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I think its physically possible to have Democracy

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posted on Mar, 3 2009 @ 11:13 PM
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We learn in school how nations as large as America can't possibly have an actual Democracy, like the Greeks did, because of our size and population. 300 million people just can't show up at the white house and vote on every bill that gets proposed. The nice schoolteachers start us thinking that our representatives are there to help us and keep our nation just and fair, besides it the only way our system can work, right?

Wrong. I think that with modern communications technology we could involve most, if not every, citizen in the voting process. Imagine a little PDA type thing, kind of a cross between a Kindle and a cell phone. You could use it to browse through bills passed on a daily basis, wirelessly, from your own home, and decide what you want to vote for or against on, or not at all. Or you could just visit the website on your PC. It would need some security to prevent hacking, and a little reworking on how people propose new bills and everything, but I think it would be completely workable.

We could vote on our president by popular vote, vote on whether or not to go to war, vote on passing funding for whatever we wanted... I like the idea of proposing socialized health care and seeing if 51% of the people want it or not...

Can you imagine what life would be like, with actual citizens deciding the future of our country? Not having corrupt bureaucrats in every corporation's pocket? We don't need the house of representatives anymore. I like the idea of Democracy, don't you think we should have it? I think I trust the good judgment of the people more than I do Congress.




posted on Mar, 3 2009 @ 11:26 PM
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Yes we have the technology-- but first it will be undoubtly plagued with fraud...but the real reason we don't and shouldn't ever have an absolute direct democracy is it doesn't make sense.

We elect leaders to represent us but in reality you are electing someone who is well educated, intelligent and logical, or should share your same core moral beliefs. They based on their experience spend their time (instead of working) researching issues and coming to a conclusion based on their research as the best course of actions. This is why we have lawyers, doctors, economists, entrepreneurs, engineers, and scientists as members on Congress. They split in to committees and specialize in an area and become subject matter experts. They then brief the rest of Congress on their findings. Congress can then make decisions based on past experience, prior knowledge, fundamental beliefs, and the presentation itself. Simply put, the people do not have the time, resources, nor desire to research and become familiar with each and every issue that comes up in Congress. Further, many people are seriously inept (very many) at doing even the simplest of things like establishing good order in their household, paying their bills, and using drugs to excess-- how can you expect these people to make sound decisions for the country as a whole. They will undoubtly vote every dime out of the treasury-- minorities will become defenseless as individuals only look for self interest (as a general rule). Professional politicians well versed in the art of negotiation, mediation, and compromise. Hence, a minority in congress has the ability to still get some of their agenda included in legislation in our current setup. Besides, just look at elections-- Americans as whole don't bother to vote on what they can, and when they do they do it on a basis of looks, height, oration skills--not much of an increase from how they chose people in gym or voted for class president. Simply put, the average is incapable of researching and making sound decisions for the country as a whole. A direct democracy is simply unreasonable and would render the government itself wholly ineffective until the people elected a leader with quasi-dictorial powers through their direct democracy. (They would no doubt...just hopefully it wouldn't be a celebrity...oh crap...they did that in 2008 already...)



posted on Mar, 3 2009 @ 11:34 PM
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Your explanation shows us how a republic is supposed to work. That's great, but it doesn't work that way. I think most of our representatives cast votes based on what corporation payed them more money for it, they look out for the upper class, and it's the citizens who suffer for their decisions. I also have faith in the ability of our people to decide whats best for them, not every decision will make everyone happy, but if the majority vote for it, then most of the people can be happy. This doesn't happen under our current system.



posted on Mar, 3 2009 @ 11:42 PM
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And can I imagine this?

Yes. It would be bad. The work Congress does isn't a simple yes and no. Its not as simple as Yes or No on socialized healthcare-- there is all sorts of questions on funding and what is paid for and what is not.

National Resolution 108-4434-222

This bill will result in the establishment of universal healthcare the American people.

Every American will be given all healthcare that a health professional decides is necessary for their well-being. The doctor will be paid his normal rates.

The money for this operation shall be gained by taxing anyone who makes over 250,000 dollars a year in order to pay for each instance. (Especially those dirty bankers who have messed up the economy).

----
Unfortunately, I believe 51% Americans might vote yes on this on this piece of legislation. And obviously the bill would be more complex, but the result is simple 1% of the population is being expected to shoulder the burden of everyone else. This is self destructive-- and the only way this wouldn't pass is due to the good moral backbone that so many honest Americans have--that they know thievery is wrong-- and honestly, you may already notice the rich are fleeing America-- they would all leave if this were the case.

What's really unfortunate, is the current administration is practically doing this anyhow. It's foolish I can't even begin. It makes me so angry to think that any dreams of wealth will be squashed by overzealous government regulation. Why even bother to save if the government is going to provide for those who are too stupid and selfish to do so. Why do I know people who saved 50,000 dollars for college growing up who had to pay in full, and them someone who didn't save a dime got a free ride based on a "need-based" scholarship. Seriously-- I don't even have any incentive to open a college fund for my kid-- In Florida you get a full-ride to any public state school if you have a 3.5 GPA and a decent SAT score, and 75% with a 3.0. If you seriously can't do this well is high school, I have serious doubts whether you have any business going to college in the first place (while there are always exceptions).

I grew up poor. I had very little money. My parents scraped the whole way. I worked my but off and got into a very prestigious institution based of merit not need. I'm not a minority, I didn't have anything going for me except a strong desire to succeed. When you start telling people they can do nothing all through their life and still have "rights" to everything you are bound to develop cultureless dull population incapable of sustaining itself. Absolute democracy? Look how far this republic got us?



posted on Mar, 3 2009 @ 11:45 PM
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If you applied direct democracy to half the African countries out there you'd see a resolution along these lines:

"Kill anyone who has skinny noses, and is taller than average...you know the guys in that one tribe we don't like who have all the money and nicer huts than us"

Since only 20% of the population is part of that tribe, it looks like direct democracy will work great. (for those are in the majority)



posted on Mar, 3 2009 @ 11:58 PM
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I think its the republic that's the problem. Ancient Greece lasted until the Romans invaded it, and the Roman Empire eventually collapsed because of corruption. Which society was more stable? I think the Greeks could have gone a lot longer if they weren't invaded by the Empire. I see the same reasons the Roman Empire fell in our society today. Corrupt bureaucrats looking out for themselves. You keep saying that the people can't decide whats best for themselves, I don't think so. There might be some trial-and-error at first, but the greatest thing about an absolute democracy is its ability to change so fast. Once the people realize something they passed turned out bad, they would simply vote to change the system. Laws can pop in and out so much faster than in our bureaucratic paper-pushing nightmare. You don't have to wait until the next administration or group of career legal-mongers to get in office. What if halfway through Bush's administration we decided we didn't like spending oodles of money on a stupid war? Or maybe we would have voted not to invade Iraq at all, or maybe we wouldn't have voted for him in 2004 when he ran a second time?

Actually, the people didn't vote for him in 2004. The electoral college did. Your professional politicians at work.



posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 12:04 AM
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Originally posted by ragman
If you applied direct democracy to half the African countries out there you'd see a resolution along these lines:

"Kill anyone who has skinny noses, and is taller than average...you know the guys in that one tribe we don't like who have all the money and nicer huts than us"

Since only 20% of the population is part of that tribe, it looks like direct democracy will work great. (for those are in the majority)


That's unfair. You can't compare a tribal society to western society. Most people here don't actually want to kill their neighbors like that. Western cultures were tribal too back in the day, but societies evolve and grow, and if a bill were proposed to kill people with skinny noses, I seriously doubt it would be passed here.

I think we would need to teach civics in schools again, and make sure our educational systems focus more on the mechanics of law, rather then teaching our nations legal history, but I think it would work, and our society would benefit from it.



posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 12:28 AM
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No law would pass here to kill people with skinny noses?

We sure easily enough are permitting the ruthless murder of unborn children because its convenient.

The speed you talk about would be nice, no grind-- but the result would be a society that could rapidly change based on popular sentiment. We would be the most schiezophrenic nation in the world. In fact, the system of checks and balances (life time Supreme Court, varying term lengths of Congressmen and Senators) were created precisely to prevent rapid political sways.

During WWII, a German immigrant, and citizen of the US for over a decade was a supporter of Hitler, and very vocal. Congress attempted to disenfranchise him, but the Supreme Court declared this un-Constitutional as he has the right to believe whatever he wants a US citizen. If put up for popular vote, this man would probably have been hung. Heck, soap opera villians would probably be put to death as well, not to mention all the bankers right now. Popular opinion is not logical-- and thus can not be used to run a government.

That being said, the American people must have charge of their government, which is why we have a popular vote for our represntatives to ensure that they can remove individuals who aren't acting in their best interests. Its a beautiful idea really. We do need some sort of reform--but the solution is not direct democracy. Its probably just a return to states being the primary decion-makers when it comes to regulation of the general populace.



posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 12:47 AM
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Abortions are legal solely because of our representative system.

www.lifenews.com...
www.weeklystandard.com...
www.forerunner.com...

Majority opinion is against abortion. Representatives vote for it because it gets them minority support. As for the german nazi guy, he might be put to death or deported, but I don't see how that would have been bad for us. Any society should first and foremost, look after itself. I don't want illegal immigrants, or nazis, or fascists in my country. Why do they all have to come here? Whats more galling is when they come here, they shout about how their way of doing things is so much better than ours... Then why did they leave? Stay out!

Majority opinion would probably be in favor of secure borders, and it would be about time. Our representatives are incompetent on top of being corrupt.



posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 12:54 AM
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You mean REAL Democracy, where the masses can vote on laws written by a Wiki-like law system? I think this needs to be tested on very small groups, at first, and if it seems to keep their Human Rights enforced, then there is a chance it can win. The biggest problem with your theory is the number of people capable of Piaget's Formal Operational Stage of Cognitive Development.

We need very very smart and elected representatives analyzing and debating the points that ensure the rule the Constitution of the United States, and the enforcement of Human Rights, through justice.

my 2 cents,
O-315



posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 12:55 AM
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"I don't want illegal immigrants, or nazis, or fascists in my country."

I for one and proud that nazis can live here and believe their ridiculous mantra. It's makes America America. Once this country is 51% hispanic, I bet you won't be whistling the same direct democracy tune. Then you will be hoping to God your republic stays under the auspices of the corporations that support our consumer lifestyles.



posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 01:01 AM
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That's true, if the majority of our country was hispanic, and under a direct democracy, laws would favor hispanics. However, if suddenly today we had a direct democracy, all the illegals would be deported, and this would never happen. Majority rule favors the majority, and I like it.



posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 01:07 AM
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reply to post by organism315
 


It seems that most people develop that around 12, so I don't think it should be a problem as long as we have a minimum voting age.

I think the fact that the extremely smart and elected representatives care more about money in their pockets than the American people is the reason why our society in a dumpster.



posted on Mar, 6 2009 @ 11:33 PM
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I know everyone wants to believe the 'people' are intelligent, but reality is most, while well-intentioned, are self-serving, a lot of times, they are primarily worried about themselves, their children, and their friends and family.

Countless studies have done on the average person's conceptualization of law and gov't. It's just not there. Fox just released an independent study where a quarter of responders stated that the government has a ton of its own money and shouldn't tax citizens to carry out its operations. These people should be allowed to vote? Really?

By having representatives, the people still have control over who makes their laws and regulations, and have the power to peaceably remove their leaders. However, not everyone is qualified to make those decisions. Do you really want the guy asking you if you want fries with that deciding whether medicare should cover triple bypass surgery?

The thought of direct democracy is noble--but is certainly a joke when people know scantly anything about our immediate history. The average citizen is lucky to be able to name their Representative, Senator, President, and VP much less their educated position on hundreds if not thousands of resolutions.

And the proposition that a 12 year old is mature enough to make sound decisions?? Few 18 year olds are-- I think you have become mature and logical when you no longer think its okay to drink copious amounts of alcohol, having sex with random people, can actually make sounds decisions and balance a check book, understand there are consequences for your actions, and realize that theft and murder are wrong--and that relativism is sad joke of a philosophy that allows evil people to do evil things under the guise of a different world-view.

I would argue that most Senators, more or less, have reached at least four out of five on my rubric. The average 18 year old American? Two, One, maybe none.



posted on Mar, 7 2009 @ 12:45 PM
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reply to post by ragman
 


I don't think a 12 year-old should vote, but I think a 18 year-old should. The problem is that we don't teach Civics in schools anymore. My father had to take Civics, he knows why we need to pay taxes. I do too, but I never took Civics. Why?

In short, it's because a citizen of a republic doesn't need it. Why would someone who doesn't have the power to vote on law, need to know about law? In a democracy, we would all need to take Civics, and learn how to read legislature, and understand government mechanics. I also anticipate that any new democracy would go through an initial, rocky start, as its people will need time to learn from their mistakes, and even educate themselves a little more. I think the drive to educate themselves would come with the power to influence their government, probably for the first time in their lives. I think part of the reason people walk around in an ignorant fog right now is because they know they don't have a voice, why would they need to learn something they can't use?

I do trust the people more than I do our representatives:

www.propublica.org...
FBI investigates Congress for corruption

www.commercialalert.org...
Explains how congressman receive gratuities, embezzle campaign funds, and are not held accountable (well they are kind of, but pay fines that are far less than the amount that they stole/received)

benfrank.net...
Explains how "transactional lobbying" or paying a congressman to add crap to a bill to see it passed through into law, has become commonplace. One representative has added 12,000 earmarks to bills this year alone, increasing federal spending by 64 billion dollars.

www.crewsmostcorrupt.org...
The most corrupt members of Congress

www.govexec.com...
Explains how wasteful pork-barrel projects has been increasing

www.cagw.org...
Lists wasteful spending projects in alphabetical order

www.prospect.org...
Congressman brought up on charges of racketeering, bribery, and corruption. Complains that "even Congress doesn't control America anymore."

www.huffingtonpost.com...
11 million Americans are out of work, 37 million are impoverished, yet Congress decides they need a pay raise, for all the hard work they've done.

You can find more articles, these are just a few. Again, I trust the judgment of the people far more than I do any politician. In a democracy you can't bribe a man to pass crap into law, you would have to bribe the whole people. Democracy is by nature, less corrupt (is it corrupt at all?).



posted on Mar, 22 2009 @ 09:31 AM
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1h.) Spamming: You will not post identical content, or snippets of identical content, to multiple threads in the discussion forums.


[edit on 22-3-2009 by 12m8keall2c]



posted on Mar, 23 2009 @ 03:02 PM
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A functioning direct democracy would require such dramatic changes to our system that we could concievably ruin ourselves trying to implement it.

The easiest answer I can see would be to allow for the repeal of any act of congress by popular vote within 1 month of its passage and also allow for constitutional amendment and presidential impeachment by referendum (that hasn't gone so well in California, so as a failsafe the congress should be able to prevent such things when the people are endangering themselves (requiring a higher percentage of congress against it than the pecentage of the population in favor- which would necessarily be a supermajority), and open permanent polling places to serve that end.

Another possible trick with this would be to let the people vote a budget cap in advance of congress forming the budget.



posted on Mar, 24 2009 @ 08:33 PM
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Originally posted by peskyhumans
I think its the republic that's the problem. Ancient Greece lasted until the Romans invaded it, and the Roman Empire eventually collapsed because of corruption. Which society was more stable? I think the Greeks could have gone a lot longer if they weren't invaded by the Empire. I see the same reasons the Roman Empire fell in our society today. Corrupt bureaucrats looking out for themselves. You keep saying that the people can't decide whats best for themselves, I don't think so. There might be some trial-and-error at first, but the greatest thing about an absolute democracy is its ability to change so fast. Once the people realize something they passed turned out bad, they would simply vote to change the system. Laws can pop in and out so much faster than in our bureaucratic paper-pushing nightmare. You don't have to wait until the next administration or group of career legal-mongers to get in office. What if halfway through Bush's administration we decided we didn't like spending oodles of money on a stupid war? Or maybe we would have voted not to invade Iraq at all, or maybe we wouldn't have voted for him in 2004 when he ran a second time?

Actually, the people didn't vote for him in 2004. The electoral college did. Your professional politicians at work.


The Republic is probably the lesser of two evils. However, the important point is that the lesser of two evils is infinitely better than the greater.

There was a reason the Early Roman Republic was so powerful militarily; it didn't squander all its money and resources on their upper class. It didn't abuse its citizens. Their top politicians were philosophers and they had no personal self interest. Republics are good for the first two hundred years or so. For some reason, few single republics have lasted any longer than that in all of history. America is reaching the tipping point. There were several Roman Republics, mind you.

Regarding the Greeks, they were all but destroyed before Rome even managed to penetrate the Aegean. In fact, the entire "Greek" Empire collapsed just as Rome began to expand into the Greece itself. Alexander the Great had just died, and his Kingdom was thrown into civil war between his top generals, Ptolemy, Lysimachus, Cassander and Seleucus. The fall of Greece had nothing to do with political ideology, only politics.

If you're thinking about the Athenian Empire, then that was at least 500 years before Rome even became significant in any way. In that case, Athens was essentially a tyranny, taxing all the surrounding city-states. The fall of all Greece, no matter what time period, can be traced back to a deficiency in sound government. Nationhood wasn't even an idea at the point in history. You had city-states and that's it. The members of each city-state would vie for wealth through Athens, pleading, begging and often revolting when things didn't go their way.

What's important to note here is that Republics don't last forever; in fact, Republics certainly always transform into seemingly direct democracies at some point or another. A Republic only works if you place a limit on decision making. Only the most virtuous should be allowed to vote. Now, virtuous doesn't mean "educated". Eventually, the "educated" form an elite and they themselves become a special interest group, appealing only to their constituents who would make them the most money.



posted on Mar, 24 2009 @ 08:52 PM
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Why not just convert the 'House of Representatives' to the 'House of the People'?

Each registered voter gets a say and the Senate plus the other three branches keep a balance of power to stop the 2 wolves and a sheep theory.



posted on Mar, 25 2009 @ 02:58 PM
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The house of representatives would be an unsatisfactory model for direct democracy because of the importance of its committees, particularly the rules committee. An elite few would be setting the agenda and telling the rest who is allowed to speak about what and who is not, and would have the power to punish those who rock the boat.




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