TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

Reinventing government - what would it look like?

If we were to start from scratch and invent a new model of national governance using current available technology and possibilities - what would that look like?

What criteria would be used to evaluate what a good model of governance looks like? I think a basic premise would be that those affected by decisions must have the means to weigh in on them and that the governance measures must be provably sustainable - other thoughts?


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Apr 21 2011: Democracy: I think this is an important part of any system. The problem with our modern system for democratic representation though, is that one ends up with representatives who have no experience in the vast majority of fields they're supposed to be regulating. So you get leaders who make some very poor decisions, based on political motivations, which can have enormous consequences.

    Technocracy: I think a technocratic system is a good solution to the problem described above. With professionals regulating their own feild of specialty. Thus doctors would regulate health care, civil engineers would be in charge of civil engineering, communications experts would be in charge of updating our communication networks, etc. So the laws are constructed by those who are the most educated in the subject being regulated. Of course this system should be democrotized! So those brought up in the educational system would have the opportunity to be trained in any field of their choosing. This means that if you don't like the way something is being done, then you can do something about it, just not while blinded by ignorance.

    Meritocracy: I think it would be only fair that all promotions are based on an applicant's predicted performance, and not based on any personal or political biases against that individual. I think it would be important to control for this to prevent any kind of power struggle among officials.

    I think this would require a different economic system. I'd suggest one that rewards individuals for the benefit they provide to society. Those who confer the most benefit onto society would have the highest standard of living, and those who gave the least to society, or even perhaps detracted from it, would be provided the minimum standard of living. This would encourage everyone to try to do the most to aid others because they would be rewarded for it, instead of our current system which I think is a more selfish system, and obviously unstable.
    • thumb
      Apr 23 2011: Yes I think we are on the same page Tomas. We have grown too big and complicated as a nation to be adequately represented by 500 folk who actually aren't any more expert than the avergae citizen..maybe less so since the real experts are earning more in commerce.On all the TED discussions on dircet democracy there is a great deal of elitism and mistrust of the common man but what is our legislature?

      edit: I also like your idea of a sort of peer review system..do you have more to say about that?
      • Apr 26 2011: Indeed. I think everyone would be agreed that we all be allowed a voice in government, but if everthing is voted on by everyone (or by those elected by everyone) then there's no specialization in the system, and if there's one thing that our modern technologic society has shown us, it's how important specialization is to progress. So I think if we want to progress, we should give legislative power over to specialists. That way what needs to be done for society can be done by those most knowledgable on the subject, in a free and open manner. Though I think it would be prudent not to give every professional equal power over their field. Legislation is an important task, and I think it would be good to have a graduated system whereby those with lower education levels are limited to more local decisions (their neighbourhood or city), while those with the highest expertise would make decisions designed to effect districs, states, and the nation. And if we standardize education levels, we could litterally guarantee every citizen the possibility of voting on national policy. Not to mention the more wide spread benefit that citizens could diversify their city policies based on it's specific needs and limitations in every field of expertise.

        The other great thing about this system is that it has a very good built in system of checks and balances. With every profession naturally reliant on the others for all the goods and services they provide to society. And if our economy is made to reflect that, then I think we could get a great deal done in this country.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.