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Re: Seeking True Democracy
Posted by: koikaze (IP Logged)
Date: September 09, 2007 06:33AM

(This post contains a table and I'm not confident I can display a table properly on this site. I'll do the best I can. flg)


To select better leaders, we must find a way to select the most principled of our people as our representatives. The method must be democratic (i.e., allow the entire electorate to participate), egalitarian (i.e., give everyone an equal chance to participate), and it must be in harmony with natural human responses.

This outline will present such a concept in the simplest, most direct way possible. It will, necessarily, mention a few of the mechanics, but they are secondary. The important thing is the concept of harnessing human nature. Once we've seen a way to do that, we can concern ourselves with the myriad other details.

Although the process is continuous, I will describe it as having two phases. The human factors dominating the first phase will metamorphose into a different set of factors as the second phase develops. This metamorphosis is the "magic" of the process.

1) Divide the entire electorate into groups of three people.

2) Assign a date and time by which each group must select one of the three to represent the other two.

3) Divide the participants so selected into groups of three.

4) Repeat from step 2 until a target number of selections is reached.

An Election Commission conducts the process. It names the participants of each group and supplies the groups with the text of pending ordinances and a synopsis of the budget appropriate to the group. In addition, on request, it makes the full budget available and supplies the text of any existing ordinances. This insures a careful examination of public matters and encourages a thorough discussion of partisan views on matters of public concern.

For convenience, we refer to each iteration as a "Level", such that Level 1 is the initial grouping of the entire electorate, Level 2 is the grouping of the selections made at Level 1, and so forth. The entire electorate participates at level 1 giving everyone an equal opportunity to advance to succeeding levels.

* As the process advances through the levels, the amount of time the participants spend together increases. At level 1, groups may meet for a few minutes, over a back-yard fence, so-to-speak, but that would not be adequate at higher levels. As the levels advance, the participants need more time to evaluate those they are grouped with. They also need transportation and facilities for meeting and voting. These are mechanical details.

* The public has a tendency to think of elections in terms of just a few offices: a congressional seat, a senate race, and so forth. There are, however, a large number of elected officials who fill township, county, state and federal offices. The structure outlined here provides qualified candidates for those offices, like this: At a predefined level (determined by the number of offices to be filled), the two candidates not selected to advance to the next level move into a parallel process leading to selection for offices; first in the local, then the county, then the national, and, finally, the state governments.

The initial phase of the process is dominated by participants with little interest in advancing to higher levels. They do not seek public office; they simply wish to pursue their private lives in peace. Thus, the most powerful human dynamic during the first phase (i.e., Level 1 and for some levels thereafter) is a desire by the majority of the participants to select someone who will represent them. The person so selected is more apt to be someone who is willing to take on the responsibility of going to the next level than someone who actively seeks elevation to the next level, but those who do actively seek elevation are not inhibited from doing so.

As the levels increase, the proportion of disinterested parties diminishes and we enter the second phase. Here, participants that advance are marked, more and more, by an inclination to seek further advancement. Thus, a powerful human trait is integrated into the system.

Those who actively seek selection must persuade their group that they are the best qualified to represent the other two. While that is easy at the lower levels, it becomes more difficult as the process moves forward and participants are matched with peers who also wish to be chosen.

Each participant must make a choice between the other two people in the group knowing that they must rely on that person's integrity to guide their future actions and decisions. Since they are unable to control the person selected, they must choose the person they believe most likely to conduct public business in the public interest.

However, they do not make their choices blindly. Elections are a periodic process. The majority of those seeking advancement will do so each time the process recurs. Some will be successful. They will achieve public office and their performance will be a matter of public record. When they participate in subsequent occurrences of the process, their peers can evaluate that record to help them decide the candidate's suitability for advancement. Furthermore, the names of advancing candidates are announced as each level completes. Members of the public with knowledge of unseemly acts by an advancing candidate can present details for consideration at the next level. Since, after the initial levels, the peers also seek advancement, they won't overlook inappropriate behavior.

Face-to-face meetings in three-person groups eliminate any possibility of voting machine fraud. Significantly, they also allow participants to observe the non-verbal clues humans emit during discourse and will tend to favor moderate attitudes over extremism. The dissimulation and obfuscation that are so effective in media-based politics will not work in a group of three people, each of whom has a vital interest in reaching the same goal as the miscreant. Thus, the advancement of participants will depend on their perceived integrity as well as the probity with which they fulfill their public obligations.

This is a distillation process, biased in favor of the most upright and capable of our citizens. It cannot guarantee that unprincipled individuals will never be selected ... such a goal would be unrealistic ... but it does insure that they are the exception rather than the rule.

The process is inherently bi-directional. Because each elected official sits atop a pyramid of known electors, questions on specific issues can easily be transmitted directly to and from the electors for the guidance or instruction of the official.

The cost of conducting an election by this method is free to the participants, except for the value of their time, and minimal to the government. Thus, it removes the greatest single cause of corruption in our current system ... the need for campaign funds.

I originally thought to buttress this presentation by citing two newspaper articles that discuss the (apparent) lack of interest in the election process among the majority of the electorate and the working of corruption in our system. I've decided that to do so would be superfluous.

This table provides a visual description of the Active Democracy (or Troika) method of selecting public officials. It uses the 2004 voting-eligible population of New Jersey reported by Dr. Michael McDonald, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA.

At about the seventh level, unselected candidates may enter a secondary process for selection to positions in municipal, county, federal and state governments.

Remaining          Candidates

Level      Electors     Selected   Unselected

  1)      5,637,378    1,879,126    3,758,252

  2)      1,879,126      626,375    1,252,751

  3)        626,375      208,791      417,584

  4)        208,791       69,597      139,194

  5)         69,597       23,199       46,398

  6)         23,199        7,733       15,466

  7)          7,733        2,577        5,156

  8)          2,577          859        1,718

  9)            859          286          573

 10)            286           95          191

 11)             95           31           64

The idea presented here will be considered radical. It bears little chance of adoption because it protects no vested interest. The only way such a process will ever be adopted is if the concept can be made a topic of discussion, particularly among students interested in achieving a righteous government.

Fred Gohlke

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Subject Views Written By Posted
  Seeking True Democracy 1729 koikaze 09/06/2007 05:18AM
  Re: Seeking True Democracy 456 koikaze 09/25/2007 10:32AM
  Re: Seeking True Democracy 595 PVR 09/06/2007 10:48PM
  Re: Seeking True Democracy 1311 koikaze 09/09/2007 06:33AM
  Re: Seeking True Democracy 550 MiKolar 09/18/2007 08:24PM
  Re: Seeking True Democracy 464 koikaze 09/23/2007 08:25AM
  Re: Seeking True Democracy 445 RoyDaine 09/23/2007 10:02AM
  Re: Seeking True Democracy 446 koikaze 09/23/2007 10:12AM
  Re: Seeking True Democracy 426 RoyDaine 09/23/2007 11:24AM
  Re: Seeking True Democracy 425 MiKolar 09/24/2007 08:58PM
  Re: Seeking True Democracy 449 BrEggum 09/24/2007 09:07PM
  Re: Seeking True Democracy 457 RoyDaine 09/24/2007 11:31PM
  Re: Seeking True Democracy 506 koikaze 09/21/2007 06:19AM
  Re: Seeking True Democracy 510 koikaze 09/20/2007 04:45AM
  Re: Seeking True Democracy 565 RoyDaine 09/20/2007 09:18AM
  Re: Seeking True Democracy 531 koikaze 09/21/2007 06:22AM
  Re: Seeking True Democracy 520 RoyDaine 09/21/2007 07:45AM
  Re: Seeking True Democracy 517 koikaze 09/22/2007 06:25AM
  Re: Seeking True Democracy 533 BrEggum 09/21/2007 08:42AM
  Re: Seeking True Democracy 507 koikaze 09/22/2007 06:30AM
  Re: Seeking True Democracy 526 RoyDaine 09/22/2007 08:09AM
  Re: Seeking True Democracy 548 BrEggum 09/22/2007 09:04AM
  Re: Seeking True Democracy 526 WebMaster 09/22/2007 06:37PM
  Re: Seeking True Democracy 515 BrEggum 09/22/2007 07:09PM
  Re: Seeking True Democracy 470 RoyDaine 09/22/2007 11:14PM
  Re: Seeking True Democracy 463 BrEggum 09/22/2007 11:33PM
  Re: Seeking True Democracy 463 RoyDaine 09/23/2007 12:00AM
  Re: Seeking True Democracy 461 BrEggum 09/22/2007 10:32PM
  Re: Seeking True Democracy 452 MiKolar 09/24/2007 08:26PM
  Re: Seeking True Democracy 448 BrEggum 09/24/2007 08:34PM
  Re: Seeking True Democracy 501 WebMaster 09/29/2007 01:37PM
  Re: Seeking True Democracy 489 WebMaster 09/22/2007 10:06PM
  Re: Seeking True Democracy 512 RoyDaine 09/22/2007 09:39AM
  Re: Seeking True Democracy 499 RoyDaine 09/22/2007 08:31AM
  Re: Seeking True Democracy 546 BrEggum 09/22/2007 07:40AM
  Re: Seeking True Democracy 529 RoyDaine 09/21/2007 10:55AM
  Re: Seeking True Democracy 545 RoyDaine 09/21/2007 07:57AM
  Re: Seeking True Democracy 542 PVR 09/11/2007 04:52AM
  Re: Seeking True Democracy 525 koikaze 09/11/2007 01:34PM
  Re: Seeking True Democracy 547 PVR 09/18/2007 05:50AM
  Re: Seeking True Democracy 529 koikaze 09/20/2007 04:41AM
  Re: Seeking True Democracy 496 PVR 09/21/2007 04:52AM
  Re: Seeking True Democracy 564 koikaze 09/21/2007 12:23PM
  Re: Seeking True Democracy 533 PVR 09/21/2007 09:19PM
  Re: Seeking True Democracy 462 koikaze 09/23/2007 07:48AM
  Re: Seeking True Democracy 523 koikaze 09/19/2007 11:39AM
  Re: Seeking True Democracy 586 koikaze 09/07/2007 02:01PM

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