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Power to the people! Could this be the answer to bolstering our weak political system? I don’t recommend trying this but for ten years I dedicated my bedtime reading to history and political texts, struggling to find the mechanism driving our society. It is very elusive, buried deep under the glorification of hero’s and dictators throughout history. Like trying to find out how an internal combustion engine works but all you can find are the statistics of how many engines Henry Ford made or what a wonderful person the CEO of Honda Motor Corporation was when all you want to know is what makes the dam thing go.
So many significant parts of our lives can be traced to ancient Athens. The Olympic games, modern law, the way we study science, our medical system and our democracy. With these tools we have somehow bumbled our way to this significant juncture in our history. This is the time when we will start a wonderful revolution, completing the cycle started twenty-five hundred years ago in Athens. Social media is the key to bringing forth the Athenian concept of citizenship where each citizen controls exactly the same amount of political authority from the age of consent until the end of life.
This revolution will not happen in a hurry. There is no need to change the way we elect our representatives. There is no need to change how we enact legislation. The change will come from an increased sense of ownership and responsibility in our citizens.
Mark Zuckerburg saw a need for a social network. He revolutionized the world. I’m looking for the next notable who will see a need for a political network based on the fundamental principles of Athenian democracy.
We all know the reason we have the best selection, the best prices, and the best quality of goods and services in our marketplaces is because in the free market economy there is a competitive struggle between the makers of goods and services competing for the citizen’s economic approval. The free market economy is democratic. The economic citizens vote with their currency allowing only the best to survive.
This is where it gets exciting. After an election if the person you voted for didn’t win you still have control of your piece of political authority. You can reassign it to a politician who does represent your vested interest or keep your political authority to vote on each piece of legislation. For each bill presented in congress each party will have their own amended bill to answer the need or problem from the original bill. A session of congress will be as exciting a hockey game. First period, the mighty orators read and explain their party’s solution or proposed legislation competing for the citizen’s approval. The votes come in, the politicians’ put their political currency down and the tallies are announced. The next day after the parties have time to amend their respective bills for the second reading of the legislation the parties will put forth their best orator and struggle for the independent citizens support while the politicians from the various parties struggle to build their political currency by convincing citizens to switch to them from other politicians. The media is in a frenzy talking about the various tactics politicians are using to garner support and how the only way to find truth is in a free and open debate. Non-political leaders in society struggle to inform the discretion of the masses. Second period or second reading the votes are tallied, the parties retire for a second re-writing of their chosen solution. The parties are running neck and neck as the solutions (legislations) move closer to consensus. In a last ditch attempt one of the parties concedes to a vested interest group. Is the party taking a huge risk by going out on a limb to answer the needs of the group of homeless people? Will it be enough to push their numbers over the top?
The session of congress begins early the next morning. Third period or third reading. The orators are interviewed in their respective locker rooms. The interviews show mighty speakers flushed with confidence, their coaches’, hair askew, look harried and overtired. A rumor flashed through congress, the Republican Party is substituting their usual orator for a promising good-looking smooth talking female congresswoman. Is the Republican Party trying to attract the male vote?
The speeches begin outlining the final reading of the legislation. After the speeches a three-hour grace period is given where citizens are given a last minute chance to move their support from politician to politician or from party to party. The political currency the politicians have gathered and the individual citizen’s votes are tallied and the winning piece of legislation is announced. The next item on the agenda will be dealt with the same way the next week.
The wonderful thing about the chosen piece of legislation is it won’t need much bureaucracy, it will be simple enough to understand, it won’t cater to special interest groups and if the unforeseen consequences make it unusable the need or problem will reappear on the next agenda. We will learn from our mistakes and we the citizens will be responsible and have ownership in these decisions. These legitimate decisions will be from the highest authority in the land and no individual or group will be able to overrule them. Our government will have real strength, stronger than the most powerful corporation.
I’m on the edge of my chair waiting for that notable person who will see and answer the need for a political network. Before we make a system like this official we the citizens need to practice. Is there a brilliant programmer out there who could put a political network together where citizens are uniquely identified and can exercise their political authority with anonymity and impunity? Building a workable political network would be worth billions to its owner and its success would mean an end to war and a sustainable future for all life in our biosphere.
If you feel this idea is worthwhile and you know other people of like mind please forward this email.
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Angus Malcolm Ramsey