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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Time for Some Direct Democracy

David Deming today posted a blog entitled "America is Gone" at " He captures much of the current emotion running beneath the rhetorical political strata.

Beyond that, I for one have begun to wonder how long we can continue to go through our election cycles, banging our heads against the wall. Invariably, no matter who is elected, our current political system in the end delivers results aimed to serve only the most powerful constituencies--the wealthy political contributors and the corporate lobbies who buy our elected "representatives."

This is not what our Founding Fathers envisioned. In fact, they did foresee a need for future Constitutional Conventions in order to rein in oppressive government, under Article V of the Constitution. That is long overdue.

Whatever the mechanism for enacting needed change to our system, I believe we have come to a point where elected federal representative government is obsolete. International corporate/political conglomeration and the ownership and sponsorship systems inherent in major media technologies have quite effectively superceded our quaint ideas about what our elected representatives in Washington are chosen to do. Quite clearly--it is not today to listen to and actually represent their lowly voting constituents.

Nor does it or will it change by transfusing different names, faces, or parties into the same outdated superstructure of our massive federal government.

To me, it seems the time is now for a major revision in how we govern ourselves. That is--through a move toward a greater Constitutional Democracy (as opposed to a Constitutional Republic).

Amazing technologies are at our fingertips today that would readily allow for an overhaul in how we think about governance. That is, let us each assume more direct responsibility to decide issues of great import related to our nation.

I know--it can't be done, right? It's too big of a job in a nation as broad and powerful as America. Citizens can't be expected to be smart enough or aware enough of all the ins and outs of each and every issue that requires legislation (never mind our elected reps don't themselves have the time to read the legislation they vote for or against on our behalf).

Well I don't buy that argument. It CAN be done. WE are America.

Such a system, based on most of the current US Constitution and the Bill of Rights can be phased in. And as a part of that, we need to make sure that voters are qualified to exercise that most sacred of social duties--voting. Why not require that voters pass minimal tests of knowledge to qualify as a US citizen who is permitted to vote in this new direct democracy? A knowledge of the principles of the Constitution, some basic US history, and perhaps even some quick demonstration of an awareness of each particular legislation's pertinent issues would allow for a well-informed popular vote to be taken on major laws brought before us to decide upon.

Those who could care not enough to jump through the hoops should not be counted anyway since their votes otherwise would be ill-informed at best and would not serve the interest of our nation or themselves.

Of course, one of the premises here would have to be that, at least on a federal level, there need not be anywhere near as many laws as what are currently in place. Let our representative state governments return to the role they were intended to have at the time of our nation's forming (while enacting stringent anti-lobbying safeguards). And return the federal government to a position of serving us in limited fashion, rather than them demanding we do more and more to serve them.
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1 comment:

Bill Walker said...

The author fails to mention that the states have already applied in sufficient number to cause an Article V Convention call. See