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Representarian Government

"Mr Congressman, here is the list of issues and their solutions as voted on by the people...
(+1, -1)
  [vote for,

... Do you swear to carry them out as ordered without personal prejudice?"

"I do.

As the first Congressman of the Representarian Party I vow to execute the will of the people as determined by issue specific ballot without regard to any personal inclination or views on these matters at hand."

The voters would be given a ballot not featuring a list of politicians, but a list of issues and proposed solutions to these issues. Representatives would have no other job than to carry out these solutions as directed by the people. Rather than people trying to find the politician who most closely matches their views, they'd essentially create a "dream candidate" who matched their views exactly. Individual issues would win or loose, not candidates. The ballot would then be handed to a representative whose job it is to carry out the will of the people exactly. The country would be run essentially by ballot measure, not egomaniac politicians.

For issues that don't have time to be put to a vote, let the Executive branch handle it until the a ballot could be put on line to deal with the situation. So we could still have our cult of personality guy at the top in the form of a President, but the people would more directly be in charge.

This might be popular here in California where many people are socially liberal and fiscally conservative. Having to chose between all right wing and all left wing politicians seems like a "necessary evil of democracy" that might not be all that necessary in the information age.

As far as who would get the job as Congressman or MP? If it's done right, it shouldn't matter, they'd just be errand boys. They would still sit in the fancy buildings and fly the private jets earning a decent salary as well, but they'd have no power whatsoever.

Let the egomaniacal meglomaniacs get into some other line of work. Let the people run things.

doctorremulac3, Aug 13 2011

testing correlation of rep vote to polling Subject_20Represent...entific_20Principle
[theircompetitor, Aug 14 2011]


       This reminds me of an idea I had to have everyone vote on all the issues online, then the elected officials have the job of implementing the results.   

       But this is too simplistic, the problem is most people aren't informed enough to make decisions in all those matters. Representatives are supposed to spend their time researching the topics and hearing opinions from experts committees etc. Thats why the specialize in certain topics. Sometimes the topics are too sensitive to release to the public also.   

       I also wanted to add a vote weighting system according to how much a person was specialized in that field. Or have experts from whom you would choose an opinion.
nickthird, Aug 13 2011

       //the problem is most people aren't informed enough to make decisions in all those matters//   

       And politicians are?   

       I hear what you're saying, but couldn't you say the same thing about ballot measures?   

       I just question the value of a politician acting as buffer between the people and the issues, especially when there's no buffer between that politician and the lobbyists.
doctorremulac3, Aug 13 2011

       // there's no buffer between that politician and the lobbyists //   

       Wrong; sometimes there is a buffer. It's a very high quality one, extremely comfortable and tasteful, and is financed entirely by the lobbyists and their sponsors, purely out of the kindness of their hearts, bless them. The politician gets free use of it, with no strings attached whatsoever, because it's in the public interest that they should have the very best buffer money can buy, without costing the taxpayer a single penny.   

       <Star Trek Red Alert Sound>
<Star Trek Red Alert Sound>

       "Start the emergency pumps, the irony level is getting dangerously high".
8th of 7, Aug 13 2011

       Mob rule.
methinksnot, Aug 14 2011

       another option would be to replace the lobbyists with indirect lobbying - meaning companies can pay to sponser reseach in a given field (of course not choosing the researcher) and the results can be brought up for discussion between the representatives or they could sponsor experts to give opinions (not selecting the expert).
nickthird, Aug 14 2011

       I'd rather live under the mob rule of the masses than the mob rule of the cleptocrats.   

       It's an interesting idea Nick. The thing about lobbyists is I don't remember any founding document on either side of the Atlantic guaranteeing politicians the right to sell influence to the highest bidder.   

       I guess corruption is just one of those things that's been around so long it's been accepted as the norm.   

       Allright, I'm beginning to sound soapboxy. Nobody likes a malcontent. I don't want to end up with a bottle of booze, a beard and a manifesto.
doctorremulac3, Aug 14 2011

       // a bottle of booze, a beard and a manifesto //   

       We think everyone else probably sees you more as a cabin-in-the-backwoods, bad-hair-and-pipe-bombs kind of guy, actually ...
8th of 7, Aug 14 2011

       Exactly, they'd be rated like anybody else doing a job. "Did you do the job? How well did you do it? Did you fail? Then you're fired." There would be no need to vote for these people because they'd be selected by ability to carry out the jobs they've been tasked with, not their "charisma". It would be very easy to see if they did their job or not because if they were told to vote no on something and they voted yes, it's pretty hard to hide.   

       Like a judge in a trial whose job it is to carry out the will of the jury, the politician's job would be to carry out the will of the people. I'd say that there would be even less lattitude granded to a Representarian politician than a judge to interperate the will of the people though.   

       And speaking to the concern that the people would do stupid things (unlike politicians?) how else will they learn? If everybody votes for "Free private jets for everybody and a 1 day work month" the economy collapses and the people get a little lesson in actions and consequences. I
doctorremulac3, Aug 14 2011

       //We think everyone else probably sees you more as a cabin-in-the-backwoods, bad-hair-and-pipe-bombs kind of guy, actually ...//   

       Ahh, a razzing from the Delta Quadrant.   

       Not so my Borgian friend. I live in a nice part of town, have emaculate hair, clean fingernails and a toned body that belies my age. My only foible is a penchant for heavy metal music.   

       That and my undying relationship with my dark lord Satan.
doctorremulac3, Aug 14 2011

       //"Did you do the job? How well did you do it? Did you fail?// This is exactly the question -- already being framed in Iowa -- that will be asked about the American president in the next Federal elections. The answer will be completely obvious.   

       For roughly half the voters, it'll be obviously "yes" and for roughly half, it'll be obviously "no." tl;dr //It would be very easy to see if they did their job or not// not so much. One solution would be to appoint [doctorremulac3] arbiter. Problems with that system are left as an exercise yadda yadda.
mouseposture, Aug 14 2011

       You make a good point. Addressing the whole of a politician's success or failure can get pretty complicated. Addressing whether or not they carried out tasks a, b, c and d will be much easier. The trick would be to make the tasks specific.   

       When a politician keeps it vague, it makes it pretty easy for him to wiggle out of responsibility.   

       If I were to say something vague like: "I Dr Remulac promise you, my dear friends the voters, that I will SEND A MESSAGE TO THOSE FAT CATS IN WASHINGTON!!!" It's kind of hard to pin me down when I come back for re-election.
doctorremulac3, Aug 14 2011

       The solution is "metrics." Management loves these. Problem is, they work better for some sorts of problem than others, and are worse than useless when mis-applied. Wonderful for manufacturing process control. Not so good in the Vietnam War. Usefulness in education is still debated.
mouseposture, Aug 14 2011

       There's always recorded delivery, [DrRemulacIII].   

       "Dear Senator X, an angry mob called at [specify time] but you were out."
pertinax, Aug 14 2011


       "Senator Remulac, that angry mob you've been putting off is here to see you."   

       "Hmm. Are they carrying torches and heads on pikes?"   

       "No heads yet, just the pikes."   

       "Put 'em down for 3:00. I've got a meeting with the proletariat at 2 and lunch with the huddled masses before that.   

       Oh and Cathy, if those "yearning to be free" assholes call again tell 'em we're closed for business and that they're just gonna have to fix up the shithole countries they live in would ya?"
doctorremulac3, Aug 14 2011

       I had proposed the linked idea some time ago, to see if one could see how often they in fact deviate from polls. If the correlation is very high, and given modern technology, one could start doing away with them.
theircompetitor, Aug 14 2011

       [theircompetitor] Perhaps there could be an organization which dug up cases where the incumbent did that, and then publicized that information. But it would require a lot of passionately dedicated people and a huge budget, so I suppose it's not really likely to happen.
mouseposture, Aug 14 2011

       I was thinking you could get a government grant :)
theircompetitor, Aug 14 2011

       // Usefulness in education is still debated //   

       "Usefulness *OF* education is still debated", shirley ?
8th of 7, Aug 14 2011

       You elect someone for their judgement (as stated in some already defined pre-election issues) to make calls on your behalf. Some significant decisions in, for example, taxation, education policy or civil rights were (and, in fact still are) unpopular but ultimately proven to have been the "right thing" to do.   

       // a bottle of booze, a beard and a manifesto // Forget the beard and the manifesto, can I join you with the booze?
methinksnot, Aug 14 2011

       Sounds good. A shot of Patron and a nice wheat beer would hit the spot right about now.   

doctorremulac3, Aug 14 2011

       //The voters would be given...a list of issues and proposed solutions to these issues//

Who gets to choose what goes on this list then?
DrBob, Aug 15 2011

       The same site you vote on would have an area where issues could be put up by the voters. Once they got to a certain amount of thumbs up from other voters it could be brought to the next step.   

       Hey, was that a drive-by boner?   

       Don't drive-by bone, let your will be known.
doctorremulac3, Aug 15 2011

       I don't think this sort of scheme would work. You'd have all sorts of 'experts' on tax levels and John Edward's hairspray and none would focus on the governmental purchasing procedures of military air filters besides those directly affected by the contract. Proactivity in cost containment would be lacking with the populace forever chasing the latest movement of corruption or waste money into whichever hiding place it had found for the moment, constantly 10 steps behind.
RayfordSteele, Aug 15 2011

       The people would simply say "We're allocating this amount for the military." If it all gets spent on $50,000 air filters and we end up flying outdated fighter jets the people in charge of that spending will end up on the ballot next time and get the ax.   

       It would basically be an expansion of the way local ballots are run to a nationwide level. We vote locally on ballot measures and people like controllers and judges. We could do that as necessary on a nationwide level.   

       This "line item voting" idea would only go to higher offices like Governer, Congressman etc.
doctorremulac3, Aug 15 2011

       // If it all gets spent on $50,000 air filters and we end up flying outdated fighter jets //   

       ... then the people in charge of that spending will end up in an internment camp when your country gets overrun and defeated in hours by a troop of Girl Scouts from Luxembourg.
8th of 7, Aug 15 2011

       Right, which is why you'd have to vote in people who did a good job.   

       Same as now. We have the issue of disbelief in the existance of a hostile world with our present system. We have politicians that would like to shut down the military completely because once the world's hostile leaders sit down with our charming and lovable politicians we'll all stand on a hill singing Kumbaya.   

       The F-22 Raptor is the finest fighter plane ever made and it's grounded with all future orders cancelled, an easy target for all but the laziest Luxenbourgian Girscout special ops commandos. "Hey Mr gound crewman, want to buy some ginger snaps?" "SHE'S GOT AN AR!"   

       I'm guessing if you put it to the voters they'd rather hold on to air supremacy than spend that money trying to teach another middle east country about indoor plumbing.   

       And if you're the contractor vying for the people's support of their products, make commercials and convince them. If I were Lockheed Martin I'd have a commercial saying "Think of a world where the west didn't take their fighter planes and air superiority seriously." (Show a picture of an aerial dogfight scene the Spitfire fading out with leaving only ME-109s in the picture) "Where all people are trusted to be good humanitarians simply because it's the thing to do." (Show a Mustang fading out with only Zeros in the background) Then show an internment camp with a plaque on the front saying: "Auschwitz" and have it fade to "London" then "New York". Voiceover: "Then think again."   

       If the people weren't convinced, fine. They deserve what they get.
doctorremulac3, Aug 15 2011

       Cue: Video of little lambs playing amongst flowers in a sunny meadow.   

       Voice over: "Think you're safe ?"   

       Cut: Video of the World Trade Centre on 11 September 2001.   

       Voice over: "Think again."   

       That SHOULD be all that's needed. Unless of course you're some sort of eyes-closed hand-wringing pinko liberal in total denial about the existence of Bad Things.   

       // trying to teach another middle east country about indoor plumbing //   

       Better to reach them the difference between the nice end and the nasty end of a .50cal Browning, by practical demonstration.
8th of 7, Aug 15 2011

       I agree with the above sentiment, but I'd change your video, 9-11 is too upsetting.   

       I'd have the little lambs playing in the meadow whip out a bunch of AK-47s and start shooting everything in site. Bunnies, gnomes, sprites, anything that gets in their way.   

       Then it would turn out to be a commercial for lambchops.   

       "Remulac Lamb Products. Hey, they'd do the same thing to you if they could."   

       Just being silly, please don't take that as some stupid peacenik comment on the futility of war. I've alway said war never accomplished anything. Except freeing the slaves, stopping the Nazis from killing all the Jews, stopping the Japanese from exterminating China etc.
doctorremulac3, Aug 15 2011

       /have emasculate hair/   

       That probably saves a mint in body waxing fees.
bungston, Aug 15 2011

       The problem at the very heart of this idea, no matter how attractive it may be to those of a Halfbaker bent of mind, is that it's exactly what the founding fathers of the USA feared, so they engineered a number of buffers between Joe Pitchfork and ultimate executive decision. For example, just look at the Electoral College, the democratic process panic-button.   

       Of course, the damn thing doesn't work if nobody presses it in time...
Alterother, Aug 15 2011

       What if we press it and the only people that show up are Rand Paul, Michelle Bachmann, and Mike Huckleberry?
RayfordSteele, Aug 16 2011

       Oddly enough, this has sort of been done.   

       Bill Clinton was the first President to run his Presidency by focus group. When he first took office and the country didn't instantly transform into paradise as he'd promised, his popularity plummeted. So he hired the man who basically ran the Whitehouse for the next 6 years. This man set up the focus groups that Clinton used to find his course in all matters from the most mundane to important international policy.   

       His popularity skyrocketed, but it would have been kind of odd if it hadn't. He was finding out what everybody wanted and going out and doing it.   

       Anyway, the country didn't totally fall apart. I think the focus groups did a better job than he did. Evidently, so did he, that's why he hired them.
doctorremulac3, Aug 16 2011

       Agreed, and I think that kind of 'top-down' represtarianism would work better, perhaps, than a 'direct democracy.'
Alterother, Aug 16 2011

       //He was finding out what everybody wanted and going out and doing it//   

       <Obligatory evil conservative rofl/>
theircompetitor, Aug 16 2011


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