Direct Democracy OF, BY, and FOR the people!

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Re: Direct Democracy OF, BY, and FOR the people!

Post by PDT on Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:11 pm

energy

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Re: Direct Democracy OF, BY, and FOR the people!

Post by BradB on Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:13 pm

I tend to support a hybrid concept…. Direct Democracy, with Representation, and a People’s Veto …

here’s my take…

Direct Democracy…. one person one vote … is the moral & right thing to do….
Representation… (if not corrupted) … help’s advance the ideas…it keeps the focus on issues … it helps educate the issues to more… it’s very existence keeps the issues in the spot-light… it also provides jobs… and reduces apathy… the problem we are having now is that it is corrupted and wields too much power…

We can keep Representation working for us … there are many ideas on the OWS & NYCGA sites that will force the Rep’s to represent the people….and it will work if we have a “People’s Veto” to insure it…

So we start with Direct Democracy … we have a vote at Community level… then Representative delivers our vote… since we already have the People’s vote.. it will be hard for the Rep to vote his/her own way .. no? …

If a Rep does not deliver the vote of the constituents… we remove him/her from office immediately…

So now if the Rep disagrees with the people’s vote it would be his/her task to campaign and move the people to his/her views before the Community level votes… which will create discussion & build consensus…

If the people lose the solidarity with the Congress, Admisnistration &/or Judicial … it is simple … we organize and assemble a “People’s Veto” of any law .. at any time we see fit… given some threshold … say 75% of registered voters ???

the added advantage… is that now we have our government working for us… We only have to show up when necessary…

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Re: Direct Democracy OF, BY, and FOR the people!

Post by BradB on Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:48 pm

a reply from ....Jimboiam (Mobile, AL) 1 points 8 minutes ago
So you support a pure democracy? Would you have supported a direct democracy in 2010? There would have been tons of anti abortion bills, bills ending medicare, ending social security, etc. Would you have been happy with the result considering it was a widespread conservative victory? Democracy is 51% of the people ruling over the other 49%. It is not a stable form of government.

good points imo
http://occupywallst.org/forum/direct-democracy-with-representation-and-a-peoples/


Last edited by BradB on Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:58 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Direct Democracy OF, BY, and FOR the people!

Post by randallburns on Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:54 pm


Scientific polling has served as a major check on politicians. At least with scientific polling we can tell what at a specific time people think about laws. However, politicians can and do still pass laws against popular consensus. One good example is H-1b expansion in 1998. H-1b is basically a return to indentured servitude in the US. H-1b lets major corporations hire engineers from China, India or other countries to work in the US(the only real requirement is a college degree). About 50% of H-1b holders eventually get green cards. IEEE ran a poll that suggested when the law was explained to folks that 80% thought it was a bad idea.

For purposes of comparison:
Only 80% of folks polled in brooklyn after the US was exposing the nature of Nazi concentration camps, supported US entry into WW II. 80% consensus on a major issue by the general public is extremely strong consensus.
http://www.ieeeusa.org/communications/releases/_private/1998/pr091698.html

However, Congress overrode public will, with the aid of hundreds of millions of collars from major tech companies-and people like Bill Gates.

How could this happen? Well even though the public opposed that law, most voters have higher priorities in picking how they will vote-and many times politicians can talk one way and vote another.

I think an expanded role of direct democracy is probably a good idea. However, Ballot fatigue is a major issue. Getting folks to vote endlessly on referendums is hard. I think people really want to vote on stuff they feel is important.

How do choose referendums? I'd like to see increased use of citizens assemblies(kind of like juries used for legisative purposes but selected at random from the voter roles). I think we could also see increased use of revocable proxy voting.

To the extent we still use representative democracy, we can still use techniques like STV/Condorcet voting

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Re: Direct Democracy OF, BY, and FOR the people!

Post by Guest on Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:27 pm

I am being won over to the idea of direct democracy through polling! (Or at least I'm warming up to it!)
I've always been okay with representation in the past, at least theoretically, because I know exactly whom to hold accountable. Also, living in Northern New England, I have had the Town Meeting experience firsthand, and guess what? It's a lot like this forum, in that it very easily gets bogged down in discussion and is susceptible to in-fighting, bullying and petty personal squabbles. Furthermore, a lot of working people simply cannot get off work to attend all of town meeting (which can easily last 16 or 17 hours), so you end up with mostly the wealthy and retirees attending.
Obviously, that skews results in favor of the wealthy and retired!
But if we can (and by "we" I mean Randall!) design a polling system That would serve to keep discussion flowing in a constructive, consensus-building fashion, what a gift that would be to not just our forum, but to so many other people!
Anyway, I'm looking forward to serving as a guinea pig in the development of this system.
Thank you to everyone in the thread for all their great ideas, if I haven't thanked you already.
peace,
Johanna

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Re: Direct Democracy OF, BY, and FOR the people!

Post by PDT on Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:35 pm

I agree that polling can be of more use to us all. Large corporations spend an incredible amount of money on market research in order to develop and sell their products and services. I worked in this field for 17 years.

Typically, politicians, who are supported by these same corporations, will always write off the polls as being unreliable, due to human error, or say it is not an exact science, so it cannot be trusted. Much the way they write off climate change and other things. But they know that it IS trusted by the major corporations enough for them to spend billions on each each year, they just don't want the truth to get out there.

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Re: Direct Democracy OF, BY, and FOR the people!

Post by RayArrowood on Wed Nov 02, 2011 5:51 pm

PDT wrote:energy

If the role of government is to provide the people with the basic survival needs, like education, healthcare, mass transportation, and even food, clothing, and shelter, then I can see adding energy to the mix.

However, considering our materialistic lifestyle in the US, and the poverty in undeveloped nations, should we expect the government to supply us with gasoline and home heating fuels?

It's really a lifestyle problem isn't it?

I believe that industry should be focused on producing sustainable technology instead of mass producing "junk" we don't really need. Since energy for transportation (cars) is one of our biggest energy resource consumptions, industry should be manufacturing things like electric bicycles that can be recharged by peddling the bikes. The same thing applies to home heating (another major energy need). Industry should be producing solar electric panels and solar water heaters.

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Re: Direct Democracy OF, BY, and FOR the people!

Post by PDT on Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:04 pm

Wasn't it Jimmy Carter who created the Dept of Energy? At that time, we were first awakening to both the global political and environmental impact of our energy usage. Somehow, since then, we seemed to have forgotten many things.

I guess what I mean is, since energy is vital for our modern life, and both its wasted usage and the detrimental impact it has on all of us is currently not controlled by anyone, someone should be keeping close tabs on it. I don't think you are going to get many people to give up their current way of life voluntarily. If you leave it in the hands of Big Oil and others, they are just going to keep trying to convince everyone that all is good and we have nothing to worry about. Which is a lie.

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Re: Direct Democracy OF, BY, and FOR the people!

Post by RayArrowood on Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:35 pm

Indeed, we have been lied to for many years by government and big business. This must stop. TV is the mass medium used to socially brainwash people. I would like nothing better than to see people give up watching TV and it's endless parade of commercials.

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Re: Direct Democracy OF, BY, and FOR the people!

Post by TuSpd on Wed Nov 02, 2011 7:22 pm

RayArrowood wrote:

If the role of government is to provide the people with the basic survival needs, like education, healthcare, mass transportation, and even food, clothing, and shelter, then I can see adding energy to the mix.

Maybe I'm not catching your meaning, and with all due respect, won't the nation as a whole be one big welfare state. How many people are going to be willing to go to work if all basic human needs are met by the government? Will the people of this nation who choose to work be willing to give that much to able bodied people who choose the path of least resistance (not willing to work)? (I'm not talking about the disabled here.) This idea among the rest, will have to be accepted by the US citizens. I don't think Ron Paul, his followers, or the Republicans will go for it, but that's another discussion.

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Re: Direct Democracy OF, BY, and FOR the people!

Post by RayArrowood on Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:51 am

Indeed it would be a welfare state Tuspd.

We have been so accustomed to being economic slaves to money that we have a hard time imagining a social system and government that's purpose is to provide for the people's needs.

It is totally possible for a people centered government to operate primary care and production facilities like hospitals and industrial plants where people work in exchange for all their needs. I know that sounds pretty far out, but we are already heading for a socialistic system as capitalism dies.

If we were to look 500 years in the future, we would probably be amazed at the changes.


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Re: Direct Democracy OF, BY, and FOR the people!

Post by TuSpd on Thu Nov 03, 2011 1:59 am

I really hope something big and good happens out of this OWS movement and it doesn't wither on the vine and die. This nation needs a major change in our money system, and corporate money out of government. I trust, that in time, the nation will come together and people will eventually see the message the occupiers are sending and there will be hope and change for this country.

Correct me if I'm wrong but as far as capitalism dying in America, isn't the socialistic system dying in Europe too.

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Re: Direct Democracy OF, BY, and FOR the people!

Post by kclaytor on Thu Nov 03, 2011 6:48 am

I think there are a few must have things to get now, and they are: participatory democracy (referendum, recall and initiative) in addition to representative democracy, government spending money into existence instead of borrowing it into existence, and the things brought up in the grievances already about getting the money out of politics.

If we get those things, the people will have more control of our government, and we will thereafter be able to make more changes in the right direction. And I think people will be very pleasantly surprised at how much better and more prosperous it will be with the monetary changes.

If we try for too much now, we run the risk of alienating the people from the movement at all. We may not get everything that we personally want because large enough numbers of people don't want it. We will need to put up with that. If we just get the money out of politics and get the grip of special interests off of our government, I have faith that things will slowly move to a more sustainable direction.


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Re: Direct Democracy OF, BY, and FOR the people!

Post by RayArrowood on Thu Nov 03, 2011 1:20 pm

According to Karl Marx the natural progression of our social evolution is from capitalism to socialism to communism. What we have now are mixed systems. The US is the stronghold of pure capitalism. The socialist countries are capitalistic socialism, and the communists are capitalistic communist.

This will change when the people of the world unit and take control of their governments. At that point capitalism will fade away, and socialism and communism will become more pure.

In the final social shift from socialism to communism, we will see our competitive habits replaced by more cooperation.

That won't happen for a long time however. As KClaytor suggests, we have to take small steps in the right direction to slowly move the masses forward.

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Re: Direct Democracy OF, BY, and FOR the people!

Post by PDT on Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:04 pm

Ray, I would add that the US seems to practice an even stranger form of socialism where the "society" part of it pertains only to the 1%. I wasn't aware, prior to TARP, that in a capitalist society, the government was allowed to protect the wealthiest capitalists while the poorer capitalists were left to die off.

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Re: Direct Democracy OF, BY, and FOR the people!

Post by randallburns on Thu Nov 03, 2011 5:57 pm

PDT wrote:Ray, I would add that the US seems to practice an even stranger form of socialism where the "society" part of it pertains only to the 1%. I wasn't aware, prior to TARP, that in a capitalist society, the government was allowed to protect the wealthiest capitalists while the poorer capitalists were left to die off.

Actually, I would say the US transfers both to the very poor and the very rich in some key ways. Poverty relief may not be what people in this forum might like in the USA-but it is far from non-existent compared to a lot of countries. What I think is most peculiar about the USA is how the middle class really foots the bill for it all. I think that is because the US middle class was at one point so dynamic, it got taken for granted.



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Re: Direct Democracy OF, BY, and FOR the people!

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