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direct democracy

Home Forums Research Law and Politics direct democracy

This topic contains 37 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of J.L.-Frusha J.L.-Frusha 3 years, 10 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 38 total)
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  • #1394
    Profile photo of OceanPhoenix
    OceanPhoenix
    Participant

    Ok, I haven’t been back here in a while, but I have a new idea (well not new, as such, but different to most of the things posted on the website)

    A mixture between a direct and representative democracy.

    Representatives are voted into power directly by the people.

    Representatives create laws, and those which obtain the majority vote within the representatives get subjected to the people’s vote, in which citizens have a month in which to vote on new decisions, if they so choose. Matters of diplomacy with other nations, however, are left to the representatives, as they have complete knowledge and understanding of the nation’s situation.

    There can be no official, set parties, although groups of representatives may make and break alliances and coalitions as they so wish, that way there is less pressure on representatives to make a decision that they do not like.

    #11987
    Profile photo of Thorizan
    Thorizan
    Participant

    I had a similar idea of a direct/representative democracy hybrid. You have the option of making your votes on an issue public, and one can find someone that votes like them most of the time, and you can have that person vote for you. I think several hundred people would end up representing the vast majority of the populace, like it is now in the US, but instead of it being based on arbitrary geographic district lines, it’s based on ideology. A person knows that if they vote for their best interest, instead of that of their representatives, then those people will either vote for themselves, or get someone else to represent them.

    __________________________________________________
    There is no fate but what we make for ourselves. Each to his fate.

    #12020
    Profile photo of Alan
    Alan
    Participant

    I’ve been advocating a sort of Personal Representation, in which everyone gets to choose their own representative, who votes on their behalf the same way shares are voted at a shareholder’s meeting.

    In fact, I’ve been coming up with some principles that I think have to be applied to any reasonable government in the future, and I should start making a list. Here are a few of my ideas.

    (1) A bicameral legislature:

    (a) The lower house represents ALL the people, without regard to ANY factor, including sex, race, age, or even criminal history. Every resident can choose their own representative, who will vote in the same way we vote shares at shareholder meetings. This house would have a special role in determining the criminal codes, to reduce as far as possible the maltreatment of minorities. No crime could be made or maintained a felony without at least 7/8ths of the vote (87.5%). If a vote were held and 13% of the people voted against a law, it could no longer be a felony but could be treated as a misdemeanor (still thinking about what limits on punishment should be applicable to each class of crime). No crime could be made or maintained a misdemenour without at least 7/9ths of the vote (~77.7778%). No crime could be made or maintained an infraction without at least 7/10ths of the vote (70%). Civil law would require only 50% +1 of the vote. Of course, these are the minimum required for each type of law – if 99% of the people wanted to make jaywalking an infraction, it would remain that – an infraction, not a felony. (see idea 2 below)

    Ideologically, the principle here is that any behavior that a large minority of the public participates in is probably not something we should consider a crime – and certainly not a felony.

    (b) The upper house would represent net taxpayers. While I’m unsure of the best way of determining how we know who pays how much in taxes, the general principle is that those who are paying for the State ought to be those who determine how the State spends their money, in some proportion to how much they contribute. In order to prevent one fabulously wealthy person from becoming king by virtue of their wealth, this monetary representation would be on some sort of logarithmic scale so that, for example, the first $100 a person pays in taxes might earn 1 vote, the next $400 a 2nd vote, the next $1600 a 3rd vote, and so on. The goal would be to establish the middle class as the guardians of the State Purse. Most middle class voters would have at least 2 or 3 votes, but no one would be so wealthy as to have undue influence – AND, as the power is based on taxes PAID, anyone successfully avoiding taxation would have less influence on politics and – hopefully – reduced prestige. I’d like to see a society in which people took a certain amount of pride in how many votes they have in the upper house, because that would imply that they supported their community. Of course, it would also serve in evolutionary terms as a measure of fitness: “That’s right baby, I’m so rich I have TEN votes in the upper!” I have not determined a suitable logarithmic scale to use, and would be happy to receive input.

    Bearing in mind that money is not always the best indicator of an individual’s contribution to society, and in order to promote community service in other areas, a limited number of additional votes might be allowed for educational achievement and community service, as approved by laws passed by at least 7/8ths of the lower house – but the balance must be towards the economics. I imagine that some compromise would be approved in an original Constitution, but thereafter momentum would prevent much change. An extra vote for community service might be automatically given to those who have served a set time in the military, and occasionally voted to individuals who have made notable contributions to their community as this republic’s version of a knighthood or peerage. There would be a limit as to how many votes a single person could get for community service – I’m thinking 2 votes maximum. Again, trying to keep a balance, and to prevent future mischief.

    (2) I’m not sure exactly how I would handle the three types of crimes, but I think an infraction should have no penalty greater than three days in jail or a fine equivalent to three days’ pay: enough to keep people from committing such infractions openly and frequently in order to allow a well-functioning and orderly society, without allowing too great a scope for abuse by authorities or by the tyranny of the majority. Note that a minority that could get support from a mere 22.3% of the population would thus be protected from all but fairly mild injustices. It is not a surety, but it would be enough to end the War on Drugs, for example, while allowing for a pleasant public environment mostly free from open drug use for those communities that wanted that.

    For felonies – I would say that only felonies can result in more than 5 years imprisonment. 5 years is a significant part of a person’s life, and I would want to know that at least 7/8ths of the population agreed that a crime was worthy of such a long imprisonment before allowing such a sentence. Misdemeanors would allow a statutory sentence greater than 3 days but not more than 5 years.

    In consequence of the volatility possible by the requirement that 7/8ths, 7/9ths, or 7/10ths of the lower house must maintain support for these laws, a 30 day waiting period would be in effect before any change in the law went into effect, to allow the house to reverse its vote.

    (3) A principle should be made in law, that no criminal law can be held valid in which there is no clear victim.

    (4) The use of binding precedents in law would be limited in criminal cases to defendants, and never allowed to prosecutors.

    (5) To reduce the abuses inherent in piling on multiple charges for a single incident, including the danger of frightening innocent persons to enter a plea deal in exchange for dropping some of the charges, no more than seven charges may be made in a single court case.

    This will require prosecutors to focus on serious charges with a good chance of a conviction, rather than the strategy of throwing everything at a defendant and hoping something will stick. If a defendant has a record of bad behavior and multiple crimes, the prosecutor will still have the option of pursuing additional cases against them.

    (6) A principle should be made in law, that the first duty of the courts is to avoid injustice, that the second duty is to prevent future harm, and that the third duty is to provide restitution where reasonably possible.

    (7) Rather than freedom of religion and freedom of the press, we should modernize the language to accommodate present and future realities. Thus, we should acknowledge the Absolute Right to Freedom of Conscience and Thought, and we should also acknowledge the Right to Freedom of Expression, which shall be absolute in private places among consenting individuals, and only slightly qualified in public places to allow others to go about their business in peace.

    Otherwise, what’s in the American Constitution is pretty good, though it could use a little updating and a few rights – such as the right to labor without arbitrary restrictions, the right to travel, the right to self-defense, and the right to establish one’s abode, explicitly spelled out.

    #12024
    Profile photo of elspru
    elspru
    Participant

    OceanPhoenix wrote:

    Ok, I haven’t been back here in a while, but I have a new idea (well not new, as such, but different to most of the things posted on the website)

    A mixture between a direct and representative democracy.

    Representatives are voted into power directly by the people.

    A homo-sapien is only capable of taking into account up to 200 opinions,

    so humans couldn’t function as representatives for more than that.

    You could elect a robot or polling application of some kind.

    Representatives create laws, and those which obtain the majority vote within the representatives get subjected to the people’s vote, in which citizens have a month in which to vote on new decisions, if they so choose.

    Elected humans are typically completely incompetent when it comes to policy, since they specialize in elections.

    We could have policy software that checks spelling, grammar and compatability of policies,

    Any user/citizen could make a policy, others could revise it,

    and people can vote on their most favoured revision.

    Matters of diplomacy with other nations, however, are left to the representatives, as they have complete knowledge and understanding of the nation’s situation.

    That is false, typically homo-sapiens have tunnel-vision of only their own experience with that nation/group of leaders.

    Regimes of terror have been purpotrated all over the world, since America has decided to support a particular tyrrant.

    Really if a nation wishes to ask for a new policy,

    they can add it into the system,

    and it can be voted on.

    Neuro-nets trained on voter-reactions can give real-time simulations of potential results.

    That way a policy-maker can do test runs before submiting a policy.

    Any people that may be affected by the policy are notified of it for voting or revisions.

    There can be no official, set parties, although groups of representatives may make and break alliances and coalitions as they so wish, that way there is less pressure on representatives to make a decision that they do not like.

    There can be systems of value.

    Also it can be a holographic system, or a natural hierarchy,

    Each level can set policies pertaining to it’s scale.

    atoms, molecules, organelles, cells, organs, limbs

    So for instance an atom would be dealing with what people do within that community of typically less than gold 197 people,

    then a molecule would be dealing with how atoms interact with each other,

    organelles manage molecules, cells manage organelles,

    and so on for the higher layers.

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    #12065
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    Representative democracy has been shown to be a scam, representatives ignore the people who voted for them and sell their influence to anyone with cash.

    Every person should be their own representative with the power to propose new legislation and the ability to vote on every thing.

    Computers, communications and the internet allows real democracy, we should not ignore this opportunity, if everyone voted on everything there would be less war, less corruption and fewer laws, resulting in a freer, fairer more civilised society.

    #12066
    Profile photo of Ken Sims
    Ken Sims
    Keymaster
    ssteve wrote:

    Representative democracy has been shown to be a scam, representatives ignore the people who voted for them and sell their influence to anyone with cash.

    To make work, elections need to be done away with. People can change their representative at any time. Anyone representing some minimum number of people (100?) is in. If the number of people being represented falls below the minimum, they’re out.

    ssteve wrote:

    Every person should be their own representative with the power to propose new legislation and the ability to vote on every thing.

    Computers, communications and the internet allows real democracy, we should not ignore this opportunity, if everyone voted on everything there would be less war, less corruption and fewer laws, resulting in a freer, fairer more civilised society.

    There has to be some limit on what people can legislate, otherwise you get into “bread and circuses”.

    Of course the U.S. is going that direction anyway, even without direct democracy.

    #12067
    Profile photo of Ken Sims
    Ken Sims
    Keymaster
    Ken wrote:
    ssteve wrote:

    Representative democracy has been shown to be a scam, representatives ignore the people who voted for them and sell their influence to anyone with cash.

    To make work, elections need to be done away with. People can change their representative at any time. Anyone representing some minimum number of people (100?) is in. If the number of people being represented falls below the minimum, they’re out.[/quote]

    Also (and this is implied but I’ll make it explicit), in this system each representative, when voting, is credited with as many votes as the number of people he is currently representing.

    #12072
    Profile photo of elspru
    elspru
    Participant

    Ken wrote:
    Ken wrote:

    [quote=ssteve]

    Representative democracy has been shown to be a scam, representatives ignore the people who voted for them and sell their influence to anyone with cash.

    To make work, elections need to be done away with. People can change their representative at any time. Anyone representing some minimum number of people (100?) is in. If the number of people being represented falls below the minimum, they’re out.[/quote] Also (and this is implied but I’ll make it explicit), in this system each representative, when voting, is credited with as many votes as the number of people he is currently representing.[/quote]

    the topic of the thread is direct-democracy.

    which is different from representative-democracy.

    actually 200 is the recomended maximum they can represent,

    and those are the same 200 that are in their stable social group.

    however someone can represent representatives,

    so a molecule-representative has the atom-representatives in their social group.

    elections in canada for the smallest size plot,

    usually require say 6,000 voters

    to have a reasonable chance of winning an election

    so that’s about a 100 nickel-atoms or tribes.

    so it would probably be a multi-molecular,

    organelle, such as a nucleus (plan temple).

    Though many politicians nowadays are merely nucleuolous (repeater).

    So my focus is making such a plan, or DNA,

    am writing a book We You Tribe http://www.scribd.com/doc/39430909/We-You-Tribe-book-draft

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    #12081
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    One person, one vote on every decision or proposed new legislation.

    There would be fewer laws because people don’t play politics, they get on with their lives, it is professional polititians that are the cause of all the worlds’ and nations internal problems because they cannot solve a problem, they don’t know how, but if they did they would not solve it so they could use it as an excuse to be voted back for another term, saying their work is not finished.

    I hold politicians in the deepest contempt.

    #12083
    Profile photo of J.L.-Frusha
    J.L.-Frusha
    Participant

    Perhaps a semi-direct approach, with minimal representation would work. If 2/3 of each group vote one way, the other 1/3 are unheard, at which point, the 1/3 needs to reform into groups that share their decision. Next up, why bother trying to develope a government, when, as current citzens of nations, we are already bound by laws, both national and international. We have ZERO seasteads. Until ther are enough people in the life-style, there is no sense planning some government. Planning for a governing system is futile, until there are enough people to have need of it. That minimum is somewhere around small-city numbers, in the thousands, but that’s only local. I think a seastead, as individual property should be inviolate. Personal action and morality are not a function of the government, but of society. Slavery only seems to worm in areas where labor-intensive production is the rule. Depending on the ‘master’ it can be good or bad… Prostitution can provide a necessary outlet, but the prostitutes have to have choices, not be meat-puppets. Pre-determining a political system, based on the assumptions of a group of day-dreamers is not going to work. Frontier justice will be the initial rule, after which, the society will grow its’ own system. Whoever has the money, will have the most say-so. It always works that way…

    Later,

    J.L.F.

    Never be afraid to try something new…

    Remember, amateurs built the ark, professionals built the Titanic.

    #12092
    Profile photo of Matt
    Matt
    Participant

    Maybe one or another Seastead will adopt Democracy or some variation of it. The good thing about Seasteading is that it should allow for political systems to compete.

    The problem with it is that all seasteads could be recognized by the landlubbers collectively, defeating the purpose.

    For instance, and this is just an example so don’t take it personal, I would never agree to be a subject or integrate a system in which principles are derived from numbers:

    “Ideologically, the principle here is that any behavior that a large minority of the public participates in is probably not something we should consider a crime – and certainly not a felony.”

    I strongly believe that the largest minority in the case quoted above is the individual. One person should not have less rights than ten.

    What I propose is a purely contractual government where the citizens has to explicitly agree to every action or omission taken in his her name by any representative body. Furthermore I’d advocate for those representative bodies to become simply attorneys. This is naturally the downside of a purely contractual society, but I see it more as the price of freedom.

    In such a contractual society and indeed state, the individual could be individually sovereign, relying for protection and infrastructure on a network of nanofederalism. Or, could be a guest, resident, tourist, gastarbeiter, commuter, but in every case entering the sovereign vessel or territory under contract.

    I don’t know if you fancy to call it a krytocracy mixed with federalized aristocracy; it’s certainly something new, like the Switz invented something new 800 years ago.

    If some sovereign units of that nano-federation chose to be democracies of any sort, so be it, but let’s be cautious of not being bundled all in the same bag. What we have in common is that we want to cooperate while retaining individual freedom.

    Right?

    #12096
    Profile photo of Altaica
    Altaica
    Participant

    Alan wrote:

    (3) A principle should be made in law, that no criminal law can be held valid in which there is no clear victim.

    (4) The use of binding precedents in law would be limited in criminal cases to defendants, and never allowed to prosecutors.

    (5) To reduce the abuses inherent in piling on multiple charges for a single incident, including the danger of frightening innocent persons to enter a plea deal in exchange for dropping some of the charges, no more than seven charges may be made in a single court case.

    This will require prosecutors to focus on serious charges with a good chance of a conviction, rather than the strategy of throwing everything at a defendant and hoping something will stick. If a defendant has a record of bad behavior and multiple crimes, the prosecutor will still have the option of pursuing additional cases against them.

    (6) A principle should be made in law, that the first duty of the courts is to avoid injustice, that the second duty is to prevent future harm, and that the third duty is to provide restitution where reasonably possible.

    What your problem with Restorative Justice?

    Since the only diffrence between your proposal and Restorative Justice is that you require extra “infliction of injury, harm, humiliation, or the like” beyond what is required to provide restitution…

    Just your sadistic need for revenge?

    UN’s Handbook on Restorative justice programmes

    I think something like the United Nations Economic and Social Council’s Basic Principles on the Use of Restorative Justice Programmes in Criminal Matters with the Criminal justice system replace with a Peace Circle

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    #12115
    Profile photo of Alan
    Alan
    Participant

    Matt wrote:
    I strongly believe that the largest minority in the case quoted above is the individual. One person should not have less rights than ten.

    All well and good until that one person asserts their right to rob or kill the other ten.

    Or the 5% assert the right to tax the general population in order to support them.

    As it happens, I am only discussing the specifics of how to organize a seastead that I would want to be a part of. If everyone gets to write the rules for themselves we end up with a dysfunctional society. A little bit of family history: my sister valued personal freedom and sought out a college without many rules about personal conduct … and then she found that there was nothing she could do about another student in her dorm who played her music so loud that my sister could not study. Societies clearly need rules to function properly, but we have to find rules that work for the whole society – or at least the great majority.

    The genius of seasteading is that if an individual cannot abide by the rules of the seastead, the cost of moving to a more agreeable political climate is greatly lowered.

    Personally, I see many advantages to cooperation, and would want to divide these autonomous communities into three groups:

    (I) Independent Autonomous Communities.

    An independent autonomous community could be as small as a single individual. By law such communities would be left undisturbed, so long as they abided by the following laws:

    (1) no murder or assault

    (2) no theft

    (3) no infringement on the territory of other existing communities except by mutual agreement

    (4) no person shall be held against their will

    (II) Federated Community.

    The Federated Community would be a collection of Local Communities, which might be largely independent or belong to a sub-group of like-minded concerns, but all would abide by a common legal framework that would allow interactions between members of the federation. Membership in the federation would allow for mutual self-defence, and mutual diplomatic relations with sovereign nations. In short, this would be much like the original intent of the United States, but with greater limitations on what the federal government would be allowed to do, to include virtually no interference in Local Communities.

    If I were to establish these codes, I would include a few immutable laws and a greater number of presumed rights, as follows:

    Immutable laws:

    (a) no murder or assault

    (b)no theft or fraud

    (c) no infringement on the territory of other existing communities except by mutual agreement

    (d) no person shall be held against their will unless duly convicted in a court of law

    (e) every person shall have a right to defend themselves and other peaceful persons from physical attack or theft

    Presumed Rights:

    Every person living on or visiting a seastead shall be presumed to have the following rights, unless notice is prominently made at every regular entry, and at a central location or locations, that the seastead does not recognize these rights. In the event that a visitor or resident is duly convicted of violating a local law or laws that do not recognize these rights, that person may not be punished beyond three days imprisonment or a fine equal to three days pay or orderly expulsion from the seastead, with the time and means provided to safely remove their personal property to another location. Any officer of the Federation who visits or resides in a community while on official business shall be immune to any sanctions that infringe on these presumed rights.

    (1) Every person has the Right to Life, Liberty, Property, and the Pursuit of Happiness, together with all rights essential to the exercise of this Right, without regard to anything except the equal rights of other persons.

    (2) Every person has an Absolute Right to Freedom of Conscience and Thought, which includes the right to peacefully practice religion or lack of religion.

    (3) Every person has the Right to Freedom of Expression, which is absolute in private places, and only qualified in public places by whether such expression is intrusive by virtue of being unduly harsh on the senses; moreover, this Freedom can be excercised by any individual or group of individuals.

    (4) Every person has the Right to Keep and Use All Practical Means of Self-Defence, and to peacefully assemble with others and to demonstrate in support of their rights.

    (5) Every person or group has the Right to Choose to Associate or to Not Associate with others, except when providing services required for the preservation of life and limb; though in the interest of full disclosure any community or commercial interest asserting the Right to Nonassociation shall be required to prominently display a list of any and all groups they do not wish to do business with.

    (6) The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    (cribbed the 4th Amendment there)

    (7) Every person shall be Free to Travel, and to move their possessions unless restrained by private agreements regarding specific possessions.

    (8) In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by their choice of an impartial jury of the Community where in the crime shall have been committed or a panel of three judges, which Community shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against them; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in their favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for their defense.

    (cribbed from the 6th Amendment, and modified)

    (9) In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed one month’s pay, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the Federation, than according to the rules of the common law.

    (cribbed from the 7th Amendment, and modified)

    (10) Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor unnecessarily cruel punishments nor any sort of psychological or physical torture be inflicted.

    (cribbed from the 8th Amendment, and modified)

    Actually, those proposed rights still need a lot of work, and I’ll probably want to move the stuff about trials to the immutable group – but I want to finish this, so:

    (III) The Local Community.

    The local community is part of the Federation and shares responsibilities of Defence and Diplomacy with the other federated communities, but otherwise is free to make up their own laws and regulations.

    Well, it still needs much work, but those are some of my ideas.

    #12112
    Profile photo of Alan
    Alan
    Participant

    Ken wrote:
    ssteve wrote:

    Representative democracy has been shown to be a scam, representatives ignore the people who voted for them and sell their influence to anyone with cash.

    To make work, elections need to be done away with. People can change their representative at any time. Anyone representing some minimum number of people (100?) is in. If the number of people being represented falls below the minimum, they’re out.

    Every person should be their own representative with the power to propose new legislation and the ability to vote on every thing.[/quote]

    This is where I’m headed, too – with representatives being able to vote a number of votes equal to those they represent. (At least, for the lower house of a bicameral system.)

    Why representatives rather than direct voting on everything? Because ordinary people can not be expected to pay attention to all the everyday details of politics and political business. The everyman selects a representative whose judgement and faithfulness they trust, and the representative works on their behalf – learning about whatever might be voted on in order to make a good decision about it, and presumably checking back in with their supporters to make sure they continue to represent them well, educating them or being educated by them as appropriate.

    Representatives must have a minimum number of supporters in order to avoid having discussions hijacked by cranks.

    #12116
    Profile photo of Alan
    Alan
    Participant

    Altaica wrote:
    What your problem with Restorative Justice?

    Since the only diffrence between your proposal and Restorative Justice is that you require extra “infliction of injury, harm, humiliation, or the like” beyond what is required to provide restitution…

    Just your sadistic need for revenge?

    I’ll have to look up some of those details, but not at this moment. I am not previously acquainted with the UN’s proposal of Restorative Justice.

    However, while I like the idea of Restitution it is not always sufficient. If a thief knows that if he steals $100 he will only be required to pay back $100, what is his incentive not to steal? At worst, he will have to pay back what he took – and he will be no worse off than if he did not steal at all. However, if he is required to pay back $400 he will know that he could end up losing a lot of money from his crimes.

    In other words, if one limits restitution strictly to what can be proven was stolen, crime pays – and well. It is in the interest of the community, however, to make sure that crime does not pay.

    Of course, we will want a different standard for criminal and civil penalties, and for intentional versus unintentional harm.

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