Direct Democrcy

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posted on Aug, 31 2012 @ 12:19 PM
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Proportional Democracy ensures more representation for the minorities and is one of the best forms of democracy in the world. Winner take all is just having a corrupt king.

There are different forms of proportional. Norways is one of the best. However Australia has a form that our premier wanted us to vote on (transferable vote), and it actually is a bit more like a winner take all somehow couched into a proportional scheme. And from what I've read, that form limits the numbers of parties running and reduces the minority representation and is alot more like our form or representation, so its a wolf in sheep's clothing.
edit on 31-8-2012 by Unity_99 because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 31 2012 @ 01:40 PM
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reply to post by subject x
 


You seem to be making some assumptions about Direct Democracy and also to be somewhat misinformed. In Switzerland, for example, it isn't mob rule at all and in actual fact it is probably one of the fairest societies in Europe. It isn't at all like 3 wolves and a sheep deciding what's for dinner. There are also checks and balances to make sure that the "people" are also counter balanced against voting for "free stuff".

Here is some useful info on the Swiss model

For example, a tiny minority can get legislation put to the Parliament for discussion, I think the figure is 2.6% of the electorate. If you get the required numbers, that guarantees you're petition will be read by Parliament, but it is no guarantee it will be acted upon.

Obviously, the MP's will weigh up what has been proposed, along with the potential support for it nationwide and it's impact, then put any legislation to a vote. All Direct Democracy does it provide the people will an avenue to engage in the Political process and have their say any time they wish as opposed to once every 5 years, only to be ignored once the Politicians have their votes. Politicians are also more likely to listen an act in their constituents best interests, as opposed to just in the Party interest, if they know they can be removed by the people.

In fact, all the arguments I have read in this thread against DD seem to be based on erroneous info. There really is no argument against it, it works and no matter what, it would be a damned site better than the system we have now, which is badly in need of reform.

Now for some shameless plugging. I have a FB page and teeny website with a forum setup in the (vain) hope of creating a movement. If anyone is interested:

Direct Democracy UK Facebook
Direct Democracy UK Home page



posted on Aug, 31 2012 @ 01:45 PM
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reply to post by stumason
 


FYI, I am against any sort of PR system as it removes the constituency link with the MP and entrenches a Party political system in Parliament which was never meant to be there . I am open to the idea of STV or AV, but PR sucks.

Parliament doesn't recognise party's, it's simply the way the MP's behave today that has caused it to be this way.

In fact, the whole system has been hijacked to work in a different way than designed and when people challenge the parties on it, they use the old excuse of "convention", which is basically saying that they have decided amongst themselves how it should be run so bog off.



posted on Aug, 31 2012 @ 01:54 PM
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reply to post by Phoenix
 


I agree that term limits would help as well. I am no political expert, but from what I have read and gathered, the founding fathers never intended serving your country as a member of congress to be a life-long and/or full-time job. As it is, they get full-time pay (and better pay than the majority of us) for working part-time. And half of the time they are "working" the only thing they are working toward is getting re-elected and further securing their position in the government rather than doing the will of their constituents.

I think it is still possible to overhaul our system within the confines of the constitution. The first thing we need to change is the money aspect. The only money politicians should be able to accept is their paychecks. And those paychecks should be no more than the median pay of citizens of this country. Being an elected servant of the people should not be considered the "good life" or "easy street."

The second thing we need to do is enact term limits. I should think one or two terms is enough. We limit the president, why not congress? They also shouldn't be spending all of their time in DC. How can they represent their people if they are never around them to even find out their views and opinions? Why can we not go back to congress meeting for a few months out of the year while still keeping their day jobs? Isn't that how it was done in the beginning?



posted on Aug, 31 2012 @ 02:18 PM
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reply to post by stumason
 


As you know stu along with the introduction of some sort of Direct Democracy here in the UK I also support reform of the current party political system.
Currently MP's put their own personal and career interests ahead of the wishes and well being of their constituents.
In addition with the current whip system we have elected officials being forced to obey party line rather than follow personal conviction.
Clearly the wishes of 'the party' are being promoted above the interests of the electorate.

I suspect the same can be said of the political process within the United States.

Allowed in several US States at various levels I would like to see the power of recall for all elected officials introduced in the UK electoral and political system.

Direct Democracy may not be the great cure all and there is much to consider etc, but it is definately a marked improvement on the current out-dated, corrupt and unrepresentative systems we currently have.

Unfortunately as you are aware of more than most of us the biggest problems we face are complete apathy by the majority and a conditioned belief that the current systems we have are beyond reproach and any criticisms of them are deemed as heretical.
edit on 31/8/12 by Freeborn because: grammar and clarity



posted on Aug, 31 2012 @ 02:41 PM
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reply to post by stumason
 


I agree with what you're saying. I used to live in Switzerland and I'm playing with the idea of going back. The system there seems to work very well, albeit a slow system.

Playing devils advocate here, do you think the direct democracy would work with 350+ million people too?

I'm simply asking that because I've heard arguments against the Swiss system due to their low population. I've heard some people say it is a 'bubble' and only managing 6 million people is nothing compared to a beast like USA for example.

I would like that debunked. I'd like to think the Swiss system would work no matter what the population, unless I'm missing some points?



posted on Aug, 31 2012 @ 03:00 PM
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reply to post by Swizzy
 


As far as I am concerned, the system can work with 6 million, 60 million (UK) or 300 million (US). It is merely a matter of logistics and organisation, with some sensible safeguards put in to prevent silliness. Switzerland is split into cantons too, each with quite broad autonomy.

With a system like DD, you need strong local government and limited central Government. That way, most issues are dealt with locally (as most issues tend to be local) and only the big issues are dealt with on a national scale.

I would also at this point like to suggest, at least for the UK, a system where there are local Parliaments (Wales, Scotland, England, possibly with some regions broken down further) which deal with the bulk of Government and then have a central Parliament (made of the same members to prevent extra layers creeping in) meeting once a month to discuss national issues, essentially making the UK a Federation of autonomous states which would please most nationalists while retaining the strength of the Union. And a must is a directly elected Upper Chamber as well.



posted on Aug, 31 2012 @ 03:04 PM
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reply to post by KeliOnyx
 



Originally posted by KeliOnyx
reply to post by DirectDemocracy
 


I don't trust most Americans to wipe their own backside to be quite honest. Much less entrusting them to make sound policy decisions. The founders understood this one thing extremely well, the public at large are morons.


Quite a bit of contempt for your fellow Americans, huh?

Here's the major flaw in your analysis of the American public, you assume that in this theoretical "Direct Democracy" the percentage of likely voters would increase. The number of voters wouldn't dramatically change so fear not! The stupid and unclean will have no affect on the direct democracy as they have had little input in this current Republic.

The very idea that you think the "public" are too stupid to make sound policy decisions is frightening. You seem to advocate that the collection of power in the hands of the few smart and clean is not only acceptable but necessary in making sound policy decisions. How is that going so far in this country? This is not what the founders understood otherwise they would not have worked this into the Declaration of Independence:

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute 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.


Seems to me the founders (who happened to be part of the public as are all elected officials) had a bit more faith in the abilities of the general public than you do.



posted on Aug, 31 2012 @ 03:07 PM
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Originally posted by DustbowlDebutante
reply to post by Phoenix
 


I agree that term limits would help as well. I am no political expert, but from what I have read and gathered, the founding fathers never intended serving your country as a member of congress to be a life-long and/or full-time job. As it is, they get full-time pay (and better pay than the majority of us) for working part-time. And half of the time they are "working" the only thing they are working toward is getting re-elected and further securing their position in the government rather than doing the will of their constituents.

I think it is still possible to overhaul our system within the confines of the constitution. The first thing we need to change is the money aspect. The only money politicians should be able to accept is their paychecks. And those paychecks should be no more than the median pay of citizens of this country. Being an elected servant of the people should not be considered the "good life" or "easy street."

The second thing we need to do is enact term limits. I should think one or two terms is enough. We limit the president, why not congress? They also shouldn't be spending all of their time in DC. How can they represent their people if they are never around them to even find out their views and opinions? Why can we not go back to congress meeting for a few months out of the year while still keeping their day jobs? Isn't that how it was done in the beginning?




All good points! The median income is GREAT! these used to be called "public servants" now the public serves them quite well. They should also not be exempt from the laws they pass on the nation either. I fully agree it should be an honor to go serve your fellows in office, not as a career but as a temporary advocation. I feel term limits and other measures would ensure folks closer to the average person would indeed get into office - a large injection of good old common sense would help. It'd be a good tradeoff to provide modest housing much like mid-grade military gets to the congress critters so we can quit hearing the whining about how they NEED such large salaries.



posted on Aug, 31 2012 @ 03:16 PM
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Originally posted by Freeborn
As you know stu along with the introduction of some sort of Direct Democracy here in the UK I also support reform of the current party political system.
Currently MP's put their own personal and career interests ahead of the wishes and well being of their constituents.
In addition with the current whip system we have elected officials being forced to obey party line rather than follow personal conviction.
Clearly the wishes of 'the party' are being promoted above the interests of the electorate.


I have been thinking about this for some time (and really should update the website) and I have a suggestion. Not only have the power of recall, say with 25% (up for negotiation) of the registered electorate in a constituency, but also have the power to "force" an MP to vote a certain way if 50%+1 of the constituents wish it.

If he/she still decides to toe the party line, or otherwise not do what the people he has been asked to represent want, then that should automatically trigger a recall. These two powers alone should be more then enough to reign in the self-importance of the political class and make them pay attention.


Originally posted by Freeborn
Direct Democracy may not be the great cure all and there is much to consider etc, but it is definately a marked improvement on the current out-dated, corrupt and unrepresentative systems we currently have.


Certainly and there are bound to be, in the initial phases definitely, teething problems, but that happens with every new system and you iron them out.


Originally posted by Freeborn
Unfortunately as you are aware of more than most of us the biggest problems we face are complete apathy by the majority and a conditioned belief that the current systems we have are beyond reproach and any criticisms of them are deemed as heretical


And there lies the problem. Not only do you have public apathy, while people are bitching about taxes, joblessness etc but still, say "politics is boring" or "what do they do for me?" (I never get that) but Parliament will never even look at the issue until we the people actually get off our arses and ask for it.

Turkeys don't vote for Christmas!



posted on Aug, 31 2012 @ 03:27 PM
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reply to post by stumason
 


Ooh, I forgot to add..

Any new system that is brought in MUST enable people to vote online, over their phones or whatever. After all, you can Bank online so why not conduct Politics? This way, you can engage far many more people, as they are much more likely to vote and take an interest when it's only a simple click or 3, compared to having to actively drag your arse down the voting booth.

This too would speed up the system, make it much more dynamic and prevent an endless cycle of votes where you have to physically be present, which would grow tiresome.



posted on Aug, 31 2012 @ 03:45 PM
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Originally posted by KeliOnyx
No no no. Direct Democracy is mob rule. And yes every so often someone pops in here without any sense passing it off as a good idea. Sorry day late dollar short.

And representative government is elitist rule.

3.3 million handing over their say to 500 or so people who can be bought off is not that good of an idea either.



posted on Aug, 31 2012 @ 03:50 PM
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reply to post by Phoenix
 


Agreed. If they keep their day jobs, they can afford their own housing back home. And if they go back to only spending a few months of the year in DC, why couldn't we build them some dormitory-style type housing for them to stay in DC? Or perhaps congressional apartments? I have no problem with paying for their airfare (in coach, because that's what the average American can afford) back and forth once per year so they can do their job along with housing them and feeding them while in DC working, but without all of the abuse we see today.

The question for me here, is this: Is there any way to ever affect any of these changes within our current system? Can the people actually pressure any of them into scaling back their own "jobs"? Only the ones who TRULY care about our country and its people would ever vote themselves term limits, less pay and less benefits. I mean, how many of them would actually pass legislation that would turn their full-time, high-paying job loaded with benefits into a part-time, average paying, civic service to their fellow Americans while keeping a full-time job back home?

If there is truly no way to change the system...perhaps a change to a different system, such as a direct democracy, is in order...



posted on Aug, 31 2012 @ 03:51 PM
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reply to post by stumason
 


Your thoughts on recall certainly deserve serious consideration and would definately be a marked improvement on what we have, or to be more accurate, don't have at present.

The complete abolition of party politics may be a bit impractical; I guess whenever groups of people meet in such an environment a certain amount of political alignment would be inevitable.

But one thing is certain; when party line takes priority over the interests of constituents and the well being of the country as it does at present then reform is not only desirable but is imperative.

And of course teething problems are inevitable.
As support for electoral and parliamentary reform grows, hopefully for some sort of Direct Democracy, then it would be necessary to go through all relevant and related processes, procedures and legislation with a fine tooth comb and draft proposals devised.

Would this 'all or nothing' reform be too extreme or would a 'bit by bit' approach be better?
I don't honestly know at present.
I know what approach I would prefer but it may just be too much at once for many who may view it as something of a revolution.
But how could DD and reform be practically introduced gradually?

It's all very much pie in the sky at present but requires consideration if DD is to be promoted for serious consideration.

Alas you hit the nail well and truly on the head with your observations about apathy and whinging.

Sadly despite many years of experiencing and fighting against it I honestly don't have a clue what to do about that.

Your thoughts on a centralised government and devolved parliaments within some sort of Federal United Kingdom are very much in accordance with my own - again though it seems too much of a break away from the current system for people to accept.
The majority seem to believe that any proposals for radical reform represents something akin to marxist-leninist revolution.



posted on Aug, 31 2012 @ 03:56 PM
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To everyone saying that its mob rule and that minorities would suffer, DD can exist within a constitutional framework which would work just like the actual US gov. but with the people's voice actually being heard, instead of voting and hoping that your reps keep their campaign promises.

Anything passed, even by popular vote, could still be struck down by a constitutional court.

edit on 31-8-2012 by daskakik because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 31 2012 @ 04:18 PM
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reply to post by daskakik
 


Playing devil's advocate who would be check and balance to the court? It seems like they would end up with an awful lot of power in this system.



posted on Aug, 31 2012 @ 04:48 PM
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reply to post by bphi1908
 


Actually it wouldn't be any different than it is now:

The Supreme Court first established its power to declare laws unconstitutional in Marbury v. Madison (1803), consummating the system of checks and balances. This power allows judges to have the last word on allocation of authority among the three branches of the federal government, which grants them the ability to set bounds to their own authority, as well as to their immunity from outside checks and balances.

SCOTUS - Institutional powers and constraints



posted on Aug, 31 2012 @ 04:51 PM
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Switzerland is a direct democracy. They have one of the happiest, wealthiest, and safest nations on Earth...



posted on Aug, 31 2012 @ 04:54 PM
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reply to post by bphi1908
 


A DD system doesn't do away with the Parliament, at least not the way it is practised in Switzerland. It just gives the people more power over the life of the Parliament, not just on election day.



posted on Sep, 1 2012 @ 06:03 AM
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reply to post by DirectDemocracy
 


I've been reading more & more about Direct Demoncracy lately. And, unlike you, I am less optimistic in terms of my faith in the motives of others (guesstimate 200M voters).

For instance I imagined a piece of legistlation that prescribed voting rights--something that required a written commitment to a political party as an example. Maybe 51% opted to yea the legislation while 49% nayed, and those 49% were reduced to second-rate citizens of the political process by majority rule. This idea, roughly, stems from an article by Butler Shaffer about the "51% Hooey" (lewrockwell.com...); a worthwhile read if you can stomach viewpoints that challenge your worldview.

What next? Some abstraction we call legislation that prescribes, in one form or another, behavior will be honored by the 49%? Doubtful. Furthermore, the process doesn't appear quite so unlike present-day representative government.

Worse case scenario, I know. But here's the rub (in my opinion): mainstream intelligentsia, technocrats, bureaucrats, & politicians go to great effort to form consensus within their spheres. It's not as though these groups simply take controversial action without support; doing so risks alienating their base and permanently weakens long-term agendas.

This sort of arrangment is, in my opinion, fundamental in terms of human collaboration. Direct Democracy appears to do little more than exchange one form of collaboration with another under the guise of self-determination, despite that you may determine nothing in favor of your interest because an overruleing majority decided otherwise (in effect, how Congress operates). And to make this point clear I emphasize that TPTB (one acronym I really dislike, but will use in this rare instance) strive to mold opinions to favor their purposes. This is not substantially different from Direct Democracy, to the extent that it is impossible to form 100% consensus. Someone will always get screwed, despite that that someone is not doing any screwing (risque innuendo intended). I'm just not that permiscuous.

Democracy--let me just say that democracy has been aptly described as soft socialism, and I'm inclined to agree with that description. And, you know, I realize that statement is going to pinch some readers' nerves. Sorry. Until exit right, property rights, & nonaggression are esteemed & codified for all time as the law of the land there is no point for me to participate in a process whereby I may come to prevail over the freedom of others, or become subject to the vicissitude of a majority decision. Frankly, my vote ought not fundamently impact your choices anymore than yours ought not impact mine. Is that not a sensible form of collaboration worth exploring? Does that not sound like a civilization worth being a part of? It does to me.





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