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British fan UKIP leader calls for more direct democracy

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The UKIP leader told the Institute for Government think-tankexternal link on June 23 that the party would have a campaign for direct democracy in its future manifesto.

Following the Swiss system of popular initiatives, Farage said his party would push to give people the power to block housing, environmental or transport schemes if it does well in the 2015 general election.

Farage said he wanted to redefine how the democratic system works in Britain: “There is a major crisis, a breakdown of trust in his country, between the voters and the parties of government.”

However, he rejected the idea that his proposal would turn Britain into a version of Switzerland, where voters have decided issues from minarets on mosques to rail improvements. Farage said it would be unlikely any vote issue would gather sufficient numbers of signatures.

In the past referendums in Britain have generally focused narrowly on constitutional issues, such as the future of the voting system, the creation of national and regional assemblies and whether to have elected mayors.

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