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, accepts deposits and makes loans. Governments are already in the lending business. Most governments have a portfolio of loans to small business, farmers/ranchers, and homeowners, managed by different governmental organizations. A public bank…

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…

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 and descriptively describes the subject (legislation could not be called the “Patriot Act,” for example).  Under…

Mob rule

The votes of an uneducated majority are more likely to overwhelm the votes of  better informed voters in a system where people vote for politicians/parties, not actual legislation. In a Direct Democracy, only those who have taken the time to become educated about a bill will likely take the time to vote on it. By what…

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. Although democratic government…

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? How…

Online Voting

Online elections would make it very convenient for people to participate in a Direct Democracy. However, given that traditional paper ballots are significantly less prone to election fraud than 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…

Ranked voting

If in a Direct Democracy elected representative still act on behalf of the people, writing the bills and advising the people, then how might representatives be more representative of the various political opinions? Most developed nations have multiple political parties, not just two. Protecting voters against the “wasted third-party vote” syndrome could be accomplished with…

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. Using…

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…

Volunteer Support for Warfare and Welfare

Partisan groups are often divided over the issue of spending tax dollars on war and spending tax dollars on welfare. What if decisions about going to war, sending weapons, or funding police actions could be made by the people instead of Congress or the President? What if those who voted for war were expected to…

Examples of Direct Democracy

In Iceland, the Pirate Party’s core policies include direct democracy, transparency, civil rights, the right to self-determination, public access to information and responsible decision making. The core policy text forms the basis for all policymaking. In addition, all pirates can choose to uphold the international Pirate Codex. The Icelandic Pirate Party’s adoption of a policy hinges…

Reduce the Number of Bills

In 2015, Congress voted on about 600 bills.  Perhaps not all these bills deserve public attention, if even the attention of Congress. For example, Congress voted on whether or not to rename a post office in Staten Island, New York.  Could decisions like this be made by the Post Office?  or by the people in…

Correlating Taxation and Voting

Direct Democracy cannot work if citizens are allowed to vote the country into deeper debt. What if all approved programs and services had to be correlated with a source of funding? Public works might be paid for by fiat money, as well as partially supported by workfare.  Tariffs might pay for basic government operations. Hospital…

Free Press

A true democracy depends upon an availability of information and diversity of viewpoints. When virtually all information sources–television, radio, newspapers, magazines, book publishing, movie production–are owned by a few corporations, there is little opportunity for diversity, dissent, or criticism of the corporations or the political group they may favor.  Censorship may occur for a variety…