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Forum Post: * Direct Democracy * is what we need?

Posted 8 years ago on Dec. 6, 2011, 8:38 a.m. EST by mha (142)
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36 Comments

36 Comments


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[-] 3 points by Socrates469bc (608) from New York, NY 8 years ago

ROFL.. There's reasons why democracy evolved from direct democracy to representative democracy. Just look at the occupy in nyc, the nycga... from direct democracy to spokes council... reinventing the wheel (and those are spokes of a wheel)

http://occupywallst.org/forum/why-are-the-anarchist-and-communist-logos-flying-o/#comment-273499

[-] 2 points by mha (142) 8 years ago

whether it's representative or direct, in this society rich people will always have more influence than regular people. that's why most of us have lost their interest in politics. they see what's happening and loose confidence in their own importance.

money rules. it buys propaganda or politicians.

is there a way out of this?

[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5909) 8 years ago

Who started this country, the rich or the poor? That rich people have always had more influence goes without saying. The way to deal with it is to increase the influence of regular people while reducing the influence of peoples' wealth.

Free Democracy Amendment

  1. Subject to the Fourth Amendment and barring violation to the rights of others, the right of a free people to be secure in their decisions of personal safety, activity, association, and property, shall not be violated.

  2. The right of a politically free and democratic people to engage in Initiative, Referendum, and Recall, shall be exercised at all levels of government.

  3. The provision of Patriot Dollars to voters for the sole funding of political campaigns at all levels of government shall be enacted to keep political campaigns free from the undemocratic influences of monied interests thereby prohibiting all political advertisements to arise from outside of political campaigns.

  4. The offering or acceptance of any item or service of value including but not limited to the offering or acceptance of future employment involving a public official or candidate for public office of any branch or level of government shall be prohibited and punishable with equivalence to an act of treason.

  5. All communication to take place between a lobbyist and a public official shall be public and open to the press, the violation of which shall be punishable with equivalence to an act of treason.

[-] 1 points by FrogWithWings (1367) 8 years ago

YES damnit! Restore our Democratic Republic, pre-1871 form with any changes or amendments required to have all reasonable persons comfortable to proceed, and adhere closely to the term "reasonable persons" when granting the right to vote, have any position paid by the people's government or serve it in any way.

Do you think mentally retarded people should have a say in how a government for the people and by the people should be run? Do you think Sarah Palin's downs baby should have voting rights if he reaches adulthood?

[-] 1 points by AFarewellToKings (1486) 8 years ago

The founding fathers found a way out of their predicament, surely they would expect their daughters and sons to figure a way out of theirs.

https://sites.google.com/site/the99percentdeclaration/

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 8 years ago

whether it's representative or direct, in this society rich people will always have more influence than regular people.

Ban expensive political advertising on TV, and that problem is fixed. The reason rich people have so much influence is because of their ads..... eliminate that outlet and you eliminate most of heir influence.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 8 years ago

Yeah right! This should be required viewing for every anarchist and direct democracy supporter. This movement is absurd! As for the spokes councils - do you remember the song "The wheels on the bus go round and round"? It's a preschool thing. Thats what I think of the spokes councils as well. They are like preschoolers. I'm not even sure they are fully potty trained yet.

This is what happens when you let a bunch of anarchists run a protest.

[-] 2 points by mha (142) 8 years ago

whether it's representative or direct, in this society rich people will always have more influence than regular people. that's why most of us have lost their interest in politics. they see what's happening and loose confidence in their own importance. money rules. it buys propaganda or politicians. is there a way out of this?

[-] 1 points by Socrates469bc (608) from New York, NY 8 years ago

Yes, I think people feel like they cannot make a difference. It's not apathy. It's more disillusionment. Moreover, only the wealthy have the spare time to dabble in politics. The rest of us are busy trying to make a living.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 8 years ago

Of course there is. We need to get the money out of the political system with campaign finance reform. There are already numerous bills with the intent to do that.

http://fairelectionsnow.org/about-bill

http://tomudall.senate.gov/?p=blog&id=970

http://occupywallst.org/forum/rep-deutch-introduces-constitutional-amendment-to-/

[-] 1 points by Socrates469bc (608) from New York, NY 8 years ago

I disagree with your assessment for the most part. I think it has done a great thing to refocus the debate on the important issues facing the vast majority of Americans, and for that matter, the citizens of the world.

Ultimately, we need to take the best ideas from different systems, each of which is not perfect.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 8 years ago

I agree this movement has moved the debate. However, I think with proper leadership and focus, and an effective organizational structure, this movement could be so much better.

Why are we playing these direct democracy games when we know it doesn't work? Why does anyone tolerate this? To let people have a voice who have so far have felt disenfranchised? I think a protest can give people a voice without spreading such a dangerous concept as direct democracy. I've heard people talk about it like it is a new religion with tears in their eyes. It's easily manipulated and ineffective. On top of it, the working groups are a God awful total mess. No leadership, no accountability.

[-] 2 points by FrogWithWings (1367) 8 years ago

Nope, won't work, never has, never will.

[-] 1 points by ronimacarroni (1089) 8 years ago

Well its pretty silly that'd you just need to sign a paper in order to vote.

The right way of doing it would be to do it online or a voting booth, that way people would only vote if they're informed or concerned about the subject. It also wouldn't hurt to have a basic questionnaire to test the voter on whether he/she knows what they're voting on.

[-] 1 points by KofAII (61) from Muenster, TX 8 years ago

We HAVE direct democracy already...

They are called "ballot initiatives", and they fare no better than any other election. Sadly, we get the government we deserve in a democracy.

[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5909) 8 years ago

There's no national ballot initiative and only 24 states have both Initiative and Referendum.

[-] 1 points by KofAII (61) from Muenster, TX 8 years ago

You're missing the point, voters don't vote...

Only 2/3's of us are even registered and only half of those show up on election day. LOCAL examples of direct democracy have proven ineffective in "bring out the voters"...

[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5909) 8 years ago

Why would there be a need for the presence of a direct democracy to bring out the voters? If as few as 3 people vote on an issue it's still a vote that can only go one way or the other no matter how many people take part in it and everybody, whether they vote or not, still consents to the result of the vote in getting the government they deserve, good or bad.

[-] 1 points by KofAII (61) from Muenster, TX 8 years ago

We have 'bad' government currently now, right? I mean that's why OWS exists... Corruption has put too much wealth in to the hands of too few.

We have 'bad' government right now, because 'voters' have failed to hold elected officials accountable for shortcomings.

Congress has an approval rating in the teens, but they get re-elected 2/3's of the time or better... There's a very real disconnect between what people SAY they want, and the results at the ballot boxes.

DIrect democracy ballot initiatives, like one I referenced is an example of people being free to decide the most important decision of the day, and making the WRONG decision.

[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5909) 8 years ago

There has always been 'bad' government. That's why there was Shays Rebellion (1786), the Whiskey Rebellion (1789), the Sedition Act (1798), etc. It's also why initially only the landed gentry were allowed to vote and hold office and why the monied aristocracy was always allowed to bribe...I mean lobby public officials.

Since the 'bad' government doesn't allow voters to recall elected officials at the federal level and elected officials aren't under any publicly signed contracts to adhere to voter concerns, how are the voters to hold them accountable?

A vote on an initiative is the decision of a voting majority so how is it the WRONG decision?

[-] 1 points by KofAII (61) from Muenster, TX 8 years ago

Because the 'majority' was actually silent, or is silent in today's America.

Out of the 23,000 that war qualified to vote in our last ballot initiative, 3,000 showed up.

That's not a majority...

[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5909) 8 years ago

The majority isn't the majority of the people who CAN vote, the majority is the majority of the people who DO vote. The outcome of the vote didn't matter to the 20,000 who didn't vote, it only mattered to the 3000 who did. Therefore, it was only the 3000 who mattered for deciding that vote. Everyone, whether they voted or not, accepts the outcome of the vote. Whether 23,000 vote or only 3000 vote, the outcome is acceptable which ever way the vote goes. Better to have 20,000 people who don't care about an issue, not vote, than to have 20,000 people who don't care about an issue, to vote, and obscure the outcome of the vote for the 3000 people who actually do care.

[-] 1 points by KofAII (61) from Muenster, TX 8 years ago

The 'result' matters for everyone, regardless of the number of voters who take part...

In this case a VERY small minority spoke for a much larger majority. And this was the opportunity for "direct democracy", which is supposed to inspire some landslide of voter activism, or so many OWS protesters have held.

We have corruption because voters suck.

[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5909) 8 years ago

A very small minority spoke for themselves. A much larger majority chose not to speak and therefore accept whatever the voice of the minority had to say.

If many OWS protesters have held that direct democracy is supposed to inspire a landslide of voter activism, perhaps they should be questioned as to why they hold to such a view.

We have corruption because people are corrupt and had designed a corrupt system that had favored the land owning elites while allowing the monied elites to bribe those in public office who, by system design, could not be removed from office until another election would allow them to be replaced by another elitist public official open to bribes.

[-] 1 points by KofAII (61) from Muenster, TX 8 years ago

In the end, we HAVE corruption, but we COULD fix it if voters showed an interest in doing so as a well informed researched public.

Currently too few show up with any kind of actual understanding as to who has what kind of record, and what is the best vote.

Congress has an approval rating in the teens, but gets re-elected 2/3's of the time. This is proof voters don't know what the hell they want...

[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5909) 8 years ago

The voters will never be a well informed researched public as people in general don't choose to be well informed and researched. That's an aspect of humanity that won't be changing any time soon and is also why people consent to having representatives fulfill such tasks for them. The only way to get such a result from the public would be to restrict voting to people who could demonstrate being well informed and researched which of course leads to a whole host of problems such as approving the criteria for determining such a thing and prohibiting people who don't qualify from voting which of course is against their voting rights. Even if such a thing were to happen, the voters would still be presented with the same candidates to vote for which takes us right back to why there's corruption in the first place. If the best vote is merely a vote for the lesser of two or more evils, one is always left voting for evil.

As for the approval rating of Congress in the teens and their being re-elected 2/3s of the time being proof of voters not knowing what they want, is that a direct correlation? Are the specific individuals who provided the low approval rating the very same specific individuals who contributed to the congressional re-elections? And if so, were the alternatives to the re-elected officials all shown to have been the better choices?

[-] 1 points by orz (83) 8 years ago

One might not vote for several reasons, which should be addressed, if people are to have authority. For if it's known that politicians need not fear the people, then they must compete against other politicians who use their impervious political capital.

One might not vote because the issues aren't understood. Voting meaningfully can be burdensome to those who don't. This is a reason why people vote for representatives. Representation isn't "wrong"[1] in a direct democracy, if every opinion of those who abscond is proportional to someone who does vote. But neither does this idealization occur nor do those in absentia maintain their force: the threat that if the representation is false, the people so misrepresented will take that power back.

The burden of voting meaningfully is far-reaching, considering the amount of work that's done politically, with a potential voting booth on every clause. An oppressive apathy can occur, if one cannot but realize misrepresentation. For some the issues don't matter. Either option has no meaningful change on one's life, and that's sufficient for one not to participate. For if politics aren't freed from economics, all decisions will be coerced, and the absent voter may find political freedom through non-engagement in politics so-called.

[1] "Wrong" here refers to a 'bad' government where silent voters are proportionally misrepresented.

[-] 1 points by KofAII (61) from Muenster, TX 8 years ago

My point is we could fix it...

"Vote Smart, or not at all."

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[-] 1 points by KofAII (61) from Muenster, TX 8 years ago

If you WANT to know about your elected officials and their voting record...you can find it.

votesmart.org for starters.

Now, the information isn't gone be served up to you on a silver platter by the media. You'll get a version of actual story, but it will be just that, 'a version'. The problem is that people don't care enough to dedicate 'days' to researching an issue or a candidate before they vote.

Most people don't vote, and those who do, do a shit job...

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[-] 0 points by aries (463) from Nutley, NJ 8 years ago

Hey - if you cant make it here - you cant make it anywhere.

[-] 0 points by theaveng (602) 8 years ago

I would support direct democracy in the House of Representatives (via electronic voting on congressmen's finished bills). I would not support it in the States' House (the Senate) or the Presidency or the Supreme Court.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 8 years ago

Would there still be Representatives?

[-] -1 points by Farleymowat (415) 8 years ago

Direct democracy doesn't work. Never has never will.