As we argued yesterday, developing the traditional political party is not the best way forward. A party, perforce, must expend the bulk of its energy organising to fight and win elections. Necessarily, it will devote the smaller part of its energy to the cause it was set up to promote. More usually, if we can take anything from history, it will eventually betray that cause.Richard offers the suggestion that our uniting on a single point, on a change so simple that it requires no embracing ideology, which he terms Referism, will break apart the cankerous State. Quite simply, it offers control of the State's budget to us - all of us - on a annual basis. It's the 'wisdom of crowds' on a national scale. You will all know the evidence in support - if 500 people are asked to guess the weight of a pig, the average of the 500 guesses will be closer to the actual weight than any individual guess. Poll a million voters on how much MPs should be paid and you will get exactly the right answer.
We've been here before, of course; back then it was called Chartism. Chartism wasn't a party - it was a popular movement. And one so irresistible that its demands were largely met, with one exception. The Chartists called for annual Parliaments "since members, when elected for a year only, would not be able to defy and betray their constituents as now". There's no chance of revisiting this particular constitutional reform, but Richard's suggestion, of an annual budget 'vote' by the entire electorate via the internet, is actually rather easier and rather better.
We're into scary and unknown territory here - the populace, us, actually having real power rather than just being allowed to run the village hall by Dave. It's the ultimate form of democracy. And the Swissies do it to a limited extent, so it's not impossible. And it frightens the Mandarinate and the political class rigid, so it must be good.
Count me in.