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Forum Post: OccupyTheConstitution Representative Government

Posted 2 years ago on Jan. 1, 2012, 12:39 p.m. EST by Nanook (172)
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One of the most serious problems we now face is the corruption of our representatives. Most of them have been bought by special interests and don't represent the voice of either the 99% or even the 51%+ who elected them. So, how do we get around this? It's totally wishful thinking to believe we can go back to any legal structure we had before and find it. Corruption has been a staple of U.S. government, and all governments of the world, since civilization began. What can we do? How about getting rid of them?

We actually did need representatives 200 years ago. Why? Because every form of long distance communication was transported by HORSE! It took weeks to send a message from Maine to Florida. That's gone! So, why are we hanging on to the past? The problem with REPRESENTATIVES is that they concentrate TOO MUCH POWER. So, they are targets for money and power. Proposals to set up a new General Assembly in Philadelphia will just set the stage for this to happen all over again. It's time to GET OVER IT! We now have the technology to let ALL CITIZENS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES! So, let's grab that opportunity right now. THE NEXT NATION WIDE GENERAL ASSEMBLY SHOULD ALSO BE NATION WIDE! ITS TIME FOR DIRECT DEMOCRACY.

There are, however, 2 keys to make that work.

KEY one is to create NEW roles for elected officials. We could still hold elections in congressional districts, or any other geographic form. The important point is that those "officials" should be elected for a very different purpose. They would no longer be voting for bills. Their job would be to gather information and organize it into "bills" so that the whole population can vote on it.

Key two is to change the way "bills" are constructed and voted on. In short, bills would be required to FOCUS on single issues. No riders; no earmarks. Second, there would no longer be SINGLE bills to be voted on the way it is done now. Each bill should be CONSTRUCTED through a process whereby most elements of the bill are also presented to the public for "vote". The public would have to determine, by "vote": whether the element is valid for inclusion, and what the public view of that element is.

This is a VERY new concept, so please read carefully. The public "vote" would be more like an "opinion" tally. For example, a jobs bill could have an element like "length of work week". This would NOT be a yes or no vote for, say, a 32 hour week. It would be a multiple choice vote that might produce a vote result like: 30% for 4 days, 40% 5 days, 10% 6 days, 20% flexible. The effort of the "representatives" would then be, NOT to campaign for one of the positions, BUT to construct the bill in a way that ALLOWED and addressed ALL of those elements. The expectation is that the population would then, VOLUNTARILY, divide itself up to match the voted percentages. When the bill finally passed, there would be a provision in it for EVERYONE! EVERYONE would finally get what they wanted! EVERYONE at the same time.

By the time the process is done, the constructed bill should have very high support because it would give everyone what they want. So the only "overall" vote would be the ability of a general national vote to accept or veto the bill. Even a small vote of "no confidence", like 10% could stop the bill. If it is vetoed, it goes back for rework.

Again, my point is, let's not repeat the mistakes of the past. Democracy needs to be significantly redefined for our high tech, high complexity, highly competitive world. ( a longer discussion of this issue is presented at http://www.a3society.org/PluralDemocracy
)

So, please jump in with comments and suggestions. What issues are important to consider if we redefine the REPRESENTATIVE structure of the government?

(This post is part of a collection of posts aimed at launching a new process called the National Opinion Collection System (NOCS). For more information on the process, see http://occupywallst.org/forum/occupytheconstitution-introduction/ )

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