Take democracy further? What could be easier than that…
[translated by Malte Forstat]
(Image: This mass-murdering hair cut also came to power in a ‘democratic’ election.)
The American people (ultimately nothing more than a bunch of Europeans from a few hundred years ago and the decedents of African slaves abducted against their will) have chosen and the result is exactly what you get when you have one of the most backward voting systems and believe that to be democracy. The Electoral College?? A pile of wild west nonsense from a bygone era.
The US Electoral Commission announced on November 9th 2016: Clinton wins by the popular vote. She got 47.7 percent of the votes, Trump 47.5 – about 200,000 fewer votes (at least more then 2 million votes) . Trump, however, gets 289 electoral college votes, as opposed to Clinton’s 218.” – The looser takes it all…?
Democracy as we know it has finally reached its limits. Conspiracy theorists, tinfoil hat wearers, retro-Nazis, religious fanatics from among both Christians and Muslims, crazy billionaires and all sorts of other scary figures are poised to tear the world to smithereens. All this happens in the name of democracy, or these days even again in the name of God or any number of other pathologies. Have we humans gone completely loopy overnight? Or are we falling for the more than obvious divisive strategies of those truly pulling the strings of world affairs behind the scenes?
Maybe. But there is another way. Even under the condition of free and globalised yet predatory markets, democracy could further evolve. That wouldn’t really be that difficult:
An initial consideration would have to be if a legislative period of 4 years is really a good idea. Maybe 6 to 8 years would be better, but with digitally supported surveys of approval. If the annual online survey results for the approval rating are below a certain – yet to be determined – threshold, the automatic result would be early elections. This would exclude an abuse of these long legislative periods.
The constitutions of the not-for-much-longer-nation states will clearly have to be updated. The idiocies from bygone ages have to be thrown out – parts of Germany’s constitution may well serves as role models.
Voting itself needs to be adapted to the technological and political circumstances of today. Dynamic voting: The voter enters the voting booth and ticks the box of his or her choice. Once he or she has chosen, a tablet computer (or similar device) displays a questionnaire with 10 questions on the manifesto of the party or candidate that was voted for. The vote is only valid with a score of 9/10 or better. Anything less than that means the voter hasn’t read or understood the manifesto and the vote is not counted. This makes populism almost impossible.
Very few people would vote for the FPÖ the Right-Wing-Idiots everywhere or the AfD (the new german nazis), if they were really familiar with their manifestos. That such a system would be to complex is not an argument. After all, what is at stake is the here and now, and that should be worth investing just a little more time. Time that there seems to be plenty of when it comes to consuming stupefying brain garbage on Facebook or any of the other antisocial Me-network-driven placebos for real social interaction.
A lottery system for political positions in parliaments: In analogy to the British bi-cameral system, it might be conceivable to create a lottery for an upper chamber. As is common practice for the putting together a jury, citizens are chosen by lot who then become members of an integral part of the legislature. They are given access to expert committees that they can consult on any proposed bills and issues that arise from them. The members of this ‘Upper House of Ordinary Citizens’ would act as a balance of power in the case of sensitive issues; they could block or pass legislation. This would bring an end to the inane and embarrassing posturing of the enraged citizens of our times.
Needless to say, this will not solve all the problems with democracy in general, but it would be a way of bringing democratic processes up to date.
If fear and malice are seen as reasonable, resistance becomes a civic duty.
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