Is it time we tried real democracy?

Here is a serious sort of political post with no (I think) female/male issues (I think that is distraction). I read some intersting stuff about public opinion and the sate of democracy. It was conducted in the UK but probably would apply in many western democracies.

It said how low the esteem of.. well lots of voters was of Members of Parliament, Political Parties, Parliament, even western democracy.

When you dug through the responses it looked to me that one of the main problems was not with the idea, or the ideal, but with how things actually are. Like the voter felt let down and disenfranchised.

Politicians seemed to be held in very low esteem.

People seem to want their representative in parliament to actually represent their or at least the general view of the voters in their area. Not the Party Line or the MPs own view. Also there was a general view politicians are liars, probably because they only stick with political promises made to get elected if it suits them. The British Labour party even argued in court _aaand won_ that voters couldn’t hold them to a promise they had made to get people to vote for them.

Think about it …They actually, not just admitted, but _argued_ and _proved_ in a court of law that their pledges were not worth the paper they were written on. I guess we all _suspected_ that, but for them to be so “in your face about it”? Can you believe it?

The research also showed that lots of people thought big important stuff should not be left to politicians any more but be decided by referendum or if they ever let a person have more than one in a generation or two referenda.

It got me thinking about democracy, I know it has all been hi-jacked from time to time by despots and elite powerful groups but waay back people could all get together and do stuff in a town square arguing and deciding by a show of hands. Groups of people got bigger you couldn’t do that and so someone would go to represent and put the point of a whole bunch of people and people could watch it to keep them honest.

Now things are bigger still but still there is this system put together when there was not better way of doing it. A system being twisted by the people entrusted with it not doing it honestly with integrity.

I figure party politics is maybe another problem. It’s like a PPV TV package where you end up getting a whole bunch of stuff you don’t actually want at all just to get a couple of things you do.

I think that is why a lot of people who are interested are more into single issue politics where you get a whole mix of notional politically left and right voters supporting a single issue. They figure sometimes they can actually make a difference.

So what’s to do? Well with the internet and TV and Radio we can have e-petitions and all get to inform ourselves and debate, big issues and we can all have the chance to, join in, argue, decide, and vote our own opinion directly. Technology can let us get back to a more “natural” way of doing things.

One thing for absolutely sure. If we did that we would have to be real careful never to allow whoever decided the questions we voted on not to railroad us into giving the answer they wanted, or the last questions you ever got to choose between might be something like:

“Do you want this civil servant to be Lord Protector, appoint a competent Prime Minister and ban wasteful inefficient democracy?”

or
“Do you want to ban inefficient democracy and have this person administer the country and protect you from organised crime and terrorism?”

What do you all think? Have we got to where a directly representative democracy work now? Would “they” let it happen? Would it actually be better if it could? How would it work?

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13 Responses to “Is it time we tried real democracy?”

  1. Robert the Biker July 27, 2012 at 07:49 Permalink

    Let us not forget though that the original concept gave the vote to all who were not disqualified (by reason of being mad, frivilous, poor or a woman) and so tended to consist more of weighing heads rather than merely counting them.
    Our system of a lower house full of rabble and n’er do wells looked over by an upper house (full of rabble and n’er do wells) is good in its essence; the problem comes with the low quality of our representatives.
    If we can address that, I think most of our problems will be solved.

  2. Sackerson July 27, 2012 at 08:11 Permalink

    And who is going to *let* you have real democracy?

  3. Robert the Biker July 27, 2012 at 10:05 Permalink

    My friend Mr large stick with a nail through the end will be assisting in gaining the necessary permissions.

  4. James Higham July 27, 2012 at 10:21 Permalink

    Moggsy and I thought a philosophical start to the day was in order.

  5. Moggsy July 27, 2012 at 14:35 Permalink

    “They” are the ones who get to use the power. R the B has a real point ^:^ in his stick, but how doe we do quality control?

  6. Chrysalis July 27, 2012 at 18:04 Permalink

    Thought-provoking, Moggs. I’m of the set not to complain unless I’ve an alternative solution. However, I do have a few questions.

    Though I’m very proud of they way our representative government works theoretically, in practice, it’s another story.

    Thouh our founders foresaw much, they apparently didn’t foresee the advent of the power of lobbyist influence.

    Now – I understand that our voices are reflected when we vote into office representatives – but how do they decide how to vote on each issue after that?

    I’ve never been able to find a clear answer to this question, perhaps someone can answer it here (if not for the U.S., maybe in Canada or the U.K)?

    Once a representative is in office, how do we prove they’re voting the way constituents want, rather than for what the PARTY itself wants, or worse, particular lobbyists?

    I mean, it’s not like their polling US with each issue to find out how we’d like them to vote.

    And is there some public record I can view to find out how they derived their votes on these issues?

    There should be more tracking and accountability, as a start to true democracy

  7. ivan July 27, 2012 at 19:38 Permalink

    In this day and age we don’t need elected representatives to meet together in one place. They can live where they are elected – and so become accountable to the people that elected them – and their meeting together should be by tele presence.

    This also cuts down the amount of coercion, sorry, lobbying that can go on.

    As well as this, all major items could be put to the local people and their wishes should be binding on their representative.

  8. Chrysalis July 27, 2012 at 21:02 Permalink

    @Ivan – like a “Skype-Senate?”

    Ha, I like it – at least for the purposes of seeing who’s saying/doing what regarding each issue :)

    Except we’d then have to create gift-cap law covering their personal/private homes as well.

    Otherwise, there’d be nothing to stop the coercionists-erm-lobbyists from holding $10,000-a-plate “private home” dinner parties;) claiming they’re held by the homeowner and therefore exempt from the gift cap;)

  9. Chrysalis July 27, 2012 at 21:09 Permalink

    P.S. Great idea, until you visualize this:

    “Aye, votes the gentleman from Kentucky, Senator Mitch McConnell…lounging in my floatie and Speedos, from my new inground pool, which was given to me courtesy of Philip Morris, Inc, USA – erm – I mean, this guy, I know, named Phil.”

    Never mind…NOBODY wants to see Mitch McConnell like THAT ;)

  10. ivan July 27, 2012 at 21:50 Permalink

    @ Chrysalis, The question then would be, would those that elected them put up with their antics especially if they lived with those that elected them.

    The other thing to consider is that to qualify for election each person must have a degree in a real subject and have worked in industry for at least 10 years. I know this would set the cat among the pigeons but the people making laws have to know what they are talking about and what the repercussions would be, especially in this age.

  11. Chrysalis July 27, 2012 at 22:45 Permalink

    All good ideas – I would add proven diplomacy in international relations, but my bf, “Detroit”, would add military experience and/or knowledge.

    Then there is the question of recourse do the constituents have, should a representative be proven to vote against their constituents and unable to justify their vote?

    Perhaps we should force them to watch said Skype session of Senator Mitch McConnell repeatedly (mentioned above) in his floatie and Speedo’s repeatedly, until they beg for mercy and recant ;)

  12. penseivat July 28, 2012 at 11:20 Permalink

    What’s with the ‘real’ democracy? We haven’t had any form of democracy for over 15 years! What we have had is an ‘ineptocracy’ – a system of government where the least capable of leading are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society who are least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

  13. Moggsy July 29, 2012 at 04:40 Permalink

    Pensivat. Simple, the “real democracy” reference was because not everyone agrees the systems we have just now are ‘real democrasy’ and maybe we have not had that in a very long time.

    Um. Basically what you are saying in fact. So you should get the is it time we tried ‘real’ democracy comment.

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