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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: Well, I think democracy worked rather well this last time around.
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      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.
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          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.


          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
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      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.
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          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,

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