TED Conversations

Sathvik Ponangi

This conversation is closed.

A Dynamic-Democracy, where leaders are elected to their ministries on a rolling basis, with citizens being able to change their vote anytime

The idea is a System of Democracy which puts its citizenry in truly power, with people being able to vote their preferred candidate to the post of the leader of a particular department, from a pool of registered candidates at anytime at their nearest 'Election Center'. Therefore the leadership is controlled by the people themselves...

Here are its salient features:
- A leader for each region(constituency) & for each department
- Election is a continuous & centralized process
- The candidate in majority becomes the leader
- Anytime Election centers where citizens can cast & change their votes
- A centralized voting system
- Bio-metric identification of citizens
- One citizen one vote

Advantages:
-Puts people in control of their governance
- Vote-banks are rendered ineffective
- Eliminates the 'despot for the next 5yrs' effect
- Makes leaders accountable for every move of theirs

Risks:
- Instability (The system should stabilize itself?)
- Leadership can't make unpopular policies (Leaders need to convince their people about the decisions they make)
- Saturation, with people refusing to change their votes until things go really wrong
- Minorities may be neglected, with the government standing for the majority

Share:
  • Aug 10 2011: Well, the roots of the current economic problems are multiple and have spanned decades in developing but it stems from a general failing of all democracies in that their final form is an oligarchy (rule by a small group of wealthy or powerful individuals). In the US situation, it seems to be best described as a corporate oligarchy where the main influencing body is the banking elites.
    Many decisions made by Congress and the House favoured the financial group and were sometimes made late in the session, just before a break when there was a minimum of representatives still available to argue or vote. All indications of an agenda at work. Regulations put in place after the depression have been systematically dismantled at the behest of the bankers to allow them to build and manipulate the various systems ourside of any oversite.
    Take for example, the reduction of the stock market to a manipulated game where the average length of time a stock is owned to be 11 seconds or where crashes and rallies are orchestrated (see late in the day last Tuesday).
    The financial markets are a game played by a small number of people and corporations where you and I are just cannon fodder and our elected representatives have been bought and paid for by campaign contributions and lobbyists. (see the numbers on the number of lobbyists vs the number of congress members).

    The tools the public has to control this are few and subject to corruption. There are cyclical elections, but a public that has been conditioned to watch Fox news is capable of believing anything. There are recall referendums occationally, but they are few and far between.

    The form that Sathvik is suggesting is subject to mob rule, and perhaps limiting the ability of anyone to make unpopular decision (and that can be scary) but tough decision are not being made now and the low turn out rates indicates a population that is disconnected from the political process.
    It can't possiby be any worse than what we have now.
    • Aug 11 2011: The current problems you mention like Oligarchy, Corruption through election contributions, etc would be effectively reduced in effect as a) One could get into power giving a lot of bull, but won't be able to stay there; b) As soon as a private citizen feels their interests aren't being served by their elected representative, they can instantly change their vote to a more promising candidate & when a majority of the population does this, they would have a new leader....
      Again the question of the extremes of stability/instability would probably depend largely on the culture of the populace, depending on how active they are politically.
      The mob-effect might be limited by the fact that votes are private. Therefore u'll vote only for the candidate you prefer not the one dictated by those around you...
      Yet again I believe that effective leaders can convince their people to hold through tough times & in doing the right thing...
      The choice ultimately rests with the citizenry(individuals not groups)...
  • thumb
    Aug 10 2011: Hello Sathvik,

    I couldn't reply your reply, so I posted another comment.

    You said "stability is not always good for the people", but stability is imperative in this times where globalization "is the king". No investor will invest in a country where political instability is a daily routine.
    If the markets crunch when it comes to cases of limited instability, such as USA's debt ceiling debate, when it comes to a nation where instability is permanent, the markets will close.

    Furthermore, I see no advantage in having a long-term (or should I say, no term) government. Power corrupts people. The prime minister we elected might be the most integrate person, but with time this person will become a dictator. Power is like heroin, it's addictive.
    • Aug 10 2011: Dear Fábio,
      When I said that, I was referring to the stability offered in Autocracies, where the human cost of stability is usually immense... Temporary instability doesn't hurt, if things change for the better.
      About long-term power corrupting the government, this model allows people to change their government when they feel that it no longer serves their interests.
      With Regards,
      Sathvik
  • thumb
    Aug 9 2011: Hello Sathvik,

    I really think that this plan is impossible. It really leads, as you said, to great instability. A government has to make, especially in this times of economic crisis, unpopular decisions. Austerity is needed, the banks need to be helped, etc. It is very difficult for the people to understand why are the "creators" of this crisis being helped, however banks need to be helped because they are the spinal cord of the economic system.

    However, I believe the political systems need more transparency. We may not agree with what they do, but we have the right to know why they do it and if our representatives don't have a hidden policy. Transparency is what really empowers the citizens.
    • Aug 10 2011: We already have the technology to make this happen....
      Also this instability should be temporary, lasting only until a leader is chosen.
      If the leader truly represents their people, then they should be able to convince them to take tough measures when needed & I think leaders should be able to do this, especially once the system stabilizes.
      But these are only my thoughts & this model requires experimentation & testing to see if this really works.
      • thumb
        Aug 10 2011: In my opinion, the only leader who is able to provide long lasting stability is a dictator. However, when the people really want to change, they can't do it. Let's see the example of China and Syria: they are incredibly stable (at least during almost all time), but when it comes to protests, they are not heard. These people have no right whatsoever.

        So, what I conclude is that this model is not plausible.
        • Aug 10 2011: I think this model addresses that issue well, as a good leader can stay in power forever, while a bad one can be phased-out the very next day...
        • Aug 10 2011: Also stability is not always good for the people, this model lets the people decide how they are to be ruled
      • Aug 14 2011: no not really. the problem is not just the inherit and implicit initial instability of the model. The model will lead of dramatic changes in the people are manipulated and how information is passed on to them. The point you are missing out is that you are considering that the literacy rate and other factors do not come into picture. But they do and they do matter big time.

        I am not opposed to giving total freedom to people. I am only saying that this model will make the decisions more populist. Media, esp in democracies like India is already in a horrible situation. These kind of things would only bring more prejudiced and half hearted attempts from the Media. The iron law of oligarchy would demonstrate itself more rigorously.

        The leader will never be able to take decision which are good for the society but not necessarily popular. While the cases might range from the peace treaties between the nations to economic reforms, a simpler example might be the congestion problem in Minneapolis, which was tried to be solved statistically.

        Well the original solution was never implemented, but in system as this, it will never be proposed too and never considered.
    • Aug 10 2011: I am not sure that this plan is inherently unstable, or rather is would stablize in a different organization that the current one we employ.
      Currently, our governmental system makes unpopular decisions every day, unpopular to some but very beneficial to select groups. There is always a hidden agenda.
      Your statement about banks leads me to believe that you have been swallowing a whole lot of mainstream media bull about the causes of the current financial situation. Its not hard for the average person to understand...its hard for the average person to get real information.
      Its also hard for political types to understand because they (mostly) have no training in this area and are fed crap by their advisors as well (or it certainly seems from the newpaper headlines).
      As to the form of government that Sathvik proposes, the closest that I can think of is Nunavut in Canada. They have no parties, representatives are elected individually, legislature is concensus based and the premiere is elected by the elected representatives.
      It seems to be working just fine
      • thumb
        Aug 10 2011: "Your statement about banks leads me to believe that you have been swallowing a whole lot of mainstream media bull about the causes of the current financial situation." - and what's your opinion about the current financial situation? don't get me wrong, I'm not confronting you... I would just like to know if I'm only looking at a certain picture, instead of the whole situation.

        Regarding the situation in Nunavut in Canada, I don't think representatives have the power to make the unpopular, important decision. I think it's still a decision that's relegated to the government.
        Furthermore, I suppose representatives are elected for a term of a determined period of years, and not only for as long as why wish - and this provides stability.
        Personally, I kind of agree with this model in Nunavut - there are no political parties, so there's a closer relation between the people and their representatives, however it will probably be difficult to make a decision when there isn't a common background, such as identical political positions.