New democracy

The Athenian leader Cleisthenes, in the year 507 BC, introduced a system of political reforms that he called demokratia, or “rule by the people”.

This invention was one of ancient Greece’s most enduring contributions to the modern world. However, not all citizens had a vote, for, of the 100,000 Athenian citizens, 10,000 resident foreigners (metoikoi) and 150,000 slaves, only about 40,000 people could actually participate in the democratic process.

Subsequent to the 7 May election, the people of Scotland now have a life-changing opportunity the turn our country into a truly universal participatory democracy – far exceeding anything envisioned by Cleisthenes.

Sign up to our Opinion newsletter

Currently, we have a “top-down” political system in which during the run-up to an election each political party offers the electorate a list of objectives.

These lists may have no relevance to the hopes, dreams or aspirations of the electorate.

But now, with the universality of the internet, we now have the opportunity of a ‘‘bottom-up’’ political system, whereby any and every local, national and international issue affecting each and every Scottish citizen could, in the first instance, be submitted to an appropriate site on the web and subsequently anyone would be enabled to consider and comment on such issues and the desirability of their implementation and incorporation into the canon of Scottish law.

Every citizen has a unique 
national insurance number by way of identification. Once agreement has been reached, implementation would then be the role of parliament.

Surely this would be a worthy aim and bequest for our Scottish parliament and our new 56 Scottish MPs.

Doug Clark

Muir Wood Grove