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Public Advisory Vote

Toward a More Transparent Union
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Legislators are supposedly elected by their constituents for the purpose of being their representative in government, so let's see how good a job they're actually doing of it. Each vote that comes up before a given legislator would be presented to his constituency to vote upon (via the Internet, touch-tone, postal mail, etc.). The vote would not be binding, but the outcome of every vote along with the legislator's ultimate action on the bill would be a matter of public record (only after the vote, however, so as not to unduly influence public opinion).

This would not only be a valuable tool for legislators to connect with their constituents, but would act as a real-time report card as to how effectively they represent the people's mandate. Since the vote isn't binding, it could be ignored by any legislator who felt it in the best interest of the public do so, but at the risk of potentially having to be accountable to his constituency for that decision come the next election.

ytk, Mar 07 2011

Testing the need for representative government Subject_20Represent...entific_20Principle
[theircompetitor, Mar 08 2011]

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       How is it presented to the constituency? If it's self select (online poll or similar), then only the people who care enough to vote are going to have an input. This means that if 10 people really hate an issue, and 10000 are somewhat positive towards it, the 10 are going to have a disproportionate influence.   

       If it's mandatory voting, then everyone is going to get annoyed about it.
MechE, Mar 07 2011
  

       That's why the result isn't binding. If only a few people bother to vote on a given measure, it's clearly not that important to the constituency at large, and isn't likely to be a major political liability however the legislator votes. Of course, one could argue that the 10 people who actually go out of their way to say something SHOULD have more influence than 10,000 who don't bother (consider 10,000 horses and 10 cows voting on subsidies to the beef industry.)   

       This isn't that different in principle from the way politically active citizens currently contact their legislators ("Please write or call your representative today and urge him or her to vote YES on..."). It just creates a more systematic and transparent means of doing so.
ytk, Mar 07 2011
  

       Nice.   

       Just incorporate a "no results displayed until 10%(?) of the voting population of the constituency have voted" type deal, which could help solve the skewed results problem, and bingo.
Euryon, Apr 22 2011
  
      
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