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Mohamed Mortada

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Alternative for Democracy

Democracy lacks coherence with the imperfect nature of human beings. Decisions shouldn't be taken by majorities since we have no guarantees that these majorities are right. Giving the same amount of votes for everyone means putting someone's education on the same level with another person's ignorance. Also, decision are hardly based on analysis and studies.

The idea is still theoretic but I propose giving the power to the debate that occurs between specialists in the first place and commoners on a second level. The idea consists of a scientific method which calculates advantages and disadvantages on different levels (environmental, economic, educational...) The project that provides success on more levels is executed. The matter becomes more of a democracy of advantages rather than of people.

There are laws for debating and there is a council that organizes debates. Every town, city or public institution would have a council. For now I believe that a competition is made for assigning council members which aren't more than employees but the matter is debatable.

It is possible to change every detail by debate in this system but the main idea remains the same.

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    Feb 15 2013: democracy does not work

    formal structures limiting democracy work even less, as they suffer the same problems, but lack flexibility

    the only stable system is freedom
    • Feb 15 2013: Can you please explain how this applies on the proposed system and tell more about these problems?
      Freedom without limits isn't a stable system at all. And I tell you this from one of the most chaotic countries on earth. Freedom is essential but an overdose of it may be fatal. And our civil war, the Lebanese civil war stands witness to such statement.
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        Feb 15 2013: Your point is taken. Here in American, we are fortunate to have and see many working forms of governance. Democracy as a political system is only valid in small groups, such as villages in some of our states. There have been small societies that have practiced communism. For a nation, I believe the best form of governance is a constitutional republic.The constitution must be acceptable to all of the people. It should be very direct as to the responsibilities and the tasks of the governing body. there should be a system of checks and balances in the government. And, it should have provisions to insure the people to address grievances and allow it citizens to hold whatever means to remove the government even if by force if it violates the tenants of the constitution.
        • Feb 15 2013: Ok, but a government by nature is subject to mistakes. And if it made any mistakes the people shall elect another government. This is democracy in its best shape. What I am proposing is a system that takes our human faulty nature into account thus, dodging most wrong decisions that could be taken. (maybe I am repeating myself, sorry for that)

          Constitutions are mandatory and should exist everywhere, but do we have to have a government? I don't really see why we should have an executive power and a constitutional power. Various debate councils can dig into both types of issues and still make better decisions than republics (in theory).
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        Feb 15 2013: the question boils down to: how do you set up the rules? more precisely, who is authorized to change them. if there are officials, who appoint them? if there is disagreement, who decides? the dynamics is that sooner or later people decide. majority option always wins, except in the case of dictatorship. so either this or that, after some time, every system must be poplar vote or a coercive rule of some elite.

        basically that happened already. if you look at the history of democracies, you see the tendency how principles decline, and popularity grows. first, everone was keen on personal freedom, due process, and all sort of moral principles that can not be violated, even if the system itself would allow them. but we observe the erosion of such principles, because they are backed only by tradition, and not popularity. the "land of the free" now has atrocious laws that allow authorities to detain people without due process, search houses without court order, assassinate people abroad even with "collateral damage" (aka dead children), and intrude people's private life in many many ways. what happened? people actually vote for these monsters. bush was reelected. obama just got reelected. people are okay with it. whatever these psychopaths do, is approved by the people. it is not unique. i see this all around europe, and in all the new democracies.

        your plan is to re-establish some moral self-control to democracy. but we've been there. we came from there. it does not last.
        • Feb 15 2013: The basic rules will be have flaws, and I have set some of them. Flaws will be taken away by debating each rule. Everybody is authorized to change any rule he or she wants. The decision is granted to the cause that is supported by more arguments. Majorities aren't involved.
          The extreme case explains how this works: If you are one person and all the other people in your country are against you and you present more arguments supporting your cause than they do, your proposal gets executed.
          The system has nothing to do with numbers of people. It rather deals with numbers of advantages.

          e.g: If a plumber proposes a change in a law, he should take his case to the local municipal council where it will be debated. If his proposal shows more advantages than disadvantages, it will be taken to the council of the district. If it succeeds again, it will be debated in the council of the governorate. If it makes it, the national council will debate it and if it succeeds, it will be executed. If it fails at any stage, the issue will not be debated for another number of years set by the laws.

          Each argument should be supported by a fact, statistic or study from a credible source in order to be valid.

          I hope that answers your inquiries.
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        Feb 16 2013: you commit the error to look at a snapshot, assuming that at a certain point everything is fine. two problems with it. first: you can not miraculously create such a system, it has to be created. but most importantly, second: it will evolve with time.

        who decides who is on the council? if not sooner, the members will die, and you need to elect new members. how do you make it sure the new members will match the original criteria? if people choose new members, slowly the council becomes populist. if the old members choose the new members, the council will slowly drift to a random direction. it this system, there is nothing that pushes the council to the right direction. election pushes to the popular direction. self-containment lets the council drift randomly.

        you make a serious error using words like "should". a system or a group has its own dynamic, and the dynamic is written in the rules. your declared goals have zero effect on the outcome. your set of rules are nothing but democracy with a lot of checks and rigid structure. it slows things down, and only because of that, it looks better. but the system still lacks any feedback on the quality of decisions. the only feedback is their popularity, or none at all.

        freedom, on the other hand, has the right feedbacks. if we do not have central solutions, but rather, we have a multitude of competing solutions, regardless of popularity, some of them will be a success, and others will be a failure. people will feel the immediate feedback on their own decisions. there is no public debate, popular vote, or anything like that. you go your way, i go my way, and we see which works better.
        • Feb 17 2013: Well like any other job, you have to study in college for it and earn a degree in order to work. So there will be a managing debates major where all the graduates are able to apply for the job. There will be a competition (like an exam) and the first five scores fill the seats of a council.

          One of the rules of the debates is that when a council makes a decision he should back it up with arguments. What will always be under examination is the council's objectivity and there will be agents investigating any breach of such objectivity. If a breach occurs, it will jeopardize the council's position. We should understand that these councils don't have any decisive power. They are just a medium between the debate and the debaters.

          I think now that the best way to judge this system is through trials. It has a rigid structure and it isn't fast when it comes to deciding but at least we now that their decisions are more correct than other systems.

          You're right when you say this can't be miraculously implemented. If it were to be executed, a proper transition should be planned ahead.

          Concerning the competition of choices, I think my system makes the best competition. Imagine different engineers or architects or doctors... debating their projects in order to get them executed. The decision will be much more rational and will be eventually justified with concrete evidence.

          Again, popularity doesn't matter at all. If a really unpopular case such as increasing taxes had the proper arguments and showed more advantages than disadvantages, it will succeed in debate and eventually be executed despite popular rejection.

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