The Law
I Declare
Stolen Isles
Wir Islands, Wir Future

.........The Sovereign Nation of Shetland




Nobody is more securely imprisoned than he who does not know it.

What passes for democracy today is nothing more than plutocracy - rule by the wealthy. And the wealthy will never willingly give up their power.

Democracy is defined as: Government of the people, by the people, for the people. The Sovereign Nation of Shetland stands by that principle and we will strain every sinew to ensure it is enshrined in everything we do.

What prevents our so-called democracy working and gives the opportunity for others to gain control of it is time - the delay between one election and the next. After our well-meaning candidates are sworn in and are faced with the consequences of stepping out of line, we have to wait five years for the chance to change them for another lot of the same.

For government to be for the people, the people must be in direct control at all times. There must be a mechanism for us to express our approval or disapproval of the actions of our representatives at any time, so they are in no doubt of our wishes. The SNS (Sovereign Nation of Shetland) direct democracy system does exactly that and more.

Instead of having elections at fixed periods, the SNS system is a continuous voting process. To start with, there is a conventional election, but that's where the similarity ends. The votes cast remain with each candidate, BUT they can be removed from that person and placed with somebody else at any time. Only the candidate with the most votes can occupy the office and they need to constantly take account of their rating before taking any action. This ensures they will always do what most of the electorate requires and they may even develop the habit of consultation before taking decisions!

Indeed, the question needs to be asked "Do we need elected representatives at all?" If the electorate is empowered to instruct officials directly, do we have any need for politicians and all that goes with them? No politicians, no MP's expenses, no illegal wars, no lobbying, no control by big business and bankers. It may be a step too far to begin with, but with the power in the peoples' hands it may come quicker than we think.

Similarly, budgets are controlled in the same way. Voters can elect to raise or lower the budget for a particular department or project and decide how much they wish to contribute to it.

Anyone can raise an issue of concern. Once it reaches a threshold of support, it goes forward for voting. By this simple system the whole society and the rules by which it wishes to live are in control of the people and the whole intellectual capacity of the society is brought to bear on solving its problems.

What the system achieves is a gradually changing consensus that directly reflects the changing requirements of the society. It means that every individual can see the results of their own vote and thereby encourages participation. With that power comes responsibility, and people soon realise that everything has to be paid for out of the money from their pockets. Society gets what its individuals are willing to pay for and nothing else. There is no pot of money as a slush fund for politicians to use on their pet projects. No room for anyone to live on the backs of others.

At the same time, human compassion ensures that those in genuine need are looked after. The Mondragon model, although not exactly what I'm describing, shows how a society can work successfully by changing its focus from the needs of capital to the needs of people. While Spain generally has been in the grip of a dire recession, Mondragon in the Basque country has managed to thrive.

We have the technology to achieve this right now. Those without access to a computer will be able to either appoint somebody to vote on their behalf, or go to the local shop and use a dedicated terminal there.

The software is open-source and available for inspection by anyone to ensure it cannot be rigged.

A currency having real value and a mechanism preventing the concentration of wealth in the hands of a very few is an intrinsic part of this society.