Dale Retter

tribunocracy.org

This conversation is closed.

Present democracy is like a verdict by a mob that does not attend a trial. Tribunocracy is a better way.

The single thing the world most needs now is better government. Our present system of mass public elections selecting government leaders and voting on referendum is equivalent to verdicts rendered by jurors that do not attend a trial. Better government requires a better system.

There is growing dissatisfaction with our election process, the role of money, and the ineffective government it produces Nevertheless reverence for the present form of democracy has largely precluded consideration of modifications substantial enough to significantly improve its substance. Tribunocracy is such a modification.

Tribunocracy utilizes Tribunes randomly selected from all the willing eligible potential voters. Like jurors in a court trial the selected Tribunes attend a public trial-like Tribunal Convention before voting. The majority vote of the Tribunes is a proxy for the majority vote of the entire pool of eligible voters. Tribunes serve only briefly, are dismissed after voting and retain no special power.

Tribunocracy reduces the role of money and shallow campaigning.

All Tribunes attend a public trial-like Tribunal Convention, before they vote. Like jurors in a trial, Tribunes are exposed directly to the candidates and testifying parties for hours, over a period of days. Thus it greatly reduces the need and value of paid advertising, and shallow slogan based campaign rhetoric. Dishonest claims, incorrect facts, and shallow arguments will be much less common; because the opposition will have adequate time and opportunity to dispute them by presenting better more persuasive evidence and arguments during the Tribunal Convention.

A quick dramatic change to Tribunocracy is not possible. However its gradual adoption is. Tribunocracy should and will first be introduced and tested in small special limited non-threatening non critical situations. For example, Tribunal Conventions might initially select officials not now elected such as city managers, or judges

  • Dec 12 2012: This might be a small improvement to the process, but it would require a lot of work to assure that the tribunes actually reflected the demographics of the electorate. Most of your volunteers would be retirees with good incomes. You would have to ensure proportional representation of all groups, at all income levels, especially minorities. The minority of one would get no vote (or possibly get a much bigger influence, if she is a tribune). This system would negate a person's right to not vote. Since a tribune would be representing a large number of people, and the tribune is a volunteer, we can presume that all tribunes would vote on every issue.

    The biggest problem with any system of self rule is education. Would there be an educational requirement to become a tribune? If so, that would be disenfranchising the less educated. If not, then the tribunes would have to reflect all education levels, as well as other demographics.

    With all its problems, I think this would still be an improvement. This is the type of change that should be tried on a small scale. If people like it, it will grow and spread. Of course, even that would require an amendment to the Constitution.
    • thumb
      Dec 13 2012: Was switching from a verdict by a mob to a trial by a jury a small improvement? Does anything in the present system insure that those choosing to vote are proportional to the demographics of all eligible voters? Like serving on a jury, Tribunes would receive compensation for their time, their employers would be required by law to not obstruct or penalize the Tribunes serving. Most Tribunal Conventions would be short perhaps a single day, and even the longest not more than a week…less than some legal trials.

      Just as for mass voters and jurors there are no special requirements for Tribunes. The extra education of jurors comes solely from their attending a trial. Likewise the educational gain of the Tribunes is that they attend the Tribunal Convention before they vote.

      I believe technically and functionally it complies with both the letter and spirit of the constitution. Where individual votes do not now directly determine election outcome this will not even be an issue. For example, selecting officers not now elected by public voting such as some judges and city managers.

      Under the Constitution most decisions are delegated to elected representatives. For example representatives vote as a proxy for every citizen on war, taxes and most laws. An indirect process that employs delegation is not undemocratic or unconstitutional. Our Constitution provides Representative Democracy not Direct Democracy.

      An important part of our democracy is that citizens directly determine the quilt or innocence in criminal trials. However, they don't exercise this power as part of a massive mob, but rater individual citizens are selected as proxies for the rest of the citizens. Tribunocracy operates in essentially the same way.
      Because Tribunes are selected at random from all the eligible potential voters who are willing to serve, equal protection requirements are fulfilled.
  • thumb
    Dec 12 2012: i think it is a false assumption that the terrible governments we have are results of defective election processes. the assumption is that people actually want to do the right thing, but the election process does not make sure that politicians follow what people demanded. i think this is a false view.

    though election processes could be improved, the current systems are ensuring the compliance with popular demands in satisfactory degree. therein lies the true problem. the very idea of "public" decisions is a fallacy. when people asked whether they prefer safety at the price of drone-bombing some unknown nations, majority says hell yeah. when they are asked whether our own fellow farmers should be protected by law and tariffs against mexican/brazilian/chinese farmers, the answer is sure thing! people are truly in favor of these horrid decisions. because they are not educated enough to understand the true consequences. they buy the broken window fallacy on face value.

    ask yourself: which election process would not lead to the reelection of W for his second term, or the recent reelection of obama? or what kind of election system would negate the war on terror? people new exactly that obama is in favor of drone attacks, they voted him to office anyway. it is not the fault of the system. it is the fault of people.

    for that reason, tweaking the system can bring about some results, but can not resolve the core of the problem.
    • thumb
      Dec 13 2012: People are not perfect and often make decisions you or I might disagree with. However a randomly chosen group of jurors, who attend a trial before they vote, are more likely to make a better decision than a larger group that does not first attend a trial. Tribunocracy is not perfect…but it is an improvement. One must not let the lack of a perfect solution preclude the adoption of a better solution.

      PS regarding Bush’s reelection see: noel akin;s comment prior to yours and my recent answer to it
  • Dec 12 2012: Well, I think democracy worked rather well this last time around.
    • thumb
      Dec 13 2012: Yes the tyranny of...


      A government that requires that it "borrows" (by force) from Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.
      • Dec 13 2012: With all due respect, Mr. Gilbert, you don't live under tyranny.
        • thumb
          Dec 14 2012: A fear expressed variously by Plato, Aristotle, Madison, Tocqueville, and J. S. Mill. If the majority rules, what is to stop it from expropriating the minority, or from tyrannizing it in other ways by enforcing the majority's religion, language, or culture on the minority? Madison's answer in The Federalist is the best known. He argued that the United States must have a federal structure. Although one majority, left to itself, would try to tyrannize the local minority in one state or city and another majority, left to itself, would do the same in another, in a country as large and diverse as the United States there would not be one national majority which could tyrannize over a national minority. But if there was, the powers which the states retained would be a bulwark against it. The separation of powers among legislature, executive, and judiciary at federal level would be a further protection against majority tyranny.

          http://www.answers.com/topic/tyranny-of-the-majority#ixzz2Eyu4pi5l

          California has the highest taxes in the country, 33% of the welfare in the U.S. goes to Southern Calif, the unions own the election process and have created the highest salaries in the U.S. for public employees of all stripes.

          With all due respect Mr Akins It is definitely a tyranny
    • thumb
      Dec 13 2012: Even a broken clock is right twice a day. When Bush was reelected 70% of voters believed that Iraq had direct involvement in 911. If all the randomly selected Tribunes attended a Tribunal Convention where video tapes of Bush, Chaney and the director of the CIA saying this was not true were shown as evidence, we might have gotten a more fact based decision.
      • Dec 13 2012: The problem is Bush and Cheney would not have decided whether or not to invade Iraq, a tribunal would have, a tribunal that could very well have been composed of fringe elements with particularly hawkish tendencies.
      • Dec 14 2012: John brings up a good point. Any randomly selected person is still capable of having the wool pulled over their eyes. I would rather elect someone I know that at least has an a college education.
        • thumb
          Dec 14 2012: Tribunocracy does not replace elected officers with Tribunes.

          Tribunocracy is only an improvement in our democratic system based on two new methods of its practice.

          1. A randomly selected group of Tribunes may serve as a proxy for the full body of eligible voters.
          2. The Tribunes must attend a trial-like Tribunal Convention before they vote (just a jurors must attend a trial before they vote)

          I would trust a jury selected at random to vote on my guilt or innocence after they witnessed a full formal trial, more than a mob composed of any eligible voter who had an opinion and chose to vote without bothering to witness my trial. Why not have the same requirement for electing government officials? Tribunal Convention would reduce the rolle of money, shallow campaigning, voter ignorance. It will increase exposure to facts, argument, and allow for controlled group deliberating,
  • thumb
    Dec 18 2012: Based on the comments I have received, it is clear that I invited the misconception that Tribunocracy is intended to change more than our present system of mass public voting. It is not.

    Tribunes do not vote on legislation! Tribunocracy is only a system for improving the existing election process. Tribunocracy does not require or advocate other changes in government.
    • Dec 20 2012: "Tribunocracy reduces the role of money and shallow campaigning."

      Except it doesn't do this because corporations have a monopoly on media, so you get things like fox news and pro market, pro corporate ideology and anyone elses thoughts dismissed as "radicals", or "people not to be taken seriously".
      • thumb
        Dec 20 2012: At present many parties especially those who have money or can earn money by gathering an audience advocate for their particular beliefs or personal best interests. Part of this, especially its funding is motivated because they believe it will affect voters and thereby help get the candidates they favor elected. Tribunocracy reduces this because the influence of what is said before a Tribunal Convention begins will be much less. This is because much more of each Tribune’s decision will be based on what they see and hear over the hours or days they spend listening to the candidates in person, and the witnesses they present at the public presentations. This information will be better because it will be in much grater depth, given under oath, and subject to cross examination and rebuttal. Tribunes will be instructed to give priority to information presented during the Tribunal Convention. Just as jurors are instructed to base their verdict only on the information they obtain from witnessing the trial. This will not eliminate the biases or affect of everything Tribunes are exposed to before the Tribunal Convention begins, but it will greatly reduce it.
  • thumb
    Dec 17 2012: Trial by Jury is a terrible system that often produces bad results. However it is better than the alternatives. If accused of a crime would you prefer trial by a mob listening to outrageous assertions that would never stand up in a trial, or a jury trial? We are conducting our elections by mob voting. Tribunocracy randomly picks some of the mob as a representative sample then has them attend a public Tribunal Convention (like a trial) before they vote.
  • thumb
    Dec 17 2012: I'm not sure I would characterise representative democracy as mob rule.

    Is it perfect. No. Can it be improved, I guess so.

    Not sure I'd prefer randomly selected tribunals to make complex policy decisions. But it is ASN interesting idea. Thanks.
    • thumb
      Dec 17 2012: Tribunes do not make policy decisions! Tribunes only vote as an educated proxy for what is presently voted on by all eligible voters choosing to vote.
  • thumb
    Dec 16 2012: Henry,

    If the guilt or innocence of accused persons was to be put on a public referendum, urging the entire voting population to become to “put more work into it” would not in my opinion even come close to providing the required information necessary for even a majority of the voters to make an intelligent information based decision. Having a sampling of then (i.e. a jury) attend a trial before voting is much better. A jury may put in days of focused attention to what presenters spend days or weeks preparing and presenting. You are right that is important. It is not possible to do that for everyone but you can do that for a Jury, or for a Tribunal Convention for an election. See: www.tribunocracy.org
  • thumb
    Dec 16 2012: Based on the comments received, it is clear that I should have said is: Our present system of public elections is like a verdict from a mob that does not attend a trial.

    Tribunes do not vote on legislation! Tribunes only serve as a way for a random selection of willing potential voters to attend a tribunal convention before they vote as a proxy on a ballet that is otherwise the same as in our elections now open to all eligible voters; just as jurors serve as a proxy for all the citizens eligible to be jurors.
  • thumb
    Dec 16 2012: Sounds like a grand jury. Let me remind you we tried that. These grand juries had problems with power trips and corruption as well.

    These groups would be easy targets for organized crime and things of that nature. I guess they could be regulated to death...so nobody tampers with the group...but I don't think it would provide enough substantial legislation in an appropriate amount of time. Not all Americans should be making decisions for everybody else.
    • thumb
      Dec 16 2012: Tribunes do not vote on legislation! Tribunes only serve as a way for a random selection of willing potential voters to attend a tribunal convention before they vote as a proxy on a ballet that is otherwise the same as in our elections now open to all eligible voters; just as jurors serve as a proxy for all the citizens eligible to be jurors. If accused of a crime, would you accept a mass public vote on your guilt or innocence instead of a verdict by a jury that fist attended your trial?
      Do you think moat jurors are corrupted by jury tampering? Do you think it would be easier to corrupt a larger group of sequestered Tribunes?
      • thumb
        Dec 16 2012: I think people just need to educate themselves on how the current process works. Otherwise you are replacing one system that doesn't work...with another system that doesn't work.

        The value of our government is based on how much work the people are willing to put into it.
  • Dec 16 2012: You assume randomly selected tribunes will not be subject to undue influence by the wealthy and powerful. Not much chance of that. In fact there can be no democratic systems that are not influenced by money. Whether by advertising, lobbying or outright bribery, money talks, and always has.

    So I think the problem to solve isn't influence so much as undue and secret influence. The way representative democracies are set up, only the super-wealthy can use their money to influence decisions. The only way to create an equitable system is to balance direct democracy against the plutocrats, actively and publiclly redistributing their lobbying money back to the people - who can use it to exert influence in their turn.

    I felt strongly enough about this to implement it myself as a Facebook app. The system is in public alpha right now - see http://www.doshmosh.com - all feedback very welcome.
    • thumb
      Dec 16 2012: The greatest direct influence of money and power in our political process is exercised by providing candidates with the money they require in order to pay for the campaigning they must do to be reelected or by spending money directly campaigning for a candidate. If a Tribunes alone determined the outcome of an election only after attending the public Tribunal Convention the importance of money spent on pre Tribunal campaigning will be relatively minimal.
      Most juries are not frequently influenced by money and power because doing so is a crime. The jurors are sequestered and serve only briefly. In a some jury trial a single juror might affect the outcome. If a juror is bribed to vote not guilty in a criminal trial it will prevent a guilty verdict and the briber will be able to know if the bribed juror failed to do so, if they are found guilty. If there are dozens of Tribunes and it is a crime to bribe them or accept a bribe the risk to reward ratio of trying to bribe them will be small. Like jurors Tribunes are sequestered, the may keep their vote confidential, and they serve only briefly. Tribunocracy will greatly reduce the roll of money an power in deterring election outcome, and the behavior of candidates influenced by the need to raise money.
      • Dec 16 2012: If tribunal members are drawn from the general population, money invested in influencing that population will affect them too. Since they are also susceptible to corruption through personal threats or incentives they're more susceptible to influence than the general population.

        Of course doing that would be criminal, but in the USA you have congressional leaders on record passing out checks on the floor of the house to influence votes (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAC2xeT2yOg) - do your really think sequestration would prevent such people from having their way?
  • thumb
    Dec 15 2012: Think of this scenario: The tribunes are voting on legislation that gives them absolute power. What happens when the tribunocracy turns into a dictatorship? The influence of money won't be reduced as the those who lust after power will inevitably acquire it. They will begin to rig the selections. Soon the decisions will be made by only those who have the money, and after that the tribunes themselves will become dictators, who will also try and kill each other in order to seize ultimate power.

    Power in the hands of few will only end in a dictatorship no matter the original intentions.
    • thumb
      Dec 15 2012: Tribunes do not vote on legislation! Tribunes only serve as a way for a random selection of willing potential voters to attend a tribunal convention before they vote as a proxy for what would have been an election open to all eligible voters. Just as jurors serve as a proxy for all the citizens eligible to be jurors. If accused of a crime, would you accept a public vote on your guilt or innocence instead of a verdict by a jury that fist attended your trial? Does trial by jury lead to dictatorship?

      When eligible voters register they will indicate the Tribunes they would be willing to sever on if selected and given a number like a lottery ticket. Selection will be by live public drawing of numbers...like occurs in a public lottery. Like jurors after tribunes vote once on the same questions that mass voters now vote on (such as which candidate they think would be the best elected official). After their single vote they are dismissed and retain no special power.

      The present mob of mass voters is more susceptible to influence by money and shallow irrational arguments than a Tribune that will get prolonged exposure to all the facts and argument the contending parties think most relevant. See www.tiribunocracy.org
  • thumb
    Dec 13 2012: It does not address the tyranny of a democracy.

    But as stated the core problem is no education on the subject, which would only be addressed in a perfunctory manner with your system.

    The first thing to know, which you have missed, is that there is something to know about this subject.
    • thumb
      Dec 13 2012: The constitution and guaranteed rights for individuals and minorities does address the tyranny of democracy, and Tribunocracy does nothing to reduce that. For Tribunocracy to be an improvement it does not have to fix everything.

      Attending a jury trial before voting on the quit or innocence of defendant, is arguably only a “perfunctory education” however if you were on trial, do you think it would be important to require jurors attend your trial before they voted?
      • thumb
        Dec 13 2012: It usurps the Republic by virtue that your "tribunocracy" draws from the majority, which is democrat, with extremely preconceived ideas which are not going to be phased by a perfunctory education.

        The Republic also would go this way if more of the democrats could be bothered to vote but fortunately they aren't. The original intent of the framers was to resolve this problem by giving as much power to the states as the Federal government which included state appointed senators as well as the right to secede as well as 10th amendment.

        As to a jury trial as afforded by the 6th amendment the two are apples and oranges. There are many appeal possibilities and the jury has to decide on a single issue that is presented to them by professionals geared toward the layman and the jury has to be approved by the defense and the prosecution.

        As opposed to an election that can produce such things as Obama care and Frank Dodd and Social Security and Medicare and Sarbanes Oxley that will no doubt be the undoing of the country the problem is that appeal is next to impossible and as you can see last into perpetuity or the demise of the country what ever comes first.

        The problem is an ignorance of government and liberty as a way of life.
      • thumb
        Dec 17 2012: What is the performance rate of of these juries your speaking about?
        Don't they often send innocent people to jail?
  • Dec 12 2012: @Dale Retter

    Your website does not explain how the agenda will be set for the tribunals (who will decide what to discuss and when?), the system is also likely to devolve into randomness with things like abortion being stuck in a loop of being legalized one week and being criminalized the next (this is the reason there are years in between elections). The one thing less reliable than politics are trials.
    • thumb
      Dec 13 2012: Thanks for visiting the web site. The constitution does not specify every detail and many of the necessary mechanics had to be worked out and evolved over time. Tribunocracy will need to start small with experimentation in non critical arrears before its practice has gained enough refinement to assume more importance. Basically there would be equal time for candidates to speak, offer witnesses (other people speaking and presenting information on their behalf) rebuttals. Tribunes would after deliberation in small groups offer written questions and comments.
      If you were accused of committing murder, would you consider a trial by mass public opinion manifest by voting on a referendum, more or less reliable than a trial by jurors who witnessed your trial?
      • Dec 13 2012: I understand that any system has to evolve but you have to lay down some guiding principles to start. Tribunocracy lacks a guiding principle for setting agendas, it simply won't work without one, you have to fix that.

        "If you were accused of committing murder, would you consider a trial by mass public opinion manifest by voting on a referendum, more or less reliable than a trial by jurors who witnessed your trial?"

        I really hope I never get accused for a trial by jury (thank god my country doesn't have those), period. The American justice system is a farce with judges and especially juries who judge people by their appearance and don't know the first thing about technology, science and statistics, and lawyers (the most clever ones only available to the rich) who know how to exploit those weaknesses. I'd rather have trial by computer, I would at least stand a chance then.

        And seriously, what if the science budget is up for debate and the tribunal presiding over it is composed of 100% inbred, evangelical teabaggers? Also, in politics there often is no single right answer: which is when the voice of the people is the only measure you can go by. How much money should be spend on security, how much to development aid? This is when it really matters to hear the voice of the people instead of the voices of a handful of people who were randomly picked and may thus very well represent a minority opinion.
        • thumb
          Dec 13 2012: Some of the guidelines for the agenda are detailed at www.tribunocracy.org. Like any new laws and regulations they should be public set well before the event and subject to revision based on experience.
          Initially the objective of Tribunocracy is to replace mass public voting by eligible voters choosing to vote with a random sampling of eligible voters who indicate they would be willing to serve as jurors if selected. The advantage is not that they are any different from the group of eligible voters they represent, but rather that the process of attending the Tribunal Convention before they vote would provide them more information, exposure to the candidates and arguments, before they vote. It does not require that Tribunes assume any greater participation.
          Seriously I view trial by jury a poor form of justice, but as Winston Churchill said of democracy, its only virtue is that it is better than the alternatives.
  • Dec 12 2012: The reality is human beings don't have the knowledge or wisdom to govern themselves. America is divided on priniciples, religion and morality. You can't have consensus given that atmosphere because a significant sizable portion of the population lives in illusions and lies and their judgement is not based in reality.

    Any solution to problems would be perceived as a "threat" to one or more groups, hence problems are intractable because human beings are incapable of accepting the truth. Most would rather live in denial or their version of reality. Religion is proof of this.
    • thumb
      Dec 13 2012: Assuming everything you say is true, a verdict rendered by a jury that has witnessed a trial is likely to better, more fact based, and well thought than a verdict rendered by a mob. The process improves the outcome even with the same imperfect participants. Today our elections are decisions rendered by a mob, a Tribunal Convention would be an improvement.
      • Dec 16 2012: Human reasoning doesn't work on enlightenment principles:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYmi0DLzBdQ

        Lastly one doesn't even have to go far to see that americans are so wedded to free market ideology in the face of enormous corruption and unchecked power of corporations they are basically in no position to figure out solutions. A person who had any inkling of intelligence would select a "citizen king" give that good citizen absolute power and immunity, total access and ability to print money an go kick ass and take names.


        As an example: I would go and buy a majority stake/buy out all the irresponsible companies and either 1) liquidate/sell off assets 2) Use that majority ownership to kick out irresponsible management. 3) If the company is public (on the stock market) take it private (out of the stock market) so there is no pressure to cut corners and develop criminally underhanded ways to make money.

        The problems are intractable _because_ of human irresponsibility at all levels. The only way to stop it is to be able to remove/jail/punish/prevent irresponsible humans from inflicting damage against future generations.

        That is unlikely to happen even though it would be the best solution because even too many educated people are too mired in morals and ideology, right now we just need to be able to put a stop to miscreants and confiscate their money/power/property as punishment for being a irresponsible member of society.

        America has a problematic ideology of worshipping the individual and respecting the "rule of law" and property rights but we've seen this worship of these things are both failures in practice and the current political climate is the result.

        Both parties in the US are so corrupt and irresponsible you need an outside third party to go in and nullify the privileges they've given themselves.
  • Dec 12 2012: Voter apathy is caused when voters know deep inside that it doesn't work.
    They can sense it and the sane ones see it, with their own eyes. They don't lie to themselves.

    What many still cannot do is reason it out. Thus:
    voting fits perfectly a description of insane behavior, i.e. doing the same thing over and over,
    and expecting different results.

    Politicians will never deliver solutions to human living problems. They will only create them and benefit off of them.

    If you are speaking about creating a just system to replace the broken and unjust system we have, then I am for that.
    But, your system must not have any features or elements that create reasons for crime, greed, corruption, inequality, poverty and so on. That is possible and is what a just system is. The system has to be just. If you retain or have reasons, causes or climates for the unjust problems I listed, then it is not a just system, it will not function as a just system and it cannot become a just system. You will have to start again and figure out how to make a just system from the very beginning.

    Getting rid of money will eliminate all of those negatives I listed. It's true, but most people will scoff at that immediately and not even entertain thinking deeply about it.

    Not my loss, but for those of you who will be alive in the next 10 years on up, it will be devastating if you don't devise a just system. Either that or many may think that somehow they will become part of the ruling or financial elite or will somehow benefit from the love of finally having, loving, compassionate, fair, just, ethical, moral, inclusive and wise leaders, politically and financially, who, in an unjust system, will not fall prey to the corruption of power and money, simply to keep from squirming around in the muck the rest of humanity will be forced to eat and live in.

    I don't know if a "tribunocracy" can do or be that, but that is what is needed. Not a new name, a new system built that is just. Just that.
    • thumb
      Dec 13 2012: As you can read in more detail at: www.tribunocracy.org I believe human nature has not and will not change significantly. However, our culture and social political systems do change and improve. The introduction of modern democracy is a good example. Although far from perfect, it did produce a systemic improvement. As Gandhi said, even the greatest journeys must be taken one step at a time. Tribunocracy is also far from perfect, but it is a better system and will be a meaningful step forewarned. What is needed is not an unachievable leap to perfections, but meaningful steps to something better.
  • thumb
    Dec 12 2012: My knee-jerk reaction was positive. Then I read about your fatalistic view of the American system of voting. The "verdict by a mob" theme does not apply to our current crisis in low voter turnouts. The problem is that eligible voters have been duped into believing their vote does not matter, a theory with which you agree, and are promoting. Every eligible voter has an impact on the outcome of every election. . . some by voting, and some by not voting. QUOTE: "Always vote for priciple, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost."-- John Quincy Adams.
    • thumb
      Dec 13 2012: Regular citizens chosen at random as jurors in a trial, enhances citizen participation and meaningful democracy. Imagine a system were jurors were replaced by a mob vote were everyone willing to cast a vote even if they were not willing to attend the trial. Would this be a better way to practice democracy? Would it provide us better decision making? Is a jury trial less democratic than trial by mob? Would your contribution to our democracy be lesser or grater if instead of casting votes along with thousands or millions of other voters, you served as a Tribune in a Tribunal Conventions. Are a million votes by a mob, worth more than 12 votes by a jury that attends a full court trial before voting? Is the mob more democratic just because its bigger.
      Noel Akins, yesterday had questions similar to yours and you my find them and my answer in this conversation relevant.
      • thumb
        Dec 13 2012: I understand your analogy of the absentee juror, but I do not understand how adding another level of representation will solve anything. The legislative process is not the court process. Jurors are jurors and voters are voters. I have read Mr. Akins' comments. The great American experiment is at a low, maybe the lowest ever, ebb right now. You may find the conversation on replacing the Electoral College now pending germane. I appreciate your concern for our nation, but I remain a staunch supporter of our current system as it is. Thanks!
  • Dec 12 2012: I believe here would be little difference between tribunes and currently elected members of congress congress. Bribes do not have to be in cash. Democracy works best when more people become engaged in the process, not less.
    • thumb
      Dec 12 2012: Tribunes are like jurors in a trial; they are sequestered during the Tribunal Convention, and have no residual power afterwards. It is revered dogma that the more who vote the better. From Tribunocracy the Poem:

      As the number of voters grows,
      down in value each vote goes.
      Where a vote of ten thousand is small,
      the value of one vote is infinitesimal.

      Though it may cause despair,
      one vote is not worth bus fare.
      The noble vote is now like a cheer
      from a spectator seated in the rear.

      To vote
      is to emote
      without hope
      worth note.

      One vote is not worth great concern,
      when it will never an election turn.
      Where a vote is cheap,
      some behave like sheep.

      Rightly fearing Bullyocracy,
      most engage in hypocrisy.
      Our leaders say,
      to vote does pay.

      With heads tucked below reason,
      they say disbelieving is like treason.
      Yet it is from the soup of logic and reason,
      that good government gets its season.

      If mass public voting is the best way to reach a democratic decisions, why bother with jury trials? Why not let the parties make their case in the media and through paid advertisements, and then have everyone who wants to cast a vote? Hopefully, that would seem like a terrible idea, because you have already witnessed a much better system. Why is a jury trial necessary for a meaningful verdict, and not for an election. Could it be because we have not yet witnessed a better system?
  • thumb
    Dec 12 2012: Thanks for your interest! Individuals must indicate that they would be willing to serve as a Tribune if selected before they become part of the group from which they may be chosen. Many people care about the outcome of elections and would greatly value the opportunity to potential influence it in a quantitatively meaningful way. Tribunes get a “front row seat” at an important event were they can view the candidate and witnesses in person. Tribunes have the right to ask questions and make comments. After Tribunes vote they will have the opportunity to make relevant comments that will then become part of the permanent public record. One thing I can state with grate certainty is that there will be more than enough people volunteering to serve if selected.
  • thumb
    Dec 11 2012: Seems like the persons who votes would not be motivated to do so, similar to people who get summoned to court juries.