direct democracy... this one is for you spanky.

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by give me vtec, Apr 9, 2010.

  1. give me vtec

    give me vtec Active Member

    I was thinking about this idea a little bit, and to tell you the truth the idea intrigues me. spanky, could you highlight the pros and cons for me????

  2. retromike3

    retromike3 Member

    Good Idea, Bad results.

    The question of direct democracy is a good idea But it needs a set of buffers and brakes to keep the "people" from taking over and persecuting the minorities. In the U.S. it is set up with four steps. First step: the House which has a representative elected by the number of people in the state. Second step is the Senate witch until recently was not elected by popular vote but chosen by there state representatives. Then we have the President who is still not elected by popular vote but elected by an electoral collage.
    all the president can do legally is say NO. and finally we have the Supreme Court who's job is to look at the laws we pass and see if they fall in the preview of the Constitution. All of this is set up so we have to look at these things we just created and have another look before they go to the next step or even out the door.

    That is why I was disappointed in the current administration when they "went around" the Filibuster to get their takeover of healthcare. I hope you seniors out there will appreciate it when it gets to be you turn for that long walk to the "rest area" because we spend more money in the last few mounts of life than we do for the twenty years up to that point. I am sure that they have a more human way to "take care" of those folks than Ciclon B it was a less then pleasant way to check out.:no:

    Mike Frye
  3. kerf

    kerf Guest

    I pulled this from:
    There was a reason our Framers wanted no part of a democracy.

    In general, the term "direct democracy" usually refers to citizens making policy and law decisions in person, without going through representatives and legislatures. The classic example of this is the New England Town Meeting where anyone from the town who wants to show up to debate and vote on town policy can do so. Until recently, this worked for scores of communities, but low attendance at many modern town meetings has raised questions about whether they are truly democratic.

    More recent direct democracy proposals tend to focus on voting schemes (usually high tech) that would allow widespread, virtually continual voting by millions of citizens on whatever proposals surfaced. While useful in building up a buffet of voting methodologies for possible use in other contexts, the lack of organized public deliberation about the issues in question makes such proposals look more like opinion polls than exercises of citizenship. Wise solutions to public problems won't likely come off the top of a hundred million heads.

    A third approach to direct democracy -- the "initiative process" adapted by a number of states -- allows anyone to propose a law which, if they can get enough of their fellow citizens to co-sponsor it (usually by signing petitions), can be voted on by the entire electorate in the next election. While apparently empowering the grassroots, this process has in many instances been co-opted by special interest groups, especially monied interests who put initiatives on the ballot to increase their wealth and power in the guise of public benefit -- or to confuse voters about competing initiatives that actually come from the grassroots. Since the monied interests have more resources to hire petition-signature-gatherers and to run powerful advertising campaigns based on extensive marketing surveys and expert PR advice (sometimes very devious, last minute blitzes that can't be answered before the election), there's a real question about how democratic existing initiative processes are. Furthermore, such processes offer no more deliberation than the unproductive media debates that characterize most political campaigns.
    End Quote:
  4. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    I have encountered only one (fictional) implementation of "direct democracy" which I thought might be workable. It is in the story We the People , written by Jack C. Haldeman II.

    It is short (six pages, 1850 words) but does an excellent job of presenting in vignette form a type of direct democratic action which might be workable - it's called voting with your wallet.

    Flat tax, no deductions/allowances/exemptions, and filing is done electronically, Filing involves deciding what proportion of your tax monies ought to be allocated to each of many categories of potential expenditures. If properly implemented, it would certainly make abundantly clear what the people want.

    It is quite readable. I got Mr. Haldeman's consent to post it years ago on another forum, but do not have permission to do so here, and he died in 2002. I've no idea who isexecutor of his authorial estate, so do not know where to turn to seek permission again.

    Ahhh...turns out I don't need permission. It is available here: We, The People
  5. kerf

    kerf Guest

    How many of our fellow citizens don't know the name of their Mayor, Representatives in the State Legislature, Senators, Congressmen, Governor or Vice President. You would be asking WHAT from these people?

    The idea of direct democracy is fundamentally flawed (camel = horse designed by committee) and would be a tyrants dream.
  6. give me vtec

    give me vtec Active Member

    the direct democracy spanky always talks about is a good idea in concept, minus the pesky reality that usually only one singular human is capable of good choice. When you get more than one human together in a group the collective rationality tends to degrade exponentially as the group grows. Like communism, a direct democracy has been proven to work on a small scale (new england for example)

    The person is a rational being, the mob is not. Progressives have known this since the French revolution. I have a feeling the only reason people like chomsky endorse a direct democracy via computerized voting... is just that. Given a sufficient and steady diet of propaganda, you can convince a mob to do just about anything you want. For a concrete historical example, look at what hitler did between the Jewish people and the German people.

    The founders knew this, that is why our country is a republic and not a democracy. As much as tend to hate it right now, our system seems to be the only one that is resistant to dictatorial tyranny for that very reason. The decision making capability is left to professionals who's entire job is to know, learn, and practice law and the sausage making process that produces it.

    A direct democracy would leave that vital and complex decision making capability in the hands of a relatively uneducated and easily persuaded public. A public that most likely will not know the extent or context of that in which they are voting on.

    Two modern examples of this concept....

    The California voters initiative ballot... the ability for every California voter to propose law has wreaked havoc on our state.

    The patriot act... was not a voter based initiated ballot like prop 8, but the mob mentality at the time made it very easy for congress to take our rights away with little to no resistance.

    With a direct democracy, every time the government wanted to produce a rights stripping law, or elect a dictator like obama... all they would have to do is spin the situation to work the mob in a frenzy and hold the election. Given this regime, can you imagine how fast our rights would have already been taken if they didn't have the stumbling blocks and hurdles of checks and balances to contend with??? How fast do you think obama care would have passed back in July with a direct vote??? What piece of radical legislation would they be passing now if it wouldn't have taken them a year to pass obama care??? Alexander Hamilton said that "democracy was the surest path to tyranny".

    All that doesn't even account for voter fraud, which is a whole other subject.

  7. give me vtec

    give me vtec Active Member

    uggg, sometimes I hate this no edit thing...

    the underlined bold sentence at the top should read...

    Like communism, a direct democracy has only been proven to work on a small scale (new england for example). On a larger national/federal scale the concept can only provide instability and a distortion of the true will of the people.
  8. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    If the people get 1/3rd control of Congress... that's not "direct democracy".

    They get more power, which is what we need... but not enough to influence anything by themselves. The other two houses of Congress could still block us or aid us if there is a dispute between them. It would give people the power to introduce bills into debate. It would give people the power to comment and rate bills (+1 or -1) so that our representatives know what it is we really want and agree on. This is what I call balance.

    The Platform that I speak of wouldn't even allow you to submit a bill unless it were in distinct categories (i.e. - no rider bills). It wouldn't even allow you to submit a bill unless it pointed to a place in the Constitution that permitted it. It wouldn't even allow you to vote until you vote on a bill until you passed a random 10 question test about the bill (from a pool of 100?), even if you must take it 128 times. It wouldn't even allow you to vote until you have submitted a short answer as to WHY you voted the way you did. This is what I call checks.

    Maybe in 1000 years, people will be smart enough for DIRECT democracy... but 33% democracy ain't half bad. Checks & Balances for the Third Millennia is here today... and it doesn't need to be DIRECT. But it's obvious that our current system of Checks & Balances isn't doing much good for We the People.
  9. give me vtec

    give me vtec Active Member

    so let me ask you this... are people susceptible to immediate and invasive mass marketing??? can people be persuaded to buy a certain product if packaged correctly and advertised well enough???

    if you can even remotely come to the conclusion of yes.... then a direct democracy has no chance for success.

    If you come to the conclusion of no... then I think you need to speak with the people at apple, coca-cola, and wal-mart.
  10. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    I will answer that question first with another question....

    Can Senators and Representatives be persuaded to vote a certain way for a small sum of monies??

    Can lobbyists persuade every single man and woman in this country to vote a certain way with just a buck or two a piece??

    Marketing is not such a bad thing, but bribing people and tempting them with a financial reward when it will only hurt us all in the long run is most certainly a bad thing.
  11. give me vtec

    give me vtec Active Member

    spanky, a 33% vote by the people would only further ensure tyrannical rule the regime.

    Let me decompose the idea a little further...

    Our current house and senate enjoy an almost exclusive 50% share of power between the two parties. More realistically its more like 53/42 but for theoretical purposes it is an even divide of power between the GOP and the democratic party with fringe parties enjoying a less-than majority share.

    If you gave a 33% vested interest to the public via direct participation in the legislative process, all you would do is give power to the side that had the best propaganda machine (historically that is usually the side with the least morals and highest degree of corruption)... and right now that seems to be the radical left.

    You see, each side is never going to be truly bipartisan in their efforts... the 33% public vote then becomes a swing vote subject to mob mentality; essentially giving one party an exclusive 66% vote.

    Look, we know the American people are easily persuaded... you can easily look at any number of nationalistic events in our history in which overwhelming public support may have overshadowed common sense. "the new deal", "hope and change", "weapons of mass destruction", "h1n1".... are a few terms that come to mind that illustrate my point.

    Once you lock in public support the politicians only need to sit back and let peer pressure amongst the people do the rest of the work. Look at post war germany and what happened with the nazi's and the final solution.

  12. give me vtec

    give me vtec Active Member

    we are not talking about bribing the people... or politicians. I didn't bring money or monetary reward into it at all. Please do not introduce your red herrings into my argument here and answer my question.

    You are just trying to avoid the answer you know is correct. Leave the chomsky/alinsky tactics at the door.

    you are right about the lobbyists though... that is why doing research on your representatives is so vital. If the one you vote for fails to represent your thoughts and beliefs, vote their a** out. Dont reward them by voting for them every time because they are the recognizable name or they have a certain letter next to heir name.

    Who did you vote for in your last local election???
  13. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    I think you underestimate the people.

    The people want universal health insurance.
    The people want a public option.
    The people don't want ObamaCare.

    That's exactly how I feel.

    Before the 2008 election, I remember an online poll where people voted the same way I did... ON THE ISSUES. Obama had the majority vote for most of his ideas, but there were some stupid ones (particularly some idiotic homeowners bailout dealy), and McCain's ideas were in the lead... the way I had voted.

    People aren't that stupid. And when you put the commenting and rating of the comments ability into The Platform... it's easy to mark things as SPAM from one party or another.

    And the whole point behind The Platform is that two major parties are not welcome. Instant Runoff Voting is, by and large, the first thing we need to tackle. Let people rate their servants from #1 to #10 instead of just THIS DUMMY or THAT DUMMY. The people are smart enough to rate their servants. Yes they are!
  14. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    Gotta run, vtec.

    The beach is calling my name. :cool2:
  15. give me vtec

    give me vtec Active Member

    show me one current/reputable poll that confirms this. It needs to include a margin of error to be considered valid spanky.
  16. give me vtec

    give me vtec Active Member

    I think you overestimate the people... there are a lot of very stupid/foolish/gullible people out there.

    does "hope and change" ring a bell to anyone??? How many people regret that decision... you know, it was considered the thing to at the time. Now I don't see so many "hope and change" bumper stickers anymore...

    its ok, we will finish this conversation later.
  17. give me vtec

    give me vtec Active Member

    Simon. Do you think what spanky is talking about, would work here... now???
  18. kerf

    kerf Guest

    The government works best in total gridlock, which is what the founders wanted. The Dem's had total control, passed HC and promptly fell on their swords, just as it should be. The system was never designed to work smoothly but under great encumbrance.

    As I stated in my economic plan, " Turn out the lights and send Congress home for two years". On most issues before Congress, getting things done means less rights for the "peasants".

    Spunky, the bum, has gone to the beach, beats work'n. Gotta run back to the shop now, cabinets to spray.
  19. give me vtec

    give me vtec Active Member

    totally agree... people like spanky dont seem to understand that putting the people in charge of legislation is only a fast tract to tyranny. All the ruling regime needs to do is make the law look good to the people. Most people are too stupid to look any further past that, and what happens is you essentially vote your freedom away one happy bill at a time thinking you are participating in freedom and democracy. In reality we would only be participating in surrendering our freedom... even faster than we are now.

    Kerf you are dead on, the only outcome from congress that is beneficial to the people is gridlock. they very rarely make laws that GIVE rights to people. I live in california... I know first hand.
  20. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    Sure thing. I used this search term in Google: "american polls universal health insurance -obamacare"

    Here's some of the links that I found on the first two pages (and, of course, I haven't read a one of them)...


    The last of which lists A BUNCH of polls that lay out the results in a simple manner for people who can't be bothered looking thru all the links above...



    Also.... if you think gridlock is what makes the system so great... maybe it would be best if all Three Houses of Congress must give their vote of affirmation in order to create new legislation. Can you come up with anything wrong with that idea?