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Tips & Epiphanies Collaboration Thread

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posted on May, 24 2009 @ 04:13 AM

Originally posted by lazy1981
I wanted to revisit our discussion on varying forms of government and which one would suit the freedoms of the human race better?

Good idea! It’s about time we got down to the nitty gritty and started making sure we’re ready for the take over.

Originally posted by lazy1981
I was searching for a State Legislation that I had heard about with only one house instead of two and is non-partisan as it turns out. Nebraska has a Non-Partisan Legislature and I think that they have only one house of legislation due to the low population. I by no means see them as perfect but I think that the non-partisan approach in motion shows that it can be done and can have good effect. I don't necessarily follow the Single House rule though.

This is quite interesting, particularly where highlighted. Can I presume that the rest of the US is still bicameral? And, presumably they don’t have an issue with secrecy and accountability? Or consider it an advantage perhaps?

The First Nebraska Territorial Legislature met in Omaha in 1855, staying there until statehood was granted in 1867.[1] Nebraska originally operated under a bicameral legislature. Over time, defects in the bicameral system became apparent. Bills were lost because the two houses could not agree on a single version, and conference committees that were created to reconcile different versions of bills often met in secret, and were thus unaccountable for their actions. After a trip to Australia in 1931,[1] George Norris campaigned for reform, arguing that the bicameral system was based on the inherently undemocratic British House of Lords, and that it was pointless to have two bodies of people doing the same thing and hence wasting money. He specifically pointed to the example of the Australian state of Queensland, which had adopted a unicameral parliament nearly ten years earlier.[2] In 1934, voters approved a constitutional amendment which dissolved the House of Representatives and granted its powers to the Senate.

I can see the advantages of the single house rule. I quite like it. More transparent. Easier to follow. And, I am all for saving money.

Originally posted by lazy1981
I had also pondered the notion of incorporating "a form" of Direct Democracy into the Constitutional Republic that would give another form of Check and Balance. Accept this time it would put it directly in the hands of the people.

For example, the practice of lobbyist and any contributions to Representatives would have to be made illegal. And Secondly, there would have to be a new form of Single issue Legislation (no more paper clipping and 10,000 page bills) All legislation should be in layman's terms and in as simple language as possible. Single issue legislation only.

Again, great framework and I agree, for any system to operate democratically you have to end contributions, lobbying is a tricky one, it can and is used for both selfish and altruistic purposes…but I suppose it is a question of whether that equates to balance and I would imagine it doesn’t…so I’m with you - bin it!

Originally posted by lazy1981
After this stage you could set up a series of votes (say 4 a year) similar to the primary elections, in which registered voters would have been prompted on the Legislation to be voted on and given the opportunity to inform themselves. The populace cast their votes on the laws and at this stage all that is needed is a Democratic majority rules vote in order for it to move along. If it doesn't meet this requirement the law gets scrapped.

Now this I’m not too sure of. People don’t vote as it is, more voting could lead to a greater degree of apathy. What I favour as an alternative is Proportional Representation.

Proportional representation (PR), sometimes referred to as full representation, is a category of electoral formulas aimed at a close match between the percentage of votes that groups of candidates (grouped by a certain measure) obtain in elections and the percentage of seats they receive (usually in legislative assemblies). PR is a democratic principle rather than an electoral system in itself. It is often contrasted to plurality voting systems, where disproportional seat distribution results from the division of voters into multiple electoral districts, especially "winner takes all" plurality ("first past the post" or FPTP) districts.

Various forms of proportional representation exist, such as party-list proportional representation, where the above-mentioned groups correspond directly with candidate lists as usually given by political parties. Within this form a further distinction can be made depending on whether or not a voter can influence the election of candidates within a party list (open list and closed list respectively). Another kind of electoral system covered with the term proportional representation is the single transferable vote (STV), which, in turn, does not depend on the existence of political parties (and where the above-mentioned "measure of grouping" is entirely left up to the voters themselves). Elections for the Australian Senate use what is referred to as above-the-line voting where candidates belonging to registered political parties are grouped together on the ballot paper with the voter provided with the option of "group voting" a semi-open party list/individual candidate system.

There are also electoral systems, single non-transferable vote (SNTV) and cumulative voting, all of which offer a variant form of proportional representation. These systems are not true proportional representation. They are minority representation systems where as many different parties as there are seats could theoretically be elected, however, the people often split their votes amongst several party candidates, which gives more proportional results.

It comes in a number of forms as you can see, but rather than constantly asking the people to vote to show their preference, you elect a body that demographically and ideologically proportionally represents the people. Like a microcosm of the wider society. All views are at least represented and it is then up to this body to achieve a concensus based on compromise and commonground, and/or a majority vote amongst them.

Originally posted by lazy1981
If it gets the majority then it would be sent back to the Houses (in my case House of Rep and Senate) and each would then Ratify it with a 2/3 vote in order for it to pass on (Republic). At this point it passes on to the Judiciary for Constitutional approval and if it is legal then the executive Branch can sign it into law.

It seems a bit of a long process to me too.

But it's the only way that I can figure that we can get the people involved in their own governing process and stop the politicians from robbing us.

I think that if a more representational system was in place it could cut a vast amount of the BS. Some things are relatively minor in my opinion and should not have to go through the whole process at such great expense to all and sundry. For example all the time money and effort that has been expended in attempting to get this amended to include women;

The opening of the Declaration of Independence written by Thomas Jefferson in 1776, states as follows:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

The same sentiment appears in the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780, which predates the U.S. Constitution by seven years, and was the first of its kind in the world.

“Article I. All men are born free and equal, and have certain natural, essential, and unalienable rights; among which may be reckoned the right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties; that of acquiring, possessing, and protecting property; in fine, that of seeking and obtaining their safety and happiness.”

cont'd next post

[edit on 24-5-2009 by KilgoreTrout]

posted on May, 24 2009 @ 04:26 AM
Have you heard of the Declaration of Sentiments?

When, in the course of events, it becomes necessary for one portion of the family of man to assume among the people of the earth a position different from that which they have hitherto occupied, but one to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes that impel them to such a absolution.

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights governments are instituted, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of those who suffer from it to refuse allegiance to it, and to insist upon the institution of a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and, accordingly, all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are suffer able, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they were accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design despotism, it is their duty to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of the women under this government, and such is now the necessity which constrains them to demand the equal station to which they are entitled.

The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

I stipulate that I do not consider myself a feminist, but nor were these women, purely equalitists. Nothing more, nothing less. I have posted about this numerous times and won’t digress too much, but it is in my opinion an indication of gross hypocrisy that the Declaration of Independence not only denied women their rightful place in society, but that it was trampled into the mud by the Transatlantic Slave Trade and later by the continued denial of civil rights to African-Americans. And it is still not undone.

The wording, that all men are created equal seems an itsy bitsy little thing, but it’s not. It is very, very important.

The only constitutionally protected right women currently have is the right to vote set forth in the 19th Amendment that was ratified in 1920.

America, the greatest and most democratic nation on Earth, has insisted that the Constitutions of numerous Third World countries, including Iraq and Afghanistan, contain provisions granting full legal equality to the women of their countries. Yet, America refuses to grant American women full legal equality in its Constitution! It is indeed shameful that the United States is the only industrialized country in the world that does not have an ERA! Laura Bush worked for equal rights for Afghanistan women, but not for Americans.

Only the passage of a Federal Constitutional Amendment will guarantee the men and women of our state and nation complete equality.

As It Stands Today:

In 1972 Congress passed the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) that was ratified by 35 states–three states short of the required 38 states for it to become an Amendment to the U. S. Constitution. The Amendment was originally proposed in 1923 by Alice Paul and the National Woman’s Party and was revised in 1943 as written above.

The current legal Standard of Review used by our Courts to uphold or strike down discriminatory laws only guarantees strict protection on the basis of race, religion, and national origin, but not gender.

Without the ERA we will be forced to continue fighting these issues battle by battle and over and over because the courts do not look on sex discrimination with strict scrutiny, and every law which protects these rights is constantly under attack.

Repeated studies have confirmed that women are still being discriminated against at work in areas of compensation, insurance rates, and retirement funding even when comparing the career earnings of unmarried men and women with no children that have the same education and experience (women earn an average of 20% less), and even though the majority of discrimination lawsuits are filed by men.

The Opinion Research Corporation (founded in 1938) documented in 2001 that 96% of Americans want a Constitutional guarantee of equal rights for men and women, and most mistakenly assume that the Constitution already guarantees those rights.

The emphasis is mine. Key points in my mind. About complacency in the latter point, and in throwing stones in the former. Furthermore, it is indicative that the system was always corrupted.

I don’t mean to be harsh, none of my business really, not my country? Except for the fact that I am a globalist. Men and women of the world unite and all that. I want at the very, very, very least, for everyone, man, women and child, to enjoy the same freedoms that I enjoy. It’s only fair in my opinion. And the US just isn’t practicing what it preaches.

Anyway, I digress.

So, what I wanted to propose is something a little more radical, or thereabouts…I came across this and I can really see a lot of merit (and meritocracy for that matter);

The portmanteau chaordic refers to a system that blends characteristics of chaos and order. The term was coined by Dee Hock the founder and former CEO of the VISA credit card association.
The mix of chaos and order is often described as a harmonious coexistence displaying characteristics of both, with neither chaotic nor ordered behavior dominating. Some hold that nature is largely organized in such a manner; in particular, living organisms and the evolutionary process by which they arose are often described as chaordic in nature. The chaordic principles have also been used as guidelines for creating human organizations -- business, nonprofit, government and hybrids -- that would be neither hierarchical nor anarchic.

There’s a lot of the principles of Tao involved…which is always a good thing in my opinion. The term was coined by Dee Hock the founder (I think) of VISA, which is run along Chaordic management lines (or was? I skimmed that bit).

This is how Hock outlines it:

By chaord, I mean any self-organizing, self governing, adaptive, nonlinear, complex organism, organization, community or system, whether physical, biological or social, the behavior of which harmoniously blends characteristics of both chaos and order. Loosely translated to business, it can be thought of as an organization that harmoniously blends characteristics of competition and cooperation; or from the perspective of education, an organization that seamlessly blends theoretical and experiential learning. As I learned from the formation and operation of Visa, an early archetype of such organizations, they require a much different consciousness about the leader/follower dichotomy.

Leader presumes follower. Follower presumes choice. One who is coerced to the purposes, objectives, or preferences of another is not a follower in any true sense of the word, but an object of manipulation. Nor is the relationship materially altered if both parties voluntarily accept the dominance of one by the other. A true leader cannot be bound to lead. A true follower cannot be bound to follow. The moment they are bound they are no longer leader or follower. If the behavior of either is compelled, whether by force, economic necessity, or contractual arrangement, the relationship is altered to one of superior/subordinate, manager/employee, master/servant, or owner/slave. All such relationships are materially different from leader/follower.

Induced behavior is the essence of leader/follower. Compelled behavior is the essence of all the other relational concepts. Where behavior is compelled, there you will find tyranny, however benign. Where behavior is induced, there you will find leadership, however powerful. Leadership does not necessarily imply constructive, ethical, open conduct. It is entirely possible to induce destructive, malign, devious behavior, and to do so by corrupt means. Therefore, a clear, constructive purpose and compelling ethical principles evoked from and shared by all participants should be the essence of every relationship in every institution.

A vital question is how to insure that those who lead are constructive, ethical, open, and honest. The answer is to follow those who behave in that manner. It comes down to both individual and collective sense of where and how people choose to be led. In a very real sense, followers lead by choosing where to be led. Where an organizational community will be led is inseparable from the shared values and beliefs of its members.

Read the whole article. I think you’ll find it fascinating, whether you agree with it or not.

If you google ‘Chaordic’ you’ll come up with a number of organisations that operate along Chaordic principles.

I’m quite taken with it, I’d be really interested in what you think.

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