Democracy

Right of Charge and Trial according to law.

We like to think we are a democracy and we think we are because we have a party system where we can vote. In fact it takes a great deal more than voting to make a democracy. A thousand years ago In 1215 Magna Carta required King John to proclaim certain liberties and accept that his will was not arbitrary—for example by explicitly accepting that no "freeman" (in the sense of non-serf) could be punished except through the law of the land, a right that still exists under English law today. Magna Carta was the first document imposed upon a King of England by a group of his subjects, the feudal barons, in an attempt to limit his powers by law and protect their rights.

Today three parts of that charter remain in-force one of which is "Habaus Corpus" which essentially is the right not to be imprisoned without charge or trial. This rule is currently suspended in both the UK and the USA and as such means that we are currently not democracies.

It should not be ignored that this is a very serious matter.

Party Whips

Whips are MPs or Lords appointed by each party in Parliament to help organise their party's contribution to parliamentary business. One of their responsibilities is making sure the maximum number of their party members vote, and vote the way their party wants.

When an MP enters parliament their first duty should be to their constituents and their conscience. When there is a subject to vote on they should read up on it and make a decision on the appropriate way to vote. This is democracy, and the hope is that because all these people will have read up on the subject therefore their combined wisdom will lead to the correct outcome. But this is not what happens. Instead the whip goes around trying to harass each MP to vote in line with the rest of his/her party. This of course defeats the whole purpose of voting and erodes a key principle of democracy.
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