|Last Updated: 11/06/14||
A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.
Democracy encourages the majority to decide things about which the majority is ignorant.
In politics, an organized minority is a political majority.
When great changes occur in history, when great principles are involved, as a rule the majority are wrong. The minority are right.
Just as it is the duty of all men to obey just laws, so it is the duty of all men to disobey unjust laws.
Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.
Unjust law is no law at all.
The aim of a constitutional democracy is to safeguard the rights of the minority and avoid the tyranny of the majority.
It is a besetting vice of democracies to substitute public opinion for law. This is the usual form in which masses of men exhibit their tyranny.
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
For every complex problem, there is an answer that is clear, simple - and wrong.
There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.
In matters of conscience, the law of the majority has no place.
The minority is sometimes right; the majority always wrong.
In a democracy, the majority of the citizens is capable of exercising the most cruel oppressions upon the minority.
There is no maxim more liable to be misapplied than that the interest of the majority is the political standard of right and wrong.
Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.
The voice of the majority is no proof of justice.
The worst enemy of truth and freedom in our society is the compact majority.
The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather of that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections.
Voting is one of the few things where boycotting in protest clearly makes the problem worse rather than better.
If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so.
An unjust law is itself a species of violence. Arrest for its breach is more so.
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
On 19th November 2004, the Government passed the Hunting Act 2004, making it an offence to hunt mammals with dogs, except under certain circumstances.
The Minister of Agriculture of the time, Alun Michael, had said that any legislation should be soundly based on principle and evidence but the Hunting Act is neither principle nor evidence based. Even Lord Burns, who chaired the Government's own inquiry into Hunting with Dogs, said that he struggled to see how the Hunting Act passed that test.
A majority of parliamentarians opposed the legislation and the Labour Government resorted to the highly unusual mechanism of the Parliament Act to force the legislation through against massive cross-party opposition in the Lords.
When challenged on the legislation and the way in which it had been passed, Alun Michael retorted that if we did not like what the Government had done, then we could vote them out of office.
He thought he was being facetious, but we thought: "Actually yes, thanks Alun, great idea! That is exactly what we will do..."
And so, Vote-OK was born.
What do we do?
We encourage ordinary people who disagree with the Hunting Ban to get actively involved in the political process. Instead of just sitting back and complaining, we show them how they can take real action to assist the election of MPs who will support repeal of the Hunting Act 2004.
Isn't that interfering with Democracy?
No, it is exactly the opposite. We encourage people to get involved in the democratic process. Every political party agrees that not enough people do get involved in politics, so every party should welcome any initiative that increases the participation of people in elections.
The essence of democratic accountability is not that the people get to vote politicians into power - it is that they have the right to vote them out again if they do not like what they have done. If any politician or party tried to stop people from exercising their democratic freedom to campaign for someone else - that would be interfering with democracy!
Are you allowed to do this?
Yes. Vote-OK is registered as a "non-party Campaigner" with the Electoral Commission. Non-party campaigners are individuals or organisations that campaign in elections, but are not standing as political parties or candidates. In electoral law, these individuals or organisations are also sometimes called ‘third parties’. Our activities are regulated by the Electoral Commission and in accordance with the law.
But you are advising people to campaign in constituencies where they do not live. Isn't that wrong?
No. Getting people who live in "safe seats" to go and help local party organisations in "target seats" is called "mutual aid" and is practised by every political party and also by other non-party campaigners, too, such as Trade Unions. It is a standard practice in the democratic process. If you see the Prime Minister or the Leader of the Opposition visiting a constituency not his or her own during an election, that is also "mutual aid".
But these people are only interested in a single issue - that's not proper politics...?
If you talk to any political activist of any persuasion, you will usually find that it was one particular issue that pushed them through the "inertia barrier" from being politically inactive to being politically active. For us, it was the injustice inherent in the Hunting Act 2004; for others it will be a problem at their local school, or with the Health Service or taxation or pensions or whatever. But once they become involved, they find that they get more informed about, and more interested in, all of the other issues that make up an election campaign. Politics governs every aspect of our lives and very few people are only interested in one issue, no matter how fervently they may believe in it.
National Director: George Bowyer M.R.I.C.S.
Telephone: 01234 241212
Mobile: 07767 318326
Postal address: Laundry Cottage, Weston Underwood, Olney, Buckinghamshire MK46 5JZ
Electronic mail: firstname.lastname@example.org