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Forum Post: Political reform proposals for the United States

Posted 2 years ago on Aug. 31, 2012, 8:17 a.m. EST by niphtrique (323) from Sneek, FR
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

I have worked on some ideas on political reform. This is what I came up with.

The proposals

  • proportional representation instead of a winner takes all system;
  • referendum laws like in Switzerland so the people have the final say on everything;
  • funding of political parties and campaigns out of fixed party membership fees;
  • elections should be free of fraud and manipulation;
  • lobying should be done openly;
  • casting blank ballots should result in seats not being filled;
  • reducing the power of the President or choosing a Prime Minister.

The rationale

  • Proportional representation will make every vote count so it is more easy to start up new political parties that can address peoples preferences more accurately.
  • Proportional representation will force political parties to cooperate in coalition governments instead of obstructing each other.
  • Proportional representation will make voter fraud and voter suppression less effective as those tactics only have a marginal influence on the vote count but those effects are greatly amplified by the system of the winner takes all.
  • Proportional representation will make spending on political campaigns less effective. Only a relatively small number of voters are influenced by campaigns but the system of the winner takes all can make those numbers decisive. Therefore proportional representation will greatly reduce the gains from political campaign spending.
  • A referendum law makes it possible that a government can execute its daily business without interference while at the same time the citizens are in control all the time. Direct democracy means constant interference while representative democracy means that politicians can do as they please once they are elected.
  • There should be a law on political campaign spending. Campaign spending should be done from fixed membership fees of political parties.
  • Elections should be done without the use of voting machines or with voting machines that are verifiable by leaving a paper trail.
  • All eligible voters should receive a card in the mail sent by the government. They should not have to registrate or cast provisional ballots.
  • If ID's are required at elections then ID's must become cheap or mandatory so there is no financial burden on voting.
  • Lobying cannot be avoided as businesses must be able to channel their concerns to politicians.
  • If blank ballots count, also people that are dissatisfied with all political parties have influence.
  • The current executive powers of the President are undermining democracy.

Proportional representation

Proportional representation may also increase voter turnout as people feel better represented in parliament. Currently the United States has one of the lowest turnout rates in the Western world, which is less than 50%. In Western Europe voter turnout rates are often in the 70-90% range. This indicates that people in the United States feel less represented by politicians than people in Europe. Remarkably Swiss voter turnout rates are slightly below 70% but this may be caused by the fact that Switzerland has binding referendums so voters can always assert their power regardless of who is in office.

Another reason for the low voter turnout in the United States is that politicians are bought by special interest groups and corporations. Once the politicians are in office they start to represent the special interest groups and corporations that funded their campaings. In Western Europe the practise of buying politians is less prevalent because in Western Europe individual candidates and political parties spend less on political campaigns. It is better that money does not play an important role in political campaigns. Political parties can better be funded by fixed membership contributions as the only source of income.

Referendum

The essence of democracy is that the people are in control of their government. This is only possible if there is an option to organise a referendum on every possible item. In this way the people can introduce legislation or reject legislation or remove officials from their position. A referendum can solve issues far more efficiently than the political debate. For example, the health care debate in the United States became heated while opponents of the reform claimed to have a majority. A referendum may take the issue of the table so the country can move on.

Often the government has become an oppressive force that is not working in the interest of the people. This can be corrected with a referendum law like there is in Switzerland so the people can overrule any decision mady by politicians. If sufficient people support a referendum proposal then the referendum should be held. The government of Switzerland is obliged to act according to outcome of the referendum. In a referendum the people of Iceland voted against repaying international debts incurred by banks and bankers.

In general referendums will not make countries less stable or less governable. Switzerland has a long history of fiscal prudence. In most cases a referendum will lead to the best possible outcome as it makes use of the wisdom of crowds. It may be a good idea to build in safeguards against small minorities starting a referendum about insignificant issues or issues being decided by insignificant turnouts. This may be done by combining referendums, which increases turnout, and introducing a minimum turnout to make the referendum decisive.

Only with a binding referendum the people of a country can be sure that they are master of their own destiny and that they are not ruled by an elite. A referendum may even make a country more stable as there is no perceived need for strong men to correct an elite gone out of control. Referendums should also be introduced at the state/provincial and local level because on those levels politicians also tend to spend taxpayer's money on their own pet projects.

Elections fraud and manipulation

Elections can only be democratic when the voting process is verifiable. Voting machines can be fraudulently manipulated. Therefore elections should be done without the use of voting machines or using voting machines that are verifiable by leaving a paper trail. Every case of elections fraud should be investigated. In many countries there is a population register that is used to send eligible voters a card in the mail. This method is far less prone to fraud than registering voters before every election. If ID's are required then ID's must become cheap and mandatory so there is no financial burden on voting.

Lobying and activism

Often a small group of politically active people and lobyists have a large influence on political decisions. A referendum can be helpful in reducing the influence of activists and lobyists. Lobbying itself may be needed because politicians do not have inside knowledge of an industry and may otherwise impose regulation that is not practical. Lobbying should therefore be done openly and meetings of politicians and lobbyists should be open to the public. The meetings should be recorded on tapes available to the public.

Empty seats in parliament

It may be a good idea to leave seats in parliament empty, proportional to the number of blank ballots casted. It will make people vote, even when they are unsatisfied with the existing political parties. The number of empty seats in parliament will be a reflection of the dissatisfaction with politics. Not voting can be a reflection of not being interested in politics and should not be confused with dissatisfaction.

I like suggestions to improve the proposals.

6 Comments

6 Comments


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[-] 1 points by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL 2 years ago

Would you like to combine some of this stuff with other things people have suggested in this thread : http://occupywallst.org/forum/shake-it-up-real-solutions-to-real-problems-with-a/

We could create a survey on survey monkey to judge them. Could be interesting thing to do... Let me know.

[-] 1 points by niphtrique (323) from Sneek, FR 2 years ago

I will check them out.

[-] 1 points by ogoj11 (263) 2 years ago

I suggest you take your proposals, print them off, ball them up, and use them for toilet paper. Who do you think you are, the founding fathers?

We're not interested in some cockeyed-scheme for finally creating a fair system. Any scheme for fairness will be undermined and violated if we don't keep pressure on the rulers. And if we do keep the pressure on, it doesn't matter how skewed and unbalanced the electoral process is. Both Romney and Obama will have to respond with concessions if we're in the streets with an attitude.

[-] 1 points by niphtrique (323) from Sneek, FR 2 years ago

Yeah right. Do you really think that demonstrations will work? The top 1% owns the politicians, and not you, or all the other demonstrators.

I discovered some interesting things, and it seems that God likes what I am doing, otherwise I would not have discovered them.

God is a woman and Jesus was Her husband

http://www.naturalmoney.org/investigations.html

The universe as a virtual reality and we are all programmed simulations of humans

http://www.naturalmoney.org/coincidents.html

And I have figured a method to end the financial system and to replace it with something better.

Proposal for the introduction of Natural Money

http://www.naturalmoney.org/proposal.html

So the question is...

Did God invent Natural Money?

http://www.naturalmoney.org/integration.html

I do not know what the future will bring, but if you want change then cooperating with me offers the best opportunity for success.

So you are either with me or with the top 1% because all other efforts are doomed to fail and this will only help the top 1%.

I do not need people that are arrogant or have no value for the revolution.

The writing is on the wall. God planned 9/11 to make the United States submit. Look at the evidence (weird coincidences, mostly concerning the number 11):

  • September 11 can be rewritten as 911, while 9+1+1=11. 911 is the US emergency services telephone number.
  • Beginning with September 11, the remainder of the year lasted 112 days, while 112 is the European emergency services telephone number.
  • There are 911 full days (912 calendar days) between the September 11, 2001 and March 11, 2004 attacks. Because of the different time zones the EU and the US are in, the 912th day was not fully completed.
  • On March 11, 2002, 6 months after September 11, 2001, in the eleventh week of 2002, New York City lit the sky with 88 (8 x 11 = 88) powerful GE bulbs that sent light beams into the sky from the World Trade Center site.
  • The next morning, on March 12, 2002, 11 FDNY firemen were recovered from Ground Zero.
  • Two out of three flights hitting targets on September 11, 2001 were from American Airlines. American Airlines uses the characters AA for its flight codes. When the characters of the flight codes are transformed to digits, they both resolve to 11 making an 11:11 combination.
  • Both American Airlines flights had a flight number that is a multiple of 11 (11 and 77), making another 11:11 combination. The first plane hitting a target was American Airlines flight AA11, which makes an 11:11 combination.
  • On November 29, 2011 American Airlines filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. As November 29, 2011 can be read as 11/29/11 or 29/11/2011, while 2+9=11 and 20=9+11. Filing for Chapter 11 on this date is remarkable because the flight code AA can be translated to 11.
  • Both towers had 110 floors, which is an 11:11 combination because there were two towers. Both towers had 99 elevators, which is another 11:11 combination. 99 is 9 times 11, which makes a 9:11 combination.
  • After 99 days of burning, NYC declares the WTC fires were extinguished. The first Fire Unit to arrive to the WTC towers was FDNY Unit 1. Unit 1 lost 11 firemen.
  • The total number of firemen killed was 343, which is 7x7x7. On July 7, 2005 (7/7/7 considering that 2+0+0+5=7) the terrorist attacks in London took place.
  • In July 2001 the band I Am the World Trade Center released the album Out of the Loop in which the 11th track on their album is titled September.
  • On September 11, 2001, the official bin Ladin family's website domain www.saudi-binladin-group.com expired. On the same day a defense contractor, the Carlyle Group, was hosting a business conference in Washington D.C. which featured one of Osama Bin Laden's brothers as honoured guest.
  • On September 11, 2002, exactly one year after the 9/11 attacks, the winning numbers drawn in the New York State Lottery were 9-1-1. Because there were two such draws, the odds of randomly drawing these numbers was around 1:500.
  • On August 8, 2012, about 100 firefighters responded to what the FDNY called an equipment fire likely sparked by welding on the 88th floor of 1 World Trade Center. August 8 and the 88th floor make a remarkable 11:11 combination.

Another coincidence referring to September 11 can be found in the film The Matrix which was made in 1999. About 17 minutes into the film, a file folder is shown containing an image of the passport of the main character Neo. The expiry date of the passport is September 11, 2001. This is remarkable considering the fact that the coincidences surrounding September 11 demonstrate that we live in a virtual reality similar to The Matrix.

More:

http://www.naturalmoney.org/coincidents.html#epih

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

I'm sorry. But I think you missed your morning meds.

[-] 1 points by niphtrique (323) from Sneek, FR 2 years ago

Definitely a number 5 from the Twenty-Five Rules of Disinformation

Sidetrack opponents with name calling and ridicule. This is also known as the primary attack the messenger ploy, though other methods qualify as variants of that approach.

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/05/twenty-five-rules-of-disinformation.html

I prefer debunking to be fact based.