If we are to reform and upgrade the current political system, we’ll first need to design a new political process to take its place.
One of the ambitions of this movement is to define and propose a set of requirements for a truly open and participative system of government. This post will attempt to highlight some of those key requirements.
Hybrid of representative and direct democracy
The first of those is that we retain the existing form of representative government but vastly improve it. At the moment only elected representatives can develop, propose, and vote on bills or changes to legislation. This is called representative democracy and is still very valid and has a key role to play.
Able to vote on all local and national issues or leave your vote with an elected representative
Technology enables a hybrid of direct and representative democracy. Where citizens are also able to develop, propose, and vote if they wish. So for example, if there is an important local or national issue, you can take you vote away from the elected representative and cast it yourself. Citizens would also be able to proposed bills and policy with other citizens able to vote for or against it.
Then if citizen proposed policy hits certain thresholds it would meet the criteria for further exploration and review before official submission.
Separation of money and politics
The other essential change needed is the removal of money from politics. The world has long since recognised the need for separation between church and state, yet here we are hundreds of years later where the pursuit of profit is still well and truly sat in the driving seat of the political machine.
The sad and undeniable truth is that lobbyists for big business hold far more influence over decision making than people. What we have today is not true democracy, we’ve just swapped monarchies for the monetary. True reform with leaders that work in the public interest can only happen when the financial influence of business and private interests is removed from the political system.
The struggle for liberation has been a constant throughout history. Every right we enjoy today has only come as a result of people standing up their oppressors. However, as long as there is money in politics it will continue to corrupt and influence policy. In the US there is indisputable evidence to show that public opinion has little or no influence on government policy as pointed out by Noam Chomsky.
About 70% percent of the population is literally disenfranchised. Their political representatives simply pay no attention to them, so it doesn’t matter what they think…This is a plutocracy, not a democracy. As you move up the [income] scale, you get a little bit more influence. When you get to the very top, policy’s made.
To enable this we’ll need the public provision of funds for elected representatives and popular parties to remove money from politics. Once money is removed from politics the politicians will start to answer to the people. And if they don’t, with a collaboracy the people can vote and contribute directly to ensure their views are represented.
Need secure digital platforms & apps to participate and contribute
The advent of blockchain and military grade elliptic curve cryptography has removed the security argument from the equation. Sadly, I very much doubt it will stop those that currently hold the power from using this as an excuse to play on people’s fears.
All money has been almost entirely digitalised for decades. If technology can be trusted to ensure your money is safe & secure, why don’t we believe that it wouldn’t be safe enough for us to participate in the democratic process? Surely hackers would be more interested in stealing money or destroying world debt than interfering in elections. After all, what difference would it make when the result barely matters because the game is already rigged to ensure power stays in the hands of richest few.
Physical digital voting booths or stations in easily accessible locations
Not everyone has access to the internet or mobile phones which is why it’s essential digital voting booths be established to enable those without access to participate. These could take many forms, they could sit alongside or even utilise ATM’s in public places.
Provision of tools to allow policy to be proposed and co-created by citizens
Leveraging GitHub style collaboration to enable people to simultaneously co-create or amend proposed policy & legislation. This would also allow the distribution of policy to enable citizen review and debate before voting.
The forming of an independent elected group to analyse, fact check, and report popular proposals
This will be crucial if we’re to see past the spin and rhetoric employed by politicians. It will also be essential to have an unbiased official body with the resources to investigate the costs and benefits of proposed policy that meets the required thresholds for review.
Fact checking the different arguments made by interested parties so that well informed decisions can be made.
Forming a new constitution to define the governance of the collabracy
Once process is well defined and established a new constitution can be formed to lay out the new framework that will dictate the way government operates.
Elected representatives to have public profiles showing voting history & rationale and activity
Within the platform all elected representatives will have a profile page detailing their full voting record, any associate justification, any policy they put forward, and content they produce. This will help us to make more informed decisions about who we select to represent us locally and nationally.
Taking the first step
However, the first step is to build widespread support for the adoption of this. Forcing the world’s governments into proposing the constitutional change required and official reviews of the platforms & process needed to make this a reality.
This fight to give power to the people is just the latest in a long list of battles. Play your part by voting and getting involved.