (Parliamentary) candidates require nomination by say 500 voters from their constituencies.
    • When there are fewer voters in a constituency than are required for nomination, the IEC in collaboration with a magistrate for the constituency can authorise the name/s to appear on the voters roll for such constituencies.
    • This means, in theory, that each candidate would need to secure nominations from, 200, 300, 400 or 500 voters, respectively, registered in their respective constituencies.
    • It should be noted that 500 signatures are required in support of a new political party registration, so the threshold for a parliamentary candidate is quite high.
  • Each candidate who has been thus nominated will appear on the ballot sheet for that constituency for the first round of voting.
  • If there are more than (say) 5 candidates, the 5 candidates who secure the most votes in the first round ballot will go forward to the next round of voting.
  • If there are less than 5 candidates on the ballot sheet, all those on the ballot sheet will automatically go forward to the next round of voting.
  • At the second round, if there is no clear winner receiving 50%+1 of the votes the three candidates receiving the most votes will appear on the ballot for the next round.
  • The voting will continue until there is a clear winner receiving 50%+1 (or more) of the vote.

Funding for Candidates:

  • Nominated candidates shall be funded and resourced equally by the IEC sufficient that they can mount an effective campaign to address the needs of their constituencies and constituents.
  • Government shall provide the IEC directly with the necessary funds in order to meet the above requirement.
  • The IEC shall provide the candidates directly with those funds and resources and the candidates shall directly make use of those funds and  resources.
  • Those funds and resources must be used in support of the candidates’ candidacies and may not be used for any other purpose.  
    • To use the resources or funds for any other purpose shall be a criminal act.
  • Directly means that no body or organisation of whatsoever nature may receive those funds or resources or make use of those funds or resources on behalf of or in place of the intended candidates.
  • The candidates shall account in detail to the IEC on how they disbursed those funds and how they made use of those resources.

Means of Appointment: 

  • At each round of the elections, voters may vote for three candidates of their choice, in order of preference, first, second or third preference.
  • The First choice gives the candidate three votes, Second choice gives the candidate two votes and third choice gives the candidate one vote.
  • The votes are accumulated for each candidate.
  • The candidate recording the most votes is elected.
  • In the event of a tied vote or there being no clear winner with 50%+1 of the vote, the tied candidates or the three candidates with the most votes each go forward to a further round of voting until a clear winner emerges.

No Confidence Votes:

  •  Each voter may cast a vote of no confidence in the candidates, in place of voting for any candidates.
  • In line with the votes, a NCV carries a three, two or one vote which the voter can select while voting.
  • The votes are tallied for the NCV votes as for candidate votes..
  • The NCV totals are carried into the resulting assembly as a proportional vote against every bill or motion before the assembly for the duration of that assembly’s term.
  • Thus, if NCV votes are equal to 25% of all the votes cast, the assembly would need a 66%+1 majority to give an effective 50%+1 majority for that vote for that assembly.
  • In effect the NCVs mean:
    1. The elected members carry an NCV handicap into the affairs of the assembly.
    2. To correct that, for the next election or round of the elections, candidates and the parties that support them have to win back the confidence of their constituents so they are willing to vote for the candidates and not the NCV.

Hung Parliament:

  • A hung parliament is a parliament where no business can be conducted because it does not have the necessary authority or legitimacy (by way of an available majority vote) with which to function.
  • A Hung parliament can occur if there are more NCVs than there are votes for candidates.
  • So, if the total NCVs amount to 50%+1 of all the votes cast in an election, the Parliament cannot function and is effectively a Hung Parliament
  • If the governmentt consistently is unable to conduct business because it cannot muster a majority vote (accounting for NCV votes) Parliament cannot function and is effectively a Hung Parliament.
  • In the event of a Hung Parliament:
    • The Cabinet and the Presidency are suspended.
    • Parliament is suspended
    • The country must go back to the polls, again, until a functioning parliament results.
  • An equivalent process shall be followed for any other national, provincial, regional or municipal assembly.

Recall Votes:

  • After one year from an election date, Voters can remove MPs , District Councilors, MPCs and MCouncillors by recall votes or in the case of OPEN PR Lists, these lists can be re-ordered so the worst ones fall off the list (as in Norway).
  • Constituency based petitions submitted to the IEC,  with the same support required for candidates to appear on ballot sheets, can trigger a recall vote.
  • A Citizens’ Forum Notice can also trigger recall votes. (cf Collaborative Democracy).
  • The IEC must hold a Recall Vote within 30 days of the date of submission of such petition or notice.
  • The IEC must declare the results of the vote no more than 7 days from the date of the Recall Vote
  • Parliament and the affected member are bound by the results of the recall vote.

Impeachment:

  • The IEC can run weekly approval polling for the executive at all levels of government.
  • Where the approval polling reaches a given low (or where disapproval level is significantly high, depending and to be defined), such polls can trigger impeachment hearings.
  • A Citizens’ Forum Notice can also trigger impeachment hearings (cf Collaborative Democracy).
  • The following bodies can conduct impeachment hearings on their respective executives.
    1. Parliament, The Senate, Provincial Councils, Provincial Senates (if they exist), District Councils and District Forums (if they exist), Municipal Councils and Municipal Forums.
    2. To be clear, the Parliament and or the Senate can jointly or severally impeach members of the National Executive and Municipal Councils and or Municipal Forums can jointly or severally impeach members of municipal executives, and so on.
  • These bodies 
    1. must initiate impeachment hearings if triggered by IEC polls or a Citizens’ Forum Notice.
    2. may initiate impeachment hearings if a motion to do so is passed by a simple majority (50%+1) or a super Majority (66%+1) vote, of the relevant body (to be decided).
    3. In this case, NCV votes count for impeachment.
  • Impeachment hearings must be conducted by an appropriately ranked member of the Judiciary (for example a High Court Judge in the case of a national executive impeachment hearing or a lower court judge in the case of a municipal executive hearing), with two assessors, and counsel for and against impeachment, as in a normal court action.
  • The body conducting the hearings will act as jurors on the matter of the impeachment and a simple majority (or super majority) (to be decided) for impeachment will decide the matter.
  • If a member of the executive is impeached, he is dismissed immediately from his post and may never stand for re-appointment to that or any other post in any executive in South Africa.

Parliamentary Vote of No Confidence:

  • If a government is unable to pass its agenda through parliament, parliament can call for a vote of no confidence in the government.
  • If a vote of no-confidence in the government is passed, this would normally result in the government falling and for hopefuls to seek support for the formation of an alternative government (note, not an alternative parliament).
    • Often in such a fractured government this can lead to coalition governments drawing on the support of more than one parliamentary party or group.
  • Consistent failure in this effort can lead to a President dissolving Parliament and calling for a general election.

Snap Elections:

  • A snap election can be called in such circumstances.
  • Usually such an election can occur with as little as 30 days or 90 days warning and is often called by a government under siege of parliament in order to change the composition of parliament and in the hope that a newly constituted parliament will support the government’s agenda.
  • Elections of this nature are effectively referendums on the desire of the voters to retain or discard the existing government.

Other means of Direct Democracy:

  • Other means of Direct Democracy should be embraced:

Collaborative Democracy:

  • The proposed Senate will run an on-line public forum (a Citizens Forum) which anyone can contribute to by way of Proposals (tax all big nosed persons double) and Debate (that is a bad idea) and can Vote a proposal up or down in importance and support.
  • Any proposal which reaches a certain threshold of support and for which a Citizens’ Forum Notice is issued, can trigger a bill before Parliament and or a Public Referendum, much as a petition can trigger such actions, and or trigger a Recall Vote and or Impeachment Hearings.
  • These proposals can relate to local, municipal, regional, provincial or national laws or regulations or acts.
  • All such acts and or referendums will be subject to Senate review, as all other acts and regulations are.
  • The purpose is to allow public participation in the legislative process so as to give voice to the aspirations of the ordinary citizens of South Africa.
  • This process is called Collaborative Democracy.

Involvement of Civics:

  • Civics (organisations that provide services to their communities) are grass root citizen assemblies (such as but not limited to Ratepayers and Residents Associations and kgotlas) who need access to all levels of government so as to express needs, largely but not necessarily limited to service delivery, and to enable accountability and consequences at all levels of Government for a lack of service delivery.
  • To enable this, the DDF envisage two data bases, also under the auspices of the Senate,
  • A Civic Affairs Database (CAD)
  • records the affairs of the civic, namely specific failures in service delivery, and scores public servants, elected and appointed, according to their performance, and a second database, a Customer Review Database (CRD), to record levels of satisfaction or dissatisfaction with services, as perceived by the contributors to the databases.
  • The CAD will be written to by authorised members of registered civics and merit or de-merits are earned by involved public servants.
  • The CAD can be queried and accessed in read-only mode by any member of the public or government and can be used as justification for recall votes and or impeachment actions against elected officials or executive or management at all levels of government.
    • The idea is that when demerits reach a certain threshold a demerit report is generated and e-mailed to responsible parties and to the Senate and the effected Municipal Forums and Civics who can hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions.
  • The Customer Review Database (CRD)
  • is a more general database rating municipalities and wards for levels of satisfaction and / or dissatisfaction and can be entered up by any member of the public, rating various services (water, electricity, security, education & etc) say on a scale of 0 to 10, 0 being the lowest and 10 the highest possible rating for each agency/service within a municipality or ward.
    • The idea here is that any member of the public can access the data and assess the degree of customer satisfaction for any given ward or suburb or municipality and be able to use this information to guide his or her decisions regarding investment in the area of interest (do I move to or invest in suburb A, for example). It will also serve as a measure for responsible members of municipalities to become aware of and address possible shortfalls in those municipalities, creating a positive feedback loop for improved service delivery. The corollary is that when challenged on the shortfalls of their areas of responsibility, officials can not plead ignorance of such shortfalls. So this is a win-win service and database for responsible management and employees in any given area, and for their customers.

In order to prevent scamming and spamming, it is anticipated that contributors to both the CAD and CRD must identify themselves (sign in) and be verified, although their identity can be withheld from view on enquiry.

Referendums:

  • Referendums usually are issue-specific elections.
  • They are often called by extra-parliamentary groups seeking to introduce a law or agenda that a government is otherwise unwilling to support.
  • Process:
    • Usually a group or individual will put a proposal to the electorate in the form of a petition, which must be signed by a minimum number of registered voters.
    • If the necessary support is achieved a referendum is held in which all the voters in a constituency can vote on the proposal.
    • These constituencies can be local, regional, provincial or national.
    • A Citizens’ Forum Proposal with sufficient support can also trigger a referendum.  
    • Often, a single referendum may be held for more than one proposal.
    • Usually a simple majority is required to pass a referendum.
    • If a referendum is successful, the proposal becomes law.   

Senate:

  • Strictly speaking the Senate and Municipal forums should not be part of an electoral debate because …
    • The Senate and Municipal Forums are not elected but are selected bodies, selected by a process called Sortition.
    • Sortition:
      • Is a process of random selection from amongst volunteers
  • Peer Groups:
    • In the DDF Model, the volunteers are identified by their demographics, which the DDF label Categories and Peer Groups.
    • Categories included are (in no particular order):
      • Age,
      • Culture
      • Education.
      • Gender
      • Income
      • Occupation,
      • Religions
      • Traditional Rulers
    • The Categories are further identified as Peer Groups, as follows:
      • Age: 13 to 16, 17 to 20, 21 to 35, 36 to 50, 51 to 65, 66 to 80, 81+.
      • Culture: Zulu, Khosa, Sotho, Mixed, San, European, Asian.
      • Education: No Formal, Primary, Secondary, Tertiary. Graduate, Post Graduate.
      • Gender: Male, Female, LGBTQ.
      • Income/Wealth: Poverty, Low Income, Middle Income, High Income, Super Rich.
      • Occupation: Unskilled, Skilled, Artisan, Professional, Student, Academic, Home Carers (Incl Domestic Workers).
      • Religion: Christian, Muslim, Judaism, Hindu, Atheist, none.
      • Traditional Leaders: one group.
        • This list is not definitive and may be changed as needed and without derogation of the rights of any existing peer group.
        • Each peer group has equal rights and duties within the Senate.
        • Perhaps there should be a further category, viz Provincial, and the Council of Provinces should be absorbed into the Senate.

Selection:

  • Initially, ten volunteers are selected by sortition for each peer group.
  • Each year, a further 5 are selected and replace the 5 oldest serving members of each peer group, who drop out from the Senate.
  • In the first cycle, the 5 to drop out are selected by lottery and or volunteer to drop out.
  • Past members of the Senate:
    • Can volunteer for selection in a future Senate
    • Can work for the senate in support or other roles (mentors & etc) if suitably qualified. Having previously served as a Senator would be a recommendation and could be a qualification for such roles.
    • Even those employed in various roles in the Senate or perhaps in Municipal Forums) return to the streets as ordinary members of society, that is, without favour or privilege.
      • This will encourage Senate members to act in their own best interests for when they return to the streets and therefore, hopefully, in the best interests of their peers in the streets.
  • The actual selection process is ‘names out of a hat’ (or an equivalent process) for each peer group, from the volunteer population.

Function and Purpose:

  • The purpose of the Senate is to serve the interests of all the people of the land.
  • The function is to approve or reject Legislation and or Regulation emanating from Parliament ( The Legislative assembly) and or the Executive.
  • Simply put, Parliament and the Executive no longer approve their Bills and Regulations, but must seek the approval of the peoples’ house (the Senate) for those proposals to become law.

Voting:

  • Each Senator has one vote.
  • There are three choices.  They are for or against the motion or for a referendum.
    • If a simple majority of votes are for a referendum, then that triggers a referendum for that bill or regulation.
  • The Senate needs a Super Super Majority (say 80%)  to approve legislation or regulation presented to the Senate for approval.
    • The purpose of that  is that no regulation or legislation is approved without the support of the vast majority of the Senate and therefore, hopefully, the people .

Veto:

  • Additional to the voting (above), any peer group may apply to the constitutional court to apply a veto on a matter which has been approved by the Senate as a whole, but which prejudices the interests or rights of, or discriminates against, that peer group.
  • Where a peer group is thus prejudiced but is not represented in the Senate, any other peer group may go through the Veto process on behalf of the unrepresented peer group.  
    • (eg. The LGBTQ peer group might veto a bill prejudicing ‘same gender parents’, which group may not be represented in the Senate).
  • Such a veto may be adopted with a simple majority of the peer group or with approval of the whole of the peer group (to be decided).

Abuses of the Senate:

  • Abuses of the senate, that is, applying external undue pressure or influence on a senator or peer group or the Senate as a whole, including attempts at bribery or such other similar acts of influence, will be deemed to be a criminal act.
    • This obviously precludes the efforts of support staff (such as mentors or expert consultants or MPs, speaking for or against matters) who are engaged by the Senate to inform the Senate or Senators on matters before the Senate, from being labelled as abusers of the Senate.
  • Any Senator who succumbs to such influence will be removed from office  and face criminal prosecution. 
  • Any person who engages in such abuses will face criminal prosecution and if found guilty, will face the harshest sentences possible under the law.

Municipal Forums:

  • Municipal forums and their members are selected from the constituencies of the municipality of which they are a part, but otherwise function in exactly the same manner and have exactly the same purpose and function as the Senate, but their jurisdiction is that of the Municipality of which they are a part.
  • Additionally, it is suggested that the peer groups of each Municipal Forum have (say) 4 members each, instead of the proposed 10 members of the Senate peer groups.

The Power of Direct Democracy.

On 17th March 1992, “White South Africa” voted overwhelmingly in a Referendum, to scrap apartheid and to negotiate a new inclusive constitution. In a turnout of 85 % of the registered voters, 69% voted for the proposed negotiations (ie to scrap apartheid) and 31% voted against the proposal.

We believe that this reflected the overwhelming sentiment of the majority of the white population which had prevailed for decades, probably ever since the introduction of apartheid following the 1948 general elections, which delivered a parliamentary majority to white South African nationalists.

On 25th May 2018 the Irish people voted overwhelmingly in a Referendum, to scrap the eighth amendment to the Irish constitution, which in a referendum in 1983, driven largely by the Catholic Church in the guise of a visit to Ireland by the Pope, largely banned abortion in Ireland under most circumstances. This time around, some 35 years later, in a 64% turnout, 66% voted in favour of scrapping the eighth amendment and 34% voted against the proposal.

As part of the Irish ballot, the question was asked for how long had the sentiment expressed in the vote cast existed. Many answered, for decades.

And then, of course, there was Brexit! Yet another example of the will of the people expressed in an act of direct democracy in 2016 which went counter to the wishes, expectations and hopes of the establishment.

The point of this is to illustrate the power of voters exerted in the direct expression of their democratic will by means of a referendum, by the application of direct democracy. Few parliamentary elections generate such high voter turnout and fewer still deliver parliamentary results which express the will of the people so directly and so accurately and very few parliamentary elections deliver such landslide results, except in totalitarian stares where opposition opinion is excluded from the process.

Without the application of the will of the people expressed in acts of direct democracy, apartheid in South Africa and the almost blanket ban on abortion in Ireland and Britain’s membership of the EU, could well have continued ad nauseum.

What these three examples ably demonstrate is that the world’s parliamentary systems are not always aligned with the wishes of their voters so much as being aligned with the will of the prevailing establishment.  This does need to change, here in South Africa, and elsewhere.

Then of course there was the recent US Presidential elections where the will of the people (a substantial absolute majority for Hillary Clinton) was ignored by the establishment in favour of President Donald Trump. It may be argued that the one candidate is no better than the other, but in that instance it was clearly shown that the will of the people was not expressed in the election results.

It can and will be argued that direct democracy also demonstrates the fickleness of the voter population.  But we would argue that it is perfectly legitimate for a voter population to try out a particular political strategy or process and when finding the strategy or process to be wanting, to ditch it.  That is not being fickle, that is being responsible. 

The establishment are largely in fear of direct democracy because they fear populist government and they are less able to control the outcomes of political sentiment expressed by direct democracy, than by influencing the party political system, by various means, including but not limited to the buying of political favour in political parties.

The Direct Democracy Forum’s sentiment is illustrated by the proposed application of direct democracy in the DDF’s proposed SENATE and MUNICIPAL FORUMS and in the use of referendums to resolve political deadlocks, much like occurred in South Africa in the apartheid years and in Ireland since 1983 and in Britain since the 1970s.

DDF SENATE PROPOSALS VINDICATED

There is a saying that all will come to those who wait. Being proactive I am not sure I agree with the sentiment. But recently something happened illustrating it’s relevance.

Some 60 years back in the 1960s, when I was about 15, I was pondering how a political process whereby a political fringe had managed to capture a perfectly adequate dual house parliamentary system and impose a largely unwelcome and undesirable system (the apartheid system) on the masses of the population of a country (SA), could have come about. From that came a proposal for an upper house of parliament (I called it a house of censure) which was drawn from the streets rather than the political establishment, and through which all legislation and regulation must be passed for approval. Of course I was 15 or so, and nothing came of it beyond it being a proposal.

Over the years, the proposal became more sophisticated and concrete and I stopped calling the house one of censure, and identified it as a Senate.

In the 1990s, when the CODESA was in process I submitted my Senate proposal to CODESA l and ll, as many did. The proposal was ignored. I happened at the time to be living across the road from Mac Maharaj, then the ANC’s spin doctor. I challenged him on the fact that my proposal had not even been acknowledged. He stood on the other side of his gate and held his hand about chest high above the ground and said, what did I expect them to do with a pile of proposals that high. The inference being that CODESA was a farce and was merely a vehicle to impose the opinions of the few on the many and is merely a sop to consultation. I learned this form of consultation is typical of the ANC.

Time moved on. In 2012 the Direct Democracy Forum was formed using TEAL and the Senate proposals as the foundation of DDF policies. These policies have since been added to by a Basic Income Grant and a Sovereign Wealth Fund (amongst other policies).

Now in 2018, I read an article published June 2016 in the Guardian’s long read series, by David Van Reybrouck titled “Why elections are bad for democracy” arguing very persuasively that representative democracy and elected politicians are failing us, their constituents, where “common interest lose out to short term and party interests”, and where “winning the next election has become more important than fulfilling the promises made in the last”, and that in it’s place was needed something like “the central principle of Athenian democracy, drafting by lot, or sortition”, where those drafted were immersed in the details of every legislative and regulatory proposal and so could vote from an informed position on the issues. Thus ” a cross-section of society that is informed can act more coherently than an entire society that is uninformed”.

How does that vindicate the DDF Senate policies? It does so because sortition describes exactly what the DDF Senate policy is about.

It is significant that sortition is being used more and more to resolve issues that party-political electioneering and periodic visits to voting stations have been unable to resolve. This has occurred “in the US, Australia and the Netherlands” and most innovatively in Ireland. In December 2012, a constitutional convention began, drawing on “33 elected politicians and 66 citizens, drafted by lot, from both Ireland and Northern Ireland” .. who .. “met one weekend per month for more than a year”.

In this, the Irish approach, the convention drew up proposals to go before parliament. In the DDF approach, the Senate would be required to approve or reject legislation or regulation emanating from Parliament or Cabinet. So one is doing it one way, the other is doing it the other way. But the same essential principle is being applied. Get the approval of ordinary opinion, first or last in the process, but getting that approval is essential, which ever way you do it.

I believe all of this vindicates the DDF’s Senate policy and proposals and although it is a 60 year old story for me, the story still has some chapters to be written. Those chapters cover implementing a sortition Senate and the many more chapters thereafter where sortition builds a better South Africa for all.

DDF : Overview

Direct Democracy Forum Overview:

PDF Overview

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.

Constitutional Reform

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.

See how you can benefit from DDF policies.     
View videos on the main DDF policies 
Support the DDF 

 

DDForum Home – Mobile


Who we are
Check your voter status
Check your ID status
The DDF or DIRECT DEMOCRACY FORUM   is a South African political party registered with the IEC (reference 936). The DDF has two main agendas that go beyond normal political party undertakings.    They are:
  1. Create an UPPER HOUSE OF PARLIAMENT or SENATE, populated by random selection from volunteers from the streets.
  2. Adopt TEAL (Total Economic Activity Levy) as the only source of state revenue, replacing all other taxes and levies.

These two agendas will restore politics to the people and tax all participants in SA’s economy fairly and equitably

Publications:

OTHER PUBLICATIONS:

Basic Income Grants:

Interview with SAFM 07/03/2019: 

Podcasts: Part 1 and Part 2 

PDF Transcripts: BIGPodcast1 and BIGPodcast2

DDF PDF Response:  BIGPodcastResponse

  DDF PUBLICATIONS:

Volunteer Questionnaire:   volunteer_questionnaire.pdf
         MS Word format:   volunteer_questionnaire.doc
   Sample Questionnaire:   questionnaire_sample.pdf
DDF 2014 Annual Report:    2014_DDF_Annual_Report.pdf
Principle DDF Policies:    One-Pager.pdf 
Principle DDF Policies:    One-Third-Pager.pdf

Facebook video clips
Youtube video clips
Introduction to the Direct Democracy Forum 
The Senate
Senate Selection Process
Functions of the Senate
Senate Management
Deliberative Democracy
The Senate and Referendums
The Purpose and Cost of the Senate
Electoral reform and Municipal Forums
TEAL: Total Economic Activity Levy
1% TEAL: How is that possible?
Implementation and regulation of TEAL
E-Tolls


DDF Home

SA Government Covid19 Portal:  sacoronavirus.co.za

..

Have Your Say    Who we are      Check voter status       Check ID Status        Google+      Twitter     Publications      State Capture Report    Help the DDF  Change.org Petition

..

The DDF or DIRECT DEMOCRACY FORUM  is a South African political party registered with the IEC (reference 936) and is home to Direct Democracy, Deliberative Democracy and Collaborative Democracy in South Africa.     The DDF has six main agendas that will ensure VOTER RELEVANCE, FAIR TAX,  FAIR GOVERNMENT, SOCIAL JUSTICE  & COMMERCIAL PARTICIPATION in the economy for all South African Citizens and a FINANCIAL SERVICES SECTOR WHICH BENEFITS THE ENTIRE ECONOMY (See DDF in a NutshellHave Your Say,   FAQs, GOALS, Change.org Petition)  

They are:

  1. Create an UPPER HOUSE OF PARLIAMENT or SENATE, populated directly from the streets, bypassing Party Political processes & structures in a process called Sortition
  2. ELECTORAL REFORMS to give voters more relevance in the country’s assemblies.
  3. Adopt TEAL (Total Economic Activity Levy) as the only source of state revenue, replacing all other taxes and levies.
  4. Initiate a Universal Basic Income Grant (BIG/UBI) and Advancement Grant (AGfor ALL ADULT SOUTH AFRICAN CITIZENS
  5. Create a Sovereign Wealth Fund to invest in SA and the world at large and in which every adult South African Citizen has an equal share (SWF)
  6. Reform the present Money and Banking system so as to benefit the entire economy. (M&B)

These six agendas will 1) restore politics to the people, 2) provide accountable local and national administrations, 3) tax all participants in SA’s economy fairly and equitably,  4) invest in the demand side of the economy by engaging all adult South African citizens in the demand side economy, 5) ensure that every adult South African has a stake in the economy and  6) Ensure that S.A.’s economy as a whole benefits from the activities of the financial services sector. 

The direct effect this will have on poverty is less important than the effect on wealth creation opportunities for all sectors of the economy but particularly for those who will not previously have had such opportunities, both in  the formal and informal sectors, this coming from expanded economic activity.

(See  Have Your Say,  DDF in a Nutshell, FAQs, GOALS, Change.org Petition

 Help the DDF