Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Path To a True Democracy

This is a blog post from

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.
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