People Directly Expressing their Concerns: ‘People-Power’       

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The population needs to be able to raise issues on an impromptu basis and to exert ‘people-power’ directly upon its politicians:

·      People should have access to a politician who represents them, and politicians should be prepared to take up issues on behalf of people who may differ from them in ethnicity or political views.

·      People can make their views known by letters to the media, by signing petitions, or by publishing their views through the Internet.

·      They can step up the pressure by participating in demonstrations, as happened all over the world in the summer of 2008, with protests against rising food prices in the poorer countries[1] and against rising fuel prices in Europe.[2]

·      Protests can turn into riots, such as the poll-tax riots in 1990.[3] 

As noted later in this chapter, direct popular pressure is one of the ways of communicating with politicians to ask for changes in governance (

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[1] A BBC article, entitled High food costs 'a global burden', was published on 16 October 2008 and was available in May 2014 at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7671612.stm.

The BBC report of 5 April 2008, entitled Food riots turn deadly in Haiti, was one of many country-specific examples of protests; the report was available in May 2014 at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/7331921.stm.

[2] On 2 June 2008 an article was published by the World Socialist Web Site, entitled Fuel price protests spread across Europe, which listed protests in several countries; it was available in May 2014 at http://www.wsws.org/articles/2008/jun2008/fuel-j02.shtml.

[3] Riots against Margaret Thatcher’s “Community Charge”, which was more widely known as the “poll tax”, were reported on 31 March 1990 by the BBC.  The story was available in May 2014 at http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/march/31/newsid_2530000/2530763.stm