Author Topic: Democracy  (Read 5661 times)

charles

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Democracy
« on: January 12, 2011, 05:10:58 am »
Time to blow the cobwebs off the Debate Room and see if we can encourage some people to return and engage again.

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Alright, we know there's various methods and philosophies on governance between the Left and Right Wings of politics. Socialism, Capitalism, Communism, Anarchism, Liberalism and such political ideologies, tend to focus a lot on the Economics of politics and regulations or rules to be put on business.  But I want to try and skip some of that Economic debate in this discussion and look more purely at systems of Democracy.

Democracy, of course, is the ideology of each and every citizen having equal weight in affecting the governance of their nation.  But there are all sorts of democratic systems out there which each have their own issues in either effectively allowing good governance or in providing what could be regarded as an equal weighting of each citizen to effect the governance with choices often narrowed down or certain sects given greater weighting than others or the threat of the Tyranny of the Majority.

The existence of senates tries to make some headway in diluting the tyranny of the majority while there are arguments for and against compulsory voting to water down an outspoken minority or simply allow an undecided majority to be swayed by those whith a higher pedistal to be heard from (read: media).  But most systems seem to always fall back to the issue of a Duopoly government run by two parties, which is significantly better than a monopoly, but remains less than ideal.

No matter which one is in, they perpetuate the system which tends to restrict choices to the Duopoly and work to keep the non-controlling parties, or representatives, from having any say in the governance.  So the party out of power accuses the ruling party of abusing their power and majority, but when they're in power they, understandably, are less than keen at the idea of reducing their own power to give some more say to politicians who have still been elected to represent their region. This tends to mean that decisions are generally pre-made behind closed doors by a single party who votes on it there and all members must push to see the outcome, regardless of wether its in the best interest of their individual region or people they represent.  Sometimes its even little more than the whims of the party leader that matter.

So what kind of system can be setup to better allow the true democracy of each citizen having equal weight in the governance of their nation to exist, and to fix the common issues of a duopoly resulting?

DEBATE!
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Emp_Dragon

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Re: Democracy
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2011, 04:49:48 am »
One way could be to have a no-party system with politicians directly responsible to their voters

charles

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Re: Democracy
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2011, 09:53:25 pm »
Indeed, but how do you force them not to form parties?  I guess if there was some kind of ban on them then you'd at least stop them from advertising themselves as belonging to this or that group and from putting it on the ballot papers.

One idea I had was to allow for two politicians to represent each electoral region instead of just one.  Its unlikely that any single party or coalition could hope to get one seat in every region or even two seats in one region with the vote for their members being split amongst two candidates, so its almost certain that no single party could ever hold a majority and would have to share power with one or more other parties to get the numbers.  Even then, the smaller parties can work with the opposition when/if the need arrises to overrule the government.

We have a minority government in Australia right now and for some reason the major party wasn't planning to put decent funding into healthcare for the mentally impaired.  So the minor party and independents teamed up with the main opposition party and passed the legislation for more funding.  It worked beautifully.

Sure I know my idea means more politicians but I've never really understood why thats such a bad thing.  If there's one politician for every 100,000 people, then that means your voice is pretty ineffective amongst the many more voices, but if its one for every 1,000 heck thats almost small enough for them to know every one of the people they represent individually.  Surely thats actually a better case.
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Oddball

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Re: Democracy
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2011, 02:53:28 am »
I say lets just get rid of them all, they are just a bunch of money grabbing,attention seeking hypocrites. When we had the expenses scandal the politicians thought they had done nothing wrong and when a few of them where being charged for fraud by the police and found out they where being taken to the high court in London they wanted to go through a parliamentary process.  glad to say they failed in that attempt and are now facing jail time.  If one rule applies to the voters IT must apply to them as well. no one is above the law of the land.
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Re: Democracy
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2011, 03:09:56 am »
One  problem with your system, charles, is one we are suffering from in Sweden, here the seven parties that has managed to get more than the 4% minimum of votes have more or less merged into two blocks due to no single party beeing able to achieve single majority. Those blocks have then gradually grown closer in practiced policy to the point that all they really differentiate about is tax percentages and how to spend our money.

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Re: Democracy
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2011, 03:14:12 am »
Aye same here Emp for the first time since the 1940's we have a coalition government and all of the party policies are now more or less the same no one has any new ideas.
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Emp_Dragon

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Re: Democracy
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2011, 03:57:23 am »
an additional advantage with banning party forming and having individualy elected politicians is that it's much harder for lobbyists to work behind the curtains because they have to approach each politician separately, they can't infiltrate or otherwise influence whole parties at a time. Also, full economic disclosure to the public for every single tax coin and any and all external funds backing each politician is an absolute necessity

charles

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Re: Democracy
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2011, 05:15:27 am »
Agree on the disclosure.  We have that here in aussie for donations over about $500 or something.  But we have unlimited donation amounts to parties unlike many others who have $1000 or so caps on donations to political parties.  Not that it necessarily makes a difference since donations can be made in other ways such as lending a hall for meetings, free advertising, etc.

I agree that the minor parties begin to form into two superblocks, but then the public become aware and know who's in what block.  The superblocks often take moves to make sure they don't compete against each other in electorates and when they don't you're back to the problem of them splitting votes between two candidates for effectively the same party/superblock.

I don't think we can get rid of them.  Moneygrabbers the current ones might be but the elected representative model, in general, tends to be the best one.

EDIT: maybe a restriction, similar to America's Presidential one, that you can't serve for more than two or three terms as an elected representative... maybe 5 for the lower ranks.
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J Thomas

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Re: Democracy
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2011, 08:41:43 am »
If you aren't in a big hurry, you could maybe have direct democracy.

Anybody can propose a law. The proposal goes onto the internet. Anybody can propose an alternative law and that goes onto the internet as an alternative to the first. You vote for or against any of them, whenever you choose. Vote for as many as you like.

The first alternative which gets a majority of the votes goes into effect, say one year after it reaches majority. Then when another alternative gets a bigger majority, switch.

When a voter dies, remove his vote from all the laws he voted for.

Appoint a Council of Dunces, chosen by lot, who decide whether laws are completely clear. If the meaning of a law is not clear enough they veto it, saying what they find unclear.

With luck we could have a small enough number of very clear laws that we would not need much in the way of lawyers. It could perhaps be illegal to be a lawyer.

charles

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Re: Democracy
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2011, 02:07:51 pm »
It could perhaps be illegal to be a lawyer.
Except we'd all be lawyers *LOL*

Seriously though, to pull it off you'd probably have to do it at the town council level, or at least the regional.  I actually like that idea of giving councils or regions more power to govern themselves.  Socialists all seem to generally like the idea of a giant, central government or world government but I think its better to hand down as much power as possible to the lower end of the governance.

Take a hospital in a town I call Emerald.  Now how much does the Australian Prime Minister care about how well that one hospital is doing its job or if it needs an upgrade?  How much more does the Premier of the State of Queensland that the hospital is in care?  How much more does the head of the council or the representative for the Central Highlands region that the hospital is in care? How much more does the Mayor of Emerald care? See what I'm saying?

The lower you go, the more power the people of that region have over the government representatives and what they do.  Problem with this is distribution of funds or taxes.  Obviously some areas will be more lucky than others with Mines or some big industry while others may be nothing more than farming communities.  Thats probably where the higher up governments need to come in. Have the national government collect tax in business profits and distribute 80% of it evenly among the states based on population.  States collect wages tax and together with the money from the national government, distribute 80% of it evenly among the regional councils while towns continue to collect rates.  The remaining 20% for the top levels is for them to allocate unevenly or for their own expenses and national or state level work as needed.

The one other problem I see with all of this is the threat of tribal law as its often called.  This is some of the stuff thats affecting some of the remote towns where rules such as stoning a woman to death for wearing makeup.  Sure you've got that veto council but those tribal towns have their elders or religious leaders who can gather popularity quite easily and take control of it and veto all the laws they don't like while encouraging the ones they do.
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Brion Foulke

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Re: Democracy
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2011, 09:18:05 pm »
Personally, I think the problem all stems from money.  The reason that there are only two parties is because they are wealthy organizations that can afford to spend millions in advertising, and no one can compete with that except VERY rich people.  The only real solution that I can see is campaign finance reform.  However, I think it needs some pretty drastic reform... it's tough to imagine how they could get the money out of it and keep it fair.

It'd be nice if it could all be govt financed, so that it's a level playing field.  But then that also seems very open to corruption.  And finding a fair way to choose the candidates might be impossible.

charles

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Re: Democracy
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2011, 12:00:01 am »
Yeah, money has always been the issue but I don't see a way around it.  Australia has no limits in political donations and there seems to be all sorts of special ways around the limits in the U.S. and even other places that have them.  Maybe combine it with that ban on political parties that EMP suggested and it'd be difficult for them to co-ordinate.

Heck, you could put a limit on the amount that can be spent on political advertising and campaigning.  So even if some candidates get a large amount of donations, they can't put it to use.  But then you'd possibly have businesses and government lobby organisations that just advertise in favor of one party/candidate or another, or promote in more subtle ways.  Heck, all they need to do is start a regional radio station, call themselves a news reporter and skew it in favor of their preferred candidate.  I heard heaps of that in the airways during my visit to the U.S. in the leadup to your elections recently and that stuff isn't counted amongst the political advertising spending but it was bloody everywhere and probably more prolific than the party advertising.

I guess those same external lobby groups and businesses cause problems for the anti-party rule as well.  Even though there might not be parties, a more removed group can just shout support for a group of candidates that will make legislation in their favor.

Legitimate candidates seems like an easy one.  Just make it that they must be put forward by at least 5% of the electoral region's population to stand for election.  I think this is a great option 'cos even the present governments and candidates in both the U.S. and Australia are generally only put forward for their parties by about 2% of the region's population.  Seems to be very disengaged.  The parties themselves should have a far greater membership of the public to elect the candidates, nothing too fancy, just signed petitions would do but at least they've had to do some leg work to get support and don't simply put their hands up and say "gimme money".  My understanding is that this was the big push by the teaparty over in the U.S. which worked to oust existing members of the GOP or push them into a more hardline stance by getting their people into the party's supporters who elect the party representatives.

But yeah, while I think anti-party rules and regulations on advertising could do wonders, I think there's just too many ways around it for the system to be effective.  Best to get laws that almost ensure that no single party could rule the roost at any given time.  But thats almost impossible since neither of the major duo would ever want to do something that reduces their control when they have it.
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Emp_Dragon

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Re: Democracy
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2011, 02:27:51 am »
And there we hit the core issue with changing anything in a hierarchy-based system, people on the top will with few exceptions strive to consolidate and improve their own position and that of their social group at the expense of groups lower in order. And to shift that, some kind of force of majority from lower ranks is imperative. 

charles

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Re: Democracy
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2011, 01:41:51 pm »
Indeed.  Although significant change towards better democracy has been made over the years.  Its slow and gradual but few can argue that a good many nations haven't gotten better over time.  Problem is, I guess it takes just one bad nut to get enough power to change rules in their favor and hold a dictatorship.

In the end, a system must be built on the presumption that people are corruptable.  Therefore, we must seek to build a system which, as much as possible, is uncorruptable and prevents or restricts those in charge from taking advantage of it.

Democracy shouldn't be primarily about how we give control to a few people, but how we control them and our nation.
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Brion Foulke

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Re: Democracy
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2011, 03:28:26 pm »
I don't think there's any good solution.  You either have to put things in the hands of government, or let things be decided by who has the most money.  Either way corruption is a real problem.

I don't think that banning parties is going to help anything, it's not a realistic solution as they will ultimately find some sort of loophole.

Perhaps we need to do something about political advertising.  Maybe regulating it in a certain way.  Or perhaps we need to have mandatory debates, and require politicians to give in depth answers.  Or maybe we just need a better press.

J Thomas

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Re: Democracy
« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2011, 07:37:43 pm »
Personally, I think the problem all stems from money.  The reason that there are only two parties is because they are wealthy organizations that can afford to spend millions in advertising, and no one can compete with that except VERY rich people.

No, consider the fundamental problem with democracy.

Democracy gives you a chance to build the smallest possible majority, and then you get the government to legally take stuff from the losers and give it to the winners. You don't want too many in your majority because that means too many feasting off too few. But if you don't get your majority you don't have anything.

So the natural thing is to have two parties that are almost evenly matched.

You can do it more subtly. Have lots of parties, and then you try to get the smallest possible coalition that can take stuff from the minority that isn't in power....

As long as the important question is how to share the spoils of victory, all the answers will make an idealist gag.

Brion Foulke

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Re: Democracy
« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2011, 07:47:29 pm »
So the natural thing is to have two parties that are almost evenly matched.

I don't believe it's possible to plan such a thing.  And there's no doubt that the two parties hate each other, and could never work together.

Rather, I think the two party system is a natural result of a capitalist system... when certain parties succeed, they gain a wealth advantage which in turns makes them more able to succeed.  The more powerful they get, the less relevant smaller parties become.  So it's only natural that we have a 2 party system, because 2 is the minimum in a democracy.  Even if the libertarians were to somehow gain a lot of power, they will likely replace the republicans and we would still have a 2 party system.

But that's just my crazy opinion.

charles

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Re: Democracy
« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2011, 08:03:18 pm »
Won't find any argument on the need for a better press here.  Thats part of the real problem on restricting political advertising.  Same as restricting parties or funds, they find a way around to appear as a collective while not officially forming a party, or getting masses of people to donate collectively to avoid singular donation restrictions, or simply have people donate services and resources rather than direct money.  Despite restrictions on advertising, they just make more appearances in town halls, get onto more "news" shows or even comedy shows and just push their resources in other directions that get their faces out there.

For good media, I think there needs to be some sort of certification for stuff to be classified as news.  Heck, tradesmen need certifications and the like to conduct electrical work and such, why not certification by a governing body of journalists that determine what you can and can't classify as news.  If you're not certified and reporting in an approved manner, you simply can't label it as news.  Put in fines or even requirements to re-report an article correctly and its gold.  Heck, air-time and paper real-estate is the most important thing to these guys.  If they stuff up a report and defame someone or spread lies they should have to spend the exact amount of air-time or real-estate in the exact same time-slot or pages to clear up the mistake... *meh* I'm probably getting a bit off topic here but the on topic side is media and other non-government organisations able to address a large audience, abusing their power to swing the public's opinion to their own.  Real news isn't opinion, its informing and educating others with the facts to give the audience the capability of forming their own opinion.
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J Thomas

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Re: Democracy
« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2011, 08:06:05 pm »
So the natural thing is to have two parties that are almost evenly matched.

I don't believe it's possible to plan such a thing.  And there's no doubt that the two parties hate each other, and could never work together.

They don't have to work together to get that result. Just, when one party is too successful, they can throw out members until they don't have as many to share with.

Quote
Rather, I think the two party system is a natural result of a capitalist system... when certain parties succeed, they gain a wealth advantage which in turns makes them more able to succeed.  The more powerful they get, the less relevant smaller parties become.  So it's only natural that we have a 2 party system, because 2 is the minimum in a democracy.  Even if the libertarians were to somehow gain a lot of power, they will likely replace the republicans and we would still have a 2 party system.

But that's just my crazy opinion.

I think your idea is compatible with my idea. Third parties are irrelevant when the rules of the game are set up so that a winning party can legislate without their help. Which the US (and Australian) systems promote. When a third party candidate runs, he takes votes from one of  the other candidates but not enough to win, so the candidate who is most unlike him wins and then gets to pass out patronage. The third party candidate does not get any gravy to share with his supporters, because he loses.

There are various ways to change that around. One would be to switch to something like acceptance voting or perhaps IRV. You vote for every candidate you want. The votes get counted and the candidate with the most votes wins. If you vote for a third party candidate and also a major candidate, both of your votes count, and if the third party candidate comes in second then his party is likely to get even more votes next time.

But every tactic to change things will be opposed by everybody who thinks of himself as a winner under the old system.

Brion Foulke

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Re: Democracy
« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2011, 08:10:41 pm »
There are various ways to change that around. One would be to switch to something like acceptance voting or perhaps IRV. You vote for every candidate you want. The votes get counted and the candidate with the most votes wins. If you vote for a third party candidate and also a major candidate, both of your votes count, and if the third party candidate comes in second then his party is likely to get even more votes next time.

That's a very good idea.

I think it would also be neat if there was a "vote of no confidence" box.  If more people voted no confidence than for one of the candidates, then they'd have to pick new candidates and do the election over in 6 months or something.  That way, even people who hate all the candidates can still vote.

J Thomas

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Re: Democracy
« Reply #20 on: January 17, 2011, 09:22:38 pm »
There are various ways to change that around. One would be to switch to something like acceptance voting or perhaps IRV. You vote for every candidate you want. The votes get counted and the candidate with the most votes wins. If you vote for a third party candidate and also a major candidate, both of your votes count, and if the third party candidate comes in second then his party is likely to get even more votes next time.

That's a very good idea.

I think it would also be neat if there was a "vote of no confidence" box.  If more people voted no confidence than for one of the candidates, then they'd have to pick new candidates and do the election over in 6 months or something.  That way, even people who hate all the candidates can still vote.

Vote for as many as you want, and if nobody gets a majority then have another election? I like the idea, and yet I could actually imagine acceptance voting getting accepted without it. Adding in the possibility of an election that nobody wins looks to me like it makes it harder to get acceptance voting to be used.

charles

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Re: Democracy
« Reply #21 on: January 21, 2011, 04:35:38 am »
One good thing we have in the Australian election system for the lower house are preference votes.  Basically you don't just put a "1" in the box for the candidate you want, you can number each candidate in order of preference.  In addition, if you do ONLY put a "1" in one of the boxes, then that party member can elect for your votes to got towards a candidate of their choice if they don't win.

So what happens is all first preferences are counted up (the candidates with a "1" against their name).  If someone has over 50% first preferences, obviously they win instantly, but often, it'll be less and what happens then is they take the two candidates with the highest number of first preference votes.  Now, each candidate keeps their first preference votes recorded against them, so one candidate might have 30% and another might have 25% while the other 45% of the first preference votes went to other candidates.  What happens now, is all those votes are looked at again, to determine which of the two leading candidates, the other voters prefered.  Again, if they stated no-one, then the person they voted for gets to decide who the votes go to (often they will state to the voters who they will apply their preferences to if the public vote for them and they don't get into the final two).  The candidate amongst the top two first preference winners, with the most first and second preference votes is the winner (so usually you'll have someone voted for by at least 51% of all the people in their electorate and often over 70%, leading in preference over the other candidate).

Obviously this encourages the two party system rule since you decide amongst the two candidates with the most first preference votes.  But even though the smaller parties aren't directly ruling, they have a good deal of influence since they can allocate where the first preference votes for them go (particularly if people only put a "1" next to a single candidate and didn't number the others).  This is pretty much what happened in the election of Kevin Rudd here in Australia.  He made a deal with the Greens, Democrats and some other parties to do a number of things that they'd been pushing for.  Introduce a Carbon tax, legislation for insulation, appology to the Aboriginal's stolen generation, and much more.  Obviously, the more people who vote for you or who are likely to vote for you, the more power you have to negotiate with the major parties on what promises you want them to make before the election in order for you to assign the preference of the people who vote for you to them.

In my suggested, I would obviously see both the two people with the most first preferences take office.
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Kilravok

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Re: Democracy
« Reply #22 on: June 01, 2011, 09:38:14 am »
Trying not too be too pedantic, but what you all were talking about(except J Thomas), what we have in our countries and nations, is not Democracy at all. Its Republic, the state being governed by a senate (or parlament, same difference), which is compoised of declared or elected few who govern the nation on behalf (more or less) of the populus. In a Democracy the populus governs the nation directly, NOT through representatives. This is only feasable on level of local goverment, or at best regional goverment.

A few rules need to be put in place to make it work.

The National level goverment would only reign over national level matters, including criminal law.  It would get only a minimum required amount of funds from the revenue office to pay for legal courts, motorways/interstates/freeways/etc maintainance, schools, military, etc...only national level issues.
For electing the national level goverment I would recomend the german system, if parties are permitted. Everybody got two votes, one for the party you want to elect (relative) and one for a specific person who will represent your constituency/election area (direct). The person voted for in direct mandate does not need to be of the same party that you have voted for for relative mandate. If the party system is scrapped (unlikely to happen), then only a direct vote for a representative of the constituency will be needed. NO priority or alternative votes system, like UK tried to install, and luckily mannaged to avoid, recently. The representative of a constituency has to have been living for at least 2 election periods and has to at given presen time still be living in the constituency he represents.

The regional level goverments would be responsible for only things within their region (country/shire/province,etc...) that is inter-comunity or between comunities. Things like highways/byways, public transport, regional/cultural law, hospitals, etc...
Voting the regional level goverment would be almost like the EU parlament is established, chosen by the comunal goverments/local councels instead of directly by voters (of course the local councels and comunal goverments would be elected by voters). Each comunity has its own representative in the regional goverment and that representative has be have been living in his constituency for at least 5 election periots and must remain living there for the duration of his term.

Comunal goverment/local councel is responsible for anything within the boundaries of the town (village/city/whatever). This is streets, parks, public owned businesses (leisure centres, etc...), infrastructure in general.
The councel is elected by representatives of the estates/neighborhoods/etc... and have to be living in the neighborhood they represent.

Councels and goverments don't have legislative power. They only govern the matters of the state, they don't rule them, they don't determine them. They are in fact Civil Servants with Servants being the operative. They are clerks and accountances, authorised to make decissions only within their field of authority as declared by the populus.  Regulators have the authority and duty to ensure regulations are observed and executed, they are not authorised to create or change regulations.  Being member of a goverment on either level is honorary and not rewarded with wages. All expenses will be met within reason, if these expenses serve to fulfill the duties of the govermental office in question (this does NOT include second and third homes or travel expenses nor 'business' dinners in delux restaurants).  The National and Regional goverments meet on close circuit, optic fiber web-video conference systems, no need to travel to the nation's capital or other place of parlament.

While the administrative goverment system is still republican, all matters of law and regulation making is done Democratically.
Democracy happens all the time, even right now in this thread in this forum. In Democracy politics is done where-ever people talk about political, economical or cultural matters, compare and elaborate opinions, come to agreements and settle discord. In Democracy politics are done in public baths/fitness centres, cinemas, pubs, restaurants, libraries, foren, computer foren, chat rooms, on market places and agoras and in public parks, at private tea parties and during lunch break at work. Laws are duscussed over a pint of beer or during comercials before the movie starts...etc...etc....etc...you get my point.
Law proposals would be published on the internet and discussed whenever the subject is convenient or pressing. After a new law or law change has been proposed, it will be voted on 28 days (one lunar month) later. Every taxpaying Citizen is entitled to vote at any law proposal, but only once per proposal. The laws are seperated by area of concern (local/regional/national) for easier overview

Let me know if I forgotten any important point.

Thank you for reading, You've been a sexy audience.

charles

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Re: Democracy
« Reply #23 on: June 01, 2011, 08:28:45 pm »
Throwing out the party system would be almost ideal but as you say unlikely and maybe impossible.  The issue we see is that the representative for the region doesn't tend to represent their region very well, they tend to represent their party's interests which are often ruled by a specific community sect that can be much smaller than the portion of people they represent, or who voted for them.  You may very well have a candidate who is keen to fight for gay rights, but they won't if their party tells them not to.

All in all, you tend to end up with a two party preferred system where your only real choice is between red and blue while the other parties and the people they represent have little or no say.  One party or the other gets absolute control and the other representatives have little or no ability to affect decisions of the government.  They can offer alternative options or opinions all they like but at the end of the day they are dead ducks, leaving their regions affectively unrepresented.  The decisions aren't discussed and made in the public forum but rather, behind closed doors in the Party's forum.  Then its just a matter of going through the ropes of question time before forcing the vote and every member of your party raising their hand for a choice made much earlier but a majority of that party.

The proposal I made is that each region actually have two representatives.  This is far more likely to result in a multi-party government where decisions are still negotiated between the parties rather than actioned through brute force in the public forum by a single party.  If I take Australia for example.  While the Labor party has government it only has it thanks to a few independents and a member of the Greens party.  This means that the independents and Green can team up with the major opposition to enact decisions they think are worthy, rather than rely on the Labor party entirely, or can disagree with Labor.


Then of course you have the distribution of funds and designation of responsibility.  I'm for putting as much responsibility as low in the governance system as possible so the people making the decisions are as close to the people and the area they represent as possible.  Obviously regional/town representatives who are voted in are much more concerned with their town or region than the state representatives who govern many regions/towns but who are still more concerned with each town or region they represent than the national government who rules many over many states and their regions/towns.

Obviously also, some decisions or areas are much more national than they are regional.  Military, interstate/interregional highways and power or telephone runs between the states and regions to connect locally managed roads and infrastructure, national laws that affect all individual's actions and the courts/police who enforce it.  I don't know if I'd put schools into that category.  Certainly the school cirriculum might be standardised across the nation, but allocations of funds to build, expand and run schools should be closer to the region.  Not sure if this should be taken to law enforcement where the nation obviously enacts many of the criminal laws and police regulations but the region would decide how much should be spent on law enforcement services.
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