Posted 1 year ago on Nov. 8, 2011, 5:43 p.m. EST by Amanita76
from New Haven, CT
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
Direct Democracy and the principles of consensus based decision making is an ingrained philosophy of the Occupy Movement.
I propose we take direct democracy beyond the movement, and into public life. I talk to many people about applying direct democracy and the methods of consensus based decision making, to this country. Some are intrigued by it while some immediately dismiss the notion as absurd. Then the next question is often, "name one place where the people truly govern themselves."
Ancient Athens is one example direct democracy. Hwever, the exclusion of women and slaves in the governing process at the time ignores the principles of equality that are held by this movement and the modern world. Equality should be a precursor to democracy.
Today, Switzerland has the truest form of direct democracy in the world. Frequent referendums concerning changes to the constitution as well as laws are the key element of Switzerland's unique and well established tradition of Direct Democracy. More than 100 years of experience with referendums on national, cantonal and communal level have shown that Switzerland's system of referendums guarantees not only a maximum amount of self-determination to the citizens but also a stability of the political system.
Switzerland wrote the book on Direct Democracy: http://direct-democracy.geschichte-schweiz.ch/
Swiss constitution: http://www.servat.unibe.ch/icl/sz00000_.html
I propose this movement consider the benefits and possible implementation of direct democracy in the U.S. This would effective give the people political power, addressing sometimes unaccountable decisions government makes through representatives who are in the hands of moneyed interests.
Plus, this could potentially lessen majority factions in government. The two party system has failed America in my opinion. Both left and right take money from the same moneyed interests (Wall St., lobbyists, etc.) with few exceptions regarding labor donating mainly to liberals. Lets face it, money follows power.
Thats the theory. It will come to fruition by serious debate and question; should such a democracy only pertain to the federal government? Should it be specific to state government? Local? What are the downturns of Direct Democracy? Can the public be trusted to make any decisions big or small outside of voting?
In any case I think if we were to have direct democracy at any level of governance the percentage to pass a proposal or resolution should be high. 75%, 80%, 90%, or 99%? (On a side not, such that the U.S. presently is democratic republic (no its not a pure democracy) there are a number of good things in a representative government or a constitutional republic).(Take a look at the California Republic , Common Law, Bill .T, Sovereignty of the People, etc. Good site to start off: http://tinyurl.com/7e6nxom and 1215.org).
I envision this movement in the future denouncing not only the corruption on wall street. but rather proposing serious solutions to our grievances, directing them at mainly Washington whether by presence or collective message. The politicians of both parties cannot be trusted to "take on the OWS cause" when both sides take wall st. money! To believe politicians can truthfully enact serious policy directed at the very people and corporate entities who fund their campaigns, and therefore make the laws, defies logic.