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The fundamental problem with representative
democracy is that it is only
as good as the process for choosing the
representatives. Consider, for
example, the process of voting for President of the
United States: in any
given election, about half the population is going to
as a result, and that's arguably not an incorrect
perception on their part.
But in order to be a representative government,
there must necessarily be
some compromise on the matter.
In the Pyramid Republic, the general public only
directly votes for local
representatives. These representatives are
apportioned roughly according
to population. For example, every cluster of 5,000
people might get to
select three representatives. These districts could be
geographically, although experiments involving other
methods of assigning
districts, such as voluntarily through coordination and
registration of a
group via the Internet could prove interesting.
These representatives are responsible for managing
local affairs, and are
also responsible for electing representatives to the
level of government
directly above them. The scope of their collective
authority, then, is
limited to the set of people represented in aggregate
representative they elect to the next higher level of
citizens might directly elect neighborhood
presidents, who then are
responsible for electing a city councillor, who in turn
may, along with all of the other councillors,
exercise power over all residents of the city.
Elections are held whenever
there is a vacancy, but no person may ever advance
more than one level
upwards at a timeso, for example, aldermen may
only become mayors,
not governors, and the system may only be entered
from the bottom.
The pyramid proceeds upwards, group by group, until
it reaches a handful
of representatives at the highest level (although in
countries adhering to
the principles of Federalism, there may be multiple
such pyramids, and
there may regardless be multiple pyramids
representing different branches
of government). The need for a single executive at
the top is thereby
obviated, since the representatives at the highest
level need only negotiate
statewide policy among themselves. They may, if
they choose, select
one of themselves to be the "President", "Speaker",
"Prime Minister", or
"Grand Poobah", but that person remains "first among
equals" and enjoys
no special powers over the others.
Anyone elected to a position may serve in that
position indefinitely, or
until removed from office via an ostracism vote.
Patterned loosely after
the Athenian process, ostracism is a method of
representatives from office. Every so often, each
citizen may participate
in a retain/recall vote for any of his own
representatives, including any
representative elected by one of their
representatives. These elections
are held with frequency varying from every six
months for the lowest
level representatives, to every four years for the
highest. Any person who
receives more recall votes than retain votes is
immediately removed from
office, and relegated to basic citizen status. That
person may run for
office again, but of course must start over at the very
Under this system, government more directly comes
from the mandate of
the people. At each level, the people you vote for
are largely from the
pool of people you personally are familiar with, and
you can therefore be
far more confident in knowing that you've chosen the
best person to
represent the interests of you and your constituents.
citizen has a more or less equal say in the overall
makeup of the
government, without giving one group or the other a
amount of power at any given time.
Of course, as an (as yet) experimental/theoretical
form of government,
many of the above outlined parameters could be
adjusted or substituted
as necessary to address unforeseen problems; the
implementation presented here is merely a
suggestion. So this idea really
encompasses any form of government defined by the
two key features of
(1) level-by-level ascension, wherein a vacancy in
any given rank may only
be filled by a member of the immediately preceding
rank, and (2) the
presence of some process by which citizens may,
either directly or
indirectly, remove any unsatisfactory representative
Proposal for universal democracy
[pocmloc, Jul 20 2011]
The Venetian Republic
[DrBob, Jul 21 2011]
||This is already partly operational, where people vote for their constituency MP; the MPs in the house of commons vote for the Prime Minister, and the various heads of state in the EU get together to appoint various EU chiefs. And the EU chief meets with the NATO chief and the Chinese PM to decide on issues of world government and domination.
||At any rate, we are closer to that model than to universal equitable democracy <link>
||So make local officials the electoral college. That could work. I think events in the US lately are proving that a layer of sane and rational people between the voting public and the officials they elect might be a good idea.
||// a layer of sane and rational people //
||Oh no, he's been at the Funny Mushrooms again ....
||We could hire in the Swiss.
||Like the Vatican ? Yeah, good call ...
||"With village and factory soviets as a base, there
arose a vast pyramid of district, cantonal, county
and regional soviets, each with its executive soviet.
Over and above these stood the 'All-Russian Soviet
Congress,' which appointed an 'All-Russian Central
Executive Committee' of not more than 200
members, which in turn chooses the 'Soviet of
People's Commissaries' the Ministry."
||I both agree and disagree with this Idea. That is, I've also noticed a problem with the design of ordinary representative government systems. The problem I see, at least with respect to the United States system, is that it was designed when the population of the nation was maybe 10 million, and now it is 300 million.
||That means each "direct representative" needs to handle the needs of 30 times as many people as originally designed. This has resulted in officious flunkies who have the job of filtering out those who actually get to see their representatives. The flunkies also make corruption easier.
||Something Needs To Be Done. While modern communications may make it easier for Person A to contact Person B, when one of them is supposed to ALSO communicate with hundreds or thousands of other people, how can you expect that person to get any OTHER work done?
||It therefore seems almost inevitable that a tiered system of representatives will be part of the solution. However the 2nd tier is defined, it can mostly concentrate its communications with members of the 1st tier, who have the job of directly representing the desires of some smallish segment of the Public (perhaps only 100 adults). This implies that that membership in the 1st tier of the Government could be as large as 1% of the adult population. (Huge salaries and other perks for this group obviously can't be afforded and must be forbidden!)
||Notice that if the population increases, then so also automatically increases the 1st tier, and, as appropriate, also the other tiers. If we keep the ratio the same, then the 2nd tier would be 1% of the 1st tier, and the 3rd tier would be 1% of the 2nd tier, and so on. And you definitely need 1 person at the top, if only to ensure that "passing the buck" Stops Here.
||I've been thinking of this Issue for some time, and am not yet ready to write it all down. When I am, I'll probably post it as a nice long separate Idea here. I just hope I remember that others have been thinking about it, too!
||This will do for our government what the ponzi scheme did
for our economy.
||//the MPs in the house of commons vote for the Prime Minister, //
No they don't. In the UK, the party elects a leader and, if the Queen invites that party to form a government, the leader assumes the role of Prime Minister. At no point do the MPs in the house of commons elect the Prime Minister. Occasionally, if the Prime Minister resigns or dies, the MPs of the ruling party get to elect the new Prime Minister but that's as far as it goes.
As for the actual idea, it's not dissimilar to the electoral process in the later years of the old Venetian Republic. <linky>
||sounds like a recipe for bloated plutocracy and a massive self serving political class. still anything would be better than the mockery of democracy that we have here in the Estados Unidos.