Neighbourhood Parliaments for Peace


Dear friend,

We are just looking for some friends who would vibe with us and support us in a slightly different type of peace-building that we are promoting through our organization.

We believe, in addition to various other approaches for peace-building, say in terms of building attitudes and skills for peace, we should also build structures for peace.

The structures we propose are different. Not the type of organisations where a few work for the peace of all, like NGOs and other civil society forums, but structures that will enable everybody, especially those at grassroots, to participate in a process that leads to peace.

Our proposal is to build what would turn out to neighbourhood peace parliaments.

We want to organize people into neighbourhood parliaments of about thirty families each and federate these neighbourhood parliaments through representative structures at various levels

Ultimately we should have a global multi-tier federation of such neighbourhood parliaments guided by principles of

  1. smallness of size (of parliaments at every level) .
  2. numerical uniformity (as regards representation at these levels) .
  3. subsidiarity .
  4. scope to recall (elected representatives at any time) and .
  5. convergence.

And that should be the basis of a new social and political and economic order that would ensure peace.

We attach herewith four of our write-ups :

  1. Dream of a new world governance
  3. A participating people
  5. Neighbourhood parliaments and peace-building;
  6. Children in governance.
  7. You could read more about us and the concept in our web:

Our assumptions behind this, to put it summarily, are:

  1. Nobody is more interested in the good of the people, in peace for people, than people themselves.
  2. Nobody could then be counted upon to speak for common good, justice and peace than people themselves.
  3. People will not speak unless they know that what they speak matters, that they have an effective say, that this way they have power...
  4. To be empowered to speak requires that people have forums to talk, forums that matter.
  5. Such talking forums in democracy are parliaments. (Parlare, the Latin root, means to talk.)
  6. But such parliaments are not available to the common man.
  7. The only token parliament available to the common man is the electoral constituency which is often so big that
    1. it does not even meet;
    2. the small voices cannot be listened to;
    3. it all becomes the game of the big.
  8. We need to ensure both that common people have parliaments and that these parliaments are effective.
  9. Hence we should ensure
    1. neighbourhood parliaments and
    2. their multi-tier global federations.
  10. This type of direct and participatory democracy will lead to a new socio-political and even economic order where peace and justice will be possible.

We don't just stop at proposing the concept. We enter into action organizing such neighbourhood parliaments and federating them at various levels. We have organized thousands of such neighbourhood parliaments in various places. We give special focus on children's neighbourhood parliaments to begin with. Our courses on children's neighbourhood parliaments are very much appreciated.

Fortunately for us, we are not alone in this process. There are others who start similar neighbourhood-based ventures. These too need to be supported and geared to ultimately become a powerful grassroots-based global structure for peace.

We want your support in this. We would like to continue dialoguing with you on this and have you as our collaborator and partner in this venture.

Could you also please introduce to us friends who would enjoy associating themselves in this task?

May we hear from you.

With Regards

Edwin M. John
Neighbourhood Community Network