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Dale Retter


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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


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    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.
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      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

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