- universal male suffrage;
- a secret ballot;
- no property qualification for members of Parliament;
- pay members of Parliament (so poor men could serve);
- constituencies of equal size;
- annual elections for Parliament.
That the first four points have been emasculated beyond recognition by the political class for their own ends - especially points three and four, but I digress - it seems to me that further 'basic reforms' are called for if democracy in this country is to survive.
In that respect - and apropo point six - one of the reasons for the American Revolution was the principle of "no taxation without representation". Nowadays, under representative democracy, we have taxation but do not have representation in that those that represent us, do not; they take what is not their money, but ours, without our permission nor with any constraints on what it can be spent.
Point six of the Chartist's demands was for annual elections to Parliament, something which, had we a form of Direct Democracy in this country, would not be necessary. However, every year our political elite present what they laughingly term 'their budget' in which they inform us on what our money - that they intend extracting from us - will be spent and subsequently, amongst themselves, decide whether 'their budget' is 'acceptable' or not. As it is our money should they not, in the first place, ask us? Should it not be us that decide the question of acceptability? Should it not be us that decide, 'Nope' go back and do your sums again?
To a certain extent one can argue that 'no taxation without public approval' should be one of any new reforms that is required for a new democracy. This question does, to a certain extent, form part of what should be discussed on talkconstitution.net and it could also be argued that it should form part of any new constitution that website will be proposing, hopefully in the very near future.
Is not the idea of servant asking master on what the master's money can be spent not 'Referism' put into practice?