[FoRK] participatory democracy

Damien Morton < fork at bitfurnace.com > on > Wed Jun 28 20:47:25 PDT 2006

Each individual can say its decided by other people now, so theres not 
too much difference.

And, yes, it would be the party of mob rule. Thats democracy.

> The big worries are always tyranny of the majority and mob rule.   When 
> everything is ruled by microvotes, there is actually less accountability 
> because each individual can always say that it was decided by other people.
> sdw
> Damien Morton wrote:
>> I had a revelation recently about a new kind of political party that
>> might well have a chance of succeeding in a two-party democracy.
>> Over the last few years, I have been refining an idea for a third house
>> of government, ive been calling it the "jury house", which is formed
>> from a large number (10000+) of randomly selected people who sit for 
>> random, but short, periods of time. The idea being, to inject an 
>> element of participatory democracy into the representatorship that now 
>> prevails in most western democracies.
>> I thought about forming up the jury house as an unofficial political
>> body, but it would be completely ignored, and getting people to
>> participate in a body with no power or money is somewhat futile.
>> But then I was reading how some of the larger states in the US were
>> going to do an end-run around the electoral college system by pledging
>> to give their votes to the popular winner.
>> I realized then, that you could quite easily start a participatory
>> democracy party, whose elected officials are contractually bound to vote
>> according to how their members vote on each and every single issue. No
>> horse trading, no being influenced by lobbyists, nothing. Attempts at 
>> bribery would have to be directed at a significant portion of the 
>> membership population.
>> Such a party might even appeal to all kinds of people, no matter what
>> their political leanings were, especially if the party presented itself
>> as a scrupulously neutral organisation dedicated to the concept direct
>> participatory democracy only, encouraging members of all walks of
>> political life to voice themselves through the system.
>> Its hard to argue against it, and its kind of infectious. It takes a
>> structure that is in place and improves it by adding another layer.
>> Some thoughts: political parties in a representatorship gain power 
>> through solidarity. Should a participatory democracy party split its 
>> votes in congress/senate proportionally based on its members votes, or 
>> should it direct all of its votes according to the winning block. My 
>> inclination is that it should split its votes.
>> On membership: What rules should govern membership, if any? $100 to 
>> join, $1 per vote you cast (max one vote per person)?
>> Some questions: Can a member of the house of Representatives be
>> contractually bound in how they vote? Could the be contractually bound
>> to resign under certain circumstances?
>> What do you guys think?
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