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,…

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 voting or alternative voting. With ranked choice voting, if your first choice doesn’t win, your vote goes to your second choice; if your second 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…

Tax on Wall Street

According to Prospect.org, instituting a Financial Speculation Tax could rein in some of the worst excesses of financial markets that too often operate like casinos. By increasing the costs of placing trades, the tax would moderate trading activity generally, but it would most strongly deter short-term trades rather than longer-term investments. Importantly, for example, an…

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. The online voting system is the primary method through which Pirates settle disputes and reach consensus on policies. In the United States,…

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…

The Separation of Business and State and the Privatization of Public Education

Because US public schools do poorly compared to those in other developed countries, those who support a “free market” approach argue the quality of education would be improved if public education were subjected to the effects of competition:  schools that are inferior will go bankrupt; schools that are good get more customers. (This leaves aside…