Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Path To a True Democracy



This is a blog post from Changethevote.com

Democracy is a form of government that has eluded all nations in this world.  When we go to school and in everyday life, schools and media talk as if we live in a democracy.  Unfortunately that is not the case and never has been.  The closest any country has come to an actual democracy is at the state and local level but never at the national level.  There are of course some very important and complex reasons why a true democracy has never formed here in the United States or anywhere else in the World.  We can however become a Democracy but it will take a lot of pain and a lot of determination and possibly even a revolution to achieve.
In our previous post,  “A True Democracy”,we stated that America is indeed a republic.  We are not and have never been a democracy as opposed to what many people believe.  Once people understand and accept that what we have been living in is not a democracy, the easier it will be for society and the nation as a whole, to make the changes necessary to make us one.
A republic is a form of government where we vote for people to represent our interests, write our laws and debate them, and then finally vote on them to make them law.  A republic inherently favors those with the most money, even more so as technology has increased.  If you have the most money, you are able to get exposure, you are able to influence what gets placed into bills, and finally you have the most pull on those who vote for the laws that are passed.   Without money it is impossible to buy the pull and influence needed to gain a position in politics and the law writing process.  This of course favors those who have money, aka. corporations and the wealthy.  This as we all know is a very clear example of what we have today in our politics.  Regardless, of party affiliation, our politicians are addicted to power.  The only way to hold on to that power is to increase exposure, pander to constituents, and then while in office vote the way they need to satisfy their corporate financiers.  Democrat or Republican there is no point where the average person has any real say in the process.  Voting Democrat gets you their version of corporate control.  Voting Republican gets you their version of corporate control.  There is another way.
In a democracy, you still have elected officials but they play a lessor role, which is what you want in government leadership.  The power that naturally is a part of political office is too great to begin with, and a country needs to do everything to push power toward the people, not toward the top of a few elite.   In a democracy our officials represent us, and they also write the bills just as in a republic.  The major and most critical difference is that we vote on the bills in a democracy.  This means that those politicians need to not answer to corporate financiers, but to us the voters.  They would create the bills but would need to do it in a fashion that we, as a nation, could agree with.  They would have to satisfy our needs, not a corporations.  If they write poor ineffective legislation, we vote the legislation down and vote them out of office to get more effective leadership in place to write the appropriate bills for us, not corporations.
Many of you are thinking that a true democracy is not possible, I know I have heard that argument.  Up until the past 20 years in our history, I would have agreed with you.  Democracy is slow if you truly include everyone in the nation.  Before technology, information and ideas flowed too slowly for a true democracy to ever be an effective form of government.  Prior to a national education system, when the bottom 90% of citizens had barely a 1st grade education, a true democracy was not practical either.  Both of the obstacles have been, for the most part, overtaken.  99% of our nation can read and write, and over 75%  have at least a high school education.  The issue with technology has only just recently been surmounted, and now is effective and efficient enough to warrant its use in our election and legislative processes.
The process would need to be analysed and written in more detail, but this is a guide to how things should work in a true democracy.  We would vote in a representative and send them to Washington just as we do today.  Those representatives would write and create the bills just as they do now, but need to listen and also make the details of the bills straight forward enough for an average citizen to understand.  No more earmarks, no 3,000 page bills filled with legal terms only lawyers understand, no golden parachutes and back door deals from and for corporations.  Because of the internet, we would be able to have everyone access the bills that are written, read them prior to voting, and then vote on them.   First of all, everyone will be able to vote for their representative.  A voter wanting to vote on bills would need to pass a test upon completion of high school to ensure there is some level of credibility and knowledge within the bill voting public.
The internet allows for fast and secure information to be passed instantly across the country for the use of voting.  An example of how a sample bill approval process would go is as follows.  On a Monday, a bill that passed the House and Senate would be sent electronically to all voters, a day or whatever is a reasonable time to read the bill is given to voters.  Our representatives get to campaign, explaining the bill and selling the bill to us, and then on voting day we all vote.  Now some people may not want to vote or some people may not understand the bill,  they don’t have to vote.   During the day that is given to vote on the bill, whomever votes is who votes for that bill.  Whether a million people vote on the bill or 200 million people do, that is the will of the people.  Voters will be able to access voting stations on phones, at home, at libraries, at work, or any other place there is a secure internet connection.  Some weeks there may be 5 bills that need to be voted upon, other weeks there maybe only 1.   If the bill does not pass, politicians can go back and try again, but with the knowledge that the more bills they don’t get the voting public to pass, the less likely they will be voted back into office for a second term.  Their record will be graded on how well they write the bills that we ultimately approve of, not how well they filled the pockets of their corporate financiers.  Making the money in politics far less important and emphasizing the importance of people and ideas.
How do we get there though? The process will be a painful one, and at times a confusing one, but we will all have direct control of the life we want and the direction of our nation.  Today our lives are very much dictated by those in government, and the people with the money to put them there.  We can change all of that, we can change the vote.  Stay tuned to our posts to learn more about what you, me, and all of us can do to make our country a true democracy.   The first step to becoming a democracy is to vote out all incumbents until term limits are put in to place in Congress.  George Washington believed that the power of any political office was too great to hold for more than two terms.  We as a nation must make a bold statement, we all must Change the Vote.
You can contact us directly at politicalpulsesite@gmail.com. We are open to your opinions and welcome questions to our posts.

Monday, October 17, 2011

A True Democracy

Here is a Post from Changethevote.com that I wanted to share.

Welcome to Change the Vote. We at Change The Vote do not back any one party, but Americans as a whole. We believe that the America our founding fathers fought so hard for over 200 hundred years ago no longer exists, and is now in the hands of a ruling elite. This elite are the same people our founding fathers fought against to gain our independence. Whether your Democrat or Republican, you are no longer represented by your elected officials. At election time they pander to all voters to get into office, and once elected vote the way of their corporate financiers.

Republicans are led by a corporate side wanting no government control, so that we are all free to do whatever we want. The Democrats are led by a side of the corporate world wanting so much control introduced that the only ones who can get ahead are those major corporations. Republicans at least are obvious and straight forward about who they are fighting for. Democrats on the other hand, make the general public feel as if they are fighting for them. The reality is they want so much control that the only ones who can get ahead are the corporations who have the money and resources to navigate through all the government regulation. Democrats fight for rights of the citizens as merely a tool for controlling them and making the general public feel that they have a voice.

The truth is that both Democrats and Republicans are financed by corporations, both are controlled by special interests. Why is this? We are a democracy, we should have the say in what goes on, right? The truth is that we don’t, whether we vote in a Democrat or a Republican, we are still just voting in a corporate sponsor, a corporate lobbyist, and a special interest, not a representative of the people. Everything going on today in our country is not a fight between Democrats and Republicans, socialism or capitalism, but a fight between us being a republic and us being a democracy, the latter which is something we are not and have never been.

The reality is that we are not a democracy at all, we are a republic. If we were in fact a democracy, we would have the control to change all of this. Electing a new official would change things for the better, but whether you vote a Democrat or Republican you are still just voting in a corporate pawn. If we were in fact a democracy we would be voting on bills, we would be the ones ultimately responsible for our well-being. We are a republic, which means money is what rules our country , not people. The most money and most influence gets you power at the highest levels and the ability to set policy to control the little people (democrats) or limit any kind of rule of law or regulation (republicans).

If you want to get the power of the country back into the hands of we the people, we must get the money out of Washington. There is a way we can do this but it will take many election cycles to accomplish, but it can be done.

First, we need to elect only the challenger into office in every congressional election until they pass term limit legislation. I know that is an extreme idea but it is just the first step in getting the corruption out of government. We continue electing the challenger in every election, whether they are Democrat or Republican ( either way remember they are not working for you, they are pandering to you to get elected and voting the way of the their corporate financiers in office) until term limits are passed. If you like your current representative, that’s fine, encourage them to run for other offices in your area. No politician should serve more than two terms in any one office. That is what our founding fathers did. Not one member of the first two congresses served more than two terms in any office. They felt it was too easy to become entrenched and corrupted by the power that office brings.

Second, once term limits are in place at every level of government then we must push for total and complete campaign finance reform. Make it illegal for corporations to donate to any campaigns. Individuals should be the ones donating to elections, not companies. To go one farther, as to get money out of the political process the government needs to set up an election fund that sets an amount that is allowed to be spent at election time that only increases with inflation. The amount in that fund should be the only money that is allowed to be used in elections. The government needs to set aside a fixed amount from our government budget for elections. No private money at all, and not the unlimited amount of money currently spent today by candidates to get elected. There should be a fixed amount that is predetermined to level the playing field for the candidates and let the ideas shine, not the deepness of the politicians pocketbooks.

Third, its time to separate those who write the bills from those who vote on the bills. Why in this country are the people who are writing the bills also voting on whether they become law or not? This process breeds corruption, breeds control, breeds unfairness in the system as a whole. Separating the two would be a crucial step in making our country a true democracy. We still need our elected representatives, but we need them to write the bills and organize our policies, but they should not be the ones deciding what gets passed. They should only be the architects of the bills and we should be the ones voting on them.

Yes, I said we should be the ones voting on major legislation. Technology and the education level of our society as a whole has created the ability for us to all be involved in the process. Of course, we would need citizens to pass a standardized test to certify that they understand the rules of government before they can vote on major legislation. We all should have the access to vote for bills that directly affect us. Our elected representatives would write and refine the bills and campaign them to us. Remember our elected officials should be working for us not against us. We would then have central voting at government buildings or simply on a secure online network when we would all have access to vote on the bills. Bills could be scheduled for a vote once a day or once a week or whatever was necessary. The details of the bill can be released the day or week before the vote, and whether a million or 200 million people vote on the bills, that is the will of the people.

That is true democracy. Only if we get to that point will we truly have an America that our founding fathers were dreaming of. Only then will we get money out of our government and let the ideas shine. We live in a great republic but the flaw of this system is not in the ideas or the people, but the money that controls all of it. By restructuring our system we can truly be the first true democracy in the world.You can contact us directly at politicalpulsesite@gmail.com. We are open to your opinions and welcome questions to our posts.

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