Running Government

How would switching from a Representative Democracy to a Direct Democracy work?  We might keep Representatives, Senators,  and other elected officials  in office, but grant them almost no power, insofar as they would only play the roles of bill sponsors, debaters, advisors, administrators and diplomats.  Each representative would be bound to votes on each bill…

Liquid Democracy

Another type of democratic voting process that allows more people to be involved in the decision-making process is called Liquid Democracy.   Like Direct Democracy, with which people can vote directly on the bills that go before Congress, a Liquid Democracy also uses online encrypted blockchain technology to safely and privately record votes, but a Liquid…

Public Banking

A public bank is essentially a nonprofit organization, owned by a local, state or federal government that manages its own checking/savings accounts. The Bank of North Dakota, which has been in operation since 1919 with great success, deposits all tax and fee revenue in the state bank and uses it to provide low-cost student loans,…

Protection for Minorities

In a Direct Democracy the majority vote might be opposed to the minority vote, and the majority is not always right.  The majority might vote for racist policies or wars of aggression or legislation that goes against the moral view of a minority.  How does a Direct Democracy protect the minority? A Direct Democracy which…

Simplify Legislation

The “One Subject at a Time” Act currently before Congress and the Senate proposes legislation that would be needed for an effective Direct Democracy. Each bill or joint resolution would be required to have a short title that clearly describes the subject (no legislation could be called something vague, such as the “Patriot Act”).  Under…

Mob rule

The votes of an uninformed majority are more likely to overwhelm the votes of  better informed voters in a system in which people vote for politicians/parties, not actual legislation. Currently, we give over the power to make decisions to leaders who are often elected on the basis of name recognition alone, or party affiliation alone,…

Separation of Business and State

Corporate leaders become politicians; politicians become corporate leaders. Weapons contractors lobby politicians for more war. Prison contractors lobby for tougher sentencing.  Private intelligence companies advise the State Department on foreign policy, policy which in turn benefits the intelligence companies. The Central Intelligence Agency hires Amazon to store sensitive information in its cloud. The largest corporations…

Campaign Financing

Should the U.S. follow the example of several other countries and make paid  campaign ads on TV Illegal?  What about spending any money at all on a campaign, referendum, or lobbyist? How would democracy fare if there were no campaign donations, no paid advertising, no paid campaign staff or paid petition gatherers? Only volunteers? Or…

Online Voting

Online elections would make it very convenient for people to participate in a Direct Democracy. However, given that election fraud is more likely to occur with electronic voting, especially with machines made by Diebold and ES&S, there is room for concern that online votes can also be hacked. Both election fraud and voter fraud might…

Ranked voting

Most developed nations have multiple political parties, not just two. Protecting voters against the “wasted third-party vote” syndrome could be accomplished with ranked choice voting. See Fair Vote, the non-profit organization that is leading the charge to pass RCV nationally. With ranked choice voting, if your first choice doesn’t win, your vote goes to your…

Robbing Peter to pay Paul

Some are against Direct Democracy because they fear that poor people, who outnumber the rich, will vote for more government welfare services for themselves and higher taxes for the rich. Taxes Funding for government activities does not have to be provided by an income tax and was not provided by income tax before 1913. Directly…

Privacy

The Library Bill of Rights affirms the “ethical imperative to provide unrestricted access to information and to guard against impediments to open inquiry. When users recognize or fear that their privacy or confidentiality is compromised, true freedom of inquiry no longer exists.” In a library (physical or virtual), the right to privacy is the right…