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Forum Post: Lasting Solutions - Continuously Improve Democracy

Posted 12 years ago on Oct. 14, 2011, 7:35 p.m. EST by improvingourworld (2)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

How bad will things have to get before you take healthy action?

Some of the world’s problems impact you directly. Others you only hear about in the news. But what are the underlying problems? And what are some lasting solutions? These problems won’t go away on their own. And in many places, they’re getting worse, especially with globalization. So let’s better understand them — and let’s look at some lasting solutions.

CONTINUOUSLY IMPROVE DEMOCRACY. Continuously invent and conduct new experiments in democracy — and see which ones work best. First try them in a few cities, and try the best of these at higher levels. Residents of places trying the experiments can vote on the results. In conducting new experiments, we should try some of the following. Use combinations of lotteries and elections to select officials. Have term limits for more offices. Strictly limit campaign contributions and give equal mass media time to all qualified candidates. Require candidates to advance through government one level at a time. Almost two thirds of the world’s people are governed by some kind of democracy. But many of these democracies are corrupted by corporate greed. Democracy is also in danger from the growing number of ignorant people. Many don’t care enough to vote, and some don’t learn enough about the people or things they vote for.
In today’s democracies, people use only voting to choose their representatives. This leaves democracy wide open to corruption. In the first representative democracy (Athenian democracy), people used mainly lotteries to select their representatives, as the best way to protect democracy from corruption. Today democracy is much more at risk because: the rich are many times richer (51 of the world’s largest 100 economies are those of corporations); election campaigns cost much more; and modern mass media has much power. Today people still use lotteries to select trial jurors. Why is it still good for personal justice but not social justice? When using lotteries as part of selecting representatives, the following happens. It’s more difficult for extreme wealth to corrupt government. There’s reduced need for political parties — which saves money and reduces social discord. More people have a chance to serve in government. So, there’s more diversity in government; and there’s more respect for one another, the laws we make, and the people who enforce our laws.



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