Here in the UK our democratic system of government is facing one of its greatest ever challenges. With the Prime Minister resigning we will soon end up with a new leader that was not voted for by the country. The main opposition is also trying to force its leader to resign despite the fact that he was voted in by the party and retains the support of the majority of that party.
In addition to these new problems we also have the traditional challenge to the democratic system that comes in the form of a house of Lords that is an entirely unelected body. An unelected body that is paid for by our taxes and which has a say in how the country is run.
It is not just the UK that has problems with its so called democratic system, there are problems in all corners of the world. In the USA this year’s candidates for president will spend billions of dollars trying to win the vote. An election that is paid for cannot truly be considered democratic.
There could however be another way of running a country that would truly put decisions in the hands of the electorate. We have come to a point in our technological development that makes it possible for every person to have their say in the direction that they want their country to take.
What if we initiated a system in which potential changes to legislation could be proposed by anyone in the country. Then if they can get adequate support by securing a certain number of signatories it could be voted on by everyone in the country. This may seem fanciful but we have many of the facilities to do this already in place.
Let’s take an example and run through it step by step.
John would like to ban the use of insecticides so he goes online and starts a petition. He gathers 200,000 signatures so the petition is passed to a legal team that writes up a law based on the outline set out by John.
This law is placed online to be read by anyone interested in voting for or against it. It stays there for one month allowing time for people to decide on the issue and to campaign either for or against it.
There is then an online vote which takes place over the course of seven days allowing everyone interested time to vote. This vote is then passed on to parliament to ratify.
Doing this or something like it puts power directly into the hands of the voters. We could put an infrastructure in place to ensure that people who are not technically proficient could get help in placing their vote and having their say.
Our current systems are archaic and vulnerable to corruption. If we took these steps slowly and carefully we could eventually do away with the need for power hungry moguls deciding the future of not just our country but also humanity.
I’d love to get feedback on this and hear about alternate ideas or problems that I have not considered. Even if you just think the whole idea is bloody stupid please let me know.