Welcome login | signup
Language en es fr
OccupyForum

Forum Post: The Solution: Developing a True Direct Democracy

Posted 3 years ago on Oct. 26, 2011, 8:38 p.m. EST by SvenTheBarbarian (84) from Phrao, Chiang Mai
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Personally I hope this evolves into real change, a movement that embraces a true direct democracy.

Any time you concentrate power in the hands of the few, as we have in our representative democracies, power-mongers will gravitate to those positions and cement control over them. The solution is not to demand policy changes while leaving in place a system that has proven iself susceptible to corruption. A policy change might temporarily improve society but the systematic problem remains and the powerful will always reexert their control. The solution is to improve social governance by spreading the decision making power as wide as possible. With the world rapidly changing in ways that threaten our very existence this change needs to come sooner than later, the human race can no longer afford to be governed by selfish profit.

The concept of a direct democracy is simple, one person gets one vote on all policies, this does not have to be a lot of work as a proxy system can be implemented, meaning a person can pass their voting power to another person, similar to representative government except the power remains in the hands of the population, you can pass your proxy to anyone and withdraw it at any time.

Open your mind to this idea and what would happen, how it would fundamentally change every persons concept of government, how powerless people feel now and how powerful they would feel if their voice on each topic was ACTUALLY counted. Policy would be people driven instead of power driven. Decision making would be fluid and effective, reacting in real time to issues, long-term solutions would be inplemented rather than the election cycle waste that currently exists. The needs of the many will out-vote the wants of the few. For the human race to move forwards a direct democracy is inevitible, it is a matter of time before the world realizes only the moral power of the majority can stave off the corruption that has seeped in to every other wide scale political system the human race has tried.

There are risks and the devil is in the details but a well developed system can mitigate these and the dangers are no more than having a representative government that can send you to war or destroy your economy without any input from you, manipulating false data or blatantly lying so as to convince you what they do is for your benefit.

If this very simple concept is a viable solution to the issues that instigated the current movement, why can I find next to no open discussion on the topic? Thirty years ago we lacked the technology to implement one effectively, obviously we do not now. Where is the movement? Where is the American poltical party offering a unbiased pure direct democracy? Where is the development of a working data system to support the movement? It is not enough to demand a "direct democracy", a "real democracy", to demand "inclusive government", more government oversight, but to not clearly define what that means.

The SOL political group in Australia have created a constitution, it is an interesting start, you can read it here: http://senatoronline.org.au/constitution

But their movement is still in its infancy and the details of how they will implement the system have not been ironed out. Canada, Switzerland, and many other countries have struggling movements, where is Americas? The first stage, a direct democracy party within the current representative system, cannot sell any other political agenda, a true direct democracy party has no bias, it collates the votes of the population, ensures the integrity of those votes, and applies the outcome in government accordingly.

Creating a direct democracy where the power is spread across the population does not mean you will become like Russia or China, the exact opposite, your country will move forwards in whatever way you as a nation choose it to. You can still have a constitution protecting the rights of minorities, it can hold true all the basic rights as are supposed to exist in America today, but it removes the corrupt representative level. You would no longer be dictated to by the selfish wants of the rich (unless you choose to), you will no longer have consumerism forced down your throats (unless you choose to), and no longer have to accept pre-packaged election promise breaking politicians sold to you like the latest candy bar or McDonalds "happy" meal.

The next step is to get involved and get organized. Personally I want to develop the data system needed to support direct democracy movements, but this is not a one-person movement. A direct democracy is at its core a majority rules system, if the majority of people do not want a direct democracy then the movement is self-defeating, until a reasonably large group of people express the desire for this change and discuss a basic framework for its implementation, then I will not commit myself, and I should not be developing a system on my own, it should be a collaborative open-source project.

66 Comments

66 Comments


Read the Rules
[-] 3 points by Dubby (146) 3 years ago

This is what I am most interested in and what I would like to see be the product of this movement. Thank you for sharing.

[-] 2 points by rickMoss (435) 3 years ago

Good post!

Read “Common Sense 3.1” at ( www.revolution2.osixs.org )

This is the best vision for the future of the U.S. I've seen. They say we need a technology branch of government and a peoples branch which will control all other branch. The people will actually be in control and not the banks, big business or the politicians...

[-] 2 points by jkintree (84) 3 years ago

Common Sense 3.1 is a good vision. I also agree with SvenTheBarbarian that "a drastic change in governance could severely damage society, and it will be a hard sell to the general population."

Even if the drastic change in governance greatly improved society, if most of the general public are afraid, or just not interested (old patterns are difficult to change), our vision of direct democracy goes nowhere.

Since sharing visions of direct democracy so far have not gotten us very far, as Einstein said, it might be a mark of insanity to persist in sharing those visions and to expect ever to succeed. The thing is, the context is constantly changing. One never knows when the vision that elicited fear or yawns previously might finally strike a spark that catches fire.

As Thomas Paine wrote in the first paragraph of his Common Sense, "Time makes more converts than reason." http://www.earlyamerica.com/earlyamerica/milestones/commonsense/text.html

[-] 2 points by rickMoss (435) 3 years ago

I agree, drastic change can severely damage a society, especially when you don't try to do anything about it. We are about to hit a brick wall. Change wont be choice, it will be necessity.

[-] 1 points by jkintree (84) 3 years ago

Yes.

[-] 1 points by SvenTheBarbarian (84) from Phrao, Chiang Mai 3 years ago

Hi Rick, I had a speed read of the site, it seems a bit revolutionary and confrontational for me, personally I want to see a gradual change so the population trust the new system, in my mind this starts with a political party that has a strict direct democracy model.

Its got some interesting separation of powers going on there, I respect that but would need to really study it. A pure democracy does not really need these, but in the beginning I think they will be needed, and will be demanded of by the people, fair enough. In my eyes existing separation of powers would be sufficient, if you create a political party that gets representatives in then you will only slowly gain power over the various houses, plus the judiciary etc still exist to keep the movement in check. But if it works well, more and more representatives will succeed and once it is truly trusted then change away from the representative system can begin.

There is a fear, that I share on many levels, that a drastic change in governance could severely damage society, and it will be a hard sell to the general population.

Selling the idea to the population is going to be the hardest hurdle. In my eyes the first hurdle is nutting out a system that works, then comes the marketing. Most direct democracy parties out there start with the idea and jump straight into marketing, none I can find have a well oiled data system, if any. They think peoples eyes will suddenly open and embrace the idea. It does not seem to work, people are scared of new groups, new ideas, they are complacent with what they know. Maybe the financial shock we are experiencing will wake some up, but I think the majority will stay the same.

If we have a completed system, we have a well connected group of people pushing the movement, an internal and transparent structure of sharing successes and failures, maybe it can move forward.

It will take time.

[-] 2 points by bhoopathy (2) from Sedalia, CO 3 years ago

If you look at the definition of democracy for the people , by the people and to the people Your thoughts are perfectly right and open source system has already proved. At the grass root level i feel people are lacking new set of tools that need to implement. The tools that we have are supporting the existing model. Only tools can replace the speed of delivery of the solutions. Yes true democracy is achievable.

[-] 2 points by SvenTheBarbarian (84) from Phrao, Chiang Mai 3 years ago

Thank you for the reply, I completely agree, being a long time data driven programmer, my heart calls out for a pure direct democracy but my mind says all the movements are fruitless if they do not have a well developed and tested tool, ie data system to implement it. That is what I would like to help develop but I cannot do it on my own. I was hoping to create a forum, perhaps a wiki, that moves forward this specific concept, along with collating data such as how different groups around the world have marketed their own movements.

http://www.participedia.net/wiki/Electronic_Direct_Democracy_-_EDD There is an organization called E2D which has tried to connect various direct democracy political parties but I see no development of the data system that will be required, and I consider this such an important part of successfully moving the movement forward.

[-] 1 points by Isaeto (3) 3 years ago

Sven, I see people on here all the time advocating some form of electronic direct democracy. I know, I am one of them. We need to organize outside of the OWS website, this is just managed chaos. We need to connect and organize programmers like yourself, and we also need people to rep it inside OWS. Something cheap and fast to get things to start sticking, a yahoo group for us to meet and organize???

[-] 1 points by SvenTheBarbarian (84) from Phrao, Chiang Mai 3 years ago

p.s. if you go into their forum you will see some electronic voting services that exist that could be applied to a direct democracy, I will probably add a couple more I have come across. One of the next steps I plan is to assess the available software, and through the forum or a wiki report what I find, it may be the software is well developed already, which would suit me down to the ground, I do not really want to make it myself.

[-] 1 points by SvenTheBarbarian (84) from Phrao, Chiang Mai 3 years ago

Yes I am the same, I was mulling for a year or so making my own place but thought going lonesome would be fruitless. Last few days I have been looking at focusing on http://e2d-international.org/ they at least are pooling together various existing movements as an international organization, I think it can be taken a lot further and want some reassurances about the management of E2D itself, but I think it might be a good location to begin...

[-] 1 points by SparkyJP (1646) from Westminster, MD 3 years ago

Support Revolution 2.0 - Their idea restructures the government to where the people oversee the actions of the government – even overturn governments’ decisions when the majority deem it necessary – oversight is conducted through the V2 (internet version 2). http://www.osixs.org/V2_Menu_V2.aspx We just have to want it badly enough! http://www.osixs.org/Rev2_menu_intro.aspx

Overview: Welcome to the beginning of the second American Revolution. The purpose is to educate and to move the United States and the rest of the world forward. We all know that something is terribly wrong with our country but we don't have a clue what to do about it. But we do know we cannot continue to sit around and do nothing. We are so confused, we don't realize how dangerous it is to continue voting for democrats and republicans. We've become mentally crippled and dependent on two parties and our current form of government. They can't help you. The best people to help the people are the people. Until you figure that out, you will remain lost. Welcome to the Revolution. Revolution 2.0 is a revolution in ideas and technology along with a vision to move this country forward. Read common sense 3.1 and the rest of the pages on the menu. This will give you a clear understanding of what the problems are, what we need to do about them and most important, how to proceed by taking real action. Our government didn't create itself and it can't fix itself. Problems never solve themselves…

Common sense 3.1 is a call to action to address the problems of the nation. http://www.osixs.org/Rev2_menu_commonsense.aspx

The second bill of rights are the baseline expectations and goals for Revolution 2.0 http://www.osixs.org/Rev2_menu_billofrights.aspx

The Declaration of Dissolution and Termination (DDT) is a formal and legal declaration of grievances prepared by the people of the United States to be served to the government of the Untied States. The declaration is also a formal and legal order by the people to the government of the United States to cease and desist specific government operations in accordance with instructions laid down by the Execution of Dissolution and Termination. http://www.osixs.org/Rev2_menu_Intro_DT.aspx

The Execution of Dissolution and Termination (EDT) is the formal process and rules for dissolving parts or all of the old government and then terminating the old government after the new government has been fully implemented. http://www.osixs.org/Rev2_menu_Execution.aspx

What I do like about this movement, is that it gets the job done without violence. If violence breaks out; the government can and will impose martial law and the rest of your rights will be stripped from you. With your rights gone; your vote; your signature; and your opinion are irrelevant. With the frustration that is building in America; I can envision this possibility. Revolution 2.0 sidesteps this pitfall.

If you like what you see at this site; please vote here and let them know of your support: http://www.osixs.org/Vote.aspx

When the representative body have lost the confidence of their constituents, when they have notoriously made sale of their most valuable rights, when they have assumed to themselves powers which the people never put into their hands, then indeed their continuing in office becomes dangerous to the State, and calls for an exercise of the power of dissolution. - Thomas Jefferson

[-] 1 points by Maxman (1) 3 years ago

Some thoughts on practical ways of starting the journey to real democracy: 1. No person or political party may accept donations or any other benefit from organisations (businesses,trade unions,religious groups, etc.). 2. An aspiring politician may accept donations or benefits only from other adult individuals, and this limited to, say, $500 per person/year, max. 3. Aspiring politicians must have worked for at least 10 years in a non-political job. 4. These rules would apply to both national and local aspiring politicians. 5. A strong, professional civil service will run the various government departments (foreign affairs,domestic affairs, etc.) 6. A stringent code of conduct should apply to all public servants (politicians,civil servants,police,justice,military etc.) and those in breach of the code should be immediately removed from office, without recompense of any kind, as a minimum step. 7. Outsourcing of jobs by companies must be made illegal, except where a citizen cannot be found who is capable of doing that job (outsourcing is a form of economic immigration). 8. Any person, acting alone or in a managerial capacity in a company (this applies particularly to financial institutions) in a manner that may affect the well-being of the general public, should face severe financial penalties and lengthy incarceration. For financial institutions, this should be retro-active. 9. Companies should be compelled to treat workers as equals of investors, and every worker should have voting rights as investors do. That's just a start, probably many more sensible practical things to do.

[-] 1 points by me2 (534) 3 years ago

Yes yes yes I agree wholeheartedly, this movement should BUILD something better.... and show it can be done! These calls for boycotts and bringing down the economy are destructive and divisive. The best thing to come out of OWS is the GA.... VIRTUALIZE THE GA. Take it online, expand its scope.

I would like to prototype direct democracy. I'd like to see legislation written the way open source software is written. I'd like to see it voted on by the GA through instant runoff balloting. I'd like to see this prototyped in the virtual world first and then find some small progressive communities to adopt it as a grand experiment that, if successful, could be expanded to larger communities.

[-] 1 points by SvenTheBarbarian (84) from Phrao, Chiang Mai 3 years ago

E2D Are perhaps a good starting point for more information about active groups, and also a direct democracy devoted forum:

http://e2d-international.org/

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

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 3 years ago

Please read and understand Plato's Republic written around 380 BC.

Does the progression from "Timocracy" to "Tyranny" Plato describes and summarized below ring any bells ?

[ from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Republic_(Plato) ] ...

... the discussion eventually turns to considering four regimes that exist in reality and tend to degrade successively into each other: timocracy, oligarchy (also called plutocracy), democracy and tyranny (also called despotism)

<B> Timocracy </B>

Socrates defines a timocracy as a government ruled by people who love honor and are selected according to the degree of honor they hold in society.

<B> Oligarchy </B>

These temptations create a confusion between economic status and honor which is responsible for the emergence of oligarchy. In Book VIII, Socrates suggests that wealth will not help a pilot to navigate his ship. This injustice divides the rich and the poor, thus creating an environment for criminals and beggars to emerge. The rich are constantly plotting against the poor and vice versa.

<B> Democracy </B>

As this socioeconomic divide grows, so do tensions between social classes. From the conflicts arising out of such tensions, democracy replaces the oligarchy preceding it. The poor overthrow the inexperienced oligarchs and soon grant liberties and freedoms to citizens. A visually appealing demagogue is soon lifted up to protect the interests of the lower class. However, with too much freedom, the people become drunk, and tyranny takes over.

<B> Tyranny </B>

The excessive freedoms granted to the citizens of a democracy ultimately leads to a tyranny, the furthest regressed type of government. These freedoms divide the people into three socioeconomic classes: the dominating class, the elites and the commoners. Tensions between the dominating class and the elites cause the commoners to seek out protection of their democratic liberties. They invest all their power in their democratic demagogue, who, in turn, becomes corrupted by the power and becomes a tyrant with a small entourage of his supporters for protection and absolute control of his people.

[-] 1 points by SvenTheBarbarian (84) from Phrao, Chiang Mai 3 years ago

Plato is cool, and I am guessing what you are saying is we are in the Democracy stage with representatives, maybe the superstar families like Clinton/Kennedy/Bush being the demagogue's, with a lethargic consumerist population I guess you could say the West are becoming drunk, yesterdays demagogue's are becoming today's elites, and the super-rich are the dominating class?

But I do not see the commoners seeking protection from the rich by freely giving their power to the politicians? More like the politicians are using tricks to take that power? Or do you mean that the population got lazy and let the politicians and rich take the power, reducing the population to thinking they have no other options, no freedom of changing the way of governing? That sort of feels about right.

But I do not see how a direct democracy slots in there? It removes the demagogue's, the dominating class, and the elites from having inordinate amounts of power. True charismatic demagogue's can sway public opinion at any time, but as long as the system remains in place, as soon as that demagogue oversteps the boundaries of power the population can simply take away their power.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 3 years ago

My desire was simply to make people aware of the fact that Democracy is a very complex topic dating back to the very first large Democracy in Athens. I wanted to make sure people understand this so they tread more gently into the field. There are no simple sound-bite answers that can be effectively communicated via Twitter/FaceBook or even this forum. I'm simply saying "be careful."

[-] 1 points by SvenTheBarbarian (84) from Phrao, Chiang Mai 3 years ago

You are right, the system we have has evolved over a long time, and although everyone is angry about current situations, historically speaking we live in a very good, safe, democratic environment. I believe in a technology driven direct democracy, but it is untested, it should not happen over night. Ease it in over time, but keep the concept in your hearts and support those trying to make it happen. Give it a chance.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 3 years ago

Yep some folks here subscribe to a philosophy (the name escapes me at the moment) suggesting society, civilization, and knowledge are living organisms which evolve over time, and I agree with them. It should be noted, however, that trying to MAKE it evolve won't work any better than the Zionists were able to FORCE the Second Coming by establishing Israel. We'll get to where we need to be, but it will be by evolutionary change, not by discarding everything we've learned up to this point regarding what does and what doesn't work.

Interestingly, the idea of evolving change is VERY consistent with our Federal System of States. Each State can be viewed as an incubator for new ideas from which the others learn. Maybe the STATE level is the best place to start with some of these changes? If so, I bet it's California !

[-] 1 points by TPCO (32) 3 years ago

Yes, power to the Direct Democracy, also known as ballot initiatives, have left California heavily in debit and on the edge of bankruptcy. Power to the direct ballot!

[-] 0 points by SvenTheBarbarian (84) from Phrao, Chiang Mai 3 years ago

I think you are completely right, bringing a direct democracy straight into the national level in USA would be too much of a jolt, but smaller areas of governance would be easier to implement, a great testing ground, and less damaging if anything went astray. Go California! (or any other state for that matter!)

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 3 years ago

Yes, and California has the Proposition system that allows the public to DIRECTLY modify their Constitution ! This gives me an idea... Maybe OWS should FOCUS its energies on the states with Proposition systems !

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

I am happy to see others. Don't forget the information library online, this will re-educate Americans quickly.

[-] 1 points by SvenTheBarbarian (84) from Phrao, Chiang Mai 3 years ago

Hi Alfi, I have put a bit of thought into how the population would get information under a direct democracy, because being informed would suddenly be very important. SOL, the direct democracy group in Australia are also focused strongly on disseminating information for the public for the same reasons. Once they have a senator they will have access to a special report that is produced by the government on each bill/policy, which they would plan to simplify and make public, allowing the public to vote how their senator should then act.

But personally I do not agree with this focus, I have come to the conclusion that it is not my place or the direct democracy movements place to say how the public should get their information. By all means make public all information, by all means create a site that tries to deliver unbiased or ethical scientific data, but keep it completely separate from the direct democracy, or you run the risk of being labelled as supportive of one viewpoint over another, leaning this way or that way.

Once you give the population the power to govern themselves it is my belief that socially creative ideas will spring up on how to ensure trusted information is available.

To me the direct democracy system is the foundation. You build this strong and society can then create any wonderful structure they choose on top of it. My energies are on only the base system at this time. Without it the structures built on top will not be stable.

[-] 1 points by Landil (1) 3 years ago

I agree it's definitely requires a team of people to get this up and running. My plan is to spread the idea into as many peoples minds as possible and hopefully those with the motivation and technical ability will have more ideas on how to go about building the decision-making system.

Do you know, is this the best place for discussion about this type of thing? Because I also do not know of many forums for this type of discussion.

I believe that the concept of direct democracy would work once established and understood. I think it the the first step is to get the idea out there. Also create or find an easily locatable discussion forum to start ironing out the framework.

[-] 2 points by SvenTheBarbarian (84) from Phrao, Chiang Mai 3 years ago

p.s. I have sent a direct email to you Landil with my contact details, if anyone wants to stay connected please try a personal message to me as well, or reply to the posts here.

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

Please send me an email too.

[-] 2 points by SvenTheBarbarian (84) from Phrao, Chiang Mai 3 years ago

I just sent you a message through this site, hope you get it, I like a lot of what you are saying, you are obviously very passionate about the movement, it can really hook you can't it!

[-] 1 points by SparkyJP (1646) from Westminster, MD 3 years ago

You can find more info at this site:

http://www.osixs.org/Rev2_menu_commonsense.aspx

    “I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the
     people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to
     exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to
     take it from them but to inform their discretion.”
    - Thomas Jefferson

Cheers

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

There are forums at NYCGA too, and those are moderated, they seem very well administrated.

[-] 1 points by SvenTheBarbarian (84) from Phrao, Chiang Mai 3 years ago

Hi Alfi, can you copy any links to discussions there about direct democracy, I could not see any

[-] 1 points by SvenTheBarbarian (84) from Phrao, Chiang Mai 3 years ago

Hi Landil, very happy to hear from you, I believe one of the first steps is to create a community of interested peoples, splitting them out according to their desire of involvement, whether they want to be actively involved in the development of the system, the creation of political parties, or if they simply agree to the concept and would vote on it, but do not want to be involved in the development.

Perhaps we create a site where people register their interest, and also a site that begins discussion on development, originally I thought a forum but now I am swaying more towards a wiki, where the various concepts and branches of discussion all have their own landing pages and behind the scenes discussion about what to present on the landing page, there are so many details that each needs to be addressed effectively. The main reason for a wiki is it would allow new comers a very clear net of information they can browse to understand what the movement is about, instead of the insane amount of information and non-linear flow that naturally clogs up forums. I have not jumped into doing this yet because I hate the idea of making it and then no-one being involved.

So maybe start with getting together list of people who are interested, once there are at least about 20+ people who truly want to discuss and develop it then make the wiki and the registration site, and grow from there according to how the community develops.

I have been talking with the direct democracy party in Australia and they have expressed interest in some sort of management of interested people like what I describe, i could probably get them on board, they have been actively campaigning for a few election cycles and mention thousands who have signed up to their cause but they are not really actively involving those people yet, we could tap into that.

I would like to make the movement not country specific though, or even government specific (why not operate a corporation or community organization on the same concept), the development can have off-shoots for each implementation or group supporting the base idea, and the data system can be developed to support any situation.

[-] 1 points by EvolutionNow (3) 3 years ago

Direct democracy has been an ongoing theme here; it's hard to have a coherent conversation in the absence of any discussion categories (grrrr)...

Barriers to direct democracy include tremendous logistical problems, and a few fundamental ones. For example, the average American is not even close to being well-informed enough to vote intelligently on every issue that passes through potential legislation, and to fix that would require a huge time commitment by every citizen to self-education on an ongoing basis. To prevent random, uninformed voting, some sort of subject-matter Testing would be necessary, and that would raise a whole slew of other issues...

Consider alternatively the potential of a truly populist representative democracy, in which private wealth has been entirely extracted from all political processes. If representatives have nothing to gain, and their jobs to lose, by defying the will of the people...real democracy can be realized within a representative system. I would like to see the word "populism" gain some currency within this movement; it's a broader, more to-the-point alternative to "direct democracy".

[-] 2 points by SvenTheBarbarian (84) from Phrao, Chiang Mai 3 years ago

yes you right, I think there are a lot of people who have this idea in their minds, and are gravitating towards the Occupy movement because they can see there is a reoccurring theme that calls out "direct democracy", but geez the discussion is a mess!

To me this is the only issue of importance, I have strong views on everything else, the financial sector, environment, everything, but my mind has focused down to the direct democracy. To me fighting for all the other issues is a waste of time if the system is left as it is. If society is not allowed to decide its own future, if it is forced to follow the path set out by representatives, that have been systematically controlled by a non-majority, then no real change will result. The big problems that need real study, discussion and solutions, like climate change, wealth disparity, health care, resource loss, environment destruction, these things really matter to the worlds population, but seem to matter very little to those wielding power.

I would like to take the discussion and development for a technology driven direct democracy away from, for example, this forum, and have a specific forum (perhaps wiki would be clearer) that delves deeply into the concepts that need to be ironed out, there are many, and how to move forwards. I threw together www.atruedemocracy.com earlier, it is childish coding but at the time I wanted a controlled place to put my thoughts (which have evolved considerably since I wrote there). I need something better, but so far have found few willing to engage in the issue, and I do not want to nor should I be dictating the concept from my own viewpoint, many of my thoughts are probably wrong. It should be a collaborative development.

Anyway to your points: Logistical barriers, can you specify them. I can think of:

A) The datasystem, yes it has to be strong to be able to handle millions of database transactions, but if a couple of skilled programmers became involved that is not an issue, there are more than enough examples of effective management of more data than this existing out there. If built from the ground up transparently and open source then the system would evolve to be strong enough.

B) Verifying voters, again this is a full on task, it will differ according to where the system is being implemented, I am not only focusing on USA, I think USA has a long way to go before the population will embrace this concept, you guys love your WWF Superstar Politicians theatrics, but other countries might be more open to it, and have effective methods of verifying voters. Ultimately similar methods as used to currently verify voters could be employed but because in its infancy this movement will be a privately/donation funded activity that may be difficult, more discussion is needed to come up with viable but cost effective solutions. An example volunteers registering and recording voters in every area, using a well developed protocol to ensure privacy and integrity. Or piggybacking on existing verification models such as using credit card/bank/Paypal type validation checks, or a combination of these.

(ran out of space)

[-] 2 points by Billyblastoff (33) 3 years ago

The system doesn't have to be more complicated then a secure server and username/password access as is now commonly in use in online banking. Allowing the data for votes to be user downladable could allow users to verify that their votes have been taken into account thus making the system hacker proof. If voters can't find their decisions where they should be, then we void the vote(s) and start again. The implementation of a system like this could start anywhere but for the votes to be legitimate, access to actual electoral database is necessary. I imagine the easiest way to start the ball rolling would be for a candidate in a municipal election to state this plan as his/her platform. It could also start from the top by having online referendums which would be essentially a form of direct democracy once the practice is widespread. Thank you for your efforts.

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

We are of the same mind

[-] 1 points by sassafrass (197) 3 years ago

+1.

In theory of course we love the idea of it because how could you not? Everyone getting a say on everything. We love say! But in practice there are a ton of logistical issues, at least when it's anything larger than a group of a few thousand people. And no matter what size, there is still room for plenty of undue influence and corruption, just in different forms. These days it would probably have to be done via internet in order to practice the inclusionary egalitarianism it preaches with real credibility and someone has to oversee that. That someone holds the fate of the world. The irony is it would likely turn into more concentration of power in fewer people, at the end of the day. And one hacker or glitch could throw the entire thing into chaos.

[-] 1 points by unlabeled (112) 3 years ago

How about "Participatory Democracy? also.... Everyone in the world could collectively start buying businesses. Every person will be a share holder, and have 1 vote to control the businesses. We can make a Corporation that is owned by everyone and ran by a delegate of our choosing. All the profits will go to whatever the people choose, by a vote. http://occupywallst.org/forum/fight-fire-with-fire/

[-] 1 points by Isaeto (3) 3 years ago

There are already large scale worker owned businesses that have been around for decades without changing the structure of US capitalism. A much more radical approach would be to restructure the corporate charter to resemble that of Germany where all corporations with more than 500 employees are required to allow their employees to elect half the corporate board of executives to represent them. It's called codetermination, and if you've never heard of it, well there's a reason. We should be demanding direct representation in capitalist institutions as the consolidation of wealth in the hands of a few is merely a mirror reflection of the consolidation of capitalist decision making power in the hands of a few, and we will constantly cycle through periods of wealth consolidation until we democratize our economic system.

[-] 1 points by SvenTheBarbarian (84) from Phrao, Chiang Mai 3 years ago

This sounds basically like a direct democracy, applied to a business, which I think is great, but not as important as implementing it into our governance, because ultimately a nations policies dictate how business, and pretty much everything, work.

[-] 1 points by unlabeled (112) 3 years ago

Money is power. The protests began at Wall Street. The real concentration of power rests in the hands of those who have money. We shouldn't allow the 'freedom to choose your form of slavery' paradigm to exist. We could HIRE our own delegates. We could eliminate the need for taxes and just simplify everything in general. Until we take control of the money, we'll never be truly free from those who would use it to enslave us! This is as important to step #1 as the founding of a system for Direct Democracy.

[-] 1 points by SvenTheBarbarian (84) from Phrao, Chiang Mai 3 years ago

I believe the direct democracy has to be installed first, any type of action like what you suggest can not be justified unless the majority have been asked that it is what they want. Otherwise you are simply forcing your beliefs on the population, you might be doing it for the right reasons but the results can easily turn ugly, armed uprisings that think they are fighting for their country but only doing harm. There is no need for that in a country like America which has a reasonably well functioning democratic system, create a new system which the population can embrace and change the faults from within.

[-] 1 points by unlabeled (112) 3 years ago

Whoa, Have you noticed how the trolls are bringing negativity to the forums? Slow down man, Don't jump to conclusions, I'm just saying to think about it, and maybe form a consensus on the subject. Think of all the GOOD things we could do with this. Set up a universal health care system, maybe a universal insurance fund, umm.. we could automate easier, we wouldn't really need to collect taxes, etc.

[-] 1 points by SvenTheBarbarian (84) from Phrao, Chiang Mai 3 years ago

My apologies if I came across aggressive, that was not my intention, looking back I think I read into your statements some sort radical upheaval that came before a direct democracy, which I battled against because in my view no group within society can force a revolution without first gauging the population wants it, which would first need a direct democracy.

But I believe that is not what you were saying, you were stating how money is power and is controlling the government, I completely agree, please disregard my previous comments.

[-] 1 points by unlabeled (112) 3 years ago

Excellent, I knew we were on a similar plane of understanding. :) Also, I found that my idea is similar to 'participatory economics' http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pd60nYW577U

[-] 1 points by SvenTheBarbarian (84) from Phrao, Chiang Mai 3 years ago

I love ideas like these but they look like they need a direct democracy to support them (equality in decision making process).

Also think that experiments into these sorts of ideas would more likely appear if the country was deciding policy via a direct democracy in the first place. Representatives are statistically rich, they will try hard to maintain the system that maintains there wealth.

[-] 1 points by unlabeled (112) 3 years ago

I agree:) You're alright. Direct Democracy is crucial to our future, it is Step #1. Now, we have to spread the word to others:)

[-] 1 points by SvenTheBarbarian (84) from Phrao, Chiang Mai 3 years ago

The barrier that people are not well-informed:

  • I do not accept this, I believe a super-majority of the population in countries such as USA are morally informed enough to make ethical decisions on their own behalf. If there are areas people do not feel knowledgeable in they can proxy those votes to others they trust. The proxy system is an important part of the system in my view. So if I am not skilled on foreign affairs but I trust my Uncle or University lecturer in that area, then I proxy my foreign affairs votes to them, but can pull back the proxy if they vote completely against my wishes.

  • If you make the argument that the majority is not smart enough to vote on issues then you are basically saying that a democracy will not work, why have one? If their direct votes are going to be wrong, then how can you trust their votes for representatives. In my mind this argument was the same argument that said African Americans should not vote, or women should not vote, they are not informed enough, smart enough. Under the current system you cannot blame people for not trying to be informed, why waste your time educating yourself on government issues when the system is so twisted you will never really be asked your view on those issues, an intelligent person would invest their time on more fruitful endeavors!

Also I believe if a direct democracy was implemented, because now everyone in society matters, the population as a whole would introduce more education about what self governance means (along with many other initiatives such as enforcing sources of unbiased information, socially minded scientific studies.. etc etc).

My problem with the concept you suggest, removal of "wealth" from the political process is that the corrupt are very smart, you can do favors, you can employ family members, you can give to select "charities", you can threaten and extort, there are so many ways to control the decision making minority that I believe the true solution is the one person one vote system. I do see dangers, I realize them, but I believe in giving responsibility to the population, if they wield it stupidly, they will be hurting themselves, its like a child playing with fire, the population will soon learn that to create a safe productive society they need to educate themselves, they need to trust scientific evidence, that loud voices promising miracles are lying. Deep down I have faith that Americans, all educated Western countries, are smart enough to know this already.

[-] 1 points by FrogWithWings (1367) 3 years ago

Are you suggesting a true democracy with no requirements to prove one's soundness and ability to function in the world?

Like, should Sarah Palin's Down's Syndrome child, if he comes of age, be allowed an equal say as a person who functions, and is of a much higher level of self-actualization, than others who simply will never be able to make their way through this life due to lacking adequate mental faculties or even being simply a "bad egg"?

[-] 1 points by SvenTheBarbarian (84) from Phrao, Chiang Mai 3 years ago

How does the current representative democracy handle it? Can downs syndrome people vote? Do incarcerated people get to vote? If society currently accepts it then why not migrate that to a direct democracy model.

Down the track though these are ultimately social questions that society has to work out.

You mentioned votes given or sold, this is a valid point if we can proxy votes to anyone how do we stop a rich organization from buying peoples proxies? Again I am sure the majority of the population of a moral country like USA would find solutions to this problem. Obviously you could make it illegal, personally I would agree to that, but its up to society to figure out laws such as these.

For topics like this my views are as valid as anyone else's, that is the beauty of a direct democracy, you create the system, then let society figure out the answers.

[-] 0 points by FrogWithWings (1367) 3 years ago

And I do not agree that if some form of democracy approaching what you suggest were to come about, under no circumstances should anyone's vote be able to be given or sold to anyone.

The Constitution intended to prevent laws so complex and tedious that a 'reasonable man' could not understand or comprehend them....

like many banking, real estate, corporate, tax and even criminal laws we now have and are subject to......

[-] 1 points by SvenTheBarbarian (84) from Phrao, Chiang Mai 3 years ago

I ask:

  • Do you see a direct democracy as a solution? If so please comment back and I will work out some way to connect us and begin discussion on the specifics.

  • Do you know of any groups actively pursuing inclusive governance or direct democracies? Please list them as I want to connect with as many as possible, my personal goal is to create an effective data system that can support all forms of direct democracy.

  • Do you see there could be problems with a direct democracy? Please state them, through open discussion the problems can be addressed.

  • Do you love watching the spectacle of your politicians running your country on your behalf, do you not wish to take any responsibility for your own governance or how that governance is destroying the country and the world your children will inherit? No action is needed.

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

Count me in. Please contact me, we need to get started, I know a few others.

[-] 1 points by SvenTheBarbarian (84) from Phrao, Chiang Mai 3 years ago

I have put up a heap of replies to comments at the below forum, addressing some questions and fears about a direct democracy:

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

examples:

Response to how issues are raised: http://occupywallst.org/forum/i-demand-informed-direct-democracy-online-whos-wit/#comment-217799

Ensuring everyones vote is counted, even those without internet: http://occupywallst.org/forum/i-demand-informed-direct-democracy-online-whos-wit/#comment-217713

Thoughts on ensuring integrity of the votes: http://occupywallst.org/forum/i-demand-informed-direct-democracy-online-whos-wit/#comment-217760

[-] 0 points by Baffled (7) 3 years ago

True, direct Democracy is also known by another name.

It's called a "mob"

[-] 2 points by SvenTheBarbarian (84) from Phrao, Chiang Mai 3 years ago

Also if society was to come across to a direct democracy unless there is a revolution by a minority that support it, which I do not support, in my eyes it will take some time, slowly a political party and the concept will gain more and more of the populations trust, if that was the case the concept would be tested on a wide scale before having complete power over the decision making process. I do not believe that the USA population would subject minorities in some terrible way, but if I am wrong it would be very bad so it would be good to test the outcomes. You could also argue that the representative democracy that exists now creates policy that is repressive to various minorities, if mob rule results in more moral governance then perhaps mob rule is not such a bad thing.

[-] 2 points by SvenTheBarbarian (84) from Phrao, Chiang Mai 3 years ago

Or to be more technical, the tyranny of the majority. An important concept, how do you stop the majority from hurting any minority. My first response is, you already live in a democracy, how do you protect against it now? You have a constitution, why not have the same protection under a direct democracy.

Personally I believe the majority in an educated country like USA would act ethically, simply by spreading the vote across an extremely wide sample the violent or knee-jerk elements would be reduced, peoples morals would dominate.

A thought I had earlier when reading a post about knee-jerk policy making, if that is a real fear perhaps you could create a delayed action system, so for example if a majority of "voters" passed a policy but only 30% of the full population voted for it, then that policy is delayed by x weeks. But if a it was 70% of the full population then there would be no delay. What I am suggesting is if there is a huge consensus within society then act it out quickly (for issues that truly do need to be done quickly), but if the population is divided or not sure or does not care enough to vote on an issue then delay it in case it is a knee jerk policy. Maybe no good, just an idea.

Solutions such as the above delayed implementation should be situation specific, the system I am wishing to create I hope will be able to support many scenarios, different countries, organizations, business, etc.. If the situation calls for limits such as this then go for it.

For example lets consider self governance by the population in USA, which is the main theme on this forum, the way I see it is there are many different views on how a direct democracy could be implemented, but the core is the same. For example some people might believe that only people that completed college should be able to vote whereas I might think everyone should be able to vote. Another might think you should not be able to proxy your vote to others whereas I think you should. Who is right? Who knows? The foundation is the same, spreading the vote out to a wide group in an effective, simple, transparent, secure way, collating the votes, with and issue raising system linking in. No more representatives needed.

What we should do is discuss all these various aspects and create a data-system that covers all scenarios, then any group can configure and use that system to easily step up to the population and say "this is the implementation we believe will work, if you think so too vote for us!", let them try to convince the population, and the population will decide what they feel safe with.

The more discussion, the more knowledge, the more the concepts become defined and tested, the more the population will start to accept it.

[-] 0 points by roloff (244) 3 years ago

Change like Change we can beleive in?

[-] 2 points by SvenTheBarbarian (84) from Phrao, Chiang Mai 3 years ago

Change like Change where you can believe in yourself. :)