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David Hubbard

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A Practical Political Solution

Politics, is simply the way we organise our affairs as groups. Let’s assume we are marooned on an island in the middle of the ocean with 10 other sane adults. The person with the most experience in surviving on the land will quite naturally take the lead. In matters that require group agreement, everyone would express their viewpoint and work out the best solutions.
In a larger group, say a hundred people, a simple voting process with a show of hands could easily determine what the majority wishes. This is assuming that there no warriors in the group with weapons at hand who would take command with might alone, but this is not sane, so let’s leave it out of this.
Let’s ramp up to 5,000 adults. Simple ballots could quickly establish the desire of the majority. This is basic direct democracy. It’s all we truly need to interact as groups. This can be extrapolated to lead a town, a city or even a country. The immense political structure of representatives we have in place today is largely unnecessary and easily corrupted.
In a truly democratic country, the will of the people rules. All that is needed is a system of polling to establish the will of the majority. Marx did not think that the people had the intelligence to rule themselves. History has proven him wrong. The greatest source of wisdom is in the group intellect of the people and that is why the idea of “by the people, for the people” was implemented and dominates in the first world.
The only problem we have is that the will of the people is becoming less and less relevant to the managers of our affairs. Many people do not vote because they don’t see their will reflected in anything more than choosing which individuals will get to ignore them.
With the internet we can now poll the population quickly and easily. That means we have the ability to represent ourselves. The election process of people promising what it takes to get elected and then doing as they please can now be dispensed with.

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  • Apr 12 2013: 'The greatest source of wisdom is in the group intellect of the people and that is why the idea of “by the people, for the people” was implemented and dominates in the first world.'

    Historically, this is simply false. One of the major reasons that the framers of the Constitution of the USA formed a republic was because they mistrusted the "wisdom" of the people to address issues directly. Judging by the most visited sites on the internet, the framers were absolutely correct.
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      Apr 12 2013: Then you agree with Karl Marx that the proltariate is too stupid to manage it's own affairs. Personally, I rarely meet a stupid person. Most of the stupidity seems to come from the top. The framers of the US constitution were trying to form a republic for the people, controlled by the voters. That republic no longer exists.

      Most, if not all countries are ruled for big business, controlled by big business and the people pay the way. Direct democracy can correct that. I have absolute confidence that a large majority of the people want to live an honest, safe life, with as little government interferance as possible.

      The American people, the Canadian people, as well as the people of every country on Earth have very few real needs. Food, jobs, health care, opportunity and security from real threats. There is not a family on Earth that wants to lose their best young people in a trumped up war.

      I have been following TED for some time. I see a lot of intelligence from people with no political agendas, that simply want to make the world a better place. In many cases they, as well as everyone else are controlled by government regulations that have been established for a few socially blind power groups. This can and should be corrected
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        Apr 12 2013: Stupidity by definition is an ignorance of, in this case, economics and politics. It is not in a politicians interest to educated the voters. The tried and true is to create a straw man/idea and offer to fix the canard "if you vote for me". So in this case the red pill would be a remedial education. The grand adventure of opening your eyes to what is in front of you. Of course this would require a modicum of sobriety.

        Stupidity is not so much a function of intelligence as it is a function of the willingness to communicate.
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          Apr 13 2013: I suspect it is the non-functioning of intelligence. The willingness to communicate is great if what we comunicate is informed and logical and the non-willingness is probably a result of either personal or political oppression, fear in other words. One could conclude then, that there are no stupid people, just afraid people. K.M. is once again proven wrong. We need to learn to let our will be known personally and politically.
  • Apr 15 2013: One important step in stripping us of our control of government was the elimination of long standing Federal Communication restrictions that applied to all forms of media. Ronald Reagan signed away our rights to "truth in advertising", "public service messages", "equal airtime for opposing political messages" and other long standing regulations derived from our public ownership of the airwaves. Since then the need for advertising money in political campaigns has exploded, leading to corruption in all areas of government, including our criminal, civil and bankruptcy courts, tax laws, gerrymandering rules, pharmaceutical advertising, advertising to kids, limits on our constitutional right to sue businesses that harm us, etc., ad nauseum.
    Thank god for the internet, which is making political contributions more meaningless with each election, as Karl Rove found out last November.
    We can regain control if we vigilantly fight business and government efforts to end open access to the internet for everyone.
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      Apr 15 2013: Thanks you for your response. Do you support the idea of direct government? I am convinced that if the will of the people were clearly communucated in large enough numbers, the elected leaders would have to take heed.When it is shown that they can be dispensed with, I suspect things will shape up considerably.
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    Apr 12 2013: You forget the tyranny of democracy. What if the Americans were tired of the Canadians for what ever reason. So we pass a law that from now on all Canadians in the U.S. have to serve 10yr as indentured servants. Since Canadians are out numbered the majority wins.
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      Apr 12 2013: Hi Pat; I guess that is always the risk, no matter what form of government we have. Personally, I don't think the majority of the population would support such a move, especially when wars are caused by a very few, using the power of the many.

      I think the tyranny of politics is a current issue we need to face. We are victimized by an out of control political system right now. Most of our food is treated with dangerous chemicals for the sole purpose of inreasing profits, with little concern for the consumer. We are conned into military action to suit political representatives more interested in the pofiteers than the truth. We are over taxed so that elected officials can be paid large executive wages for the rest of their lives, even though most move straight to very high paying jobs with the corporations they supported while in office. The list is long.

      Direct democracy would change that. The voters are the ones in power. We just need to exercise it.
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        Apr 12 2013: I agree with much of what you said except the prediction of direct democracy.

        The root problem is an ignorant constituency.

        One example is Paul Martin, in your country schooling you hosers about how to get your national spending in order and it Worked. Admittedly the Americans are much slower on the uptake but I still think it could be done.
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          Apr 15 2013: It can be noticed that people spend less when they are short of cash. Now that the US credit limit is passed, the dream of unlimited wealth is over. When a young family first discovers credit, they have a great time with their credit card, until the limit is reached, and the party is over. The party is over, my dear neighbours. Now it's time to face the way things really are and get out of debt. If the elected officials can't or won't do it, then the system needs to be changed. Taxpayers can easily play a much stronger role, now that communications are more free.
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      Apr 12 2013: I don't Understand your logic; Because the majority can choose to suppress the minority, we shouldn't give the people power? than to whome?

      The more democratic a country is the less likely it is to go out to war, in a direct relation. No relation between its democracy "meter" and getting into war, but that's a diffrent story.
  • Apr 17 2013: We need a global government. But how do we launch such a Leviathan

    A global government to focus on issues like, Global Resource Management, Environmental Conservation, Human Rights Laws, Preserving the Human Race.

    An organization like the UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY, except with the sovereignty to actually make decisions stick. If democracy is in the best interest of the human race, then why isn't the UN democratic? Why do 5 countries in the Security Council have the ability to cancel decisions made by the General Assembly. Why can the decision of 1 or 2 countries, prevail over the consensus of 152 countries. Why can't the International Community successfully prevent the human rights abuse, war, and environmental degradation that plagues our society?

    A global government could potentially work. It could be a representative democracy. It could have the ability to enforce decisions made by the International Community. All countries would have to agree to the creation of this sovereign government, and then comply to enforcing its decisions with concrete actions.

    This global government would need to be backed by a large enough military power, or have the ability to sanction effectively, so that no one or two countries could possibly ignore or defy it. This is possible with complete International cooperation.

    And who would rule such a Leviathan and carry out its many tasks? It would require so many people. It would be a massive organization. We'd need an online, global Voting System. Only one political party, the International Community itself as a whole. Through a global voting system, each person from any country on the planet (over 18) could have access to a vote online. This is entirely possible over the Internet.

    It would have to be free of corruption and voter fraud of course, but there must be a way to make digital voting 100% secure and transparent. This can work if the whole world agrees to work together. But how do we convince every country to participate?
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      Apr 17 2013: Hi Ian; It can be simpler that it first appears to be. We need only togather the votes in large enough numbers to affect decisions. Very few political bodies can ignore th e expressed will of a majority of the people. We can and must take control of OUR planet and rule it sanely. It would take the inut of many.
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    Apr 15 2013: If our future is in the hands of theives, we are indeed in trouble
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    Apr 13 2013: ". . . assuming there are no warriors in the group with weapons at hand. . . "
    I would like to enter the discussion but I eschew fantasy, which is what your assumption necessitates. Any viable political system MUST deal with the dark side of human bahaviour. Fish swim; birds fly; humans do bad things to one another. I think you may be wrongly using the word "sane" to signify such things as decency, respect, kindness, consideration, fairness, etc.
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      Apr 14 2013: Hi Edward. Considering a better situation is not nesessarily fantasy. There is undoubtedly a dark side to human behavior, but that dark side does not have to control the events of human history. Human intelligence is evolving. I use the word "sane" to refer to a condition where consideration of consequences is a factor in executive decisions, as a well as honest representation of the voters.

      The average functioning member of society is very sane aside from minor personal issues. I'd like to see that inherent wisdom in control rather than the fantasy generating machine we now have.

      Decency, respect, kindness, consideration, fairness, etc. are definitely sane. I say lets have more of that, by getting free of the war mongers and spin doctors. Lets plan a better world for following generations, rather than a depleted planet, created by short sighted people with polliticians and upper bureaucrats in their pockets.
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        Apr 14 2013: I heartily agree with your vision for a better world David, and I commend you for acting on it. It's your suggested route to that better world I question. The dark side of human behavior will always be a factor in social interactions. As you say, that dark side does not have to control the events of human history, but history clearly illustrates that it ,in fact, does do just that. It may not be an unavoidable given but it is a historical fact that greed and corruption ALWAYS hold great sway over societies. My point is that it is not realistic to assume there are no warriors in the group. Someone will ALWAYS try to take what is not theirs, from petty thieves to great nations. If great care is not taken to guard against the darkness of Man, the effort will fail. Thank you sir, and be well!
  • Apr 13 2013: "The US Pirate Party" and it is part of an International Movement called Pirate Party International present in 60 countries across the Globe. In Europe, Pirate parties are already present at various Power level from European Parliament to TownHalls. PIRATE defends Human Rights Declaration of 1948.

    http://uspirates.org/
    http://www.pp-international.net/
    http://piratetimes.net/pirate-parties-worldwide/
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    Apr 12 2013: The current Australian federal government has passed over 160 pieces of legislation in the last 2 years. Many other votes have resulted in a negative outcome. I don't have time to research each of these and make an educated decision. I would have to spend my whole weekend reading documents and voting. In stead I send a proxy. The Fedreral member for Shortland.
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      Apr 12 2013: I appreciate you comment. Granted, few people have time to research the issues and that applies to most elected officials, however, some of the issues interest you and attract your attention. Were we to vote only on those that did, then the the decisions would be made by those who were informed. Obviously, major issues would be voted on by a larger percentage of the electorate.

      For example, were we to vote on something volatile, like marijuana legalization, then for and against camps would promote to swing the vote in their favor. No matter how many voters participate, it would be legislation that is controlled by the people.

      The obligation of the government then would be to ensure that we are informed about the issues, so we can choose which we will be voting on. The pro and con camps would have their chance to present their rational and promote as they wish, but the people would make the final decisions. Wide open forums such as these would be very helpfull and allow the participation of all people who care about the issue.

      It would be great if we could have honest unimpeachable representatives that truly represented our will, but that is very far from the way things are today. The corruption of government power by lobbying would be be forced into public view and lose it's effectiveness.

      I suggest you would take a keener interest in the issues if you were informed of what they are beforehand. Perhaps when they are heard, more would want to be involved in decisions that effect their lives. Those who do not, will get what they have now, rule by others. But in this case, it would be by their fellow citizens who are much less vulnerable to pressure
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      Apr 12 2013: Pedro

      Why they passing 160 laws in the first place. Simply put them on part time they can only work 6 months every other year.
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        Apr 12 2013: Even fire them and let the voters rule as they will.
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    Apr 12 2013: You are right, in most democracy has gone a bit of corse, but using the internet is a little problometic, because:
    1- Not evreybody have internet.
    2- Not evreybody have the time to go in such depth, but still want to influence.
    Even if not completely gone your way, many countries gone a long way to increase to people power of influence threw the internet, like propsing laws, inquire decisions, see allmost any official government paper you want, and so on.

    A few Days ago I posted an idea of a new type of government, that ,to my belief, will solve the problom you are discribing. please vist :
    http://www.ted.com/conversations/17621/a_whole_new_type_of_government.html
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      Apr 12 2013: Hi Adir. Democracy has gone more than a little off course. It is completely corruped by vested interests. How else could we have more and more laws that benefit the few at the expense of the many?

      Re; your point"#1; True, not everybody has internet, but public access at libraries etc. could easily fill the gap. Re; your point #2; As in my response to Peter, above, if the issue matters to you, you vote. If it does not you abstain. At least you will have the power to make decisions that effect you.

      I followed your link and admire your well thought out ideas. Lets continue to communicate. The main thing is that we are focussing attention on the need for change.