I have been wondering for a few years now what democracy means. It seems to me that it has never really existed, in representative democracy we vote for our leaders but in-between the elections officials and intelligence agency personnel (the real policymakers) seem to do whatever they wish, including privatization of public services and therefore introducing economic competition and commission type incentives to areas that should be for the welfare of people rather than reducing people to profit generating apparatus only.

I propose a solution where people can have representative democracy but also have a direct say in important issues regarding the running of a country.

Any citizen should be allowed to make a submission at any time regarding a problem they perceive in the country.

Every week there should be polls held to decide which issues of those submitted should be voted on by the population using an online voting system with each citizen having a user account.

Every month the issue with the highest polled ranking should be put to a nationwide vote with progress updated live on TV and internet for anyone to see.

Options in these votes should be formulated by continuous analysis of the original submissions to allow for multiple choice options that reflect the spread of concerns as accurately as possible, to avoid a binomial situation where arguments are over simplified into yes/no or multiple options that all miss niche points of view or in-between ideas that may for all we know end up being supported by quite large portions of population. This step of the process is very important to get right and would likely need to be experimented with/updated and itself should likely be focused on as the issue in some of the early monthly elections just so people can get a hand in formulating their own political system.

There can still be parliamentary elections with politicians but their position should largely be about advocacy for issues and I believe this system will make the choice of who is voted in not the most important thing, as these politicians will not need to have very much power at all because the balance of decision making will be more in the hands of the population than it has ever been,

I understand the kinds of issues many people might have with this system however, many might say that the majority does not necessarily know what is right about every issue, many might say that the majority are not climate scientists and are not qualified to say what is best for the environment but I don't believe that experts in a field are always those who make it to the powerful positions in my own society anyway. We have had technology to drive hydrogen electric vehicles efficiently since 1993 but we are still driving vehicles that run on fossil fuel and fighting wars to attain cheap access to this environmentally destructive resource, I simply cannot accept that special economic interest groups that wield the most power right now are any better at making policy than the general population (these interest groups choose their experts based on whether they tow the company/government pre-decided line or not rather than whether their ideas are ethical and feasible).

Please do let me know what you think and I would like to bounce this idea off as many people as possible to develop it.

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Comment by jay H on July 13, 2013 at 7:13am

The one problem I see is that people will NOT get involved in the daily/weekly analysis of everything. Even full time lawmakers often vote for bills hundreds of pages long without actually having read them... do you expect the population as a whole to do better?

But I do agree that we leave too much decision up to to few. And even 'scientific' choices can be a problem when science moves from informing the subject to actual advocacy.

Comment by Major G on July 5, 2013 at 9:19pm

Apart from the Greek definition of democracy, its demo.

Comment by Major G on July 5, 2013 at 9:18pm

Democracy is a fallacy, no more no less.

Comment by tom sarbeck on July 4, 2013 at 3:17am

Check Wikipedia for "iron law of oligarchy". To all who will listen, I say "We vote for our oligarchs."

I like your idea that any citizen can at any time propose a remedy for a problem. The polls that follow will serve a purpose similar to evolution: the best-liked proposals will survive.

Writing the best-liked proposals as laws will require the efforts of experts (salaried lawyers?) to strip them of ambiguities and contradictions with existing laws, and to provide fitting penalties for violators.

Comment by David A. on July 3, 2013 at 6:11pm

Very well written and matched my thoughts of democracy as well.  Its obvious that corporations are what really control things and they are not concerned about anything but profit.  I believe the way to battle this condition of apathy towards the consequences of corporate greed, is to hit them where it hurts the most.  Their pockets.



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