Wednesday, December 04, 2002

Denis Solomon reports in today's Express on the proceedings of the Constitution Reform Forum's meeting last Saturday, at which discussion centred on the issue of "local governance: ensuring that communities have a permanent impact on policy formulation and execution."

"The issues identified and discussed in last Saturday’s meeting boil down to three: representation, accountability and autonomy. The main concerns of the population — health, education, jobs, policing — exist at the local level. Good governance implies the creation and empowerment of community groups communicating their needs to full-time representatives on the regional corporations. One purpose, and result, of this is to put an end to total dependence on parliamentary representatives, who are the least well equipped to fulfil ongoing community needs."

This is the emerging consensus: reform must be aimed at giving citizens the mechanisms necessary for true self-governance: directly, through local organisations, and indirectly yet meaningfully through a genuinely representative national legislative body accountable to community interest groups (like my "people's senate", perhaps).

No comments: