Welcome login | signup
Language en es fr
OccupyForum

Forum Post: I demand Informed Direct Democracy Online, who's with me?

Posted 6 years ago on Oct. 23, 2011, 4:32 a.m. EST by alfi (469)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

In a most self referencing action, i put this up to a vote here in this forum and then, if it does well, I try to get it posted and up for vote and discussion in as many forums as I can - let the voice of the people shoot down or bring forth the voice of the people :)

Finally, a new forum: http://www.occupyr.com/General/thread.php?id=672/

America, please, don't turn away from your own legacy: http://e2d-international.org/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E2D_International - USA not on the list.

Informed Direct Democracy, the process by which the average well informed real public opinion is brought to the attention of all, directly, is now obviously made possible by the internet. Just as we have secure online banking, shopping, chat, forums, libraries, dictionaries, and many other types of large online services and gathering places of opinions and facts, we can have direct voting on ISSUES that affect everyone, accompanied by direct FACTUAL open sourced information available to all so we can KNOW what the issues are and how the issues affect people. The idea that most people are incapable of making direct decisions in their communities, governments, and international affairs because of lack of abilities, information, and lack of a practical method, is no longer tolerable. Most people on Earth, are perfectly capable of making sound decisions about any political, environmental, social issue, IF the people are provided with factual free open sourced information about the issues. Most people have enough common sense and reasoning abilities to understand and reach very reasonable solutions to all the issues we, the people of Earth, face today on local levels as well as global levels. Having poor education, as the 1% have turned our public education system into their consumer-worker brainwashing, is not the same as being stupid; and being trusting, as most people are, is not the same as being gullible, and is a virtue, not a weakness to be exploited by the greedy 1%. Most people should trust each other to share control over society together, not give up our liberties to a system of greed made by the 1% that's causing famine, wars financial desperation, poor education, and the destruction of our planet, all for MORE PROFIT FOR THE 1%. The internet already offers EVERYTHING that is needed to have Informed Direct Democratic voting on issues everywhere. All that is needed is for people to organize a system. This system should be started by the 99% Occupy International Movement right NOW, while there is still time. In a few short years, the PEOPLE OF EARTH could be voting on local politics and local issues, and on issues that affect their country, and global issues that affect everyone. Let's not allow the 1% to make us out to be a petty and shallow and selfish and cowardly poor VS rich movement. It's not about taking down rich people, it's about taking down GREED itself; most rich people have the same capacity for being reasonable as most poor people do. A real economic recovery is not accomplished by restoring the health of the financial institutions, because they measure their recovery in profit; we need to eliminate GREED from the financial system, because too-big-to-fail corporations reporting record profits does not equal healthy fair economy. The people can come up with MUCH better solutions together online NOW! It's time to stop handing over our control and trusting our representatives to make policies that reflect the will of the people, which they never do. We now have a system of greed running all governments and societies on Earth. Having the ability to vote AND BE INFORMED WITH THE FACTS about the issues directly as a people can FORCE our corrupt and greedy leaders to make the will of the people a reality. After all, in a Democratic society, the government's job is simply to administrate the process by which the will of the people is formulated into a body of laws and policies, which MOST people agree with, and then protect the peoples' rights to have such a Democracy. The government is sort of the secretary and the bodyguard of the people, not the authority for the people to be forced to follow even when most people disagree with its policies and decisions. In a true Democracy, the PEOPLE are the authority of the government.

MOST PEOPLE ARE REASONABLE, give all people the power of direct voting on issues, and we will have very REASONABLE policies, everywhere. Remember, the key is the FREE OPEN SOURCED INFORMATION (kind of like wikipedia) accompanying the voting sites on the internet.

So when reporters come to ask protesters on the streets what we are protesting for, what do we want, what are your demands (as if we were robbing a bank or something) we can say:

"WE THE PEOPLE OF EARTH DEMAND DIRECT INFORMED DEMOCRACY ENABLED BY OUR CURRENT COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY, WE DEMAND THE RIGHT TO VOTE ON ISSUES THAT AFFECT PEOPLE DIRECTLY USING OPEN SOURCE INTERNET TECHNOLOGY AND WE DEMAND THAT WE HAVE AN OFFICIAL OPEN SOURCED ONLINE LIBRARY OF FACTS ABOUT ALL THE ISSUES WE ARE VOTING FOR."

517 Comments

517 Comments


Read the Rules
[-] 4 points by SvenTheBarbarian (84) from Phrao, Chiang Mai 5 years ago

What alfi is basically describing is a direct democracy, skipping the representatives, this is what I think is the path forward for the human race.

I have started a thread detailing my thoughts on the direct democracy system, please see:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/the-solution-developing-a-true-direct-democracy/

If each persons vote is counted on each issue, the argument is often that it is too much work or people do not have the knowledge to do this, but that is easily mitigated if you introduce a proxy system. It would result in less work than the existing representative democracy (if you choose so), but each individuals view would be counted on each issue.

Simply put it works like this: Any person can proxy their vote to any other person, so if I do not want to vote on issues but I trust my Mums views and she is politically active, then I pass my vote to her. Finished, no more work to do.

If however I want to be counted on any or all issues then I vote.

Delving deeper I suggest issues and votes can be split according to areas, such as education, taxation, military spending.. etc etc, have a whole category tree there, and you can split your votes out in any way among them, so I proxy my education votes to my Mum, but I proxy my taxation votes to my University professor. So once I set that up I never have to vote again, but I know my votes are being applied the way I want them.

I am trying to develop this idea, if you like the concept please come across to the forum I started

[-] 4 points by SisterRay (554) 5 years ago

Hi Sven,

I decided to reply to your comments from above down here, since we've exhausted the permissible length of those threads. I'm going to try to respond to as much as I can, but I'll also try to keep my responses short. Obviously, we could write books back and forth to one another on this issue, but I want to work within the constraints imposed by this forum. I ask that you do the same; I don't have the time to respond to such long comments again.

"You keep the existing system but you don't trust your representatives, what you do is create a political party within the existing framework that in of itself operates as a direct democracy, it collates votes to dictate how its elected representatives vote."

This is not so much a call for direct democracy as it is a call for more responsive representative democracy. I have no particular objection to that.

"This is a good thing though because for the first time the majorities viewpoint is actually being counted and other politicians can be held up against that."

Again, I do not agree that it is necessarily a good thing for the majority's viewpoint to be adopted as law. Not only am I concerned about the classic objection to such democracy, i.e. that it would become a dictatorship of the many over the few, but I am concerned that the majority can be unreasonable and enact unreasonable policy. That's why I keep asking for some reason to believe that a direct democracy would lead to informed decision making: the value of informed decision making is at least as important as the value of democracy. And that's why I call for a participatory democracy that places public deliberation front and center in its decision making processes. I do not see how direct democracy in itself does anything to promote rational deliberation in decision making; it just increases the number of people that vote for laws, rationally or irrationally.

"But really, how are you going to enforce all this [i.e. campaign finance reform and regulation on lobbying]? The corrupt are very skilled at gaming the system, especially a large powerful system like Americas."

Very simple: the same way you enforce all other laws. If you're such a pessimist about the enforceability of laws, you have no right to call yourself a democrat at all -- you're an anarchist. Furthermore, such anti-corruption and anti-lobbying laws are much more enforceable in a representative democracy than in a direct democracy unless you favor severe curtailments of free political speech. So this is not a good argument for you to make.

"Addressing the populations lack of knowledge on issues..."

I'm glad you recognize the importance of participatory democracy as at least a first step towards your further goal. I still don't see, though, why direct democracy would be better than a participatory democracy, since the latter builds in checks on the power of the masses while the former does not; accordingly, participatory democracy has mechanisms to promote public deliberation, while direct democracy does not.

"Also a creeping concern for me is the saleability of such a concept to the general public..."

These reforms are already incredibly popular (see, e.g. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/08/support-high-for-strong-c_n_453666.html ). Compare this to the popularity of third parties and the eventual replacement of whole articles of the Constitution and tell me which one is the "easier sell".

"But how do they argue against a direct democracy..."

Very easy: Don't replace our system of checks and balances that are meant to promote rational deliberation with a dictatorship of the majority where the lobbyists with the best ad campaigns can manipulate the masses to get laws passed, no matter how destructive they really are.

[-] 1 points by SvenTheBarbarian (84) from Phrao, Chiang Mai 5 years ago

Hi SisterRay Fair enough, I should keep it short. As I think you know I am not disagreeing with your beliefs, I have to pull myself back because before becoming a direct democracy purist I worked my way through other solutions such as what you suggest, and I see the dangers of a direct democracy. But when I visualized solutions such as you suggest my mind kept finding ways that those who control the system now would regain control of the system. It is mainly because when you make a governing system for a population as large as Americas (or the Worlds if we want to save it), and you put in representatives that supposedly represent the population but do not have to vote in line with the populations will, then technology and techniques will be found that will hide control by the corrupt.

I know the same control would be exerted under a direct democracy, but believe in practice, with a reasonably well educated population, there is more likelihood that those forces would be detected and mitigated.

If we believe that a direct democracy would be the best system IF we could implement certain requirements, for example:

  • An educated population.

  • A secure and transparent data system.

  • Fundamental protections of minorities.

Then perhaps instead of working towards other systems we could work towards a direct democracy with those elements addressed. For example as the direct democracy develops out of the existing representative system a constitution could exist that protects fundamental rights and ensures a court to enforce them, the system could be developed that constitutional changes can only be made if (for example) 80% of the voting public ratify it (not an 80% majority of people who voted but 80% of the eligible population). This would make constitution changes only occur when there is a near consensus.

I agree that there are many ethical movements hoping to improve and build upon the existing system that are more well developed than any direct democracy group, founded by more respected people, I support them, but it seems that such change even though publicly popular is incredibly hard to achieve under the current system. The failures and corruption in the existing system are self-perpetuating, real change comes in such slow baby steps, it often seems to be one step up, two down.

There also does not seem to be at this time broad public support of any direct democracy movement, except in some small European countries, this might be because the concept is abhorrent to the general public, or it might be because the movements are not being presenting concisely to that public in ways that the population can relate to and trust. If the former then I would bow out and keep my involvement to the odd political discussion, if the later then I wish to help existing movements more effectively promote and organize themselves.

[-] 3 points by SisterRay (554) 5 years ago

Hi Sven,

Thanks for keeping this short enough that I can respond to it in a responsible way.

I wholly endorse your calls for better education, more transparency, and protections of minorities. These are not only essential preconditions for a just direct democracy, but essential components of any stable just society.

I am very sympathetic to your concerns about the fallibility of any system of checks and balances. As you recognize, though, even direct democracy can result in unjust (or just idiotic) states. The reason for this is simple: it is part of the nature of human societies that corruption is an ever-present possibility. While this fact may tempt us to consider radical changes to the structure of our society, we should never be tempted to believe that there is a perfect solution that would eliminate the problem once and for all. Sure, the current order isn't working as it ought to; but that doesn't mean that another order would necessarily work as it ought to, as if this were a "natural" feature of some systems and not of others. All political orders rely on the constant vigilance of the people in order to ensure that they function as they ought to: this is why a critically-engaged public is so essential for a functional democratic society.

Now there's a legitimate question of what political order would best encourage the public to be critically engaged in the political process. I understand the point you make that the rewards for involvement in the political process are so much greater in a direct democracy, where every vote has a direct impact on policy decisions. However, I believe that this argument makes an optimistic inference from the fact that people would have more power to the idea that they would use that power responsibly by informing themselves adequately about every issue before they vote on it. I am less optimistic that those with power develop a "natural sense of responsibility," even when those with power are the people themselves. Consequently, I insist upon systems of checks and balances that ensure that power is never concentrated in the hands of any group of people in particular, even if that group is the whole of the citizenry. Checks and balances promotes -- fallibly, of course -- deliberation, mediation, critical discussion, and compromise. I don't see any analogue to this in direct democracy, which seems to just take it on faith that people will act responsibly if you just hand them the reins. That faith is unfounded, and that is why I have been taking exception to the suggestion that we can demand informed direct democracy -- and direct democracy that is uninformed is unworthy of being demanded at all.

[-] 1 points by SvenTheBarbarian (84) from Phrao, Chiang Mai 5 years ago

As a side note we could define what we mean when we say corruption, political corruption is personal gain while in office, heavily reduced under a direct democracy except for bureaucrats, who are answerable to the people. But corruption can also mean changing peoples view in a negative way. The deeply religious might consider the separation of church and state as a form of corruption forced upon society. The conservative South might have considered civil rights the same way. The real life application of terms like corruption/being informed/responsibility differ from person to person, they are abstract.

You mentioned Athenian democracy where uninformed decision making led to a futile war against Syracuse and the collapse of Athenian sovereignty, you might considered this corruption, but I would suggest that at least, for better or worse, informed or not, the Athenian people who went to war knew they were fighting for what their people believed in, not because of an unpopular decision made by representatives.

There is part of me that thinks if a population is given a direct democracy and wields it badly they only have themselves to blame for the outcome. I know you will think that is irresponsible, but we are giving voting powers to adults, not children, I believe in the right of all adults to be given the chance to act responsibly.

I had mulled over ideas like only people who graduated University are eligible to vote, or their vote carried more weight, maybe even including other people deemed as responsible such as operators of a business of a certain size, people of public station such as priests who preside over a certain number of people, long term teachers, or even just people over a certain age (eg 40 years). Still a direct democracy but bringing in elements of responsibility (might also encourage people to finish studies). You could perhaps have this group as a veto group for the public decisions, or pick a random subset of them to validate decisions. Adding an extra level of checks to the system. I am open to these concepts, but personally fall back to a one person one vote system, I guess I am an idealist.

[-] 3 points by SisterRay (554) 5 years ago

I have been using "corruption" as short-hand for the undue influence of money in politics, which can be controlled through commonsense, wildly popular regulation of lobbying and campaign financing.

If you think that it is better to have a direct democracy that runs the country off the cliff than it is to have a functional indirect democracy, that is, if you promote the value of democracy over the values of informed decision making and even survival, then I respect your consistency but I have no interest in such zealotry. The value of democracy is extremely important, but we must not neglect other extremely important values as well. Zealotry of this sort has no place in a globalized world in a nuclear age.

I think all of the checks and balances you provide in the last paragraph are obviously unacceptable and show how difficult it is to imagine how checks and balances can be incorporated into a direct democracy. It would make far more sense to trust the people to vote for some of their peers who would form a separate voting body that would need to approve of any law. That is, representative democracy makes far more sense than these more 'direct' fixes.

[-] 1 points by SvenTheBarbarian (84) from Phrao, Chiang Mai 5 years ago

Hi SisterRay I think we have exhausted our arguments and fear we would be rehashing previous arguments to continue, thank you for the interesting discussion, I hope others get a chance to read both our points and make their own decision about whether either of our beliefs can be developed to be achievable, ethical, safe and a way forward for how we govern ourselves.

I wish you the best in implementing the movement you believe in, it would be an improvement over what we have now.

In the hope the world can change for the better.

[-] 1 points by SisterRay (554) 5 years ago

All the best to you too.

[-] 0 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

Your negativity in most of your posts against real Democracy make it "unacceptable" for you to even suggest that you are for Democracy - voting for leaders has never been real Democracy, you want to perpetuate that lie and dismiss real Democracy based on technicalities, without ever attempting to solve the technicalities because you say they are unsolvable. You are very much wrong.

[-] 3 points by SisterRay (554) 5 years ago

This response surprises, esp. since you've been thinking about it for 3 days.

Voting for leaders has always been an essential element of one form of democracy, i.e. representative democracy. I support that basic political system wholeheartedly.

My opposition to direct democracy is not based on technicalities. I oppose the essential core of direct democracy, i.e. the concentration of power in the hands of the masses. I am open to hearing solutions to the problems I raised, but these have not been forthcoming and I am not confident that they exist.

I may be wrong, perhaps very much wrong, but that remains to be demonstrated.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

I have stopped thinking about giving you a response a long time ago. Responding to you is a waste of this forum's time, since your comments already dominate my post (this whole page). I have thought more about that and what you "feel" like when I respond to you and what you "feel" like when you respond to others - you "feel" all wrong - I'm sure you have no idea what I'm talking about, but others do, and this is written mostly for them, not you.

I only thought you were done responding, so thought I should let you know, I'm still reading all your comments and still disagree, but now I know why I disagree so much and it has little to do with all your comments and words and more to do with how you "feel" to me.

[-] 3 points by SisterRay (554) 5 years ago

I don't know how to respond to a comment addressed to me but, as you say, not written for me.

I'm glad to hear you are still reading and thinking about my comments. If you have a reasoned defense of direct democracy against some of the criticisms I have raised, I am eager to see it. If not, then I'm not sure what else there is to talk about.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

Right, then we finally understand each other. :)

[-] 3 points by SisterRay (554) 5 years ago

(part 2/3)

"Lobbing and Advertising to the masses: We already see this in the existing representative system... so how would it be any worse?"

Because under the current system it could be regulated; under direct democracy, it could not without severe curtailments of free political speech.

"Freedom of speech should not mean unregulated lying to the public in order to sway policy, at least I think so, its up to the majority to make that call."

Here it seems like you favor sever curtailments of freedom of speech: this freedom would be subject to censorship by the majority. Here you put the value of deliberative democracy over the value of the human right to speak freely. That is simply unjust.

"What you have now lobbied lies go unchecked because the people who could police it are the ones getting paid off."

No -- it goes unchecked because it is insufficiently regulated. It ought to be regulated more.

"Scientific evidence can later be proven wrong."

Yes, science is fallible. But that doesn't mean it is subjective.

"You say direct democracy has to promote informed decision making, who gets to choose what is "informed"? I am saying that informed decision making is great but create the direct democracy and let the population work out how it defines "informed". I believe this would happen more ethically under a direct democracy than a representative democracy."

Here you sound like the creationists, advocating that we "teach the controversy and let the students decide." That might sound 'democratic', but it is the height of foolishness. Science is not a privileged kind of knowledge because it is infallible -- it's not -- but because it adopts systematic methods for forming reasonable beliefs and routinely subjects these to empirical testing. The same is not true for majority opinion.

"[In the run-up to the Iraq war] the representatives failed in effectively checking that information, or blatantly knew the information was false."

Exactly. The system failed. That's a reason to strengthen the system of checks and balances (most importantly, by taking the money out of politics), not eliminating checks and balances and leaving all to unchecked majority opinion.

"I would like to think that before going to WAR! information would be checked and validated, the population would demand a critical assessment of the facts by a number of different groups, if there was any question at all that the facts might have been "interpreted" incorrectly there would be an investigation into that, various studies of the repercussions of going to war would have been publicly demanded."

This should happen in a representative democracy. But these systems are fallible. You have not proven that these systems are bound to fail; only that they failed in the run-up to the Iraq war. That's not controversial.

"There was no referendum so you cannot state the majority of the Americans supported the war."

This is an uncharacteristically absurd statement for you to make. Polls were taken; majority approval was recorded. There's nothing more to say about that.

[-] 1 points by SvenTheBarbarian (84) from Phrao, Chiang Mai 5 years ago

Again a couple of comments I have to make, that is a good point that under a direct democracy to stop somebody from lobbying to the population would curtail their free speech, but to stop lobbies from paying off politicians in a representative society would not be.

It does not have to be so black and white though, you say I favor curtailing freedom of speech, I do not, I threw a couple of ideas out there that could basically come about under either system, and suggest creative ideas to control lobbying and distortion of facts are more likely to be implemented under a direct democracy than a representative one.

Regarding being informed you are missing my core point, and that is to use the government to enforce being "informed", you need to have somebody choosing what "informed" means. That is a dangerous position to make. I believe the majority of Americans believe in science, yet somehow in the South the education is being taken over by creationists, this is a failure of the representative system. If for example the majority of the population believed in creationism, is it right to force them to not believe in it? Who makes this decision? For arguments sake lets say the majority of scientists do not believe in religion and over time have proven many claims of the various religions completely false, should those scientists be able to force their systematically studied and empirically tested view onto the population that all gods do not exist? Make the population more "informed"? I am not saying you are suggesting something extreme, or even that I disagree with how you would make the population more informed, I am just raising some concerns about forcing a majority to the point of view of a minority, even if that minority is"educated"/"informed"/"intellectual".

I stand by my comment that no referendum was taken to confirm support of the war, a referendum is a direct vote in which an entire electorate is asked to either accept or reject a particular proposal. Did this happen? I did not say the population did not support the war, I am saying no referendum was made so it is impossible to state either way with complete assurance. Under a direct democracy there would have been a referendum.

[-] 3 points by SisterRay (554) 5 years ago

If someone can think of a way to prevent lobbying and the influence of money from ruining a direct democracy without curtailing freedom of speech, I'd be happy to retract this point. As is, it is a serious problem that the proponent of direct democracy ought to be very concerned about.

I do not believe that the term "informed" is to be used substantively but rather procedurally -- that's why I keep using the phrase "informed decision making."

I do not believe the government should be in the business of enforcing being-informedness at all. I think that this would be another inadequate solution to the problem facing direct democracy, i.e. that there is no mechanism here analogous to checks and balances that would promote deliberation and informed decision making.

The introduction of creationism in schools is not a feature of representative democracy per se. It's unfair to blame representative democracy for that one.

I'm not sure what to say about your subtle position about public opinion about the Iraq war. Again, polls were taken; majority approval was recorded. There's nothing more to say about that.

[-] 1 points by SisterRay (554) 5 years ago

(part 3/3)

"I believe the spreading of power under a direct democracy is the ultimate system for reducing institutional corruption."

What you have yet to acknowledge is that direct democracy is the concentration of power into one voting public and the elimination of the checks and balances that prevent the concentration of power in a functional representative democracy.

"I believe the population would do the right thing more often than what exists under representatives, and personally I want my view counted on all issues."

You are optimistic, but your belief that the majority will usually do the right thing is wholly unfounded. I am only confident that the majority will usually do the right thing when it's the majority of an informed public, who vote at the end of a real process of rational deliberation. And I am far more optimistic about the chances of fostering such a public within the institutions of a representative democracy than amongst the amorphous masses taken as a whole.

Demagoguery: It is just as easy to eliminate a demagogue when he is no longer efficacious in a representative democracy as in a direct one: you vote him out. The problem is what he can accomplish when he is efficacious: in a functional representative democracy, a system of checks and balances stand in his way; in a direct democracy, nothing stands in his way.

"I do agree that many people are not knowledgeable on specific issues, I would answer this in two ways, one, why would they bother under the current system where they are never directly asked what they want on a particular issue?"

They should bother to inform themselves on the issues because these issues matter. Average citizens are not asked to vote on every issue, but they can participate in public discourse about policy and they can ensure that their representatives are making sound decisions -- if they aren't, then informed citizens know how to vote on election day.

"Secondly, existing methods of judging how informed people are about issues have some problems, polls ask individuals what their viewpoint is but do not give them any time to prepare (like you would have under a direct democracy)"

Some polls are designed to yield partisan results. But the idea that people did not have "any time to prepare" about their feelings about matters of major political importance -- our ongoing wars, the health care overhaul, economic stimulus, Obama's job program -- is absurd.

"Perhaps if the population was given a chance to actually deliberate on an important issue or proxy their vote to anyone they trusted with that issue, then the results of such polls would show a much more informed result."

I'm glad to see that you recognize the importance of deliberation instead of merely registering the opinions of the majority. This is precisely my concern about direct democracy: it relies on an unfounded optimism that the masses will deliberate and make informed decisions if given the opportunity. I think there's at least as much reason to believe that most people will simply vote according to whatever ill-informed opinions they happen to have. That's why I favor a representative democracy that separates powers and imposes numerous checks and balances so as to encourage the kind of deliberation that we both recognize is essential for good governance.

[-] 2 points by SvenTheBarbarian (84) from Phrao, Chiang Mai 5 years ago

I did not see these responses before, just some quick responses, where you and I differ is whether we trust in the majority make the right decisions. You do not believe the population as it stands today will talk about and think about issues enough to understand how to vote on them (or where to proxy their vote for them), I disagree and believe people in countries like America, if given the chance, would act responsibly enough, and after having power given back to them would improve theirs and their children's education, and implement real checks and balances into their own governance.

Each person contemplating these systems will need to figure out what they personally believe about the majorities morals and intelligence. You have suggested polls and the such have proven the population is irresponsible, I suggested (in posts way way above, more comprehensive than above snippets, see http://occupywallst.org/forum/i-demand-informed-direct-democracy-online-whos-wit/#comment-239860) that maybe polls are not a good enough way to judge how a population would act under a direct democracy.

You feel that we could enact policy within the existing system, without any form of direct democracy, that will change the system and make people more informed, and keep in tact the positive elements such as separation of powers. I believe the existing system has been tested for many decades and has shown us the exact opposite, that the system has a resilience to such ethical movements. There have always been groups trying to limit campaign financing, improve education, enforce ethics from representatives, these are not new movements that have never been given the chance to change the system. They have not succeeded up until now. I wish what you suggest could come about, because there are such strong forces aligned against it I do not believe it will gain real long-term success.

You gave a link to a Huffington Post article as evidence of how popular reforms such as you suggest are (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/08/support-high-for-strong-c_n_453666.html), this article was written February 2010 and supported your viewpoint that the public overwhelmingly wanted campaign finance reform, a year and a half later and nothing has improved, how are we going to get these sweeping changes into policy?

I feel a direct democracy movement can come about within the existing system, no overnight revolution, but a safe transfer of power to the people. A direct democracy on this scale in the current world has not been tested, so to pass it off as a failure is presumptuous.

You might be right, it might not work. I am hoping by discussing how it could be implemented people will consider it, maybe give it a chance.

[-] 3 points by SisterRay (554) 5 years ago

"Where you and I differ is whether we trust in the majority make the right decisions. You do not believe the population as it stands today will talk about and think about issues enough to understand how to vote on them (or where to proxy their vote for them), I disagree and believe people in countries like America, if given the chance, would act responsibly enough."

You are correct that our differences center on our trust in the public. I don't think the problem is really the population as it stands today but rather the concentration of unchecked power -- in this case, in the hands of the citizenry as a whole. You say you believe that a direct democracy would "implement real checks and balances into their own governance" but I can't imagine how that would work.

I don't find your critique of polls very moving, for the reasons stated above.

And I do not find your pessimism about the current system very moving, since, as I said in a later post, it is part of the nature of human societies that corruption is an ever-present possibility. While this fact may tempt us to consider radical changes to the structure of our society, we should never be tempted to believe that there is a perfect solution that would eliminate the problem once and for all. Sure, the current order isn't working as it ought to; but that doesn't mean that another order would necessarily work as it ought to, as if this were a "natural" feature of some systems and not of others. All political orders rely on the constant vigilance of the people in order to ensure that they function as they ought to: this is why a critically-engaged public is so essential for a functional democratic society.

We will get these sweeping changes into policy by building a movement that exerts pressure on politicians to make these changes. OWS is organizing around these issues now, and a broad coalition can be built up around at least this narrow issue, including even the Tea Party as members. This can be accomplished if we organize around it and exert the requisite pressure.

[-] 3 points by SisterRay (554) 5 years ago

You can't demand an informed public. You can demand protection of human rights, e.g., to assemble, to speak freely, to disseminate one's ideas in print, etc. You can demand universal access to quality education. But you can't demand that everyone be informed.

You can lead a public to information, but you can't make it drink.

[-] 3 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

Then please work to re-word it correctly, I'm FAR from perfect, but the Democratic majority is REASONABLY close to perfect, and your improvements and everyone else's will help build it stronger.

[-] 4 points by omniscientfool (84) 5 years ago

The democratic majority is not even remotely near perfect. If it were, slavery, womens rights, minority right, gender relationship rights, etc etc etc would never have been realized. If the majority rules, the minority lose

[-] 0 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

The majority well-informed opinion is as close to perfect as it is far from perfect, it is reasonable - is that clearer now?

[-] 3 points by SisterRay (554) 5 years ago

But I'm not sure this is just a matter of re-wording. What makes a decision "reasonably close to perfect" is the quality of the information used in making the decision. But, since there's no way to ensure that the public, comprised of laypeople who have varying abilities to understand and weigh evidence, will be able to make an informed decision about most issues, esp. those that require specialized technical expertise, then the very idea of direct democracy is in trouble.

[-] 2 points by jkintree (84) 5 years ago

Wording and presentation are important for making information digestible. Do our so called "representatives" really have such a great grasp of technical matters when they vote, or are they primarily guided by lobbyists and donors? When representatives need technical expertise, they obtain testimony through hearings. Citizens could do the same, but better because the technical expertise would be shared openly over the Internet.

[-] 2 points by SisterRay (554) 5 years ago

Lobbying and campaign financing must be reformed. The way the system currently works is dysfunctional and unjust. We can agree on that.

But the call here is not just for reforming the current system but doing away with representative democracy altogether. This radical change is not justified by any points you raise here. Indeed, all you seem to be claiming is that average citizens could be as good as their representatives at understanding the arguments and evidence presented by experts. The only thing that would be better about direct democracy over representative democracy is the increase in transparency. I do agree that political freedom demands a great amount of transparency in government. But this, of course, could also be brought about in a representative democracy (this was the original idea behind CSPAN; that project should be expanded).

So the question really comes down to the claim that average citizens could be as good at understanding and weighing evidence as their representatives could be. Prima facie, that seems like a difficult argument to make, as laypeople have lots of things to take care of in their lives and could only devote limited amounts of time to informing themselves about the issues; it does seem far more plausible that well-chosen representatives who can devote all their time to informing themselves about the issues and making informed decisions would do a better job.

Now, the proponent of direct democracy may say: well, why should we trust representatives to do a better job at making informed decisions than we can do ourselves? But this is a bad argument to make. Representative democracy entrusts the public to make informed decisions about who is capable of making informed decisions on their behalf in government. If the proponent of direct democracy doesn't even trust the public to be able to make an informed decision about who is capable of making informed decisions, how can he claim to trust the public to make informed decisions about all these other issues?

To make the case for direct democracy, you can't argue against the ability of the public to make informed decisions without undermining your cause. Representative democracy trusts the public to make informed decisions about their representatives, choosing them based on their ability to make further informed decisions about all the various issues that government must deal with. The proponent of direct democracy has to respect at least that element of representative democracy if he is to make a non-self-defeating case on behalf of trusting the public to make all the government's decisions in an informed way.

[-] 1 points by jkintree (84) 5 years ago

Critical comment, SisterRay, "Representative democracy trusts the public to make informed decisions about their representatives, choosing them based on their ability to make further informed decisions about all the various issues that government must deal with."

A representative might get elected because of a pro-life position that is popular in their district, but that representative might vote against the economic interests of those same people (what's the matter with Kansas?). That's the problem with representatives who vote for their consitutuents on a wide variety of issues. Often, the people would be better off voting directly for themselves.

How about the issue of single payer national health insurance. Is HR 676 so difficult to understand. It's only about ten pages long if printed out in its entirety, and a bulleted list of the key provisions can display in a screen or two on most people's computers. Contrast that with the over 1,000 page monstrosity of health care legislation that was voted on by Congress, and mostly written by lobbyists of the health insurance industry.

Furthermore, recognizing people's right to vote for themselves does not necessarily mean doing away entirely with some type of representative form of government. It's just that motions passed by popular vote would trump laws passed by "representatives."

[-] 3 points by SisterRay (554) 5 years ago

Yes, it would be better if the voting public elected representatives based on their ability to weigh evidence and make informed decisions instead of on their ability to "stick to their guns" and make ideological decisions. Unfortunately, that isn't as common as it ought to be today.

Nevertheless, a proponent of direct democracy can't use that fact as an argument against representative democracy, since doing so would undermine his own advocacy for direct democracy. If people vote for representatives based on ideological commitment instead of their abilities as rational deliberators, then it's fair to assume that, in a direct democracy, they themselves would vote based on ideological commitments instead of by weighing evidence and making an informed decision. Perhaps that doesn't trouble you, but you must at least recognize that decisions made in this way in a direct democracy would not be "reasonably close to perfect," as alfi had suggested, since what makes a decision reasonably close to perfect is the quality of the information used in making the decision. Decisions based on ideological commitment and with disregard for the evidence and relevant facts are, by definition, irrational and dogmatic. I find a system that would promote such decisions deeply troubling.

[-] 2 points by April (3196) 5 years ago

I agree with you SisterRay! Our Founding Fathers got it right! No way is anybody going to change my mind about that. We need to fight against this direct democracy stuff. Its fine for the park, not for our government! I talked to this same guy the other day, and he was so rude and thoughtless. I told him to never speak to me again!

[-] 2 points by SvenTheBarbarian (84) from Phrao, Chiang Mai 5 years ago

The founding fathers were human beings, smart, idealistic, they got a lot right, and the system has been amazing, considering what was on offer at the time. But I believe it can be improved. The world they lived in, the experiences they had to work with are different to today, they did not have powerful communications, they did not have nuclear bombs, they did not have issues that threaten the very existence of the world, and the population at that time was not as well educated or have access to information as we do now.

We have to look at the world as it is, we have to look at the history of the representative democracies and where it has lead us, and we need to figure out if problems exist (they do), and how to fix them. I agree with everyone who suggests more transparency in the existing system, more regulation of corrupt decision making, all these things will improve the system, but at my core I believe a direct democracy, in a moral and educated country like USA, would be a transformation for the better.

It does not have to be an uprooting revolution, it can slowly prove itself along side the existing system, with the creation of a political party (or parties) that adheres to the principle of one person one vote, and applies those decisions accordingly. I would like to see it evolve from that to a pure direct democracy, it might take a long time, but hey why not start now?

I am trying to understand your arguments against a direct democracy, that proponents say the majorities choosing of representatives is uninformed whereas if voting in a direct democracy we say the majority will suddenly become informed? I think I see where you are coming from but it is more complex than that. In a representative democracy you do not have an open choice on who your representative is going to be, and you do not know how that representative will actually vote on any issue, and there are so many issues you are entrusting them with. This is a crazy method of gauging the peoples will, it basically comes down to who pretends best to have similar values to you and sounds the most trustworthy out of a very limited pool of people you do not really know that well (shes got nice hair, he speaks well, shes conservative..), and the choice is constantly changing from election cycle to election cycle so it becomes near impossible to feel confident in your representatives. Of course in this system the majority are going to have difficulty making an informed choice. But if you asked that same majority how do you feel about legalizing marijuana, they can answer clearly and concisely

The majority are informed about issues, not representatives, or more importantly they know who they trust about each issue, in a direct democracy you could proxy your vote to any person you trust is informed (or simply find out how they feel and vote accordingly).

In a representative democracy you pass your entire set of votes for a long period of time to one representative, the most important thing is you trust their basic philosophy is kind if in line with yours, in a direct democracy you are voting on specific issues, you no longer need to base your decision on fluff.

April, I am sorry to hear someone who believes in a direct democracy was rude to you, you should not reject the concept because of this. I personally strongly believe in a direct democracy, that people will not truly be self governing until a system is in place that gives the population decision making power (and it has to be simple and effective, we are all busy people :).

I have a forum started with more on my views, would love any comments:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/the-solution-developing-a-true-direct-democracy/

[-] 1 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 5 years ago

If i new my government was getting its marching orders from a majority of the people, and not from an ideology, I would feel more inclined to fallow.

[-] 2 points by SisterRay (554) 5 years ago

What ensures that the majority of people aren't blinded by an ideology?

[-] 1 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 5 years ago

We all want to believe what is most advantageous to our selves. If we could no longer hang on the ideas of politicians but have to take more responsibility for legislation through direct democracy, then we would be forced to view policy holistically. The current political system allows politicians to manipulate people by telling them that their interests are best served by one politician vs the other. As a politician,in the current configuration, I can massage my message to convince you our interests are the same.

[-] 3 points by SisterRay (554) 5 years ago

Let's be a little more precise:

We all want to believe what we believe is most advantageous to ourselves. But not only can we be be wrong about this because of ideological commitments, but we can also try to convince others to do what is most advantageous to us but not to them, i.e. to spread our ideology for private gain.

If we could no longer hang on the ideas of politicians but have to take more responsibility for legislation through direct democracy, then one should hope that we would view policy holistically. But nothing "forces" this on anyone, and the results of failure to "view policy holistically" would be disastrous.

As a politician, in the current configuration, I can massage my message to convince you our interests are the same. But as a fellow citizen in a direct democracy, I can do the same thing.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

Here is JohnnyGuy, one the people that made me so angry for hours before you came in and I thought you were here to help JohhnyGuy and others humiliate me. I thought you were here to attack me because you said one phrase that guys like JohhnyGuy were saying. If you care, here is the link: http://occupywallst.org/forum/what-ever-happened-to-we-the-people/

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

Yes I was VERY rude, I apologized, it's written on this page somewhere. I was attacked for HOURS by one-liners and direct insults at me, for writing this. I was ridiculed and badgered so that I would get mad - and I did. That's why they were doing this to me, to get me to lose my cool and I did, at April. And April was not the one that had got me so steamed it was a few other users that were so brutal and out to humiliate me, and I ended up explodidng at April for ONE comment that calls Direct Democracy "wacky" and then calls me cluless. - I am sorry again, I am not perfect. I am doing the best I can, and my goal is NEVER to offend people, but sometimes I fail. BTW, April, I am not cluless, and "this Democracy thing" as you put it is the way this world is going, and it sounds like you only found out what it is in the last few days sunce I posted it, please EDUCATE yourself, think for yourself, and stop listening to ME OR ANYONE ELSE when it comes to your opinions and understandings. MAJOR EDIT It's getting impossible to keep track of who said what in this thing. As I re-read everything for the millionth time, I see that April never really said much to offend me, but I believe I got who said what mixed up. I REALLY feel bad now - MAJOR lesson for me as to how effective and powerful and dangerous trolls are in their ability to make me "stupider" than them, and becomes just as mean spirited.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

wow April, who have you been letting make your opinions for you? If our founding fathers were here, they would be in the streets of NY right now waving a sign that says BY THE PEOPLE FOR THE PEOPLE! And if they had internet in 1776, we would already have peace on Earth because Direct Democracy would have been a model for the world for 200 years!

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

Sister, did you miss the focus on OPEN SOURCED ONLINE LIBRARY OF VERIFIABLE FACTS? I agree that an uninformed Democracy is VERY troubling, but that's what we have right now, and even worse, because our votes are actually meaningless in face of the electoral college, and our representative no longer represent the people, they represent their "constituencies" in other words the few people with all the power and money.

[-] 4 points by SisterRay (554) 5 years ago

No, I did not miss it. My point is that ACCESS to information is a necessary condition for informed decision making, but it is not a sufficient condition, since good information is useless in the hands of someone who is incapable of weighing evidence and deliberating rationally. You acknowledge this in your call for informed direct democracy; I'm merely pointing out that, as I put it before, "you can lead a public to information, but you can't make it drink."

As for the rest of your reply, I really think that this is neither here nor there. It's not that I like the status quo -- we are in complete agreement about the need to get the money out of politics and the need for more transparency. The question is whether the kind of improvements we both seek are only available by a radical turn to direct democracy or whether they are possible in a representative democracy freed from corruption. As I argued before (see my exchange with jkintree above), the main arguments used by the proponent of direct democracy against the defender of representative democracy tend to be self-defeating, as the difference between the two views ultimately comes down to how much we can trust the public to make an informed decision. If the proponent of direct democracy doesn't even trust the public to make informed decisions about who their representatives should be, how much harder is it to believe that the public can be trusted to make all the other decisions they'd be asked to make in a direct democracy!

In my opinion, the core truth that proponents of direct democracy are really interested in can be accomplished with far less radical means. What we need is not direct democracy but rather participatory democracy. By "participatory democracy" I mean a representative form of government that is more or less like the one we have now (with some much needed changes concerning lobbying, campaign financing, transparency, perhaps the electoral college, etc. etc.) but in which the public is educated, informed about, and critically engaged with the decisions made by their representatives. What we need is not a new Constitution and a new form of government; we need a new spirit of civic virtue that manifests itself in manifold ways outside of the government: the press, blogs, political rallies in the street, and ordinary conversations by average citizens everywhere they meet: in bars, cafes, and at home around the kitchen table. It is through massive civic participation by an informed public that our representatives can be held accountable for their decisions, so that they are not only representative of the will of their constituents but also as "reasonably close to perfect" as political decisions can be. But if all that's really necessary is an informed, critically engaged public, then we don't need to worry about drafting a new Constitution and starting the American experiment over from scratch. All we need is to do what we're doing already: having precisely the kinds of conversations that the rise of the OWS movement has occasioned. To spread democracy doesn't require a radically different form of government; it is simply to bring more of our fellow citizens into the conversation.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

I understand all your points, but I think the reason we don't agree on direct democracy is because you think it's radical. I almost feel like you want everyone reading these comments to believe that it is a radical change to bring about direct democracy. It's not so radical as you make it out to be. The idea is already self evident in the forums, and the practice (implementing a voting/information online forum), would be no more radical than when we switched over to electronic voting machines in some parts of the country - except our open source online system would not be owned and operated by a private for profit corporation like the company that got the contract to make the electronic voting machines. When a bill comes out of Washington, we could be ALLOWED to read it on the online forum, then we could vote on it for a certain set amount of time, discussions included, then we pass it or don't pass it. The current political system could remain as is, so long as we the people formally declare our independence from politicians and our right to vote on what happens in our local, county and international affairs. After the declaration and the online system gets set up, then people would probably vote very little and on very few issues at first, but our decleration would protect the people's right to vote as they slowly gain more and more control and learn more and more how to manage the process of self-governance. It is NOT radical and can be done smoothly without a sudden taking down of government or anything scary like that. If the declaration is well thought out, well written and well supported by the 99% (and I mean the people), it will naturally be put into practice and no one would feel it is radical or abrupt. All I'm calling for is for people to get together and agree that the goal of all of humanity is a democratic control of the governments of the world by it's respective peoples. Once that declaration happens, then the Democracy will naturally follow. bWe the people would also have the right to propose bills democratically, then we would all vote on it and discuus and pass legislation for ourselves. I imagine one of the first people bills would be something that cleans up the money system. Maybe abolishing the FED and going back to the US treasury printing bills interest free. All it takes to become a direct Democracy by the people and for the people is a DECLARATION from the people. After that, the people will figure out slowly how to implement it exactly. But if the Occupy Movement doesn't get it together and does not unite with all the rest of the countries revolutions against Representative Governments everywhere posing as Democracies, then the people may lose this opportunity to realize their common goal of freedom to decide what happens in government together as a people.

[-] 3 points by SisterRay (554) 5 years ago

Excuse me, but I have no idea what you're talking about anymore. The US Constitution lays out a system of government that is not a direct democracy. You are calling for a system of government that is a direct democracy. That means revising the entire system of government of the US from the ground up. I can't think of anything more radical than that.

This is not in any way analogous to changing the way in which votes are cast (e.g. the switch to electronic voting machines). It is a change in what the public votes for -- representatives or the laws themselves. That is a fundamental change that constitutes a radical revision of the system of government.

"The current political system could remain as is, so long as we the people formally declare our independence from politicians and our right to vote on what happens in our local, county and international affairs." I have no idea what this means. It seems to be a call for a redundant doubling of government: the current system continues as is, and we the people independently vote on the same issues. What's the purpose of that?

"Democracy will naturally follow." Again, I think this is false. A functioning democracy is a constant struggle; there is nothing "natural" about it.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

Oh, the logical fallacy of traditional wisdom states that if you support a position and justify it only with the fact that things have always traditionally been done this way, is faulty logic. Since you are arguing that our founding fathers created a Representative Democratic Republic relying on the integrity our our elected officials, and that this is the way it's been and should continue to be, you are committing this logical fallacy, since you provide no other argument against Direct Democracy except traditional wisdom.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

And yes, a democratic voting by a group to decide what the group should do and to agree to rules that protect individual freedom, is the most natural way any group of people has ever done things together. Have you ever gone out with a few friends? What should we do? let go here, let's do this, who wants to do this? etc. that's how people interact in a group, unless they want to control the group, but most people, the majority don't want to control anyone other than their own lives.

So yes, real Democracy is very a HUMAN and NATURAL ongoing self-improving system (kind of like what you said), just like people are constantly learning throughout their lifetimes. Up to the 21st Century, it was very reasonable to support a Representative Democracy, I believe it was the MOST reasonable system, given what the world was like in 1776. The majority of people in this country whole heartedly supported the Representative Democracy we have had for 200 years, and proudly defended it from attackers and paid for our RADICAL ways (yes, being a Democrat of any kind in 1776 was EXTREMELY radical) in blood and sweat and suffering trying to build a free country together as a people. I am so proud to be an American, but I see that the 21st century American dream is Direct Democracy and that dream is simply a NATURAL progression of what our founding fathers wanted to accomplish - government by the people and for the people. I also see that the majority now is starting to see the same thing too. Once the majority sees it, then it will become a reality. My point: the only reason we currently have a Representative Democratic Republic is because the majority of this country correctly and reasonably have supported it, and tolerated it's inherent problems knowing that it's the best we've got; this demonstrates that in fact WE the people have collectively decided to allow some of us to represent us, so as you can see, the people are the ones choosing together - even if for 200 years they've been choosing Representatives, they are STILL practicing a Direct Democracy in their common agreement that Representative Democracy is the best system we can have. A Democratic Representative Republic has been the best way to go till now - agreed, now can we move on to the next step in the SAME process our founding fathers began?

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

I have said this in different words already and other have said too: If our founding fathers were here today with our technology, they would have never settled for a Democratic Republic, they would have gone for what they and all people really want, a direct governance by the people and for the people. Only now, 200 years later can their dream really come to life with the help of human ingenuity and technology. It was a system that they knew had a problem from the start, the representatives could and will eventually get corrupted by the 1% that has always been on Earth trying to control everything and everyone. To the founding father the 1% were the British monarchy, to us it's our own governments and global corporations, but the 1% they face is the same ideologically then in 1776 and now in the 21st century. Our founding father have done such an incredible job with very little technology, they did the best they could have done, and they got us here 200 years later, and we are now ready to finish what they started.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

I know you disagree, but you obviously do know what I'm talking about. Since Direct Democracy has never been attempted, how would you know that it's implementation would be radical? We currently have a system that people vote in, it is not radical to let people vote on issues and educate everyone on issues that affect everyone and Earth itself, it is the most natural way for a large group of people to decide what the group should do and what rules a group should have in order to protect individual freedom and the rights of self-determination of the group. Having a government body of elected officials already makes it easy and NOT radical to slowly switch from our elected officials voting and passing laws, to the people voting and passing laws, after declaring the universal right of all people to direct self-governance. Many other countries in the world today don't even have this partial corruptible Democracy to repair by a declaration of the people and then a gradual increase in control over the government and the law of the land through direct voting, so those countries may feel something like this would be very radical, but NOT the USA.

[-] 0 points by ChristopherABrownART5 (46) from Santa Barbara, CA 5 years ago

Curious that the above, which is partially correct, is responded to by alfi, but the post that is accurate and comprehensive to creating the authority needed to meet demands,-

http://occupywallst.org/forum/i-demand-informed-direct-democracy-online-whos-wit/#comment-217254

Is not. WTF?

The constitution has an exception in Article 5 that makes it a direct democracy for amending the constitution.

[-] 0 points by Isaeto (3) 5 years ago

Blah blah blah, enough with intellectual pissing matches on forums, let's get a prototype up and let direct democracy speak for itself. I'm thinking of gathering all of the OWS users who have posted in support of direct democracy on a separate forum where we can organize ourselves for this project. Something cheap and fast to get the ball rolling, like a yahoo group. What do you think?

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

Yay, I agree, I stopped responding so much the past 2 days. I want to spread the idea because I believe it is shared by a majority by they don't know it because no one is calling it what it is. The Occupiers are already doing it on the ground when they reach consensus - that's the main idea, though a very primitive street version. I don't want to waste days and days in a forum comment after long comment, when i already feel that this idea needs exposure on the ground in OWS.

I was going to reply to SisterRay after I had gathered my thoughts because she really has something personal against me, this environment is really not good for me. I would LOVE to relocate somewhere.

I will see what I can do, you see what you can do, i also have a job, so I will post back when i can. But YES let's do this.

[-] 1 points by theanswers (5) 5 years ago

alfi, the starting point could be if everyone got serious about personal responsibility.

case in point; someone who is debt free and in good health and stays that way through life is a lot less burden on the 'system'.

folks who are deep in debt and in bad health are a burden on society.

sounds harsh but is absolute truth.

the less we lean on each other for help, the easier it will be to fix big problems.

fix a problem close to home then go out and teach the fix.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

I have to go to bed so I can wake up in 3 hours for work. Your comments deserve my best, and I can't give it to you right now. I shall return with an answer as soon as I can.

[-] 4 points by SisterRay (554) 5 years ago

This is just silly. Your proposal is to alter our political system in fundamental ways by replacing the representative democracy outlined in our Constitution with a direct democracy. That is what I mean when I say it is "radical".

My concerns do not stem from the speed of implementation -- something I haven't mentioned once in my posts. Nor do they stem from the fact that it would be different from what we have now -- I invoked the Constitution only to explain why the implementation of direct democracy would be radical, i.e. would fundamentally alter the current system, not to justify the current system. My concerns stem from the nature of direct democracy itself -- concerns that you have not even tried to address.

While we agree that there are serious problems with the current system of government in the US -- esp. the corruption that comes from the infiltration of money into the system and a lack of transparency -- we disagree about the solution. You think these problems demand a fundamental revision in the system of government; my call for a participatory democracy is meant to address these concerns while maintaining the current system of government, not only because this is easier or less "radical" -- though these are certainly benefits that recommend my proposal over yours -- but because it would be more effective at achieving a political order that promotes the political values of democracy and informed decision making that you and I both support.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

In short, pure Democracy is not radical in a Representative Democracy. The Constitution is the best our genius and good-willed founding fathers could do over 200 years ago. Now we can continue their intentions. We disagree, but my arguments and yours are not wrong. It is a matter of opinion what you consider radical, there is no way to objectify it, so please stop trying to make it appear as though I am a radical and that I want to "fundamentally alter our system". The fundamental idea in our system, is government by the people and for the people, that's Democracy by definition. We disagree, but not because I am a radical, but because you THINK I am a radical, let's leave it at that, and later, we'll see what the majority of this country thinks. BTW, all your arguments I understand and I see your view point, and I can respect it, can you respect mine?

[-] 3 points by SisterRay (554) 5 years ago

You seem to have a problem with the word "radical". I don't see any room for reasonable controversy over whether your proposal is radical or not, but, since you have a problem with the word, I won't use it again in discussion with you.

We disagree for a lot of reasons, none of which have you addressed. I respect your viewpoint, but I disagree with it. My reasons for doing so have nothing to do with your silly fuss about the word "radical"; my reasons for disagreeing with direct democracy have to do with the nature of direct democracy itself. You say you "understand" and "see" and "respect" my view, but you seem completely uninterested in engaging with it; instead of answering my concerns, you reply with distractions like objecting to the use of the term "radical" and alleging that I'm guilty of a "logical fallacy" because I mentioned the Constitution in a conversation about the US political system.

If you would like to have a real conversation about democracy, I'm happy to join you in it. So far you have not shown any willingness to do so, but rather have been as rude and thoughtless as April had warned me you would be. That is hardly a reasonable way to act when advocating for a system of government that puts complete faith in the average members of the public to make informed decisions about every matter of public life.

[-] 2 points by jkintree (84) 5 years ago

Considering that a number of states in the United States have a process for an initiative and referendum, whereby citizens directly propose and vote on issues affecting their lives, a direct democracy is not really radical. To do it at the national, or more importantly at the global level, would represent a deep flattening in the current structure of power, so yes, it could be called a radical solution. To the extent that the problem is corruption of our representative form of government by the wealthy and their lobbyists and money, to correct this with a direct democracy would be going to the roots of the problem, and therefore should be called "radical."

[-] 4 points by SisterRay (554) 5 years ago

It's good to see that there are some people around who can defend direct democracy rationally. As I said before, I have deep respect for the core values that proponents of direct democracy seek to promote; I just think that direct democracy is not as good of a system for promoting these values as it might prima facie seem to be.

To repeat the point from our earlier conversation (see link below), there is no question that our representative form of government is currently corrupt, dysfunctional, and unjust. But there is a legitimate question as to what to do about it.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/i-demand-informed-direct-democracy-online-whos-wit/#comment-210418

Your position is that the very notion representation is the "root of the problem", and so representative democracy is inherently corrupt and unjust -- or at least inevitably leads to corrupt and unjust states. I have yet to see that argument made in a way that is not self-defeating, since the concept of a representative democracy like what ours is supposed to be is that representatives are to be held accountable for their decisions at regular intervals by the public; if you don't believe that the public is even capable of handling this responsibility responsibly, then it does not make sense to entrust the public with even more responsibility, as direct democracy does.

As I said in my (one-sided) conversation with alfi, it is my opinion that the core truth that proponents of direct democracy are really interested in can be accomplished with far less radical means. What we need is not direct democracy but rather participatory democracy. By "participatory democracy" I mean a representative form of government that is more or less like the one we have now (with some much needed changes concerning lobbying, campaign financing, transparency, perhaps the electoral college, etc. etc.) but in which the public is educated, informed about, and critically engaged with the decisions made by their representatives. What we need is not a new Constitution and a new form of government; we need a new spirit of civic virtue that manifests itself in manifold ways outside of the government: the press, blogs, political rallies in the street, and ordinary conversations by average citizens everywhere they meet: in bars, cafes, and at home around the kitchen table. It is through massive civic participation by an informed public that our representatives can be held accountable for their decisions, so that they are not only representative of the will of their constituents but also as "reasonably close to perfect" as political decisions can be. But if all that's really necessary is an informed, critically engaged public, then we don't need to worry about drafting a new Constitution and starting the American experiment over from scratch. All we need is to do what we're doing already: having precisely the kinds of conversations that the rise of the OWS movement has occasioned. To spread democracy doesn't require a radically different form of government; it is simply to bring more of our fellow citizens into the conversation.

I'm interested in your thoughts about that proposal.

[-] 2 points by jkintree (84) 5 years ago

Yes, SisterRay, all of the things you suggested, "needed changes concerning lobbying, campaign financing, transparency, perhaps the electoral college, etc. etc.," would make our current government work much better.

It doesn't take the change far or deep enough. The deck is stacked against us. A representative is elected through sound bites, PR types of images, manipulation of emotions, and so on. Yes, the public can be manipulated into voting against its own interests. Who will pass the necessary reforms? Congress? Not when the current system works to their interests instead of ours.

As SvenTheBarbarian said, that structure actually could stay in place as long as we could use a national or global referendum WHEN WE WANT, on issues that are most important to our lives such as single payer national health insurance or worldwide demilitarization. I have a right to vote directly on issues when that is how I choose to express my part of the will of the people.

[-] 4 points by SisterRay (554) 5 years ago

Again, this is the kind of self-defeating argument I have been warning about.

If representatives can't be trusted to pass basic anti-corruption measures, how can they be trusted to pass a new Constitution that would turn America into a direct democracy?

If the public currently votes on representatives based on "sound bites, PR types of images, manipulation of emotions, and so on," how can they be trusted to vote on the issues based on anything else?

This doesn't seem to me to be the kind of argument available to a proponent of direct democracy, on pain of undermining in his critique of the current system the very cause he is promoting as a replacement.

[-] 1 points by SvenTheBarbarian (84) from Phrao, Chiang Mai 5 years ago

You keep the existing system but you don't trust your representatives, what you do is create a political party within the existing framework that in of itself operates as a direct democracy, it collates votes to dictate how its elected representatives vote.

This would start slowly, there are already existing parties in many countries, none that I know of have elected representatives, if they get one great, more people will hear about the movement, more discussion, ultimately more representatives will be elected, but only if the system proves itself because this is happening over the space of many years and the system itself is getting a good test while only exerting a tiny corrective amount of power against the existing power parties. This is a good thing though because for the first time the majorities viewpoint is actually being counted and other politicians can be held up against that.

Then once the direct democracy party/parties have enough representatives in power, they can make changes to the constitution, as per what the majority want.

So you never had to trust those representatives that us proponents of a direct democracy dislike so much..

[-] 1 points by jkintree (84) 5 years ago

How can Congress be trusted to pass an amendment to the Constitution that would turn America into a direct democracy such as by creating a mechanism for holding national referenda? I'm glad you asked that question, SisterRay.

We can count on Congress NOT to pass such an amendment and send it to the states for ratification. We can count on our "representatives" to guard their power. This is not self-defeating. We are defeated by the current structure of power as written by the framers of the Constitution, who identified mostly with the elite of their day.

I admit that the average American is not ready to challenge that structure. Well, in 1766, the idea of a United States of America gaining independence from Britain through armed rebellion was unthinkable. By 1776, the American Revolution had begun.

This time though, the revolution will not happen by armed rebellion. It will happen by "getting people in the know."

[-] 1 points by SvenTheBarbarian (84) from Phrao, Chiang Mai 5 years ago

Hi SisterRay I am trying to grasp what you are saying, you want the public to be better informed and more involved? How do you achieve that? Well you could force more democratic/civil/political studies into schools, apart from that how are you going to make people talk about politics?

If people are not already, maybe they just don't want to. Or maybe because they feel within the existing system their issue related views are not considered by policy makes they stopped wasting time discussing them?

But, if you had some form of direct democracy (by all means keep the constitution and the existing representative system at the beginning, work inside it), then peoples actual votes on each issue would be counted and acted on, suddenly people have a reason to discuss policy at bars, cafes, etc..

There is reason now in the existing system, because you get to vote once every few years for one group or the other, but really, every few years! I am going to spend my nights talking about politics so I can formulate a coherent vote once every few years? Only to see the representative I voted for act completely differently to how they promised they would act..

I don't know, I respect what you are saying, I am just thinking that the change you suggest is not so possible in the current two party representative democracies, but would happen naturally under a direct democracy.

[-] 4 points by SisterRay (554) 5 years ago

Hi Sven,

Yes, a better education system with greater emphasis on civics and the promotion of a culture of political involvement would be a good start. OWS has also accomplished a lot in generating political conversations all across the US.

There are a lot of reasons for people to inform themselves about issues in a functional representative democracy. The very idea of a participatory democracy is that voting every few years is a necessary part of ensuring that representatives are accountable to their constituents, but it is not the only occasion for constituents to weigh in on the issues. Once the money is taken out of our politics, representatives will have good reasons to listen to their constituents on every issue that constituents take notice in. If they don't listen to their constituents and they can't rely on corporate sponsors to fund multimillion dollar campaigns for them, then they won't be returning to Washington next time around -- that strikes me as simple enough. Even in our corrupt system we see our representatives turning to polls and changing their votes based on what they perceive to be the tide of public opinion -- see how the Tea Party changed the debate about the national debt, for instance, and how gay marriage was passed in NY state. Political movements that harness the power of the public have proven effective even under the corrupt system we currently have; how much the more so would representatives have to listen to the public once campaign financing and lobbying are regulated.

I think that an informed, critically-engaged public is at least a necessary precondition for a functional direct democracy. It doesn't make sense to institute a system of direct democracy and then wait for the culture of political participation to develop around it -- the system will not last long enough for such a culture to develop if it is so absent at the start. So it seems that you should at least support the idea of a participatory democracy as a first step towards creating the conditions where a direct democracy would become a viable option.

So, in short, the means of bringing about a participatory democracy are straightforward, it is possible to achieve this in a representative democracy, and the proponent of direct democracy ought to endorse this goal, even if only as a first step towards their further goal of direct democracy.

[-] 1 points by SvenTheBarbarian (84) from Phrao, Chiang Mai 5 years ago

I agree with you, if I was to support a representative democracy I would allow only publicly funded campaigning, state that all representatives have to open their accounts completely to public scrutiny, cannot take funds in any shape or form, cannot receive perceived favors, nor their close family (nor for associates, or at least have them disclosed), cannot receive golden parachutes or gifts after office, cannot be associated with organizations like charities that take similar greasies, cannot accept vacations or use things they do not own during or after their time in office, etc etc..

But really, how are you going to enforce all this? The corrupt are very skilled at gaming the system, especially a large powerful system like Americas. Under the same argument you have to be very careful how you implement a direct democracy or once those same corrupt forces see the movement is taking hold they will use every trick in the book to control it, but if implemented well the policing that would be required for representatives is removed.

Addressing the populations lack of knowledge on issues, perhaps you could reduce the money in politics, then policy could be introduced that ensured all young adults and children completed certain subjects at school regarding civics and the promotion of a culture of political involvement (if they fail do they lose the right to vote? :), slowly develop into society the direct democracy so that by the time it replaces the existing structure the population is informed enough to govern themselves. I think that is a good idea. But also feel that maybe the population is at a level already that would be good enough to utilize a direct democracy effectively, and that the existing system will find ways to destroy the long term plan of a participatory democracy followed by a direct democracy..

Also a creeping concern for me is the saleability of such a concept to the general public, what you are basically promoting are changes to policy, campaign financing this, education that, you will always polarize the general public on any specific policy change and your opponents will find some way to sell the public that your policy changes are dangerous or being made for the wrong reasons or too costly...

But how do they argue against a direct democracy, they can bring up arguments like what you have mentioned, such as the general population are not informed enough to make decisions for themselves, which you might well be correct about, but try getting a politician up on a podium and saying "vote for me because you are too stupid to make your own choices".. It would be funny to see.

However in the interest of shooting myself in the foot, what the career politicians will say is:

Conservatives: You would be handing your country over to welfare hounds and hippies.

Liberals: You would be handing your country over to middle America conservative gun loving freaks.

Divide and conquer.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

Obviously, what you mean by radical, is not what SisterRay and many other who agree with her.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

I'm sorry you feel that way about me. I honestly thought that your main points were traditional wisdom, too radical, logistical issues, and unconstitutional (same as being too radical, do you realize how many times the Constitution has been amended and changed since it was written?) - that's about it. I addressed every point. A for being rude, I don't believe I was rude to you at all, but your opinion of me is my fault for blowing up at April, your opinion of me is really Aprils opinion of me - all my fault, I lost hard here, but I am being honest, I never meant to offend you.

[-] 4 points by SisterRay (554) 5 years ago

You've misunderstood my argument. I have not tried to support my view with any of the four "main points" you list. My argument has been, from the start, that you can demand direct democracy, and you can demand access to information, but you cannot demand informed direct democracy. The reason is simple: you can lead a public to information but you cannot make it drink. Since there's no way to ensure that the public, comprised of laypeople who have varying abilities to understand and weigh evidence and limited amounts of time and interest to invest in governmental decision-making, will be able to make an informed decision about most issues, esp. those that require specialized technical expertise, then the very idea of direct democracy is in trouble.

Unless you can ensure that a system of direct democracy promotes informed decision making, you cannot claim that the decisions made by the public in such a system will be "reasonably close to perfect." Prima facie, that seems like a difficult argument to make, as laypeople have lots of things to take care of in their lives and could only devote limited amounts of time to informing themselves about the issues; it does seem far more plausible that well-chosen representatives who can devote all their time to informing themselves about the issues and making informed decisions would do a better job.

Now, the proponent of direct democracy may say: well, why should we trust representatives to do a better job at making informed decisions than we can do ourselves? But this is a bad argument to make. Representative democracy entrusts the public to make informed decisions about who is capable of making informed decisions on their behalf in government. If the proponent of direct democracy doesn't even trust the public to be able to make an informed decision about who is capable of making informed decisions, how can he claim to trust the public to make informed decisions about all these other issues? To make the case for direct democracy, you can't argue against the ability of the public to make informed decisions without undermining your cause. Representative democracy trusts the public to make informed decisions about their representatives, choosing them based on their ability to make further informed decisions about all the various issues that government must deal with. The proponent of direct democracy has to respect at least that element of representative democracy if he is to make a non-self-defeating case on behalf of trusting the public to make all the government's decisions in an informed way.

That's the argument. Do you have a response to it?

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

A good link for you to read I think SisterRay, just came out today: http://www.smh.com.au/national/democracy-now-for-plan-b-20111029-1mp8z.html

[-] 1 points by SisterRay (554) 5 years ago

OK, I read it. What about it?

[-] 1 points by SisterRay (554) 5 years ago

All I see there is more unfounded optimism and the dogmatic assertion that this will work. I don't see any substantive response to what I had said, so I have nothing new to add.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

First of all, I would like to thank you for being the only person in here who is arguing intelligently against Direct Democracy - you are now in the same position I was in when I first put this up, alone, but sure of yourself and your opinions. As you can see, it has had a similar effect on you as it did on me, you called me "thoughtless". I am not shallow, mean, unconcerned with hurting people's feelings, illogical, radical, unreasonable, or stupid, or nonsensical, or ignorant, or many other ailments of humanity - all human conditions that come as a consequence of thoughtlessness. I think way too much about everything. As for a response to your "argument", I shall try to deliver it in the most concise way I can, and in my calmest posture, so that I may understand you best. I will need some time. In the mean time, I would like you to know that I really care about your opinions because i can see that you are passionate about them, and no one is ever passionate about anything NOT worthwhile, including me.

[-] 1 points by SvenTheBarbarian (84) from Phrao, Chiang Mai 5 years ago

Hi SisterRay I was hoping to jump in on this thread a little, you mention that there is no way to ensure the public will be able to make informed decisions about issues, especially those that require specialist knowledge. While this is true under a direct democracy I cannot believe that each person will devote themselves to figuring out every issue in detail, or even pretend to understand each issue. What people would do is seek the advice of others when voting. That is human nature, we seek knowledge from those who we trust have it.

You would have groups that publish their advice, how they decided upon that advice, and so on. I am sure organizations of, for example, experienced taxation experts would come together, create a charter of how they gauge their members viewpoints, and then offer that advice to the public when a vote comes up that is about taxation. Many people will take their advice and vote accordingly, but others may choose to vote another way. I am sure specialist groups in all fields would do this, and you would have splinter groups like liberal taxation specialists and conservative taxation specialists, and the public is free to follow whichever advice they feel safe with.

You could still have the Democrat and Republican parties, submitting their advice on all policies, and the people that supports them could vote accordingly, but you are not being forced into it.

Our representative system works reasonably well but I am sure almost everyone at this forum will agree it has also failed in many ways. I believe it stems from the concentration of power in a small group of representatives, they may be ethical for a time, you might be able to reform the system, for a time, but the corruption will always seep back in, power naturally attracts it.

I believe it will work, but an effective direct democracy has never been tested, I could be proven wrong. I am hoping people will support direct democracy parties within the existing system then at least you are giving the concept a chance. Personally I believe the population will act responsibly but maybe they will end up making carrots illegal and a big mac the new national emblem (hell isn't that what your representatives are already working towards!).

A lot of your comments are about information, as are alfi's, personally I think information is subjective, and I think it should be taken completely out of the direct democracy equation, it will only confuse and corrupt the core system. Create the base system, let the population find their own sources of information they trust, let them find ways of creating unbiased information.

I answered above the thoughts about proponents of direct democracy saying "the majorities choosing of representatives is uninformed but once we change to direct democracy that same majority will suddenly become informed." You think that we are contradicting ourselves when we say this, implying the majority are stupid under a representative system but super intelligent under a direct democracy, I disagree. You might not have seen my comments so I will rewrite them here:

In a representative democracy you do not have free choice of who will be your representative, the selection is limited and you know none of these people personally, you also cannot be confident how any representative will actually vote on any issue, and there are so many issues you are entrusting them with. The ability to choose becomes very difficult, it comes down to who pretends best to have similar values to you and sounds the most trustworthy (shes got nice hair, he speaks confident, shes conservative..). The representative choice is constantly changing from election cycle to election cycle, it becomes near impossible to feel confident in who you choose. Of course in such a system the majority are going to have difficulty making an informed choice. Voters are smart enough to know the system does not work, that politicians lie to get into power, so voters become lethargic. But if you asked that same population how they feel about specific issues, their answers will be clear and concise, they know exactly how they feel.

The majority are informed about issues, they are not informed about the representatives they are forced to choose from. If they do not understand an issue people do know who they trust understands that issue.

So voters are uninformed in a representative democracy, they are being forced to vote for people they do not understand.

Voters are informed in a direct democracy because they are voting directly on issues that they do understand.

Its not the voters that are changing, it is "what" they are voting for that changes. I hope that makes sense, love to hear back.

[-] 4 points by SisterRay (554) 5 years ago

Hi Sven, welcome to the conversation.

It seems very plausible to me that, in a direct democracy, there would be organizations that publish their advice about how citizens ought to vote on an issue. But that should be a source of anxiety for us, not confidence in the possibility of direct democracy leading to informed decision making. Such organizations would be, in effect, lobbying groups preying on an uninformed public, feeding them whatever selective, biased information serves their interests best. We can already see how the consuming public responds to the absurd claims made by advertisers; this would extend those same tools of manipulation into the political process. Furthermore, it would be extremely difficult to regulate such lobbying without hampering political speech in general: so long as lobbyists interact primarily with representatives, we can regulate the kinds of interactions they have with one another; but if lobbyists are interacting with anyone and everyone in massive PR campaigns, it's hard to see how you can regulate their speech without undermining the right for citizens to speak freely about politics with one another -- surely a necessary element of a functional direct democracy. So, yeah, we'd have people voting on environmental legislation based on information fed to them by organizations funded by the oil companies, health legislation based on information fed by organizations funded by drug companies, etc. etc.

If I understand it correctly, I couldn't disagree more with the claim that "information is subjective." Science is not a matter of my opinion; it is a matter of adopting systematic methods for forming reasonable beliefs about things in themselves. If, in a direct democracy, every empirical truth is treated as "subjective", then such a political system will issue only unreasonable decisions that will quickly lead the country into the gutter (think of Thucydides' famous critique of Athenian democracy, where uninformed decision making led to a futile war against Syracuse and, ultimately, the collapse of Athenian sovereignty. This should be of special concern for anyone calling for direct democracy after seeing how easily the American public was manipulated into supporting the war in Iraq).

I disagree with your description of representative democracy as "the concentration of power in a small group of representatives." A functional representative democracy is furnished with a complex system of checks and balances that ensures that power cannot be concentrated in the hands of a few leaders; they must win the support of many others in order to do almost anything. What's more is that a functional representative democracy provides regular occasions for citizens to hold their representatives accountable, meaning that even the most powerful leaders are answerable to the public. While the US political system is currently dysfunctional on this front because of the nature of campaign financing, once this problem gets solved through strong regulation then we really will be in a situation where the public gets to hold their representatives in the federal government accountable every 2, 4, or 6 years (for representatives, the president, and senators, respectively). I really don't see how the proponent of direct democracy can distrust the public when it comes to holding representatives accountable responsibly, but trusts the public when it comes to voting on every matter of public interest responsibly. While I think your critique of demagoguery is apt, it applies equally well to conditions of direct democracy, where the best spokesperson can draw the most votes for the cause he favors (or is paid to favor). It is worth remembering that the term "demagogue" was invented in 5th-cent BCE Athens, to describe those who could manipulate public opinion in Athens' direct democracy.

It is an empirically testable thesis that the majority are informed about issues and have clear opinions about them. Hundreds of polls over the last several years have shown that the American public is atrociously inconsistent in its opinions about issues of major political importance: health care, stimulus, the federal debt, etc. Not only are they ignorant about the issues, but they are so ignorant about the issues that they don't even understand that they contradict themselves in their opinions about these issues. So I do not think it's fair to say that citizens are already quite informed about the issues and leave it at that; you'd have to provide a lot of empirical information to back that up, and I can assure you that you'll find plenty of evidence to the contrary.

And, again, without assurance that a system of direct democracy promotes informed decision making, you cannot claim that the decisions made by the public in such a system will be "reasonably close to perfect." And the value of informed decision making has to be respected as much as the value of democratic decision making.

[-] 1 points by SisterRay (554) 5 years ago

This conversation continues on a separate thread below (since we extended this one as far as it will go). Anyone interested in it can follow this link:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/i-demand-informed-direct-democracy-online-whos-wit/#comment-217583

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

wow, I have yet to read all this, but you are right Sven : "(that should give you nice reading for a few days! Sorry for the long response..)"

Hmm, SisterRay? care to comment?

[-] 1 points by SvenTheBarbarian (84) from Phrao, Chiang Mai 5 years ago

(part 1 of 3)

Hi SisterRay A well thought out post as always. I feel a direct democracy can mitigate many of the dangers you suggest:

Lobbing and Advertising to the masses: We already see this in the existing representative system, and its influence is often how representatives come to power (eg: Swift Boat Veterans against Kerry), so how would it be any worse? Because that influence would directly effect the decision making process, sure, but it already does, and any stupid decisions the majority make following lobbied advice would affect them directly, they would/should learn from it. At the least nobody is forcing them and it is not being done behind closed doors, its not like the greasy lobbying of a few dollars into representatives pockets that exists today.

But I believe the majority of the adult population of a country like USA understand what lobbying and advertising is, and would create policy that limits or labels blatant fact distortion, or would use public funds to investigate situations and apply real penalties when it happens. Freedom of speech should not mean unregulated lying to the public in order to sway policy, at least I think so, its up to the majority to make that call. What you have now lobbied lies go unchecked because the people who could police it are the ones getting paid off.

All publicly presented information could be considered a form of lobbying, the climate scientists lobby that we need to reduce carbon dioxide because that is what they believe in, the skeptics lobby against it because they feel the dangers are low compared to the damage regulation would create, at what point does someones opinion and subsequent marketing become a lobbied argument? I know where I stand on issues like global warming but I am open-minded enough to know the world is not black and white, either side could be proved right down the track, under a direct democracy you have to sway the entire population not just the representatives (who are not neccassarily unbiased or science motivated in their decision making). I might not trust conservationists to run a countries economy well so I vote for a conservative party, but that same conservative party goes completely against my will on conservation issues, what am I supposed to do? My beliefs and my country become screwed either way.

Under a direct democracy the population could (and I am sure would) create some form of regulation of information, something along the lines of open disclosure of who funds scientific research, some publicly funded and unbiased department that investigates claims made by large groups and reports any inconsistencies, a publicly funded medium for delivering such unbiased publicly funded information to the general population. The way truthful information is delivered to the population would evolve in an open transparent socially minded way. I do not think that will ever happen while our representatives are controlled by lobbyists, and themselves come from the richest echelon in society. Sure more regulation of how money is funneled to representatives would improve the existing system, but personally I think a direct democracy goes way further in improving how we could govern ourselves.

[-] 1 points by SvenTheBarbarian (84) from Phrao, Chiang Mai 5 years ago

(part 2 of 3)

"information is subjective": People are probably going to read more into that than what I mean, I personally believe in scientific evidence, BUT, on some occasions scientific evidence can later be proven wrong. You say "Science is a matter of adopting systematic methods for forming reasonable beliefs", the important word in that sentence is "beliefs". The climate change I noted above is an important one, there are some scientists who do not agree with it, and many in the population do not, should their beliefs be ignored because they do not conform to others? If science has systematically found some vaccine has no side effects should it be forced on those who do not trust the studies (only to find 30 years later the science was wrong and missed something). This is what I mean by subjective, it is not fact, and there are often multiple viewpoints, scientific analysis and theory gets closer and closer to being fact with each observation that supports the theory, and then becomes disproved if/when observation proves otherwise.

This concept is not meant specifically for direct democracy, it is a reality of life and exists under all systems. What I am saying is the base government system should not force particular scientific viewpoints on its population over another scientific viewpoint, you say direct democracy has to promote informed decision making, who gets to choose what is "informed"? I am saying that informed decision making is great but create the direct democracy and let the population work out how it defines "informed". I believe this would happen more ethically under a direct democracy than a representative democracy.

The Iraq war is a good example of how information is handled in a representative democracy, and how it might of happened in a direct democracy. The war in Iraq was rushed through the representative system based on false information that supported the viewpoint of a few powerful representatives (and their advisers, who were not voted into office). The representatives failed in effectively checking that information, or blatantly knew the information was false. What would happen under a direct democracy? I would like to think that before going to WAR! information would be checked and validated, the population would demand a critical assessment of the facts by a number of different groups, if there was any question at all that the facts might have been "interpreted" incorrectly there would be an investigation into that, various studies of the repercussions of going to war would have been publicly demanded. In the representative system, with all its checks and balances, a very small group of individuals manipulated the country into war. There was no referendum so you cannot state the majority of the Americans supported the war. Maybe it still would have happened under a direct democracy, the hot hearts of the majority would jump into war, I do not believe so but maybe, but is that any worse than what happened using representatives? At the least after the fact if it came to light the population was lied to the public would demand a pretty full on investigation to find and punish those responsible.

A representative system is not that bad, with separation of powers, ability to vote for representatives, etc. I leave it up to each person to decide if they agree with me that the representative system concentrates power in fewer people than a direct democracy would, coupled with whether you believe the majority would make more correct and moral decisions than representatives do. I will support a direct democracy because I believe the spreading of power under a direct democracy is the ultimate system for reducing institutional corruption, I believe the population would do the right thing more often than what exists under representatives, and personally I want my view counted on all issues.

[-] 1 points by SvenTheBarbarian (84) from Phrao, Chiang Mai 5 years ago

(part 3 of 3)

Demagoguery: Both representative and direct democracies can fall foul to demagogues, but under a direct democracy when that demagogue is seen to no longer act in the way the population wants, they are removed. Under the existing system it is near impossible, even if the majority no longer support the actions of their representatives (or bureaucrats or any other public servants) the path to making a change is so burdensome it is basically non-existent.

I do agree that many people are not knowledgeable on specific issues, I would answer this in two ways, one, why would they bother under the current system where they are never directly asked what they want on a particular issue? I would also suggest that politicians purposefully confuse issues so they can run their agendas. Secondly, existing methods of judging how informed people are about issues have some problems, polls ask individuals what their viewpoint is but do not give them any time to prepare (like you would have under a direct democracy), the individual was not in a position that their viewpoint was going to be actually counted (like they would under a direct democracy) so why bother becoming informed prior to the poll, and perhaps most importantly the polls did not ask "If you were going to answer this question what advice would you ask for beforehand, or whose advice would you follow?". Perhaps if the population was given a chance to actually deliberate on an important issue or proxy their vote to anyone they trusted with that issue, then the results of such polls would show a much more informed result.

I respect where you are coming from, your points are just and worthwhile discussion for people questioning a direct democracy. Ensuring unbiased information is a complete topic in itself that is (almost!) as important as installing the direct democracy. I think a direct democracy would work but at the least would like to see it put to the test under the protection of the safeguards that exist in current government systems.

(that should give you nice reading for a few days! Sorry for the long response..)

[-] 1 points by UPonLocal (309) 5 years ago
[-] 0 points by MonetizingDiscontent (1257) 5 years ago

"""...comprised of laypeople who have varying abilities to understand and weigh evidence, will be able to make an informed decision about most issues, esp. those that require specialized technical expertise"""

hey, that sounds like congress on many issues. For instance, I think that may be why congress created the federal reserve, you know, to handle monetary policy (And we see how well that worked out for us) lol

Hi Sister Ray

[-] 1 points by SisterRay (554) 5 years ago

As I said to jkintree, yes, it would be better if the voting public elected representatives based on their ability to weigh evidence and make informed decisions instead of on their ability to "stick to their guns" and make ideological decisions. Unfortunately, that isn't as common as it ought to be today.

Nevertheless, a proponent of direct democracy can't use that fact as an argument against representative democracy, since doing so would undermine his own advocacy for direct democracy. If people vote for representatives based on ideological commitment instead of their abilities as rational deliberators, then it's fair to assume that, in a direct democracy, they themselves would vote based on ideological commitments instead of by weighing evidence and making an informed decision. Perhaps that doesn't trouble you, but you must at least recognize that decisions made in this way in a direct democracy would not be "reasonably close to perfect," as alfi had suggested, since what makes a decision reasonably close to perfect is the quality of the information used in making the decision. Decisions based on ideological commitment and with disregard for the evidence and relevant facts are, by definition, irrational and dogmatic. I find a system that would promote such decisions deeply troubling.

[-] 1 points by MonetizingDiscontent (1257) 5 years ago

Well, if they want to tell us we have to go fight a war. Let the people vote. I think we are all capable of figuring out the big things. (No one is invading our shores) 10 years of these wars is enough. Let the people vote. Wars should be fought defensively. Wars should never be wars of aggression. I say declare victory and bring everyone home. Now.

None of the establishments 'all knowing' and 'wise' decisions have done anything to fix ANY of the problems that they created in the first place. I believe the people should decide, should we not? After all, the people are the ones who's lives are on the line, not them.

If they want to bail out the Too Big Too Fails? Just let the people vote. After all these bailouts and all this money printing we are worse off than we were. Let the People Vote.

I think we would have handled that one at least as well as they did. I believe in the people. If I didnt, I wouldnt be here.

They are supposed to be representing us anyway, right?

I do agree with you on this: You cannot demand everyone be informed. But with that said, simply demanding Direct Democracy on the Big National Issues is completely doable and the right thing to do in a country whos elected representatives are supposedly there to represent the will of the people in the first place.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

Thank you for your support. We have now reached a point where websites exist and the work of people online building our democracy has started!

[-] 1 points by skinny (44) 5 years ago

you can demand free education

[-] 1 points by jkintree (84) 5 years ago

Your paraphrase of "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink" is certainly appropriate, and has a lot of truth to it.

There is another image of horses that might also be appropriate. A thirsty horse quickens its pace when it gets the scent of water.

As the desert of corruption and disproportionate control of wealth and power increases the thirst of more and more people, the problem will be finding clean, unpolluted water. There is a lot of misinformation out there. We have no shortage of work to do to try to clean it up.

[-] 1 points by SisterRay (554) 5 years ago

Agreed.

[-] 0 points by UPonLocal (309) 5 years ago

No. It is a poitically unafiliated website. I have caught some criticism for my early coverage of the republican candidates for president. There is a lot of attention on that race because they are determining who will take on Obama in the election. This entire conversation is centered well right of center. That does not mean that I believe in these things. I personally lean pretty far to the left. My political leanings, however, will not drive the direction of the organization. Wherever the majority is we will support their cause. I hope that I will be lobbying for issues that I believe in and that the left will step up and make their voice heard. It is possible that in the attempt to be neutral I have favored coverage of the side that I do not agree with. I hope you give the site and its concepts another look. reply permalink ↥

↧ UPonLocal 1 points 31 minutes ago Lobbying is begging a bunch of Elitists for change, why not go Direct Democracy online voting, build up replacement government from non politicians...and take over? People are working on just that.... reply permalink edit delete ↥ ↧

LobbyDemocracy 1 points 27 minutes ago That, however, needs a constitutional amendment. Getting a constitutional amendment passed needs political muscle, and political muscle is what I am offering. I am not choosing or restricting the goals. All I am doing is providing a pathway. reply permalink ↥

↧ UPonLocal 1 points 22 minutes ago or the majority of people banging on the congress door telling them that a more responsible group is formed and will make that amendment on first sitting...... because that is the type muscle that millions of hungry Amercans are fast developing.... reply permalink edit delete ↥

UPonLocal 1 points 17 minutes ago all they need is an online voting system to get organized on, form shadow government...and displace the old crew of corrupt elitists reply permalink edit delete

[-] 0 points by bettersystem (170) 5 years ago

We know what the problem is, let us fix it and move forward together.

When you look at a republican or democrat, congress or FDA official, Judges and Justice Department you see criminals.

Our corruption dates back decades to when those who in trying to preserve slavery had to find new ways to preserve it and so created an advanced form of slavery.

only two components were required -- the illusion of freedom and choice and the taking away of the freedom to live off the land.

How else would you get a person to submit themselves to mind numbing or degrading work unless you oppress them into it.

our current system is rooted in corruption and every attempt in preserving it involves manipulating human thought and turning people against one another.

In America the population has been transformed in two major voting groups but they only have one choice.

They had been distracted up until now with television and American culture which prospered through the oppression of other nations.

Americans allowed themselves to be fooled into using their military and economic dominance to seize resources of other nations and create expanding markets for American profiteers.

Now that technology, competition and conscience have evolved Americans themselves are realizing that they cannot sustain themselves under their current system of government.

Our government officials have allowed private profits and personal benefits to influence decisions that affect the health and well-being of people all over the planet, not just in America... how much longer will we allow them to rule over us??

Occupy Washington and demand that all government officials resign their posts.

We will setup new online elections with a verification system that will allow us to see our votes after we cast them, put our new officials in office and work toward rebuilding our country and our world.

http://wesower.org

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

I agree with everything you said, except for "new elected officials" part. Wouldn't the system of new officials eventually become corruptible through increasing temptations from the 1%? , I have only browsed the site wesower.org, I will surely explore it in more detail as soon as I can, maybe I can answer my own questions (not being sarcastic, we all have many things to do, I say be as effecient as possible); will post my findings here.

[-] 0 points by jgriff (6) from Tampa, FL 5 years ago

I am realizing this quickly

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

So is the whole world!!! I've never seen so many articles news shows, blogs and forums all chiming the same tune all popping up in the last few days. The Direct Democracy Movement was present before this month on the internet, but the Occupy Movement and the preceding Arab Spring, being entirely online revolutions, have given Democracy new life in the world-wide realization that the internet can easily facilitate Direct Governance by the people! And by now, we've had enough free access to REAL information on the internet that people KNOW what REAL DEMOCRACY is supposed to be.

[-] 1 points by nickhowdy (1104) 5 years ago

Still with you..

[-] 1 points by nickhowdy (1104) 5 years ago

Still with you alfi.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

Thanks Nick, :)

Nick's post, please visit, leave comments, discuss (@nick, your link is not click-able, I think the dots may be the reason, I will repost it): http://occupywallst.org/forum/a-vision-for-a-new-democracy-direct-democracy/

[-] 1 points by nickhowdy (1104) 5 years ago

Why thank you alfi!

[-] 1 points by sean007e (2) 5 years ago

A MANAFESTO FROM A 99er By Sean Monaghan

First- We must repeal the $50,000 tax break that helps American companies’ ship jobs overseas.

Second- We must repeal the Bank Moderation Act of 2000.
This is the law that allowed the federally insured banks to become investment banks and start using the stock market as a casino. This a prime cause of the financial crisis and the reason that we are having so much trouble getting out of this economic hole. And since the banks can make money playing the market, using their insured deposits as leverage, they have no reason to make money the old fashion way by lending it to us.

Third- Make the estate tax real and at a 60% level of all wealth over 25 million. This will include trust funds and have them be part of the estate. Also make it illegal to try to get around this law. We don’t need the rich buying our congress and if you can’t get by without working on your cut of 25 million you should not have more money. We will call this the Paris Hilton tax.

Fourth- Get rid of special tax rates on capital gains and investments. We are told these are necessary because of the “risk” involved, but a search of information shows not one death from “investing” but thousands every year from people working. Also no deductions for any income over 1 million. If you try to hide income the penalty is to be 1) the hidden income 2) the tax owed on the income and 3) all penalties.

Fifth- Freddie and Fanny are broke and bankrupt. End the fiction that they are not and make them a government agency again, the “investors” lose but that’s the way capitalism goes. The “new” agency will do the same thing but will be run by accountants using actuary tables not people trying to make money at all costs.

lets vote on these

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

Yes, please visit http://openassembly.org cast your vote there (or post these 5 as issues to vote on). I personally vote YES on all your 5 ideas, I have also seen these echoed over and over from thousands of people, so I am SURE these 5 will get majority support no problem. Thank you so much for your work!!!

[-] 1 points by Meadock (1) 5 years ago

So you're talking about pure democracy (no republic (non representative democracy))

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

no, I am simply pointing out the obvious that the internet makes voting online possible. We now have the technology to take a vote and see if the people of this country want to have a Republic or a real Democracy, once they get the right to have one. If after we have this right to vote on everything, we all vote to have a Republic, fine. But I believe most Americans want to make their own laws and most are reasonable. Americans, like all people everywhere, are mostly good people.

[-] 1 points by skinny (44) 5 years ago

The problem with online direct democracy is this: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/mar/17/us-spy-operation-social-networks

and the fact not everyone has a computer, otherwise I'm with you.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

so what's wrong with this: http://www.openassembly.org/index.html

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

as for access to computers, I must say I see no problem there, having access to a computer or an internet capable device is certainly not an issue that can't be easily dealt with in today's day and age.

[-] 1 points by ramous (765) from Wabash, IN 5 years ago

remember I said this: its going to be even harder down the road when they flip the internet kill switch Obama signed into law when they want to shut us up. They got the idea from Egypt who did the same thing.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

I understand, but it's far too late. If they even try it, they will have all people in the streets rioting, not just us nice peaceful OWS protesters, so they won't do that. Trickery with software will also be found out, just as we have this link from the guardian, and the people would not stand for it. Any oppressive tactics by our gov done to stop people from running their own country using voting online will be met by a country wide uprising because the America public, however ignorant and lacking in education, is already aware of too much information, and contrary to what a few might believe, Americans are not stupid, I keep saying that stupid is not the same as uneducated..

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

Interesting how the US government has such an interest to undermine the obvious Democratic World Revolution enabled by the internet. They are so scared that the people will figure it out here in the US soon, their intelligence told them of this probably from the time the first online Democratic voting site went up anywhere in the world. I'm sure they have been preparing for this for a while now.

This article you posted makes me try EVEN harder! Thanks! for me, this is even MORE of a confirmation that it will work than any other pro-DD argument - the fact that the US gov is preparing so hard for people gaining direct online voting power - their fear makes me believe it will work, the US war machine is not afraid for nothing.

[-] 1 points by KizokuBushi (4) 5 years ago

I think it's a good start. What concerns me is that in a democracy, the majority rules out everyone else. That's awesome if the majority is, in fact 99%. Not so good if it's 50/50. Even worse if it's 1%. Still, it's a good idea and would be a much better system that what we have now.

[-] 1 points by UPonLocal (309) 5 years ago

set a 2/3 majority...work toward consensus

Divide and conquer is then ruled out....

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

Thanks, this sounds right to me. It will avoid the 51%/49% problem that the trolls keep repeating to me mindlessly.

[-] 1 points by UPonLocal (309) 5 years ago

by settinga 2/3 it just makes us all work a bit harder to get things passed...but when we do...things will happen. 1/3 is still enough to stop the other 2/3...ie, only few actually fought in revolutionary war 1776

[-] 1 points by UPonLocal (309) 5 years ago

Nominate Alfi for: http://uponlocal.com/up-on-local-media/content/occupy-wall-street-occupation-camp-coordinator-ows-occ

Office Status: Vacant Office: Occupation Camp Coordinator Ballot Open and Close Dates: November 5, 2011 - 8am - November 21, 2011 - 12pm Election District: OWS Global Region: North America Location Liberty Square Park New York, New York 10005 United States 40° 42' 33.9912" N, 74° 0' 41.976" W

Nomination form here

http://uponlocal.com/up-on-local-media/node/add/candidate

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

I do not wish to be nominated, it's much too soon. I have yet to figure out which website to go with. OpenAssembly looks very good. Is UPonLocal communicating with OpenAssembly? There should be only one place online to vote, and that site should be the one associated with the Occupy Movements. Is UPonLocal affiliated with OWS or any other Occupy branch? Anyone from UPonLocal taking part in any Occupy activities? If the people are to choose, which website should they choose and why?

[-] 1 points by UPonLocal (309) 5 years ago

Alfi, will reply to this openly and in detail, please wait while response is developed, will post today.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

I only wish that for ONCE in the written history of Humanity, the majority REAL well-informed public opinion is brought forth for everyone to see - that's all. I believe if we all knew how most people really feel about the issues we care about most on this planet and in our local communities, and about other people, and basic human rights, we would all instantly understand that collectively, we agree on many core principles which are sorely and obviously lacking in our current world run by the elite. We really can and SHOULD take our planet back from the local community levels all the way up to international decisions between countries and the fair distribution of the world's resources based on fair sovereignty rights for native peoples and a trade system based on respect, not economic slavery, and every other aspect of our world.

For ONCE I want to know what most people REALLY think, not what you think is the majority view, not what I think is the majority view, not what ALL the media displays with all their well-paid actors on the "news" as the public opinion, but the real actual open-sourced voted on publicly debated collective HUMAN general opinion on EVERYTHING starting with the most important issues first, don't you?

If everyone votes the same system we have right now back with the same politicians, then so be it. If they vote for a fascist system, with Nader as our dictator, so be it. If the people say that all naturalized citizens (not US born) are to be shot, I would get shot.

BUT dammit, for ONCE I'd like to know, what do most people think about our country, about our world, about our laws, about our planet and about each other. And if the people take control and choose something worse than what we have now, then I'd like to be satisfied knowing the people as a whole really are that dumb - without real Democracy, we're all just guessing suspicious fearful desperate fools, afraid of each other, and buying into the 1%'s toys, propaganda, ideology every day.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

We don't even need Demands, just DO IT, we have everything we need to start now!

Latest developments

gawdoftruth speaks the truth (duh): "...the only way to obtain direct democracy is to do the work and operate as if we had it already."

Here are some places to start our work. PEOPLE, let's get to it!

http://www.uponlocal.com/ The most "together" online Democracy site I have seen so far, all complete and ready to go. This is up for grabs for OWS members. Please, do the reaseach on it, then TAKE IT!

http://www.law4.org/sede/ open source secure online voting software

http://www.openassembly.org/index.html another open source Democracy site, this one seems very good too.

http://occupythiswiki.org/wiki/Main_Page Wiki - open source information and discussion

The information about the issues is available on some on these sites, mostly you'll have to trust your judgement and use multiple trusted sources on the internet. Soon, I hope to see the open source information libraries.

i will research them in depth myself later, I must get back to my job now.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

Here's a most wonderful resource, someone please look make something. A few people/groups already have, they are offering it to the OWS for free, please look at this. http://www.law4.org/sede/ and http://www.uponlocal.com/

[-] 1 points by joshb (30) 5 years ago

I disagree with this because everything that is global will always end in major fuckup. It is too large, I think a Sovereignty is ideally not bigger then 20 million persons. There are only a few international issues, this does not warrant any sort of permanent international body. Most international issues are between two nations anyway (neighbors), and solved by bilateral negotiations. The UN should be removed, the EU disbanded, the USA disunited. If you don't, it will be corruption forever, in my estimation.

For voter software you may like this though: http://www.law4.org/sede I made it, it is a 25k lines program, free software, GPL. Voter verified voting, lots of features (Unix CLI program, following Unix philosophy of interoperability.)

[-] 1 points by Michael031462 (4) 5 years ago

In a Direct democracy, minority groups like the elderly and the disabled suffer.How many of you would advocate terminating the lives of your grandparents when their working years are over and they become very sick? How many of you would advocate "putting the disabled out of their misery" because you assume they have terrible lives because of their disability, even when they indicate otherwise? You may think you will allways be in the majority, but what will happen to you if you become one of the minority. In a direct democracy, it is all to easy to democratically take the civil liberties of your opponents away, or for them to take your civil liberties away from you if you become the minority. You don't like a group, you simply get 51% of the people to agree to get rid of them. Bad idea.

[-] 1 points by UPonLocal (309) 5 years ago

Direct Democracy Voting is Live Now

www.uponlocal.com

Issues/Solutions/Nominations/Elections/Recall

We built this system, open source Drupal, same as whitehouse.gov uses. We get same security updates their webmaster does.

It is stock Drupal, no modifications, just hours and hours of configuration to get it structured to this level.

We need a Board, Volunteers...and we want the site taken over by a 501.

The Drupal Mutual Credit system is installed, so there is an Interest free system in place.

It is connected to the Geonames Place Names database, and creates location relative voting and content globally.

We followed all the directions as set forth by the Court testimony in Ohio 2004 election fraud.

We need code monitors from every community to verify. All development is over at the Drupal.org community.

We do not want control of anything, we want public to take it over. it is, to our knowledge the most fully developed global system yet constructed.

It is Free. It is Yours take it and run with it.

www.UPonLocal.com

www.uponlocal.com

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

Thank you!!!!

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

http://anonops.blogspot.com/2011/11/new-world.html

Have a look at the picture of the tent, I believe our contributions here and elsewhere on the internet have reached their target. My personal goal to get the idea of DD to OWS has succeed, and I did not do it alone.

I realize now, that it was actually the same goal of many around the country and around the world, and what i thought was my own view, was really OUR view. Many have contributed to this, WE did this. Thank you all for your help, let's continue, in 1 year, we shall have a solid foundation to build a fair and happy world for all. My hopes and dreams of a better world are coming true.

[-] 1 points by SwiftJohn (79) 5 years ago

I vote no. The problem with direct internet voting is that it is critically insecure. With the exception of shopping the examples you cite have no security risks. In general noone wants to spend resources to change what I see at an online library. That having been said a number of governments around the world have spent time and money doing just that and succeeded in blacklisting sites to control speech (see China and Austrailia) or in monitoring traffic even at the local level (see the U.S.A.).

As to shopping, well shopping is fundamentally different than voting. In voting your right to vote is protected from coercion and bribery by the fact that it cannot be traced to you. No boss can fire you for having voted the wrong way or force you to vote for their chosen candidate. Nor can anyone pay you or anyone else to do so. This is called the Austrailian ballot and is a central security feature of our elections. This isn't true of online shopping. When you shop online there are three or more parties involved, you, the store, and your bank or credit-card company who handles the purchase. All three of you have knowledge of the amount of money and the product being purchased. The store can check whether they received the money or not to guard against you stiffing them and they depend upon the bank guaranteeing in advance that the money will be there or they can sue you and the bank. You can check whether the right amount was deducted from your account or not and whether or not the product was received or you can sue both the bank and the store. And the bank can check whether you pay your bills or they can sue you. This security depends upon that three-way exchange.

Voting, however has no such third party nor is there any similar method of exchange. As a consequence the voter has no guarantee that the votes they cast will be counted and reported accurately online nor do they have any guarantee that the vote they cast isn't being recorded for future punishment.

Similarly there is no guarantee for you the voter that the "voters" reporting in are not being paid or coerced to vote or that their votes are not being cast fraudulently. In the end all that online voting does is put more power in the hands of the central vote counters to determine who wins and allow for all manner of fraud.

Think of it kind of like this forum. People complain about the admins deleting posts and say that is unfair but what control do we have over the admins? And how do we see the posts that are not there? Similarly people complain about trolls and say they are actually astroturfing for the Koch brothers. They say they are not. How do we check?

As a case in point, online voting is done in some places both in the U.S. and overseas. Recent online elections in Europe and Canada I know have been subject to denial-of-service attacks designed to manipulate the elections, and a test run conducted in Washington D.C. was hacked in a matter of hours. So no I won't demand that we cripple vote security by turning it over to our current communications technology.

EDIT: Made two corrections to the initial paragraph to make my meaning clearer.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

But the security issues have already been discussed so many times Most people I have talked to about it agree that security would be the biggest concern, but it is certainly is not an unsolvable issue. Finding ways to secure the online voting is not even close to impossible, it's not even close to something like rocket science in difficulty - stop making it look like Democracy has already been proven a failure, and the reason is security, you are being deceitful.

[-] 1 points by SwiftJohn (79) 5 years ago

I am not being deceitful nor am I saying that Democracy is a failure. If you read my post you will see that I am critiquing the security model of internet voting no more, no less. I am, in fact, a proud supporter of democracy and therefore I want to see it be protected from functional insecurities that would cripple its legitimacy. In my view corruption is the greatest threat to Democracy both corruption due to moneyed interests and corruption due to vote fraud. In the past we had far fewer checks and balances for voting fraud and that allowed for criminals to get elected. As such I am not in favor of any election system, such as internet voting, that I see as crippling the security and thus legitimacy of our elections.

I too have talked to many people about internet voting and it is not the case that everyone agrees that it can be secured. I recommend this essay on the topic: http://blog.verifiedvoting.org/2011/11/02/1460

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

http://occupywallst.org/forum/direct-democracy-the-ultimate-troll-trap/

I understand your vote is NO to Direct Democracy, of any kind. I respect your vote, but please reconsider.

[-] 1 points by SwiftJohn (79) 5 years ago

As a side point, the site you link to includes a list of logical fallacies. One of them is engaging in ad-hominem attacks such as declaring that someone is being deceitful or against democracy rather than engaging in what they did say. While I understand your passion for this topic, and I see how my initial post might have been a bit curt let us keep it civil ok?

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

I understand.

part 1 (edit) and I agree that I should "take it easy" and relax - but I do have a good reason for my aggressiveness: HAVE YOU SEEN the nasty remarks and constant attacks from armies of trolls, not only on this post with almost 500 comments, but on most every other post that I leave a comment on, some troll has to come in and attack me? I see them following other users around, following me around, they are relentless.

The smarter ones start out mild mannered, but usually very negative. They say stuff like "I disagree, you're describing a mob mentality", or 51%/49%, 49% get screwed (as if we don't ALL get screwed by our so called democracy now), all of these attacks are already addressed by many other users and myself on many posts not just this page. Then we argue back and forth, then eventually they get mean.

The REALLY smart ones (only a few of those around), will use logic, but their chosen premises are not factual, they are actually their own opinions, or value judgement - non-factual premises cannot lead to sound arguments, even if the logic is valid. Then they will attract your attention to their logic, which of course is usually solid, and claim that they are right because their argument makes logical sense (you still reading my "garbage" sister?) They sometimes even say they support DD, but have logistical concerns. Then they proceed to bring up all the logistical issues they can think of, and argue about them with as many words as possible, without ever being open to the idea of trying it before ALL the logistics are TALKED about and solved abstractly in our minds, without trying it in practice.You'll never ride a bike by only discussing the logistics. I am slowly learning the art of troll repelling, but I am still an amateur, and my troll detection instincts are not very precise yet.

As for your original comment against DD:

  • Your first premise is that DD is critically insecure. You proceed to try to justify the factuality of this premise by listing facts which have to do with other countries control over the internet, countries like China. By the way, if your premise was already known to be a fact, you wouldn't have to waste your time convincing us of it, right?

  • Your second premise is that shopping online is fundamentally different from voting online. Then you again proceed to try to make it appear as though it is a fact that shopping online is different from voting online. You win, you have convinced me, you have pointed out verifiable facts about shopping and voting and I see the fundamental differences. You use this as a factual premise for your main argument against DD.

(content too long continued * )

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

( * continued) Part 2

  • Your third premise is the same as your first one - that voters could be counted by the government and then persecuted later for their views, that voting results can be forged, that voters can coerce each other, that the vote "counters" can be bribed to produce fraudulent results, all of these can be reduced to your first premise, DD online is critically insecure. This is NOT a fact, as much as you would like to pass it off as one. Your supporting statements are inductively relevant, but do not PROVE that DD online is critically insecure. What would prove this premise as factual would be if we had a DD Online system and it got hacked, or corrupted, or any of those things you claim would happen. The FACT is there are exiting working online voting systems exactly like I am advocating, already in use in other countries for years now. We (OWS people) have already created 2 good prototypes where people are voting right now, there are no problems yet. I am not claiming that these facts prove my point, I am saying you don't prove your premise as factual with the opinions and facts you offer.

  • Your next premise is again the same as the first offering more of the same kinds of facts and opinions that attempt to prove your first premise as factual, but using our forum as an analogy. All of your claims about other countries trying this and having DoS attacks and such are probably factual, but those systems you claim got hacked and were compromised are still existing now, right? They haven't been under CONSTANT every moment attacks since their inception right, but they did get hacked before, and measures were taken - same as our government, they've been hacked before, same as the company I work for, they've been hacked before, how does this prove that DD is critically insecure? There will always be hackers, but if you have an open source system and everyone can clearly see the system source code and what changes are being made with total transparency, much like this forum, then how could any hacker or bribes-man/woman or governmental control, etc, ever go undetected by EVERYONE? Sure there will be problems, but the people can easily adjust what needs to be adjusted to improve security and ensure voting fairness, because most people are and want to be fair to everyone. Again, the proof you would need here, is a system to exist and have it get corrupted for whatever reasons beyond repair in any reasonable amount of time, then I would consider your premise factual.

And now, your final conclusion:

DD Online in already known not to work (implied)

Even if it were true (which it is) that shopping online is fundamentally different from voting online, that does not prove DD Online is known not to work in other places or here in the USA.

If it were true that DD Online is critically insecure, then I would have to accept your conclusion as fact, but your premise that DD online is critically insecure is a value judgement, not a fact.

My value judgment is that you are attempting to make your opinion appear as fact by using logic and many words, and masking these intentions with a NO vote, (which normally would not require any proof because a vote is purely an opinion). Your attempt is not working.

As a side note, a personal note, if we did have an Online DD system and it worked fine with no major problems, would you go out of your way to sabotage it and prove your point? This is what separates us from the trolls. If the answer is yes, then you must realize most people are not like you.

[-] 1 points by SwiftJohn (79) 5 years ago

I am not a troll. I agree that others exist but that does not mean that I should be treated as such. Your analysis of my logic does not match the argument I was making so let me be clear.

I make four basic factual claims:

  1. Election security is not the same as shopping or the other activities that you cited so as such, as you conceed, the fact that the latter works does not make the former work.
  2. Elections by their nature connect individual voters to vote tabulators. Historically vote tabulators and individual electors have been subject to corruption of various sorts that has compromised the votes. These include identity theft, vote selling and voter intimidation. These activities are known to continue.
  3. Online voting is conducted both in the U.S. and in other nations. These elections or demo elections have been attacked and critical structural flaws, such as the prospect of trojan horses or spear phishing have been identified and are not corrected via the DD demos that have been shown. Despite the efforts put into them the very anonymous nature of the internet has facilitated the structural attacks I describe.
  4. Direct democracy, like representative democracy, depends upon the vote. The same basic process of vote casting and vote tabulation must take place and, in order for the process to be legitimate, the vote must be secure accessible, recountable, and auditable.

Now my conclusions are based upon the facts stated above and the basic chain of logic. Because (1) holds we cannot draw any comfort from the security of other online activities and should not draw from them (a point which you conceed). Because of (2) we have to think about voting security as a special class of security problems that must be solved. Because of (3) we know that existing online systems have not solved them and, indeed, may have exacerbated some existing problems (e.g. by moving to an e-mail ballot we make vote theft easier not harder). And finally, because of (4) we don't have to wait for Direct Democracy to be implemented online and then attacked to know that it can and will be. We can instead draw from the lessons of current online democracies to see issues that, in my view, afflict proposed voting systems.

As I noted in my other post here: http://occupywallst.org/forum/i-demand-informed-direct-democracy-online-whos-wit/#comment-279115 I am not against direct democracy I am against internet voting. Whether those votes are cast for direct issues or candidates is immaterial for some problems although not for others.

If you wish to convince me then stop making value judgments or accusing me of "using logic and many words." Or throwing down odd insinuations that a troll might attack the system. Rather why don't you address the problems I cite?

Specifically, how would your proposed demos address the problem of vote-selling?

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

Ok, there are now 2 sites online that are facilitating online voting for the whole country. One of them I am still researching, the other is fully operational, open source, and run by OWS members. You and I do not have to postulate and imagine the the security flaws, we can simply wait watch and see. We can also go to openassembly.org, read all their ABOUT section and their FAQs and whatever information they offer, we can write emails to the admins and ask your security related questions and see why they and I are so confident in this system, that already exists. But you won't do that, you'd rather come at me with logical abstractions and try to make me appear as though I have not done my reasearch and am naive about the securiity problems of online voting. One of us is wrong.

As for logic, FUCK it, I only wanted to demonstrate the point of how logic can be easily used to make it look like you have proof of anything you want (like that you are a troll, which you may or may not be, I don't know, no one knows that except you)! It's a great tool and a dangerous one for those that do not know how to use it. I do know how to use it just like you do.

[-] 1 points by SwiftJohn (79) 5 years ago

You are very quick to declare what I will or won't do. I have no time for ad-hominem attacks of this type. If you feel that the admins of the sites you mention are more likely to answer my questions I will turn my attention there. Good day.

[-] 1 points by SwiftJohn (79) 5 years ago

Oh, I'm not against Direct Democracy of any kind. Although I can see how my original post might lend you to think that. Your original post and your first reply called for direct democracy via internet voting. It's the internet voting I object to. As I said in my posts, and as the essay I linked to goes on to discuss internet voting is a security nightmare that is, by no means, easy to do right. It is not the same as internet shopping or the other online activities you cited in your original post. The security of those activities are about end-to-end security with transparent connections while voting requires endpoint security which the internet does not offer and which making voting ubiquitous would actually facilitate specifically central manipulation of votes, voter fraud via identity theft, attacks via viruses or malware, vote-selling, and voter intimidation.

In general I like direct democracy whenever it is possible. So long as a system can be directly democratic without violating the principle of localism I am for that. What I am against is turning to a system whose basic insecurities would compromise democracy.

[-] 1 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 5 years ago

I believe it is a good idea. instead of all the chatter about sports, i believe the conversations would change to politics. There isn't a sport better or more consequential than politics.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

I never thought about it because I don't discuss sports with my friends, but I hear all my neighbors, big football fans, they are constantly discussing teams, players, possible outcomes, player and team stats - I see your point, thank you for bringing it up.

[-] 1 points by FreedomBase (4) 5 years ago

The last time Direct Democracy ruled, about 3000 years ago in Greece, was when there were a LOT fewer people and a LOT fewer issues. Using the Internet, we can actually have Direct Democracy again. In my opinion, no matter how technical it would get, no matter how difficult it would be to keep informed, no matter how difficult it would be get votes taken ~ it would still be a Thousand Times Better than The System We Have NOW.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

thank you!!!, no matter what the challenges, we can overcome, TOGETHER!

[Deleted]

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

I don't recall what this person said, don't rember the context.**

Right, so what made you come to this forum and read everything and leave your comment, your willful ignorance?

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

A very interesting idea, I have not researched this very well, have a look:

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

[-] 1 points by blocade (81) 5 years ago

We are here and we want to build a true democracy and freedom, we have a new world constitution and once we all decide to honor it we will have started to create a truly civilized world.

http://wesower.org - spread the word and we will build heaven on earth.

[-] 1 points by lifesprizes (298) 5 years ago

Alfi keep up the good work. Some people have a hard time grasping new ideas and concepts. A high level of patience is required to explain new thoughts with a wide range of people. Don't take anything personally, nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

wow, how psychic are you, I just had the same pep-talk with myself because of user hahaha's comment, and then I posted this: http://occupywallst.org/forum/i-demand-informed-direct-democracy-online-whos-wit/#comment-249446

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

oh wow!!! this is such a promising project, please have a look:

http://www.openassembly.org/index.html

[-] 1 points by seeker (242) 5 years ago

Great to see this discussion still going strong..Has any progress being made?

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

Yes, the idea has reached the ground in the OWS movemnt. I have been contacted by a few people who have already made a prototype voting website and are connected to many others pushing for online voitng. There now a multitude of websites that are trying to show the world how easily this can be done. There is a growing number of people suggesting the creation of a new party of the people, maybe calling it the Occupy party of the People or something. There is now talk on the ground about Democracy and Occupy and Internet and the connection between these. I have been part of such discussions on the ONYGA network. Mainstream media is broadcasting on all stations that the "people" should take their money out of the too-big-to-fail banks on the 5th of this month or the 15th. This is Rachel Maddow and Fox news and every other American corporate-owed media outlet - something has changed in the American mind, we are coming to decisions of action together as a people - if that's not real Democracy, I don't know what is. Soon, the mainstream media will be talking about a new age of Democracy, one that is truly by the people and for the people, looking forward to that, it should happen in the coming weeks, or even days.

[-] 1 points by seeker (242) 5 years ago

Thats wonderful news..I hope you keep us posted.

[-] 1 points by Michael031462 (4) 5 years ago

Oh, and as a direct democracy, the 51% deciding that members of the other 49% don't have freedoms? The elderly and the disabled can surely put our faith in the 51% being benevolent and kind by not voting to segregate us into ghettos. Our founding fathers were very specific about their own fears that a direct democracy would end up being rule of the 51% over the other 49% who would then be denied any meaningful freedoms. Tyranny of the majority over the minority. Direct democracy is three wolves and one sheep deciding what is for dinner. As a disabled person, I would feel like that sheep among wolves.

[-] 1 points by yasminec001 (584) 5 years ago

This sounds good, but some people could easily hi-jack the system. But I'm all for complete visibility. I think the people who vote in different policies are probably not made aware of ALL of the facts pertaining to that one policy. If we have complete open information (unbiased), and visibility of money as well, then that'd be a good step up.

[-] 1 points by nickhowdy (1104) 5 years ago

Direct Democracy now...

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

thank you!

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 5 years ago

An informed, direct democracy is an oxymoron. Because a direct democracy provides for every citizen to directly vote on every issue, but that creates too many issues for any one person to be informed about.

How do you feel about whether the Federal Crop Insurance Act should be amended to make $15 million of CCC funds available for each fiscal year through FY2014 for agricultural management assistance to producers in Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Maine, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming?

No opinion on that issue? Then how are you going to make an informed vote on that issue?

Just one example...

(Bonus question: who would be motivated to have an opinion and vote on that issue?)

[-] 1 points by nickhowdy (1104) 5 years ago

Switzerland does it....and it probably couldn't be any worse than having a bunch of uninformed politicians getting paid to f*ck up this country.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 5 years ago

Switzerland has a Parliament.

[-] 1 points by nickhowdy (1104) 5 years ago

Yep....and we have a Corporatist President with a Corporatist House and Senate..."The people" aren't represented.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

you want us to write a whole bunch about certain particular issues for hours as we sit here, which may be very good things to tackle, but you start off by dismissing the topic of Direct Democracy (the main subject of this post) as simply an oxymoron. There are NOT too many issues to vote for, and not everyone has to vote on everything all the time, you are exaggerating.

Then you give us a bonus question, so we can sit here some more writing about it, it may even be a very good topic, a positive change we could make - but all the while, you are creating more babble about OTHER topics and avoiding the Global Direct Democracy Movement and its emergence here, at home, right now.

I have already answered many comments that say, Direct Democracy doesn't work, trying to sound as if it's been "proven" already a hundred times or something, giving me textbook answers they read or studied at universities from books written by authors taught and trained and funded by the 1%, and offering these arguments they've learned as the proof. Then they propose other ideas of what the OWS should call for that may be very good changes to call for, but which have still NOTHING to do with the topic of this post, and all these ideas they propose, if the people had the power to vote directly, then we could easily MAKE those changes you are proposing ourselves together. This is the usual answer I give to this type of diversion tactics. At least SisterRay goes for the topic, while she is invading the room with walls longer than mine, for the same purpose you post your comment, to distract the readers and me away from the fact that most people in America today would easily embrace the ability to vote directly on what happens in their home towns, their schools, their communities, their countries, what happens to our troops, what happens to our streams, our forests, our streets, our healthcare, what happens to US.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 5 years ago

I didn't say that direct democracy is an oxymoron, I said that informed, direct democracy is an oxymoron. Direct democracy multiplies the number of issues that people have to vote on, which makes it less likely that they'll be informed when they cast any given vote.

This is a serious criticism and not a "diversionary tactic". You're going to flood the voting public with referendums on a myriad of specific issues, so how can you expect them to take an interest and fully inform themselves on every one of those issues?

The answer to the bosus question is: people who have a vested interest in each specific issue will be the ones who take an interest and vote on those issues. Banks and investors will be the people with the most interest in the specifics of the banking regulation referendums. People who work in the tech industry will be the people interested in the tech issues. Companies who depend on the Federal Crop Insurance Act will be the ones who participate in those debates. While everybody else is sitting on the couch watching Tosh.0.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

oh, so your saying that Informed DD is an oxymoron, but DD is not? Then you attack DD with the fact that as the 1% of our society go vote in our new DD, the rest of us sit on the couch at home, right? Well, that's why I said INFORMED, you know, the word you just threw out as an oxymoron to DD. And here I argue against SisterRay (you guys should talk, you'd get along I think) about why people would not be on the couch: http://occupywallst.org/forum/i-demand-informed-direct-democracy-online-whos-wit/#comment-240441

And if pepople did sit on the counch and allow the 1% to pass some crazy law, then they would surely feel the crappy consequences and get off the couch and get online and learn about that law that the 1% just got passed that screwed you using the same right that YOU have to vote that you did not use - I think America would learn that lesson really quick - if the right to vote directly was already guaranteed, the people could then afford to make mistakes, and still have the means to correct those mistakes (by voting again), like the mistake of not voting and learning at the free open source library about what the proposed laws do that affect you, and your personal freedom and others and Earth.

as for flooding the voting public, and multiplication of voting issues, you are repeating your previous argument which I have already addressed: http://occupywallst.org/forum/i-demand-informed-direct-democracy-online-whos-wit/#comment-241410

Most of the laws we have today are FINE, they don't need to be changed, they wilkl stay unchanged, only some need changing and only a manageable amount of new issues will arrize.

No diversion tactics? I asked about 10 of my friends and neighbors to look at this page and see what's going on, and all of them told me the same thing: "I can't figure out who said what in response to who, in all that writing that's not even in order, and long winded paragraphs (I'm guilty of a few, my first posting in any forum ever, I'm learning)

and the actual contructive comments and supportive comments are all scattered disconnected, or appear as other wall of text indestiguishable from the more common walls of text against DD most cortesy of SisterRay having a personal grudge against me for being mean to her friend April, for which I've already apologized I think 3 different times and explained twice, all this because April said "ya, just get the money out" and nothing else as criticism to my post, which says NOTHING about what's wrong with Informed Direct Democracy at all, this of course sparks the SisterRay word wars with Sven burring the multitude of small showings for support out of sight. I try to look for past comments of mine, and I get so lost! - ya diversion.

[-] 1 points by Bernie (117) 5 years ago

If you don't first get money out of politics you will end up with the same thing we have now. The 1% will overwhelm the system.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

That's my argument for Direct Democracy, because we can then all vote for "getting the money out" - love that slogan, I think I have seen it about 10,000 times in the past week alone, reminds me of "where's the beef"

[-] 1 points by Billyblastoff (33) 5 years ago

I couldn't agree more, this will be a reality at one point there is no doubt about it. I have been posting the same ideas for a while on this forum and elswhere but this forum lacks the tools to efficiently follow threads.

I find that still few people are able to see that representative democracy is showing its downsides.

Voters’ turnout in North America is constantly going down and people are disillusioned with the electoral process and feel it has now become a bit meaningless to vote. It is not enough for most people just to vote once every four years to elect someone that will later be corrupted or do whatever.

In order to create a better democracy, we need to be able to bypass at least some of the representative process. Modern communications is now allowing us to say what we want as individuals and we no longer need to be represented by people in parliament to take decisions for us. The role of the government should be to propose directions society could take but letting the people decide through referendums (direct democracy).

This process, while alleviating corruption by removing some power to elected people, would allow some decisions that no political party would ever attempt to take because they would often be against the interests of influent lobby groups and powerful corporations (banks).

So far, the main argument against e voting taking on is revolving around confidentiality (anonymity) and hacking concerns. Those issues could be addressed by having an open e voting system by which the database, although anonymous, would be open allowing voters to verify that their vote is accounted for and accurate. The users would have a username identifying them in the database, enter their password and vote on issues. Having an open database would allow voters to verify that their votes are accounted for and get the same results from the vote than the “official public results”. For the first time it would be possible for individuals to be certain that their voice was heard. Many referendums could be run simultaneously and in case of doubt you void the results and start again, it’s cheap.

Looking at what is happening in the Arab world, this might be a way to quickly implement a form of democracy in places where there is nothing yet to support it. This system would allow the population to clearly voice their will and overrule some decisions taken by current and previous governments in order to tip the balance of power towards the majority. Your movement is very fertile ground for these ideas to take roots, there are highly educated motivated people in your group that could make this a reality and elaborate a system that would account for minority rights, server setups, phone interface etc. It could also (one can dream) create a whole new world where every voice can finally be heard and be as important towards decision making as anyone else. No matter the size of the voter’s bank account or number of influential friends...

OWS, start by registering your members and agree on a clear message that you want to send, a common claim to focus your energies. Otherwise this protest will be insignificant or worst turn violent.

[-] 1 points by UPonLocal (309) 5 years ago

fully threaded direct democracy voting..post issue, set poll or ballot, allow comments to be voted on, fully threaded

http://uponlocal.com/up-on-local-media/Candidate-Issues-for-Voter-Elections-direct-democracy-now

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

Thank you for your most valuable input. You present a very smooth process, like sipping a cup of hot something slowly till it cools off, then you can drink it without getting burned.

I have only one concern, what would protect the people's right to vote directly through the beginning stages? I fear the 1% could easily sabotage the process in it's infancy. They could launch a massive disinformation and public deception campaign, pulling together their massive media resources and using it to portray the general American public as already categorically opposed to direct government by the people and for the people - it's an old trick, give the illusion using the media that the whole country thinks "this" or "that", and everyone watching will start to believe it. And those that don't believe it, are called un-American by the media, and they will show examples of these un-American dissidents on every news station till there is so much HATE in the populace, that they HATE Direct Government for the People and by the people, even if on the inside they are going against their own core beliefs.

So I keep thinking about the right to vote as being equal to the right to free speech and the right to equal treatment regardless of race, and every other individual right. I think declaring our right to self-governance as a country, as a state, as a city, as a community and as a resposible human on Earth is CRUCIAL in preventing the 1% from destroying this before it starts.

I also believe in open source, internet-based information libraries, that are community-managed for pay, like library workers are today. I know Sven doesn't think this so important, and I know SisterRay thinks simply providing the information will not make people be interested in knowing it - but they will be interested in voting, and then they'll be forced to find out what it is they are voting about, they can do that using the information library. If they don't seek the information they'll feel inept to vote, but if they don't vote, nothing changes, our current system is far too broken and uncomfortable and unfair for people to not want to vote, if they know they have that right. So they'll need to figure out what to vote for and against, and there would be forums like this where people that are inclined to write will argue and discuss and learn, then they will talk to their friends and emails will fly, and people will start talking in schools and at home about the issues, learning more. The people that can't learn so well, will hear and see everyone else so involved, they'll listen to someone they trust, this is NOT the majority, most people CAN think for themselves, they just don't know it, but in a real democracy, they would suddenly discover that fact about themselves. I'm sure many people reading what I just wrote would not agree with me, but I think a majority of people DO agree with me. Generally speaking, most people have the capacity to think for themselves and not just go along with other people - but most people don't know this about themselves. In fact, the 1% plays their game with us by imposing that very same belief and convincing us that we don't trust each other, that we cannot think for ourselves, that we are weak.

Having a formal right to vote directly declared for all people formally, so all the branches1% acknowledge, and having open sourced community-managed information, are both critically important in my opinion, if we are to completely take back our freedom from the 1%.

[-] 1 points by Billyblastoff (33) 5 years ago

It is hard to imagine such a change in mentality without a trusted public figure endorsing it. Someone that can't be discredited easily, it might have to be first implemented quietly at municipal level where the problems could be found and ironed out.

Allowing voters to download the database of the referendums would allow them to check that their votes were counted and would make hacking easy to spot. I could, in my living room, get the same results as the official count on the news.

I do believe that people can think of themselves, in any case they are trusted now to vote for representatives they know little about but what they to see about them on tv.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

You're right, a trusted public figure that endorses it would be enough to get it started. Another thing that we should be aware of is the recent explosion in the international community calling for direct democracy. If this calling grows louder to the point where you begin to see it on news stations and newspaper headlines, then this could also be the trigger for the American public - this possibility is not too far away. A weaker point also - I think the notoriety of the spirit of the Occupy movement, the courage in face of the 1% glaring down at them from their shiny office buildings, the persistence, the heroism in face of police etc, could be a substitute for a trusted public figure that would be needed now, so long as the public image of the OWS group becomes focused on directly causing and asking for specific positive policy changes that are greeted with cheers from the majority of America, instead of only pointing out the horrible injustices of the 1%. This could also provide the credibility for the rest of America to understand the power of their own voice in governent, as per example of the DEEDS of the OWS group.

[-] 1 points by Billyblastoff (33) 5 years ago

Yes but they need to have a clear voice and start publishing coherent statements for them to gain credibility. I fear that with the cold weather, sanitation problems and the lack of coherence they will soone be an easy target for the detractors that want an end to this. There are many ways that I could imagine to bring chaos to this community in its present state and discredit all that it stands for...

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

I still think there is hope that OWS will tap into the Direct Democracy idea and the fact that they are practicing it already on the street using direct democracy to make decisions as a group and reach consensus on plans of action.

I believe they will just get it suddenly, over night, that they can ask for as many specific policy changes as they can think of, but demanding the people's right to vote directly, makes a PERMANENT shift in power from the 1% to the people, not just a patch, however good, on a corrupt system that is as big as our entire planet.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

I'm with you brother, I'm thinking the exact same thing, and I'm not sure what to do about it just yet, still thinking, always thinking...

[-] 1 points by AARON (2) from Mossley, ON 5 years ago

One of the demands of all informed citizens MUST be for government to put money back into public education.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

YES I absolutely agree.

[-] 1 points by Puzzlin (2898) 5 years ago

No. Your too idealistic.

Getting half of the eligible voters out in the General Election is hard enough. That's once every four years. Mid-term your lucky to get 25%.

The writing is on the wall. The American people, at large, aren't interested.

Let's try to attain a 80% turnout and then, and only then, we might have something realistically to talk about.

Just face the reality. We can change it. But unless this is a scientific discovery, we can't shift our collective thinking that fast.

But it is nice to see that bubbling PMA sometimes. Keep thinking. It helps. : )

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

oh whatever, I guess America really doesn't want it's own true heritage and legacy - so be it.

[-] 1 points by Puzzlin (2898) 5 years ago

Well. Reality. it's part of the truth we have to face. I'm always an idealist at heart and it's worth to fight for them. But, I also know, sometimes it's like pushing a mountain. Not that I won't try.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

So you think that's it for me then huh? Well, you don't know me too well then.

[-] 1 points by Puzzlin (2898) 5 years ago

No, it's not necessarily the end. If you can find a way to motivate people to get involved on a massive scale it's worth it to try. The time is never wasted.

I've manned the phones in the last three generals and I love talking to all the voters out there and encouraging them to vote. Most elections come down getting your people out. But, you begin to realize very quickly your part although important is a small part and without the hundreds and thousands of others doing the same thing you could never pull it off. It's hard time consuming work. And best you can hope is got a couple extra out there. I know I did and it feels good, that's why I do it.

Experience has taught me to be a realist. Of all the hope we have, on our present course the earth is in big trouble and we blundered our way into a epic disaster that will play out over the next 100 years.

We are just too late already to the game. Some of us, know it, and see it coming, and have seen coming for sometime. But there isn't enough us, that the sad reality. I haven't given up. I can't for my personal well being.

But reality my friend, it's Truth and must never forsake it. We need to know these things. For those who believe Global Warming doesn't exist for instance, ignoring this Truth can be severely harmful, their belief is not sowed in Reality so it's dangerous.

Nope, don't know you. Got me there.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

oh, reality, got me there

[-] 1 points by Puzzlin (2898) 5 years ago

Well, it happens, of course don't ask me what it is, leave to the great philosophers

Reality

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

uhhh... I don't get it anymore, you've said your piece, what more do you want from me?

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

I'm afraid, i don't like the reality you paint. reality is not for the philosophers, it's what you make of it with your beliefs and your hopes and dreams and your faith. You have your reality and I have mine, the space between us exists in our common reality that we both believe is real, the closeness between us exits in another reality of the spirit.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

it's over, the people have won, Direct Democracy will be here soon: http://e2d-international.org/

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

Looks like we did it!

All over the world, non-partisan electronic direct democracy (E2D) parties have been started independently at local, regional and national levels; inspired by the collaborative potential of the Internet to bring true democracy to the political arena, we are fighting to give decisional-making power back to the People. Aktiv Demokrati, Sweden (national): http://aktivdemokrati.se/ Citizens for Direct Democracy, Belgium (national): http://www.directdemocracy.be Democratici Diretti, Italy (national): http://www.democraticidiretti.it/ Demoex in Vallentuna, Sweden (local): http://demoex.net/en Direct Democracy Party, New Zealand (cancelled): http://www.ddp.co.nz Direkte Demokrati, Denmark (national): http://www.ddid.dk/ Hayeshira, Israel (national): http://hayeshira.org.il/ Online Party of Canada (national): http://www.onlineparty.ca/ Partido de Internet, Spain (national): http://partidodeinternet.es/ Online Reglemented Party, Romania (national): http://www.votdirect.ro Party of Internet Democracy, Hungary (national): http://ide-ide.hu/ Senator Online, Australia (national): http://senatoronline.org.au/ Svojpolitik.si, Slovenia (national): http://svojpolitik.si/ Real democracy is coming soon to a country near you! Get involved today! “There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come” - Victor Hugo

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

I have changed the wording of the capitalized quoted demand at the bottom. This is what the original said:

""We The People Of Earth Demand Direct Informed Democracy Enabled By Our Current Communications Technology, We Demand Voting On Issues That Affect People Directly Through The Internet And We Demand That We Have An Official Open Sourced Online Library Of Facts About All The Issues We Are Voting For."."

If people tell me to change it back, I will.

[-] 1 points by hollatchaboy (55) 5 years ago

Allright I couldn't read your whole post because I don't voluntarily listen to people ranting, but a point could be made for this: no more campaign advertising. No TV ads, internet ads, radio ads, or those fucking annoying street signs. Instead, have candidates make a legit website where they carefully explain their views in detail. Then, once a week, schedule debates that would be aired on radio or tv but kept posted on some neutral website. I say this because one reason politicians like big business so much more than me is because big business funds their campaigns.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

just a side comment, Obama has issued a few executive orders to have certain "terrorists" assassinated. He orders drone strikes or at least approves drone strikes that kill MANY innocents. Obama is a Representative Democrat - I hope this opens some eyes. There is no justification for the president of the united states to act like a dictator who can order people killed at will, especially American citizens.

From democracynow.org:

"Obama Administration Guarding Secret Memo Used to Authorize U.S. Citizen’s Assassination

The Obama administration is refusing to make public a secret Justice Department legal memo that authorized the assassination of U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen. Al-Awlaki was killed last month in a CIA drone strike in Yemen along with another U.S. citizen, Samir Khan. Neither man had even been convicted of a crime. According to the New York Times, the memo found that it would be lawful only if it were not feasible to take al-Awlaki alive because he was taking part in the war between the United States and al-Qaeda and posed a significant threat to Americans. The secret document provided the justification for killing al-Awlaki, despite an executive order banning assassinations, a federal law against murder, protections in the Bill of Rights and various strictures of the international laws of war. The memo was principally drafted by David Barron and Martin Lederman, who were both lawyers in the Office of Legal Counsel at the time."

[-] 1 points by BonaFidePublius (93) 5 years ago

I like the idea. its interesting and has potential to say the least. maybe dont force voting, but set up a system where people can choose or assigned different areas of politics to focus on, and if they take a vote on a certain amount of issues they get some sort of benefit? However, whose to say what should be discussed and that the information being received is actually factual?

[-] 1 points by seeker (242) 5 years ago

This guy explains it really well and compares to how it works in switzerland..Its not pur direct democracy but gives the people power to change laws by demanding referendum.

http://www.youtube.com/user/directdemocracyeire#p/a/u/0/UJasq87m1rs

http://www.directdemocracyireland.org/

Great to some interest in the subject..A template web site would be a great tool to enable the occupy movement focus unite and find common ground.

This site has a working template for polls and discussion.

http://www.1party4all.co.uk/

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

thanks seeker, great work

[-] 1 points by NosferatX (11) 5 years ago

Representative Government with IRV to elect officials...

Learn more and Champion IRV....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instant-runoff_voting

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

And how will this stop candidates from becoming corrupted by the 1%?

[-] 1 points by NosferatX (11) 5 years ago

Let's say for example, one of our Democratic senators in California takes a big campaign donation from a drug company that lies or manipulates data or from an agricultural PAC that supports illegal migrant labor or somthing that you or I personally don't like. Currently that senator doesn't care about what you or I think because they know that even if you don't like what they do, you REALLY don't want a republican in that seat, so you and I are content that so long as an evil republican isn't in the office I will tolerate a high level of corruption with my current lesser of two evils Democratic politician. WHY IS THAT?!? Because with current voting system any question or opposition to my current representative is of direct political benefit to the opposite party so nobody ever questions the actions, character, voting record, qualifications, intelligence, health, honor of their own representative only other peoples representatives which is 180 degrees opposite to what we should be doing which is hold OUR OWN representatives up to extreme scrutiny.

With IRV a mediocre Democratic senator or representative can easily be replaced by a better one without helping the republican challenger in any way. In other words, IRV makes it so we don't have to "settle" for what we have, we can safely strive to achieve greatness in our government.

What this means is...ultimately we the people will decide who represents us...not a political party.

There will always be a few people who try to skirt the rules, our current problem is that our voting system FORCES good people to become corrupt politicians or at least act in a way that does not represent the wants, needs, best interests or ambitions of the population as a whole.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

I see, thanks for the explanation, I will look into this and post back my comments. I sure hope you are right because this would be MUCH easier if you were, but I still need to investigate for myself.

[-] 1 points by NosferatX (11) 5 years ago

Check out my post on IRV...and comment over there too...thanks...

http://occupywallst.org/forum/irv-the-best-solution

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

Ok, so I've checked it out. What you said about it is all true.

But I believe it is not enough power to the people. The system is HUGE and has many aspects, giving people only the power to vote for candidates, or to have officials removed from office, is not the same as having the power to change all laws directly by public debate and voting.

I don't want to play politics with politicians more fairly, as much as I want to know what most people think we should do about all these problems we face today.

We have this opportunity with OWS to make a permanent positive change, it is very wise of the OWS collective is not rushing into anything without careful consideration and real democratic support from the movement itself. I hope everyone considers government by the people as the most effective positive change the OWS can make.

[-] 1 points by gawdoftruth (3698) from Santa Barbara, CA 5 years ago

again, i agree that we should have a direct democracy, we need to get to it by getting on the wiki the only way to obtain direct democracy is to do the work and operate as if we had it already.


I have been active here since the very beginning, and since the very beginning I have been trying to make some core points. These points clearly have not been digested or fully understood by the mob, and so I'm going to try to make a further attempt here again.

  1. Merely protesting in the streets will not bring change. In fact merely protesting in the streets is in fact a means to the end of avoiding the real work of a revolution, which consists of the evolutionary solutions, answers, problem solving process, and new political alignment we create.
  2. This forum is absolutely disorganized. It won't be read by most people and it won't and can't function as a core organizational system.
  3. Back at the very start of this, I petitioned the admin to add multiple sub forums and a wiki. Multiple sub forums were promised but have never arrived. I think that this tells us that the intention actually of this forum is message control and containment. The entire purpose really of this forum has always been to keep us spinning in disorganization. We are hanging out on a forum that expressly exists to actually keep us confused and disorganized.
  4. The real work of a revolution isn't going to happen on forums, it needs to happen in a much more organized fashion using collaborative software.
  5. The assorted other details about how to collaborate, how to work open source direct democracy, how to focus in on science instead of isms, how to become hyper rational about this, are details which are essential and crucial, without which we can predict the movement to fail.
  6. Technically speaking we are not 99 percent, we are one tenth of one percent attempting to represent the 99 percent. Our core mission must be to communicate to and with the 99 percent, and get them to join us. This forum will not accomplish that and neither will any of the other main websites.
  7. You can follow other people out to other wikis and other websites, where they will try to get you to get involved with what they want and their program, but frankly speaking, there is no other website and no other operation out there which understands the complexities involved with meaningful organization. In short, everyones being led to get involved here there and everywhere else, scattering the movement in directions which ultimately do not gain us critical mass, criticial momentum, or critical systemic lucidity.
  8. I have managed to get a wiki put up and have already put on that wiki evolutionary details which make it more organized than anything else. I can't do this alone. There are 10 or so wikis now out there, most of which were created in response to my pleas for a wiki, and several of which are in domains owned and operated by some corporation, (wikia, etc) And which we can thus assume will simply be closed, shut down, or deleted if they become useful to the movement.
  9. Probably at least half of the invites you have to go participate at some other site are people who are scamming everyone to waste time and energy, distort the movement, co opt it, and etc. When you walk off into a closet ask yourself how you know that the closet isn't created by some fed, or by some republican, or by some democrat, in order to sway things in their direction.
  10. The only meaningful strategic option we have for real change in this country is to create a new third party, and take every political office in this country.
  11. Once that is done, we can have an article 5 convention. If we have an article 5 convention before getting rid of the oligachs, that just opens the genie from the bottle for them to abuse that process with their corruption and evil.
  12. As of last night and this morning, you can't even answer responses on this site without geting a 403 error, logging in requries you to back click after a 403 error, and the chat simply doesn't load.

For these reasons, I beg of you to please immediately join me on the wiki. We need to have all of these details and all of these ideas put together in an organized fashion, rather than posted in a long scrawl which will never be read.

http://occupythiswiki.org/wiki/THE_99%25_POLITICAL_PARTY

http://occupythiswiki.org/wiki/Main_Page

http://www.followthemoney.org/?gclid=CMbY87bB-qsCFUPt7Qod9HE8mQ

http://maplight.org/us-congress/guide/data/money?9gtype=search&9gkw=list%20of%20campaign%20donations&9gad=6213192521.1&9gag=1786513361&gclid=CP61oYbB-qsCFQFZ7AodcTF0jw

http://www.opensecrets.org/

http://occupywallst.org/forum/our-new-wiki/

http://occupywallst.org/forum/non-violence-evolution-by-paradigm-shift/

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

sorry I took so damn long:

gawdoftruth speaks the truth (duh): "...the only way to obtain direct democracy is to do the work and operate as if we had it already."

Here are some places to start our work. PEOPLE, let's get to it!

http://www.uponlocal.com/ The most complete online Democracy site I have seen so far, all complete and ready to go. This is up for grabs for OWS members. Please, do the reaseach on it, then TAKE IT! http://www.law4.org/sede/ open source secure online voting software http://www.openassembly.org/index.html another open source Democracy software http://occupythiswiki.org/wiki/Main_Page Wiki - open source information and discussion

The information about the issues is available on some on these sites, mostly you'll have to trust your judgement and use multiple trusted sources on the internet. Soon, I hope to see the open source information libraries

[-] 1 points by gawdoftruth (3698) from Santa Barbara, CA 5 years ago

thank you! :)

[-] 1 points by jkintree (84) 5 years ago

You said, "Technically speaking we are not 99 percent, we are one tenth of one percent attempting to represent the 99 percent."

Agreed.

You also said, "Our core mission must be to communicate to and with the 99 percent, and get them to join us."

I've never had much success getting other people to join me, and don't really see that as my mission as much as trying to be true to myself.

You also said, "This forum will not accomplish that and neither will any of the other main websites."

I appreciate your setting up a wiki to flesh out the details and organize the ideas. That's good. Be true to yourself. And, be prepared.

[-] 1 points by gawdoftruth (3698) from Santa Barbara, CA 5 years ago

i don't know what "being true to yourself" means. If we merely express ourselves without meaningful social change, i think thats a waste of time.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

To all other warriors, we need your fire! But please wait for the rest of us to catch up, you are nothing without the rest of us people. You are welcome to try to hurry us up, but please don't get upset when we are too slow for you, we are really doing our best, and we have to de-program YEARS of brainwashing.

Here's a GREAT warrior of the light, see how his impatience and lack of sympathy for the rest of us that want the same thing he wants is making him seem totally insane - I know he isn't but most people would not see that. He's one of my heros that's doing hero's work in the hardest way.

[-] 1 points by jkintree (84) 5 years ago

How could you know if setting up your wiki will result in meaningful social change if you don't try. If setting up your wiki is the most meaningful thing that you can see to do at this time, then it is not a waste of time, no matter what the outcome.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

To all wiser and calmer people, please continue to give solid calm advice from your heart, we are listening, even if we may not act like it.

[-] 1 points by MyHeartSpits (448) 5 years ago

I'm with you! Local government and direct democracy. Big decisions like wars and national health should have all states vote. We sure as hell wouldn't be in Afghanistan anymore, and wouldn't have more than 500 military bases around the world.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

Thank you :)

[-] 1 points by seeker (242) 5 years ago
[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

http://occupywallst.org/forum/the-solution-developing-a-true-direct-democracy/

Sven has a great post, check it, discuss, participate.

[-] 1 points by RayPina (1) 5 years ago

Great idea. Use SS# to cast vote on all topics via internet.

[-] 1 points by rickMoss (435) 5 years ago

I'm in - and this is how we get it done.

FIGHT THE CAUSE - NOT THE SYMPTOM Read “Common Sense 3.1” at ( www.revolution2.osixs.org )

[-] 1 points by paplanner (58) from Mt Union, PA 5 years ago

opposed

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

Fair enough, thanks for voting, any reasons why, if you care to share, others may agree with you, the reasons may be important to others - up to you if you want to share.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

here's something, sarcasm aside, there so much truth in here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oe0fGXzKb1o&feature=related Got it from another recent post.

But It comes with a comment: I disagree with their usage of the word regulations, because they make it appear as though the regulations of the FED on the money supply and credit, are being equated with regulations in the marketplace. They are not the same thing. The fact that the FED has control over all money and credit, and is private and for profit, and the devastating suffering for millions of people that has come as a result of this FED taking control since 1913, is criminal, to say the least. However, the removal of business regulations is what has allowed mergers and the creation of giant corporations that now literally own the world and the passing of corporate laws that give insane advantages to large powerful corporations are MISS-regulations, in other words, they are regulations passed by influenced and very well paid people in our government to allow corporations to violate ethics on a global scale, legally. We have a corrupt banking system internationally, but that's just a small part of the larger picture of the corporate empire. The 1% empire owns food, water, land, resources, politicians, international institutions, whole governments, and also banking, you see what I mean? If you cure the banking problem, it's a good start, but it won't do much without real Democracy to continue the process of healing our world and taking care of the MANY branches of the empire. If we don't, whatever branch we kill, another branch will be created by the 1% to take it's place. Without the people having control, the 1% empire will always re-enslave us.

so be careful watching this video not to walk away thinking that regulation of BUSINESS (which is supposed to be a free market with 0 regulations, according to the video) is the same as regulation of money by the FED. Business should be regulated by the people. The rules of fair business practices in EVERY business, should be decided upon Democratically by the people directly, not have 0 business regulations so the 1% can make their own Big Business Corporate rules in the marketplace so they always win, and we, the 99%, always pay with our lifetimes wasted chasing money we never have enough of.

Oh, and the FED, GET RID OF IT NOW!

[-] 1 points by shreepal (9) 5 years ago

demand for direct democracy through internet should be "one point goal" of occupy movement. Please read more about direct democracy at: http://indianpeoplescongress.org/technologys_impact_on_democracy_and_economy.php

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

Thank you very much for your support.

[-] 1 points by mimthefree (192) from Biggar, Scotland 5 years ago

lol, direct democracy.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

lol, yup :)

[-] 1 points by Joetheplumbed (76) 5 years ago

Allowing people to contribute with information on-line is a good thing, but the problem is as always the risk of mob rule, (i.e, an uninformed and or despotic majority imposing their uninformed ideas or own personal preferences on others in a hierarchical system).

If possible, the hierarchical system itself should be minimized and decisions should be taken by those whom it concerns (those with the relevant information, education and those affected by the decisions). A networked, distributed but at the same time coordinated system could possible do that. People decide themselves on how to live their lives and submit information and requests to institutions of society with the expertise to help them with their wishes.

[-] 1 points by gawdoftruth (3698) from Santa Barbara, CA 5 years ago
[-] 1 points by SvenTheBarbarian (84) from Phrao, Chiang Mai 5 years ago

I had a look at your links, I do not see that the party you suggest is based on a pure direct democracy, in fact is seems to be policy focused, around the corruption of Wall Street => Washington etc.

Although I agree with these thoughts I believe a direct democracy should not be (cannot be) policy focused, it has to be unbiased and simply collate the votes of the majority.

[-] 1 points by gawdoftruth (3698) from Santa Barbara, CA 5 years ago

voting is a bit slow minded there, we need people to do a lot more work than just vote for the options oligarchs give them.

can't be policy focused? what does that mean and why would you have such a belief?

sorry, but this makes no sense. a third party most certainly can be policy focused.

direct democracy most certainly can be policy focused. there is no reason why it can't be, its just that the oligarchs fear that and thus program people to imagine it that way. Study direct democracy. it can do anything it wants to do.

fight for your limitations and sure enough- they're yours.

[-] 1 points by SvenTheBarbarian (84) from Phrao, Chiang Mai 5 years ago

A pure direct democracy party does not in my mind push its policy views onto the population, it collects votes and votes in government accordingly. The view of the organizers of that party, their representatives, should mean no more than any other person in the population.

This is what I mean by the party not being policy focused. By all means have your viewpoints and discuss them in the appropriate locations, but if you are promoting a direct democracy you should be promoting the core system of one person one vote.

If you are promoting specific policy changes and not installing a system to check if the population agrees, then you are not offering a direct democracy, your are another political party.

There are some really well organized pure direct democracy parties out there:

http://e2d-international.org/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E2D_International

Country specific which I have been in contact with and respect:

Australia: http://www.senatoronline.org.au/

Canada: http://www.onlineparty.ca/

You will notice America does not yet have any group registered.

[-] 1 points by gawdoftruth (3698) from Santa Barbara, CA 5 years ago

collecting mere votes is not democracy, people have to actually work on something aside from voting and create the options from which they vote. Addressing the issues is crucial, your running away from the issues.

one person one vote is not democracy of any kind, its republicanism.

in order to be real direct democracy people have to be working the problems open source, and creating the options and new laws which they are voting for.

checking your links, the missing obvious point of one person one vote is the issue of revoting, changing your mind, and etc.

still is not direct democracy in the sense which i am using it and hardly pure or direct democracy because there is no mechanism by which people can collaborate delineated. ie. no mention of the wiki.

In short, I'm attempting to actually implement direct democracy and you link me to people who are philosophically pontificating over what that means.

Its my job to not only put forth the opportunity to relate, but to show via right action what everyone elses participation would look like, which is why these direct democracy fools never get anything done. They have tricked themselves into doing nothing and calling it neutrality.

[-] 1 points by SvenTheBarbarian (84) from Phrao, Chiang Mai 5 years ago

You are very derogatory towards other people, you say "these direct democracy fools". On YOUR wiki (which you claim to be THE wiki of the movement, see http://occupywallst.org/forum/our-new-wiki/), you state:

"If 51 percent of the population knew one tenth of what I know"... implying that your knowledge is so special and the only knowledge of value. Then you make statements like:

"one person one vote is not democracy of any kind, its republicanism", I invite people to read en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_democracy and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republicanism to see if this statement is accurate. I am sure anyone who grasps even the most basic understanding of the term democracy will see the comment as ridiculous.

Personally I do not believe in forcing my issue specific views on anyone, nor even my views on the change to a direct democracy. I believe that the majority are moral and will make ethical choices if given the opportunity, and I would like to see a one person one vote system (whatever you want to call it) given a chance. I will support such movements, and respect groups educating others and peacefully working within the existing system to bring about such change, and I will support them.

You seem angry towards anyone who does not strictly adhere to your mind set, its a shame as you basic ideas might be of value, but you are not going to be successful deriding people into supporting you.

[-] 1 points by gawdoftruth (3698) from Santa Barbara, CA 5 years ago

you spinning shit up is whats ridiculous. direct democracy in reality means everyone works the problems. In fact if i get together with 100 other people and we all work the problems together- we may even come to a solution which we all more or less agree on and never even bother with an actual literal vote.

Voting is not democracy. voting is picking options which some oligarch gives to you.

Thus, my point stands, and you for all your mental finagling only prove that you aTRYING to spin it, which proves you are a troll, and proves you are ignorant or lying about political science.

I'm not angry, but i am impatient, and i have every right to be, because fucktards like you are mucking up the works, or this could have been done already.

[-] 1 points by SvenTheBarbarian (84) from Phrao, Chiang Mai 5 years ago

bring on the hate...

You are impatient, so what do suggest, an armed uprising? Forcing the population who do not believe in your narrow viewpoint to accept it? We are all impatient, we all see the problems exist, we are all here trying to find solutions. These solutions will take time, and should take time, I respect the the population for not jumping on some untested movement like a direct democracy (or the concept you are touting).

Your are saying voting is picking options that oligarch's give you, what if policy is initiated by anyone, gains support within society, once support reaches a certain level it becomes a binding vote, simple, no minority dictating anything. This is a concept built into many direct democracy movements.

[-] 1 points by gawdoftruth (3698) from Santa Barbara, CA 5 years ago

no, i suggest a paradigm shift, it could happen in under two months.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPR3GlpQQJA

I have been active here since the very beginning, and since the very beginning I have been trying to make some core points. These points clearly have not been digested or fully understood by the mob, and so I'm going to try to make a further attempt here again.

  1. Merely protesting in the streets will not bring change. In fact merely protesting in the streets is in fact a means to the end of avoiding the real work of a revolution, which consists of the evolutionary solutions, answers, problem solving process, and new political alignment we create.
  2. This forum is absolutely disorganized. It won't be read by most people and it won't and can't function as a core organizational system.
  3. Back at the very start of this, I petitioned the admin to add multiple sub forums and a wiki. Multiple sub forums were promised but have never arrived. I think that this tells us that the intention actually of this forum is message control and containment. The entire purpose really of this forum has always been to keep us spinning in disorganization. We are hanging out on a forum that expressly exists to actually keep us confused and disorganized.
  4. The real work of a revolution isn't going to happen on forums, it needs to happen in a much more organized fashion using collaborative software.
  5. The assorted other details about how to collaborate, how to work open source direct democracy, how to focus in on science instead of isms, how to become hyper rational about this, are details which are essential and crucial, without which we can predict the movement to fail.
  6. Technically speaking we are not 99 percent, we are one tenth of one percent attempting to represent the 99 percent. Our core mission must be to communicate to and with the 99 percent, and get them to join us. This forum will not accomplish that and neither will any of the other main websites.
  7. You can follow other people out to other wikis and other websites, where they will try to get you to get involved with what they want and their program, but frankly speaking, there is no other website and no other operation out there which understands the complexities involved with meaningful organization. In short, everyones being led to get involved here there and everywhere else, scattering the movement in directions which ultimately do not gain us critical mass, criticial momentum, or critical systemic lucidity.
  8. I have managed to get a wiki put up and have already put on that wiki evolutionary details which make it more organized than anything else. I can't do this alone. There are 10 or so wikis now out there, most of which were created in response to my pleas for a wiki, and several of which are in domains owned and operated by some corporation, (wikia, etc) And which we can thus assume will simply be closed, shut down, or deleted if they become useful to the movement.
  9. Probably at least half of the invites you have to go participate at some other site are people who are scamming everyone to waste time and energy, distort the movement, co opt it, and etc. When you walk off into a closet ask yourself how you know that the closet isn't created by some fed, or by some republican, or by some democrat, in order to sway things in their direction.
  10. The only meaningful strategic option we have for real change in this country is to create a new third party, and take every political office in this country.
  11. Once that is done, we can have an article 5 convention. If we have an article 5 convention before getting rid of the oligachs, that just opens the genie from the bottle for them to abuse that process with their corruption and evil.

For these reasons, I beg of you to please immediately join me on the wiki. We need to have all of these details and all of these ideas put together in an organized fashion, rather than posted in a long scrawl which will never be read.

http://occupythiswiki.org/wiki/THE_99%25_POLITICAL_PARTY

http://occupythiswiki.org/wiki/Main_Page

http://www.followthemoney.org/?gclid=CMbY87bB-qsCFUPt7Qod9HE8mQ

http://maplight.org/us-congress/guide/data/money?9gtype=search&9gkw=list%20of%20campaign%20donations&9gad=6213192521.1&9gag=1786513361&gclid=CP61oYbB-qsCFQFZ7AodcTF0jw

http://www.opensecrets.org/

http://occupywallst.org/forum/our-new-wiki/

http://occupywallst.org/forum/non-violence-evolution-by-paradigm-shift/

[-] 1 points by gawdoftruth (3698) from Santa Barbara, CA 5 years ago

voting is a bit slow minded there, we need people to do a lot more work than just vote for the options oligarchs give them.

can't be policy focused? what does that mean and why would you have such a belief?

sorry, but this makes no sense. a third party most certainly can be policy focused.

direct democracy most certainly can be policy focused. there is no reason why it can't be, its just that the oligarchs fear that and thus program people to imagine it that way. Study direct democracy. it can do anything it wants to do.

fight for your limitations and sure enough- they're yours.

[-] 1 points by Niche (1) from Rhinelander, WI 5 years ago

This here is the rough draft of a good idea. We need to be careful not to throw away all government structure, which would lead to anarchy. Our system may not feel like it at times, but they are our bodygaurds.

Being informed IS key. Starting factual websites that are clear, concise and user friendly would be the beginning of this change.

Adding related voting links to these sites would be next. They should should how the vote stands so that America is informed on how the majority rules.

Our government should than represent America's majority vote for the topics that concern America.

Also, I believe that we should stop micromanaging each other's lives and beliefs with petty laws. There needs to be more freedom of lifestyle choice. It is what makes us human and makes us feel alive.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

YES! That's what I mean, it can be slow and gradual, but our right to vote on issues MUST be declared, the fact that the people are the authority of the government, and that no government can ever pass or change laws without the approval of the people. If the declaration is done, we can take as long as we need to transform the current system into a true Democracy.

[-] 1 points by Ohcubss (29) 5 years ago

Three questions. Who decides who the (to quote you) informed are? What's to stop those who are uninformed for mucking it up? And this movement can't even decide what their priority issue is, so how will a consensus be reached? Majority votes? News flash - that will be an all seniors, all the time agenda.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

Information open source available to all, I'm not sure I understand your question.

[-] 1 points by frankchurch1 (839) from Jersey City, NJ 5 years ago

It starts with educating others.

[-] 1 points by seeker (242) 5 years ago

Gerald celente calling for direct democracy.. This is a man that talks his truth and knows what he is talking about http://directdemocracynow.org/ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCmhROfAiH8

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

Thanks for this seeker, I already knew myself, but forgot to post link, have a look everyone.

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 5 years ago

Although I understand your desire, I agree with DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom that there are benefits to an indirect democracy. I think that it is more important that the voice of the people have a larger role in the government, but I think that switching over to a direct democracy is neither efficient or possible in the short term.

I would like to propose an alternate middle ground that is immediately implementable, and will bring together the positive attributes of direct and indirect democracy. I am founding a lobbying organization designed to represent the interests of the majority. We will poll our membership on where they stand on the issues. Any issue that reaches 65% support of opposition we will take up and contact our elected leaders with the perspectives of their constituents. The elected leaders will have the opportunity to write back to their constituents and engage in a dialogue on the issues. We aim to keep the electorate informed and involved. If you are interested please check out www.lobbydemocracy.com. I also have a thread running with a more complete description of the organization. You can find that at http://www.occupywallst.org/forum/i-have-spent-1000-hours-on-this-solution-please-ta/.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

If the majority agrees, so be it! But please be sure we know what the majority thinks before we chop off options like a Direct Democracy

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 5 years ago

I am not saying that changing the entire governmental system should not be considered. It would be a very long process and many details would need to be worked out along the way. I am looking for a way to make a more immediate impact on the process.

Lobby Democracy does not restrict the direction of growth and change. If it turns out that the majority wants to restructure the system of government, we can help make that happen. If they want smaller more incremental changes we can help with that as well. We are an instrument to help achieve the interests of the majority.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

I agree 100%., but I STRONGLY believe that most people would want to take this opportunity to replace the current greed-prone system, not fix it, we shall have to see and we should prepare for both options, as you said.

[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 5 years ago

I’m all for… Informed Direct Democracy … and everything else that will come with it…. I have been studying the problems with it since 2004… and there are some technical problems that need to be figured out… in the interim there is a possible good fix…

further it allows the existing representative institution to stay in tact… just with less ultimate power …

and that’s a good thing… mainly because of transparency … any opposition is easily discovered …

We simple build a; “People’s Veto” …

passing legislation that allows the “People” to be able to veto any Bill on the spot, given a 65% (or something) vote, of registered voters …

[-] 2 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

AWESOME idea for a first step to get things started with! Someone pass this idea somewhere to get more exposure please.

[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 5 years ago

someone on the ground at the nycga needs to present it ... ;)

[-] 1 points by SvenTheBarbarian (84) from Phrao, Chiang Mai 5 years ago

The problem with this is how do you guage the 65%, it would be like a one off referendum where no matter what the issue you are going to struggle to get enough interested people (that is if you get the policy in place in the first place). Switzerland has a similar thing and it kind of works but is huge undertaking.

Alternatively you could create a political party that always votes along majority lines, that way people would know from the outset their vote will make a difference, backed by a well established simple way of voting and setting up proxies.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

So here's your idea, right? http://www.goideaspark.com/?page_id=51 Many others having it too, it's a great start. After the veto power of the people, it's only a little further to real Democracy. Yet, I am still worried that America may get veto power and that's all. No open source information, no education about the issues that affect people, and the people's opinion can still be manipulated into most of the 1%'s agenda, they still own the media, and the process that can truly save us all, real Democracy by the people and for the people, gets postponed, derailed, stagnates, loses steam, as the people are made to feel that their veto power solves everything, so there is no need for real Democracy (so the 1% would say on TV). Then they would continue to de-educate us and program our kids to think that they are incapable of and uninterested in understanding government, or participating in a real Democracy. - I am worried still , but i have such hope at least for a veto power if nothing else.

[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 5 years ago

Hi Alfi... interesting link; http://www.goideaspark.com/?page_id=51 ... I'll go thru it thoroughly...

I also believe in Direct Democracy ... see, Forum Post: Direct Democracy, with Representation, and a People’s Veto

http://occupywallst.org/forum/direct-democracy-with-representation-and-a-peoples/#comment-264669

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

WOW, watch this video, got the link from the other Democracy post on this forum:

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/10/21/tech/innovation/iceland-president-social-media/

[-] 1 points by ottyphc (1) 5 years ago

A true democracy can not function without accurate information being readily available to all citizens. This is a prerequisite to informed decision making. All Governments must open their books to the people.

[-] 1 points by seeker (242) 5 years ago

I am with you..So are thousands of murderd libyans..in spirit

http://www.greencharter.com/

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

I am humbled...

[-] 1 points by seeker (242) 5 years ago

There is a lot to be learned from Gaddafi Libya and the Jamarahia and the green charter. If you know about it i am humbled.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

I am now (3 days later) more educated about greencharter and I have read Qaddafi's Green Book. I lived through Nicolae Ceausescu, who was good friends with Saddam Husein, and Mao, and Mussolini and other dictators, they all knew each other. One man ruling over the people has never been moral. Some of their philosophy's were so great, but their mode of control over the people was tyrannical and self-absorbed and cruel. Ceausescu had gold door knobs and diamond chandeliers, he had a palace so big in Bucharest, that it can be seen from orbit, while 23 MILLION people were starving had no electricity, no heat in the winter, were forced to leave their homes and move into concrete square half-built apartments, some with only one toilet per floor. He was eating fillet mignon, while the Romanian people were scrounging for the crumbs that fell off his table. All the kids in school were made to sing his name in praise before each class, and every text book had his picture like a centerfold of his face on the fist page. Friends of mine, mostly the girls, would tell me how wonderful Ceausescu was and how much they loved him, their second Father. Thank god I have always been me. And those are only small glimpses of the asphyxiating enslavement that was Ceausescu. I'm sure without question the other dictators mentioned above had similar narcissistic tendencies, because that's what happens 30 or 40 or 50 years of being a dictator getting old and lost in your self-worship, no matter how righteous your beginnings as a just ruler. And yet, Ceausescu had transformed Romania to an industrialized orderly civilized nation in only a few years. Romanians were more educated, more prosperous, more artistic, more enlightened, and at first the people loved it. But let's not forget in the end, they found 100+ bullets in his body, and the graphic video of the mob that shoot him while he is tied to a chair awaiting trial for his crimes against humanity, got played on public Romanian TV over and over for for days after the people's revolution (ironic how Ceausescu himself was part of the people's revolution against the fascists and the Bourgeois, both of which were abusing and enslaving the people, when he started).

I understand the difference between great ideas and great people, and I think you are great for what i have learned from you, thank you, I am of the same mind as greencharter.com.

[-] 1 points by weatherman (30) 5 years ago

Agreed, Make it happen.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

Thanks!

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 5 years ago

Matt Holck votes for direct democracy

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

Thanks!

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

We should have an online version of this type of proposal/demand/goal for the OWS to reach a consensus that a call for some form of Direct Informed Participatory Democracy is emerging naturally out of the OWS Global Movement. This proposal will be autored by everyone over a set amount of time till the best words and ways to say it come to light Democratically. I would hope it to be the first Purely Democratic Decree of ALL PEOPLE of EARTH authored and demanded by the people and for the people of Earth. the right to vote on issues directly should be as critical as your right to congregate or your right to bear arms or practice religion.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

the OSW needs to have a massive vote about this proposal and many others I've seen around that say almost the same thing. There is a pattern emerging here, it is getting CLEARER.

[-] 1 points by lancealotlink (147) 5 years ago

Yes I heard a politician once say that every congressman does not have to go to Washington anymore . They can now telecommute and vote in their own town hall in their own district with WE THE PEOPLE looking over their shoulder. Imagine the corporate lobbyist trying to get through that..

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

UPDATE: http://occupywallst.org/article/so-called-demands-working-group/#comment-198170

I hope the rest of the movement agrees and rewrites what I wrote democratically with everyone pitching in and makes it their official demand.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 6 years ago

To all you republican patriots:

There is nothing more American than "by the people and for the people", not even "Republican" nor "Capitalism" comes close. And there is nothing more "by the people and for the people" than PURE DEMOCRACY. Therefore, there is nothing more American than Democracy.

[-] 1 points by SaviorSelf (2) from SeaTac, WA 6 years ago

I agree. I'm not sure we should get rid of our elected officials, but I do believe that we have the technology to securely and effectively cast votes for candidates and even specific issues online.

In Washington State, we have a public initiative process where the people can start a petition, get an issue on the public ballot and the people vote on them directly. This allows us a short cut around congress so if we find ourselves in a situation like our current national representation, we can create real change without them.

I don't see any reason that, with our current technology, we couldn't create an online process to implement a national initiative option.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 6 years ago

YES! more baby steps, that's how we learn

[-] 1 points by Bleego (28) 6 years ago

I hear this idea a lot from my friends, and while I admit that I have not yet checked the various links here, I have some concerns and comments. First is security, whoever has the control of the server(s) counting votes on issues has the power. As such the admin(s) would be subject to bribery, blackmail, and corecion. Also I happen to be a big computer geek, studied comp sci in college, and I would have a very hard time believing that such a system could not be compromised by interested parties, domestic or forIgen. As such I think it would be very difficult to convince the general public of the viability of such a system.

So I would suggest doing it the OLD SCHOOL way. Devise a highly secure mechanical means of generating random social security numbers to determine who goes to congress, and perhaps have either another round of sortition from proven leaders or have the selected members of congress elect from amongst themselves, at the end of their term. So that they would have some time to get to know each other before holding a vote for president.

This kind of system would alleviate most of the security concerns associated with any kind of digital direct democracy scheme. Plus there is a proven history of sortition being used to good effect in Athens, Venice, and a few other places that one can point to when arguing in favor of moving away from election.

The only major upside I could see over representation via sortition that direct Internet democracy might have, is that it is not representational but infact everyone can vote on every issue.

Another potential problem with digital direct democracy I could see is the question of who gets to decide which issues come to a vote, and when?

It occurs to me however that these two systems could compliment each other nicely, for instance if a randomly selected congress person has trouble deciding on how to vote for an issue the could refer to the results of a direct Internet vote to help them decide. Or if the entire randomly selected congress felt a particular issue such as approving a request for military action against a country were too important not to consult the country at large, they could put it to a digital vote.

Of course as another commenter already stated, the govt. would have to ensure that every elgible citizen has access to the required technology somehow.

[-] 1 points by SvenTheBarbarian (84) from Phrao, Chiang Mai 5 years ago

Really good questions, these are what are needed in the direct democracy discourse, because solutions need to be found. I am suggesting a wiki or forum that dissects all the problems and works out solutions.

I am also a techy, and someone who believes in this concept, to me the technical side of things are very important.

Security: yes every system can be hacked, and if you move your countries government on to a data system then you are putting some serious issues in danger of being hijacked. Personally I would like a transparent society where everyone can see what everyone else voted, that would aid in ensuring votes are real, but I know few would accept this in our high privacy centric society, so I would suggest first an open source project to develop the system, so bugs are openly found and fixed. Contingency plans for what should happen when the system is compromised. Random checking of data. Reasonably small per area tally, so communities can do their own counts and report anomalies, which are acted on. And so forth, these are just quick ideas, I do not think you should throw away the basic concept because of something like security issues, through open discussion they can be mitigated.

I mentioned above about access to the system, if you implement a proxy system then people who have limited access can set up proxies, and their votes would still be counted in a similar but more powerful way than they currently are.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

wow, I love your spirit and eagerness to find way to make it work, I will analyse your ideas more in depth, I've only got time to skim right now, gotta get back to my job. Thanks for taking the time

[-] 1 points by ddiggs690 (277) 6 years ago

Many people are so impressionable and proned to propaganda that I'm not sure I want to trust them to vote on issues. Like you said it's not that people are stupid, it's that people don't sit back and think. We have been bred buy our education system to do things without thinking much about it and it's no surprise that people will not make decisions that are in there best interest.

I am not going to get into politics here and I am neither a Dem or Rep, but look at this 9-9-9 plan for example. This is an absolutely ridiculous plan and there are actually people out there that think it's a good plan and in their best interests! I'm sorry, but I just can't trust people like that. That is only one example among many poor decisions people would make with a Direct Democracy.

[-] 1 points by SvenTheBarbarian (84) from Phrao, Chiang Mai 5 years ago

Good point, the media is an important entity when you create a direct democracy, in my view the media would naturally be cleaned up by the population once you implement a direct democracy, for example I believe the population would demand more transparent journalism, would maybe publicly fund unbiased reporting. I am sure there are many ethical ideas out there that the majority would support.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

Thank you diggs, I am having a hard time responding to all the positive comments because there are so many now!, I've sort of stopped answering the trolls already, once in a while I still HAVE to :)

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

This is a slow process. I must take care of my rent first. I have neglected my job for about 2 weeks already because of my activities in the Revolution. I don't have the time right now to take a poll. But, I will NEVER give up on this idea, I shall be back with a poll and with a second piece of writing very soon. I have also posted this demand in as many influential places in the Movement that I could find, so I will also have to tally up all those other sources of votes and then consolidate it into a Wiki-like website. Till then, I will not have a very clear picture that can tell us if my little attempt to get people focussed on Real Democracy is working. Stay tuned, join us, and EXPECT US.

[-] 1 points by ddiggs690 (277) 5 years ago

Yeah it's a pain in the ass having to scroll through the endless trolling on here, but sometimes there are people who actually want to engage in a constructive dialogue. So what do you estimate is the percentage of people in favor of Direct Democracy compared to those that are opposed? I know I can probably scroll through and find out, but it's your post so you might have a better idea then I do.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

Answer to this is coming soon from me. Still busy with work right now, I just wanted to take a quick look. Be back in a few days with more comments.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 6 years ago

Let try to move or expand or migrate over here:

http://occupythiswiki.org/wiki/Main_Page

[-] 1 points by aphrodite837 (145) 6 years ago

I've got to say I like the spirit of your idea, but I doubt the feasibility. First, I taught undergraduate students. I seriously question if the majority is as intelligent as you claim. Secondly, these forums have a variety of ideas floating around with little useful discourse towards a consensus. I don't trust people posting on the internet to get much accomplished.

(Don't think I'm a troll. I am trying very hard to find a way to get people together to discuss a particular issue. Perhaps my current frustration is clouding my opinion...)

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 6 years ago

Thanks for your very valuable input. Right now, I am as frustrated with this MAJORITY in forums like this too, the same majority that I believe is capable or recognizing other people's great ideas, even if they themselves may not be intelligent enough to understand most of it, but at least intelligent enough to be REASONABLE in their judgement about it. If the information is there, and if people are not afraid to trust themselves and each other, then the most intelligent of ideas will emerge out of the majority that support it, even tho that idea may come from a MINORITY group of people that were born with more of this quality or that quality, I can't even say more intelligent because there are so many many different kinds of "smarts". My grandma had a 3rd grade education, she could read and write, that's about it. But she was SUPER smart, she NEVER gave bad advice, she ALWAYS knew what to do in any situation to make everything turn out the best it could have. She made her own house and her own farm herself!

so I'm frustrated too, but I know that's part of the process of ideas emerging through the collective, and I am patient. This international movement is still a disorganized mess, but it is solidifying more and more each day at an amazing pace. This idea of REAL Democracy in the world is something I've waited for all my life, I can wait a little longer till we get organized.

[-] 1 points by Nulambda (265) 6 years ago

Could it get any less done than what we have in place today? All things being equal, I would argue that the system that puts the most power in the hands of the people is more democratic than one that doesn't. This idea would change our system from a Republic (we elect representatives) to a Direct Democracy (we, the people, are the Congress.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 6 years ago

Thanks, very well put.

[-] 1 points by aphrodite837 (145) 6 years ago

I agree with you that it's more democratic. Like I say, I agree with the spirit, but question the logistics.

[-] 1 points by SvenTheBarbarian (84) from Phrao, Chiang Mai 5 years ago

I believe in the system, personally I am focused on the logistics, come across to my forum and bring up any concerns, I would love to try nutting them out:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/the-solution-developing-a-true-direct-democracy/

[-] 1 points by Nulambda (265) 6 years ago

Fair enough. I guess that is what his forum is all about. A way the people can come together, like ourvFounding Fathers, and hammer out a reformation for our government. :)

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 6 years ago

Hooray!!!

[-] 1 points by FedUpInColorado (2) from Cortez, CO 6 years ago

Absolutely right on! It is high time that we the people have a democracy again. Right now our country is being run by a collusion of wealthy CEO's and their paid syncophants in Congress. These wealthy few make decisions based on their own self interest with no regard for the impact they may have on the country and its people.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

Yes!

[-] 1 points by gawdoftruth (3698) from Santa Barbara, CA 6 years ago

agreed. finally, we have a wiki on which to make that a reality.

http://occupythiswiki.org/wiki/Main_Page

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 6 years ago

HOLY CRAP! this is so great, GOOD JOB to those who made this!!!

[-] 1 points by gawdoftruth (3698) from Santa Barbara, CA 6 years ago

sometimes it takes going local. i'm sad that after weeks of begging that this site and other more central sites are too incompetent or bought out to put up a wiki.. but.. i guess thats where opportunity lies.

now i just have to fluff it. lol

[-] 1 points by Rael (176) 6 years ago

Direct democracy is too easily manipulated by the passions of the moment. It is why we have the house on one schedule and the senate on another. It may sound elitist but there are a whole lot of people who don't know enough to be trusted to be up on every issue.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 6 years ago

And how do you know this? Has there ever been a time in history when Direct Online Democracy was tried and it was determined that most people are incapable of self governance? If you're just guessing, then we dont' have to, the internet could easily be used to try it out and see if your guess was wrong or right. What would we have to lose, the world is already messed up in every way by the current system. And did you miss the part about how critical the free open source verifiable information is, that must accompany the voting?

[-] 1 points by Rael (176) 6 years ago

You know, they won't even let there be a paper trail at the ballot box yet you want to assume they can inspect millions of lines of code for any, umm, irregularities.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

Have you heard of the concept of Open Source. Lo it up

[-] 1 points by Rael (176) 5 years ago

Yes, a big linux fan here. I just think it is too easy to slip something in. Too easy for people to vote multiple times, etc. How about we start with showing ID at the polling place. Walk before we run.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

Are you like the "good cop"? you come in with soft blows, trying to sound like a cautious skeptic, almost like you wanna help me cause i'm so confused and immature, I should just let the system that's worked for so long sort itself out, all we have to do is SART CARDING PEOPLE TO VOTE... nice try Rael

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

So you represent the Tea Party and you are bargaining with me now (again, because you're all scared shitless) saying that you'll go along with this crazy "Democracy" thing, but we'll have to meet you half way and CARD PEOPLE TO VOTE. From all my posting, is it not obvious that I am not stupid? And what do you mean by "big Linux fan here" exactly?

[-] 1 points by Rael (176) 5 years ago

What is there to be scared of? This movement still hasn't decided what it wants to be when it grows up. It is against a lot but it really isn't for anything that I can determine. Usually you need a direction to generate fear...

[-] 1 points by Rael (176) 5 years ago

You asked me if I knew what open source is and I have been using Linux for many years so the answer is "yes". Yes, democracy should come with safeguards against voter fraud. Are you pro or anti voter fraud?

[-] 1 points by SvenTheBarbarian (84) from Phrao, Chiang Mai 5 years ago

It is a valid point that the code could get hijacked, at the same time it would be a shame to give up humanities best hope of saving itself over such a thing. Realize the issue exists, build in the best security you can, go open source so the entire community is involved, get university students trying to hack or improve it, create contingency plans. Create a better tomorrow.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

Right, and right and right.

[-] 1 points by LazerusShade (76) 6 years ago

I for one have had this same idea running through my mind for many years now. The current representative democracy was set up by some great men who knew what they were doing according to the times they were living in. Many of the concepts came up with still stands true today. However the reason they went with a representative democracy was a 2 fold issue. 1 the communications systems at the time did not allow every citizen the access needed to vote, and 2 is t was believed that your average citizen was too uninformed and unintelligent to make decisions affecting the country.

The first of these 2 issues is mostly corrected in this day and age. Nearly every person in the country has access to the internet either through the comfort of there own home, or through a wealth of other locations such as internet cafe's library's schools ect....

The 2nd issue can be corrected through a proper education and the availability of actual accurate facts.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 6 years ago

Right on the mark, thanks for your words, it's an idea that's emerging in MANY people's minds, I wonder why?

[-] 1 points by LazerusShade (76) 6 years ago

My opinion is that with understanding and true knowledge people will come to similar if not identical conclusions on most subjects. In my case it started with learning how the current government works, and then trying to find out why we had the system that we do. Once i understood that much it occurred to me that there was a problem with keeping the current system because the original arguments no longer apply. The current age has taken away many of the issues preventing this originally.

There are of course some technicality's that would need to be worked out for example ensuring people do not try to manipulate the system through fraud or unwarranted access such as hacking or manipulating the data. It would have to be given an unheard amount of security preventing people from hacking the system creating multiple user names and i am sure a number of different fraudulent ideas i am not thinking of.

Also details like how long is a issue put up for vote? Some issues would need very little time other issues would need much more time. With so many people putting in there vote finding the right amount of time for each issue would be a problem. You would not want an issue dragging on for years and preventing any kind of decision being made. Yet at the same time if enough people are unable to get in and vote because of too little time it would create other problems.

[-] 1 points by SvenTheBarbarian (84) from Phrao, Chiang Mai 5 years ago

Really important points, no simple answers, if a reasonable number of people want to get involved in this movement then we get together, discuss the issues, find solutions.

Hacking I have addressed quickly above.

Bringing issues to vote, a complex task. My suggestion is anyone can introduce a policy, if x% (eg 10%) of the population accepts that policy, then it goes to a national vote.

You might find changes are needed to the policy, in which case a new policy is introduced and if the majority move their votes across to that one it takes precedence.

You could have limits like a policy does not become binding unless 50% of the population vote on it.

Where do these values come from? They are arbitrarily set at first but you can have a super majority procedure for changing the system itself, so for example if 70% of the population (not just a 70% majority of voters) say to change this value or that value then it changes.

As a side note you can still have a constitution and a constitutional court that protects minorities and can strike down policies that are deemed unconstitutional.

I have a side forum set up with some ideas:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/the-solution-developing-a-true-direct-democracy/

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

A proper comment to this is coming soon from me, I must go to work and make enough money for rent all this week. I shall be back to give this comment the attention it should get. These are EXACTLY the kinds of comments we should all be making at this infantile stage of Real Democracy.

[-] 1 points by Marlow (1141) 6 years ago

You want 'On Line Voting"..?.................. Then, open this link, and Sign it!

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/8/stop-the-corruption-on-wall-street/

Thats a 'Constructive' method of your time.. an OnLine Petition to Stop the Corruption on Wall Street.. It's been approved by the Press at #ows, and has been Circulating in the camps.. The Sponsors of the Petition are also the Authors, and have a very Credible Track record for causing Investigations and fines into the GS corruption.

TY.. Check it out first.. it's for real.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 6 years ago

baby steps are still steps, I'll check it out and report back

[-] 1 points by NielsH (212) 6 years ago

How are we going to frame the questions the population has to decide upon?

When asked about a "public option" as part of health care reform, a majority was for it, but when called a "government option" a majority was against it, even though the plan remained the same.

[-] 1 points by LazerusShade (76) 6 years ago

Well there 2 ways we could deal with this issue.

1.) have the issue written by 2 people one who is for the idea and one who is against each providing a the difference in the wording.

I for one don't like this myself because it creates a duplication in work on the part of the people writing the articles, and on the part of the people who then have to read through both articles.

2.) have an independent 3rd party read through each item, and remove any political wording. For example public option and government option would be replaced with simply the word healthcare, or healthcare reform. Ensuring the documents given remain as neutral as possible in the wording.

This would be my preference as it would create some additional effort but not as much as the first. It would also ensure clarity on the issues as people would not read as much emotion into the situation.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 6 years ago

How do we come up with the wording of the issues to vote for? Online forums much like this one and existing software and human ingenuity and faith in ourselves and in each other's abilities

[-] 1 points by Nulambda (265) 6 years ago

I find the argument on how we word things, or educate people funny. I mean, look at the current system. It can't get much worse? Plus, disengagement of politics, designed by representative government,is why we are apathetic. And how can people say they want democracy,bunch be willing to give their power over to someone else? Very silly if you ask me.

[-] 1 points by cmt (1195) from Tolland, CT 6 years ago

"Vote away Wall Street"

If we refuse to vote for the candidate that gets the most WS / 1% money, it could get the attention of politicians big time. If just a few seats changed hands, they would have to look at the value of voters rather than just big contributors.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 6 years ago

YES absolutelly right! RED or BLUE candidates + same money = the same system. But the picture is MUCH bigger and MUCH better than simply voting for the non-wallstreet guy - we could permanently fix MUCH MUCH more if we shoot for the gold, a real informed people's democracy

[-] 1 points by cmt (1195) from Tolland, CT 6 years ago

To do that, we need a place to start. As one sign said, the 1% is patient.

We need to come at them from an angle that they have not already covered. Right now, the system of making laws is in their hands.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 6 years ago

Agreed, it's NOT gonna be easy, but we live in a very interesting time with unique unprecedented advantages. Many people, myself included, are already working out the specifics of such a system, we have many great examples already existing to model by. But lets not forget, the Occupy movemnt only started 2 months ago, we have a LONG road, we must also learn to be as patient as the 1%. I will respond to this better in a few hours, now it's bed time, it's 6AM here, haven't slept all night, and the damn Rep trolls drain me off all my energy, I'm spent... g-nihgt, and thanks for posting, be back soon

[-] 1 points by peteywheatstraw (22) 6 years ago

If you were to sleep 12 hours, a deep deep sleep, than someone shook you awake, threw a complicated math problem in front of you and asked you to solve it, I'm sure most people would ask for a little time to wake up, get their head together, than they will figure out the answer. American consciousness has been pretty much asleep since the vietnam war. this is the first time as a people that we are collectively waking up. I would actually not trust a person who would have a complete and formed answer right now, its too soon. If we just drop all of our pretenses, biases and took some deep breaths and understood how amazing this awakening is, one would not even give a second of their energy to people and questions whose only motivation is to harm, not help. This movement is about help, compassion, understanding. If you want to start an argument or debate, ask yourself this question, "what is your motivation". are you bringing up your points because they are important to all and you want others to know or are you simply trying to engage in an intellectual dual? Not to sound corny, but its like life, it is what you make of it. Is your glass half full or empty? When asking a question are you looking for an answer, discussion? or do you just want to say your piece and slink away? It doesn't get more simple than something my mother used to say "if you do not have something nice to say, than don't say anything". what are your goals? my goals are to be able to live in this country under the constitution from which it was formed. we have strayed from the constitution, we are begging for things which are our inalienable rights. If our government was actually following the laws, there would not be an issue right now. but if you don't agree, understand or know what I'm talking about, thats ok, take the time you need, get your head together, form an opinion and i will be happy to talk and share with you once you are ready. we all need to break the confines they have trained us to live in. I voted for Obama, should i hate republicans, they tell me I should? I think we all know the answers to a lot of these questions. I wish everyone a beautiful day.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 6 years ago

You rock Petey, free thinkers and wise cautious meaningful speakers is what we need more of as Americans "awaken". I am an emigrant who grew up amidst and was swept up in a people's revolution against the ruthless dictator Ceausescu. I have seen and lived through some rough times. I am NOT an American who has been sleeping, I am an American who came here rudely awakened by a totalitarian regime running for my life to the only place on earth that had real freedom and a society by the people and for the people - only to find that America is asleep and they actually seem to almost LIKE it that way (this was the 80s and 90s).

You are right, we should be very careful right now, because it is too soon the find "the answer' to all problems and we must not get carried away with the first thing that sounds good, but its the PERFECT time to think out the best foundation to lay so we can build our world fairly and justly for all to enjoy life. This is why I want to encourage as much discussion about any and all ideas. The more criticism and support the better. I personally believe in the power and nature of most people, I have faith in fellow humans to be as reasonable as I need them to be so I can have my personal liberties while the laws made by the majority around me and including me and my voice in the process, protect me and everyone else and society itself.

[-] 1 points by peteywheatstraw (22) 6 years ago

Does everyone really feel their representatives are representing them? we elected Obama as the president of change, because he said what we thought, he was our voice. Obviously he proved talk is cheap and politicians intrinsically cannot be trusted.

[-] 1 points by peteywheatstraw (22) 6 years ago

you are right, an online direct democracy is completely easy to accomplish and could get a handle on all of the shenanigans going around. why people want to ask their slave masters to be better masters is beyond me. if the foundation of a house is bad, no matter how much effort and money you put into renovating it, it will still be an unsafe house. sometimes you need to build a new foundation.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 6 years ago

Thank you Petey, please everyone, the more supportive words we find to explain in greater and greater detail, the CLEARER the picture becomes.

[-] 1 points by synonymous (161) from New York, NY 6 years ago

Agreed! How about a Citizens Wiki with enough bandwidth for 300,000,000 users? We need to prove that transparency works and that we can trust each other...

The peoples poll!

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 6 years ago

http://govtogether.com/

people check this out, tell us if they're legit and have the right mindset, is this a good first step?

[-] 1 points by synonymous (161) from New York, NY 6 years ago

i see a .com at the end of the address...needs to be .org or wiki based please...

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 6 years ago

VERY good point, thanks synonymous, BTW, what's another word for synonymous? (old Georgie joke RIP:)

[-] 1 points by synonymous (161) from New York, NY 6 years ago

Dunno, alfie?

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 6 years ago

Ya, exactly, that was George Carlin's joke, he would say it on stage and watch peoples dumb expressions on their faces trying to think of another word for synonym (of course Georgie knew that there IS no other word for synonym because it is the only word that is its own synonym), and he would stand up there in silence till people caught on, then the whole croud would slowly get it and erupt in laughter, realizing Georgie had tricked'em again - what a guy

[-] 1 points by mwagshol (120) from Seattle, WA 6 years ago

I support this idea wholeheartedly, with the various details on an actual system needing to be worked on and coming about soon. Some personal additions I would make on top of a wiki type of information source would be public internet direct democracy booths for those who don't have their own access. Also discussion boards or a type of forum could be highly useful. There will definitely need to be very high security of this new system. Also, as others have mentioned, finding a way to include the minority opinion in a consensus is highly important.

Still many things to work out, but I'm so glad this idea is out there and has a growing number of supporters behind it!

I've also come across a site that is working on this idea as well with the plan of 'hacking' the current political system by electing a representative who swears to only follow the decisions of the people through a system similar to this.

Check it- http://govtogether.com/

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 6 years ago

Yes!! Thank You!!!

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3360) from New York, NY 6 years ago

Voting is a full time job. That is why we hire reps to do it for us.

[-] 1 points by jkintree (84) 5 years ago

HR 676, for single payer national health insurance, could be printed on about ten pages compared with the over 1,000 page monstrosity of the health care legislation voted on by Congress. It's a shame we did not have a binding national referendum on HR 676. Think how much time we would save if we did not have to deal with the complexity, paperwork, and run-around of the current fragmented, for-profit health insurance industry. Remember, inability to pay health care bills is the single biggest cause for personal bankruptcy in the United States, not to mention the unmet health care needs.

[-] 0 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3360) from New York, NY 5 years ago

I agree.

I think we can have direct vote on some major issues. I think a single payer option is something we should vote directly on because it would be something that would pass.

I just don't think the entire government can be run by direct democracy. It is too much work.

A better option is sortition which is what Aristotle advocated.

Sortition is representatives by lot. They are randomly selected, like a jury, instead of elected.

This guarantees you get a representative sample of society at large in government instead of an oligarchy of the rich. Aristotle predicted a representative republic (like the US) would end up as an oligarchy of the rich because it is only the rich who have the financial means to get someone elected to a national office.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

I've been reading EVERYTHING you write here, I've been following your words closely. I am of the opinion that we should give the power to the people COMPLETELY, not half way. I believe that a simple vote could determine if we want to have a partial Democracy, or a total Democracy. The argument that it's too complicated and cumbersome and impractical is nullified by the internet and the already existing software that could easily make real Democracy as easy and safe and practical as every other online service you know of.

But, if the people vote that we should have a partial Democracy with voting on only some important issues, (BTW, who chooses the people that choose what issues are or are not important, and how do you overcome the temptation for corruption in your representative body?), but have representatives decide for us for all other issues including them choosing which issues and how they are formulated and who does the writing of the bill, then, I would object, but I would have to go along with the majority. And I would be very happy, because I would know that at least the people finally made a decision together, however much I disagree, for the first time in all of history, the people's will is done.

What I will NOT stand for, is more deception of the people by politicians, and the bankers, and the media, and the educations system, etc. So Democracy is the only way for me, hence my demand.

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 5 years ago

What if we keep the electorate more involved in the process without doing away with indirect democracy. I am forming a lobbying organization to represent the interests of the majority. We will be polling our membership and conveying our members perspectives to their elected leaders. Check it out at www.lobbydemocracy.com

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3360) from New York, NY 5 years ago

Aren't there already lobbies for every interest group?

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 5 years ago

There are many lobbies for particular interest groups. There is no lobby to represent all of the interests of the majority though.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

Hmmm, isn't "lobbying" kinda like begging the 1% that rule the world to have a heart and listen to the American people about our American problems in the forum of the 1% owned and operated Gov of the USA? I'm sorry, maybe I'm not informed enough about what lobbying is, but that's how I see it. Please enlighten me if I'm off the mark.

And why should we settle for lobbying, when the people of earth have the right to self-determination by birth individually, and have a collective right to self-governance in their local communities and in their countries and in the world?

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3360) from New York, NY 5 years ago

Don't individual interests of the majority clash? Not everyone has the same interest.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

Individual interests will clash with the majority, but there will be a consensus reached by the majority, who is reasonable not to infringe on personal liberties. If your personal liberties as an individual are protected by the majority vote always, because most people want to also have total individual freedom too, then you will not be too upset if the laws getting passed by the majority do not agree with you - who cares, your freedom to do what you want, without hurting anyone, is protected and with fair business laws also decided by the reasonable majority, no one can become a slave to economy or any other form of social control. The majority want the same thing, freedom, and peace, they'll vote on all issues accordingly.

[-] 1 points by SvenTheBarbarian (84) from Phrao, Chiang Mai 5 years ago

I think the solution is a pure direct democracy, but well organized so it is not a lot of work. You set up a proxy or proxy rules if you do not want to vote yourself, or if you trust another person to wield your vote in a way that represents you. Like a representative democracy but more fluid, you can pull back your vote at any time, are not limited in who represents you, and every issue is voted on by the majority.

This would result in less work than the current system, if you choose it.

interests of the majority clash? A majority is a majority, if it believes in one path, and a different path is taken, then a minority is dictating to the majority.

I have a forum setup explaining my views and encouraging discussion of such a system at:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/the-solution-developing-a-true-direct-democracy/

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

I'm so glad you are here, WE need help

[-] 1 points by LobbyDemocracy (615) 5 years ago

Although people have different interests I believe that we can find issues that the majority of people can agree on. I think some of the conflict that we see between Republicans and Democrats does not accurately reflect where our country stands.

[-] 1 points by LazerusShade (76) 6 years ago

Keeping an eye on those representatives is full time job as well so pick which job you want to do?

[-] 2 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3360) from New York, NY 6 years ago

Keeping an eye on your elected rep is not a full time job that I do. It is a job the press and others do. I just vote every few years.

[-] 1 points by LazerusShade (76) 5 years ago

And that's the exact reason why we are in the mess we are...no one paid any attention to what they were doing or what the corporations were doing. Everyone seams to think we could just sit on our butts and only get off them every few years to put in some check marks. System isn't supposed to work that way. The people are supposed to be involved regularly even in the current system

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3360) from New York, NY 5 years ago

No, we are in this mess because we have an economic system that allows a small minority to consume all the income leaving the rest of us broke.

http://occupytogether.com/forum/discussion/901/solution-replace-capitalism-with-democracy/p1

[-] 1 points by Kauhane (14) 5 years ago

reinforced by crooked ass representatives, and perpetuated by the Press

[-] 0 points by Kauhane (14) 5 years ago

Oh yeah CNN delivers the truth...what the hell are we doing in this forum?

[-] 0 points by alfi (469) 6 years ago

Gee, that's been going well so far...

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3360) from New York, NY 6 years ago

I agree the current system doesn't work. So long as you have capitalism - a system of inequality - you will never have democracy - a system of equality.

You will never get equal treatment under the law or equal votes in government so long as some people have 10,000 times more money than you do.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/are-you-rebels-or-revolutionaries-choose-revolutio/

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 6 years ago

Yes it is a full time job, it's a lot like parenting (edit, and being a student), so I'd suggest you get ready to work for yourself in our new government for the people and by the people - you're too lazy to vote online and educate yourself about issues that affect you and everyone, but you're not too lazy to type out responses against what I'm posting here? As for the reps, we don't "hire" them because it's too much work for us to do what they do, they hire themselves by making it impossible for anyone else BUT them to run for office without adopting either a blue set of values or a red set of values, and having a BUTLOAD of money, amounts that no middle-class American could ever have, much less the average American, so you must gain and sustain the financial support of giant corporations and other powerful interests, which are only as powerful as they can get away with being (and they get away with mass murder, war crimes, financial fraud, torture, labor abuse, land grabs, copyrighting of food, destroying environment, raping lands of resources, you name it); and forced into choosing either blue or red is like forced to chose between a happy meal vs a burger king kids meal - BOTH ARE WASHED OUT SHITTY FAST FOOD even if they each contain a pickle you like or a certain perfect blend of chemicals and preservatives that you enjoy the taste of so much (through years of brainwashing kids commercials and cartoons and media, of course you LOVE the taste); choosing red means you get rid of the fed YAY!!!, but you DEREGULATE business some more for the sake of INSANE UNEDUCATED UNWISE MISUNDERSTOOD Republican dogma about some holy fucking CAPITALIST MARKET you think will fix itself magically somehow all on its own, as if it weren't run by and made of people with their own CAPITALIST interests, you know when it is healthy and good for business everywhere for you to be as greedy as you can be in your business, because it is so fucking perfect in its imperfection (I noticed how every republican video always says that, 'Our system isn't perfect, but...it's the best we got in the whole world... blah blah blah'), all without people having to do anything except DEREGULATE to allow this god-like self fixing system to HEAL itself. Just because I want the FED gone, shouldn't mean that I am forced to go become a damn Tea Partier and have to eat ALL the rest of that shitty Happy Meal just because I like the pickles. Similarly, if I choose blue, then I have to sign up for more too-big-too-fail, and bailouts and taking over other countries food supplies and wars, and drone strikes and Guantanamo, and bigger and bigger mergers of MONSTROUS continent sized corporations making all our crap overseas - all because I like the way Obama's words made me feel as he was running for pres in 2008? Sorry, but I don't want to eat the WHOLE shitty blue Kids Meal just 'cause it reminds me of a good feeling I once had about the smell of the onions, no more than I want to eat the shitty red Happy Meal. If somehow you can do all of the above and act like a smug asshole that thinks the 99% of the earth are simply commodities and that your ability to know this secret makes you part of a select group of SUPERIOR humans, and if you can convince the other smug assholes of the world that you are like them, then they'll shower you with riches and they carry you to the top and have you get elected from office to office higher and higher, proportional to your efforts to keep them in power and to make them MORE powerful by lying to the people that the way our government is run is through a free enterprise democracy, and that the government cares about the people. Is THIS the kind of Representative Democracy you want to continue to have? 'Cause that's what we've had so far. And if not, then how would you EVER prevent this fake (not even) Representative (electoral colege) Democracy from being as messed up and corrupted and unjust? I say we the people now have a choice. Read my post from the top again.

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3360) from New York, NY 6 years ago

Typing a response in a forum is not a full time job. Voting as a representative is.

I agree the current system doesn't work. So long as you have capitalism - a system of inequality - you will never have democracy - a system of equality.

You will never get equal treatment under the law or equal votes in government so long as some people have 10,000 times more money than you do.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/are-you-rebels-or-revolutionaries-choose-revolutio/

[-] 0 points by ChristopherABrownART5 (46) from Santa Barbara, CA 5 years ago

This assumes that online is any better, "you're too lazy to vote online and educate yourself about issues that affect you and everyone".----

Issues are not solutions. So something very important is left out. You really will not find any real solutions. It's there, but you won't find it because it coasts money to be found.-

I like the idea, but there is too much deception everywhere. Accountability needs to be created on the highest level. That will change a great deal. A very big shortcoming is that nobody describes where the authority to make any change at all is going to come from.-

In this nation, the constitution is supposed to be the law of the land. Well, it turns out almost no one knows how to enforce it IF the federal government will not make themselves constitutional. See the link at the end for a fairly complete and absolutely feasible strategy that goes where we need it.-

To see the ultimate form of democracy, we need to use our first constitutional right, article 5 of the constitution. This is the only way any demand will be met.--

Congress is very afraid of an Article 5 because congress has no control IF 3/4 of the states are ratifying Meaning, we need to stay in our states and make the demand for an article 5. We only need 2 more states then congress is in OBVIOUS violation of the constitution and the military, YES, the military will have to defend the constitution. -

If the state won't, apply, you are looking at a state controlled at key points by the nwo- jack up the pressure! talk about "lawful government" a lot and cite violations of laws on a federal level that impair the states constitution.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convention_to_propose_amendments_to_the_United_States_Constitution "Congress acted preemptively to propose the amendments instead. At least four amendments (the Seventeenth, Twenty-First, Twenty-Second, and Twenty-Fifth Amendments) have been identified as being proposed by Congress at least partly in response to the threat of an Article V convention."

Our first right in our contract is Article V, the right to have congress convene delgates when 2/3 of the states have applied for an amendatory convention.

Article. V.

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.-------

http://algoxy.com/ows/strategyofamerica.html

[-] 0 points by Kauhane (14) 5 years ago

Spoken like true corporation

[-] 1 points by lifesprizes (298) 6 years ago

Must be in the air. You know thoughts are things and can take a life of their own. Sometimes it takes time to grow. Have you thought about the platform or layout of such an internet site?

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 6 years ago

YES I have non-stop for abut 3 days and 3 nights straight, I've stopped going to work, I can't eat or sleep because i feel like this idea in some form needs to come out of this Occupy movement BADLY and I feel it's my duty to help as much as I can. Many other people are talking about it too, i started to talk about it casually about 4 years ago in some conversation, i offered it as an example of a cool off-the-cuff idea to show that it is possible to think of "virtuous" uses for the internet, not realizing the infectiousness of this idea and the fact that many people all over the world were starting to think the same thing. This kind of thing has been well documented and is in fact talked about in one of my math text books, where 2 mathematicians followed by many more mathematicians, on different sides of the globe both simultaneously "discover" the same mathematical theorems and published it as their own. So they both thought that the other had copied their idea. It was soon realized that they had both discovered the SAME idea independently at the same time. Then when other world-famous mathematicians were told, many of them had attempted to go along the same path toward this new theorem, but were unsuccessful at finding a way, but had the idea also. There is a human network of ideas that seems to push the best ones to the tip of everyone's minds, I also think this is one such idea, and i hope other people take it and say it better than i can and make it more powerful.

[-] 1 points by lifesprizes (298) 6 years ago

Your onto something solid here. I've had this thought for some time. You have put it together nicely. This needs to reach out wide and large.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 6 years ago

It's strange how everyone that I like talking to says the same thing, that they have really thought about this before :)

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 6 years ago

Yes, thank you so much. You know, it only takes a few kind words to replenish the soul with all the energy I need to fight off these mean sharks attacking what I think we are all are thinking on some level, but don't have the words. I think we, the people, are finnally starting to find the right words, and I hope I am helping with that :)

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 6 years ago

Uhh , no. I think the current system will work fine when we get the money out. This is what will bring the meaningful change we need.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

April, here's what I should have said, if i wasn't sleep deprived and already pissed off from the previous troll atacks:

That's a nice opinion, and I agree with it, but I think it's not enough. Is this your own opinion, or are you just saying it because other have told you to support it and you trust those people?

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 6 years ago

Do you know how many times I've heard "Get the money out" and "End the FED" and Main Street not Wall Street" etc - it only lets us all know that you do not think for yourself because the words you speak are not your own. You are a robot of an easily identifiable type, the Republican type. There are other types of robots like ObamaBots, but none meaner and dumber than the GOPBots. You do not speak with passion about what you are saying, you speak the same crap you keep hearing from the "group" of people you always check with to make sure you conform with, because you're too chicken to come up with your own take on the world. But guess what? YOU'RE A MINORITY in this country and certainly the world and you know it, and you know that the world is waking up and YOU'RE SCARED SHITLESS.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 6 years ago

So, if I write or speak, in short bursts, with terminology that you have heard before somewhere - you therefore conclude that my intentions are not sincere or thought out?? That may be the dumbest thing I have ever heard on this board. That would be an entirely baseless conclusion. You do not know me. You have no right or reason to question my sincerity or passion. How dare you! Simple because I do not go on a "thoughtless" RANT as you do?! I'll tell you what the minority is. It is thoughtless people like you. You are the minority. Get over yourself, and don't ever talk to me again.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

AGAIN a million apologies for this, I was a total jerk, I will never fall for the anger cause by troll again, or if I do, I will just walk away from the keyboard till I'm calm. I feel awful about treating you the same way those assholes were treating me.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 6 years ago

Oh, BTW, thanks for validating my point that the majority should rule, you said you think my opinions and view represent a minority, I think that of you, but as I've said many times before, we don't have to guess, we shall see shortly what the most reasonable views of the majority are, and then you and I and eveyone will know EXACTLY where opinions like yours stand. - but it's still nice that you want to use the same concept you are arguing against to tell me off with :)

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 6 years ago

... and what about your personal idea about how to fix this mess we're in? - since now you are no longer a robot

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 6 years ago

YAY a non-robot answer from you :) I am truly sorry to offend you, you are absolutelly right about me not knowing you really, but I do know a regurgitated Rep mindless overused till the meaning gets lost, catch phrase when I see one

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 6 years ago

Apology accepted.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 6 years ago

ok, why not take an online vote and see if most people agree with you, or if maybe most people can bring forth some other idea that is actually easily seen as the best idea so far. Why not vote and see instead of guess what the people think? If we went with the idea that "taking the money out fixes everything" tho I'm not sure what you mean, you should elaborate, then that's what we'll do, take the money out, (i'm ssuming politics, right). Maybe we could vote to pass a law that sets the amount of money to run for office capped at a set reasonabel amount and is the same for all candidates, or something, maybe we could outlaw lobbying... we could do anything, if we had a real INFORMED democracy.

[-] 1 points by April (3196) 6 years ago

We do vote. In our elections.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 6 years ago

damn, getting attacked by the sharks, BRING IT ON, but do try to keep insults to a minimum I offend easily, both ways.

[-] 1 points by metapolitik (1110) 6 years ago

Great post.

To all the trolls and naysayers here:

This is the 21st Century!

For the first time in recorded history, we have the technological means to make Direct Democracy a reality:

http://metapolitik.org/blog/occupy-hackathons-produce-digital-tools

http://metapolitik.org/blog/protests-as-emerging-cities reply permalink edit delete

Also, check out these posts here:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/direct-democracy/

http://occupywallst.org/forum/global-quorum/

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 6 years ago

OH THANK YOU, I thought I was losing here :)

[-] 1 points by Pottsandahalf (141) 6 years ago

The one percent gave us the internet. Think about that

[-] 1 points by Kauhane (14) 5 years ago

No I choose to think our grandparents, mom, & dads tax dollars payed for it

[-] 1 points by Bleego (28) 6 years ago

Actually no, nuclear cold war gave us the Internet. It was born of necessity, if one node on the network that controls nuclear launch code distribution were knocked ou by an attack, the network needed to be robust enough to pass the information around the destroyed network node, hence tcp/ip. The 1% can't honestly claim credit for it. All though many have tried, Al Gore I'm lookin at you!

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 6 years ago

Hello is right, furthermore, the 1% made the internet as big as it is today, and that's the funniest part, the 1% did it as they were mesmerized by the enormous profits that they knew they would make from the internet, they didn't even realize what ELSE the internet could be used for besides making insane amounts of money - their own GREED blinded them!

[-] 1 points by Bleego (28) 6 years ago

Actually some of the largest purveyors of internet networking were small time rail road companies who had the foresight to use special machines on railroad cars to trench lay and bury scalable bandwidth fibre runs next to the tracks on land they already owned in the 80s & 90s. One such company president ran a modest stretch of track in the south western part of the U.S. And while they were marginally profitable as a rail line, they became massively profitable as a data distributor.

[-] 1 points by Pottsandahalf (141) 6 years ago

The point is that it exists only because of profit; without profit motive, no internet

[-] 1 points by Kauhane (14) 5 years ago

The real motive is Intelligence gathering

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 6 years ago

The internet can and will exist even if we remove the focus from profit=success to fairness in the marketplace and in corporate business + informed people making policies + focus on quality=success.

[-] 1 points by Pottsandahalf (141) 6 years ago

No, I mean it wouldnt have existed in the first place without profit motive.

Whats the point of making something if you dont get anything out of it?

[-] 1 points by Bleego (28) 6 years ago

Yeah not true, it was the survival or more accurately the revenge motive, that prompted the DoD to invent the Internet. Also in it's early days various government agencies provided FREE dial up access. You could make the case that the profit motive spurred legislation to force the government to stop providing free access to the tax payer owned network, and gave private enterprise the ability to charge the citizens a second time to acces our network lol. Or if you wanted to be slightly less biased you could argue that the online computer gaming community caused the initial demand for high speed Internet that resulted in privateization of internernet provision.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 6 years ago

I STRONGLY disagree for reasons i just posted. you can have fair business and profit for all to be had fairly, so long as the PEOPLE are the ones determining the rules of the market place DEMOCRATICALLY AND WELL INFORMED.

[-] 1 points by Pottsandahalf (141) 6 years ago

Already happening man.

A CEO making 2 million is being paid as fair of a wage as a McDonalds worker making minimum wage. We get paid for the value that we produce, that's all.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 6 years ago

Too late for them to pull the plug now, and I'm not saying profit is bad, just that profit is not a measure of healthy economics, and profit should be placed much lower level of importance in business, and QUALITY should be emphasized more than profit as an indicator of a healthy business - better quality product or service should mean healthier business and consequently, it would mean bigger profits, but because of fair competition for QUALITY, not because of profit-minded tactics that allow business to become "too-big-to-fail" and Monsanto to own half the worlds seeds through copyrighted genetic code and other corporate excesses of control all in the name of higher profits! Please don't reduce Informed Direct Democracy to profit hating.

[-] 1 points by Pottsandahalf (141) 6 years ago

I'm not reducing it to profit hating, I just think it's ironic that someone wants to use the internet to try and destroy the top one percent, when they wouldnt have the internet in the first place without the top one percent.

[-] 1 points by Kauhane (14) 5 years ago

Yawn

[-] 1 points by Bleego (28) 6 years ago

Stop it, it was the DoD not the 1% haws.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 6 years ago

Egypt, an entire country, had a FaceBook revolution that resulted in the removal of their dictator - yes, through FACEBOOK

I don't like any huge network like FaceBook and I am certainly not advertizing FaceBook, but the point is the Egyptians did it through the INTERNET

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 6 years ago

I see the irony too, but if you just think about the invention of the internet in reference too ALL OF HISTORY as we know it, you realize, the use of this thing called the internet OBVIOUSLY and CATEGORICALLY implies voting by the people directly, while at the same time facilitating the instant distribution of information about what the people vote for - we are already doing it now, right now as we type this in this forum! It's just that it's not yet a formal system and not yet called what it is - Informed Direct Democracy.

So it doesn't really matter what the 1% have been telling us that the internet is for, we can SEE what it's for right here in this forum for example.

[-] 1 points by Pottsandahalf (141) 6 years ago

Well sure it can have multiple uses.

The internet was never intended to be an instrument for direct democracy. In fact, when the internet was invented, it's use was restricted to military personel with the right clearance. So it was never really meant to be used by the masses when it was conceived. Of course, now we all have access to the internet and can communicate with eachother

[-] 1 points by Kauhane (14) 5 years ago

yeah like night vision, LED, laser tech, jet engine, microwaves, cell phones

[-] 1 points by Hellomynameis (243) from Aptos, CA 6 years ago

The government gave us internet... actually

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 6 years ago

correct

[-] 1 points by Kauhane (14) 6 years ago

Yes this is our next move in the right direction

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 6 years ago

Agreed Kauhane

[-] 0 points by figero (661) 5 years ago

you mean mob rule ? Nice !

[-] 1 points by nickhowdy (1104) 5 years ago

You think you live in a Representative Republic figero?...You don't. It's a Plutocracy...

[-] 0 points by figero (661) 5 years ago

so go lobby your congressman like the Tea Party. what do you think is going to change by what you are doing ? nothing. your only going to make things worse for yourself

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

no, I don't mean mob rule, otherwise I would have said mob rule, not Direct Democracy. I mean REAL Democracy, here's the latest example of the Global Democratic Movement that is a direct descendant of the American Dream that the colonists had in 1776 in action gone global (why isn't it starting here? the USA should be the FIRST place it should have started); as you can see, it's not mob rule, and yes, it it quite nice: http://www.smh.com.au/national/democracy-now-for-plan-b-20111029-1mp8z.html

[-] 0 points by figero (661) 5 years ago

yea - majority rule = mob rule

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

I know what you mean to say, because you have said it TWICE now, I understand.

I'm saying majority ≠ mob, majority = reasonable people rule, GOT IT?

[-] 0 points by figero (661) 5 years ago

define reasonable.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

In this context that I am using that word in reference to Direct Democracy, I already defined it:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/i-demand-informed-direct-democracy-online-whos-wit/#comment-240042

[-] 0 points by jbm58 (65) 5 years ago

I want to propose a goal for OWS.

Carry your admirable process of concensus decision making to the next level.

We are still using a governing process designed for the 1700′s when it took ten days to travel by horse from Philadelphia to Washington. In the present age of IM and email why do we need district representatives? Why not let the people vote directly on bills brought to the Federal House? There are only about 10 significant votes per week . We can let the current house members keep their jobs for a while, but their new role is to introduce legislation and provide info for the voters so that they make educated decisions. Folks will take time out from watching DWTS each week to participate in real democracy. This will become the ultimate reality show including viewer participation.

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

Yes Yes Yes!!!

[-] 0 points by Johnw (44) 5 years ago

Here is an idea for a new third party based on scientific surveys: http://thenewthirdparty.blogspot.com

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

I've checked it out, it seems like a decent baby step towards true Democracy, a step in the right direction to me. But I still have a problem with a system of representatives that will campaign to try to affect public opinion for their cause; which is not necessarily bad, it would be their job, but they would still become political idols to many and susceptible to corruption. The potential for greed within us all is easily baited. Any representative group that gains political stardom will eventually succumb to the ever-increasing bait of power and riches that they are subjected to by the 1%.

I see the new third party of the people with elected government admins and organizers, not leaders at every level, something like that, but no politicians and lobbyists and powerful people and corporate media.

[-] 0 points by jgriff (6) from Tampa, FL 6 years ago

Check directdemocracynow.com

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 5 years ago

who FUNDS this do you know? It is not a .org, is it donations, are there ANY corporate moneys involved? I took a quick look around the site, can't find anything that says who's paying the bills for the site and the movement behind the site. If anyone has the time to research more, please post your findings here, but make sure your findings are VERIFIABLE, so we can all obviously see you're not lying. I don't want to see stuff like "ya, they all good, no probs there, thumbs up!". Thank you, I will also try to research, but all this week I gotta work, so not much time.

[-] 0 points by jgriff (6) from Tampa, FL 5 years ago

Im not sure, i just know its a popular site for direct democracy. anyone can do an .org site, dont think its a sign of anything

[-] 1 points by alfi (469) 6 years ago

Will check