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Author Topic: and now for something completely different
Loony Bin
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posted 23 August 2004 04:00 PM      Profile for Loony Bin   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm tired of going round and round on capitalism vs. socialism vs. communism, democracy and dictatorships etc.

How's about we brainstorm a completely new and unprecedented system of societal organization and government? Cast off the old, scratch it all and start with something new.

Like, what if we had a system where all the members of government were drawn at random from the general population on a regular rotation?


From: solitary confinement | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
guilty-pleasure
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posted 23 August 2004 04:34 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm waiting for the day of the perpetual plebescite. Presumably this will have to wait until everyone has a computer or access to one, and everyone has a secure means of identifying themself on one. Then we can settle all political matters by logging on and voting directly. No need to pay MPs and MPPs to vote on our behalves. Immediate democracy.
From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Panama Jack
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posted 23 August 2004 05:28 PM      Profile for Panama Jack     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Would there be any incentive to actually participate? The axoim: "the world is run by those who show up" springs to mind....
From: Vancouver | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Loony Bin
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posted 23 August 2004 05:53 PM      Profile for Loony Bin   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
well, I've heard that voters are more likely to get out and cast a ballot when they feel that their vote is actually going to mean something. So perhaps if these regular plebescites actually brought about fairly swift change or action, then people would get inspired about having their say.

And since we're just brainstorming and none of this has to make too much sense, maybe if you're called for government duty but decline, you're instead assigned to garbage collection...or something.


From: solitary confinement | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
guilty-pleasure
Babbler # 3469

posted 23 August 2004 06:04 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Would there be any incentive to actually participate?

If the plebescite of the day was "Iraq: join the coalition or not?", would you take a moment to vote? What if it were "Same sex marriage: yea or nay?"

One added benefit would be that ideas wouldn't be "package deals" anymore. You could vote for, say, a higher quota of new immigrants, but also for no inheritance tax, or whatever. You wouldn't have to sign off on all the policies of any party.


From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Klingon
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posted 23 August 2004 07:20 PM      Profile for Klingon        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
>"I'm tired of going round and round on capitalism vs. socialism vs. communism, democracy and dictatorships etc.
How's about we brainstorm a completely new and unprecedented system of societal organization and government? Cast off the old, scratch it all and start with something new."

Ghobe! Loony-boy. How ca ya talk about governance structures without talking about economics--which puts ya right back into the socialism/capitalism/communism/democracy/dictatorship stream!

When I saw you wanted something completely different, I though we'd get to hear about extra-terrestrials, or barking plants, or mummies, or bats, or did Count Dracula really suck blood (or did he just suck), or does Britney Spears really love Madonna, or whatever.

Now you've condemned us all to more endless debate/punch-outs over economics and social policy. A word of advise next time: don't mention the word "government" if you don't want to talk about any of this.

But for now:

>"Like, what if we had a system where all the members of government were drawn at random from the general population on a regular rotation?"

Sounds like a form of communism to me.

Actually, I remember interviewing a member of the Quakers at a BC Federation of Labour convention. The Quakers were/are cooperative socialists, and he told me that many of their businesses operate exactly on this model: everyone gets some basic training and then has to become the manager for a limited time.

I also learned that the Quakers used this form of governance when they set up their first cooperative township (known as communes) in what was later to become the city of Philadelphia.

So it's certainly an innovative way of doing things. But sadly, it obviously isn't new.


From: Kronos, but in BC Observing Political Tretchery | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
chimo
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posted 23 August 2004 10:21 PM      Profile for chimo        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Magoo:
I'm waiting for the day of the perpetual plebescite. Presumably this will have to wait until everyone has a computer or access to one, and everyone has a secure means of identifying themself on one. Then we can settle all political matters by logging on and voting directly. No need to pay MPs and MPPs to vote on our behalves. Immediate democracy.

We've had that technology for many years, maybe decades.

"The task for a modern industrial society is to achieve what is now technically realizable, namely, a society which is really based on free voluntary participation of people who produce and create, live their lives freely within institutions they control, and with limited hierarchical structures, possibly none at all." - Chomsky


From: sobolev spaces :-) | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Malek
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posted 23 August 2004 10:35 PM      Profile for Malek     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
How about the end of formed political parties. Individuals who campaign would be independant. Political donations from the general public could not exceed $500.00 per person, and no corporation or business interest would be allowed to donate politically either through their offices or through their employees. Candidates would simply have to make due with these limited sources of revenue. Only donated money could be used for campaigns. Private or corporate money would be illegal. Once the election is completed, a committee, comprised of two elected individuals from each province and territory who won their respective riding by the highest popular vote percentage, would cast a ballot to determine who among the committee would serve as PM. The PM would then chose cabinet ministers from the remainder of the elected members. The committee that elected the PM would not be eligible for cabinet positions. Passage of laws would require 50% plus 1. Question period would involve the entire Commons directing questions to the cabinet and PM. Parliamentary committies would be formed with equal representation from each province and territory. Abolish the senate and retain the original committee that picked the PM to conduct the rubber stamp second look that the Senate now performs. If they are absolutely unsure if a bill should proceed, then send it back to the Commons with their concerns noted for a second vote. After that, the bill becomes law if sucessfully voted on again. Elections would be held every 4 years regardless, unless the PM and cabinet looses the confidence of 50% plus 1 in the Commons on any bill tabled by the governing cabinet. Ordinary members could table bills as well, with each bill requiring a vote. The committee performing the function of senate would also oversee the commons to ensure no efforts to form voting blocs or political parties are allowed. Essentially individual members serve their ridings, owing no allegiance to party or any money influence. Big interest lobbying would be illegal. Lobbys which would have an effect on existing laws or involve the creation of new laws could only take place through riding petitions, tabled in the Commons by the respective elected representative. Big money interests could submit their requests to the appropriate Commons committee for public debate, and subsequent vote on the floor of the house, to ensure total transparency. Audit and ethics function nominees would be be motioned from the Commons floor and voted on individually, with 50% plus 1 required. This model should bring an end to corporate control of elected officials.
From: Upper Canada | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Rufus Polson
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posted 24 August 2004 03:35 PM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
There was this SF book I read once, which was loony libertarian in some ways, but had an interesting "electoral" system going:
Anyone who felt like could show up to the legislature thing, and they could vote whatever proxies decided to support them. Everyone had the right and ability to switch their support at any time, in real time by computer. The votes of those in the Leg. were counted based on how many supporters they had.
So, federally, my proxy might have gone to Svend Robinson until he resigned. At which point I might switch it to Pierre DuCasse. If my support is with someone who suddenly goes establishment, I'd switch it.

Theoretically, it might be possible to break things down a bit, by issue type or something. So that my support would be to Svend on international, legal, rights and miscellaneous issues, but to Jack Layton on urban and environmental issues and Roy Romanow on health care.


From: Caithnard College | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Loony Bin
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posted 24 August 2004 03:57 PM      Profile for Loony Bin   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Ghobe! Loony-boy. How ca ya talk about governance structures without talking about economics--which puts ya right back into the socialism/capitalism/communism/democracy/dictatorship stream!

Oy, a couple of things here:

First of all, I am no boy. Not me.

And second of all, the whole point of this thread is to brainstorm on alternatives to the existing conventions of economy and government. We're trying to come up with new ideas for governance and economy. That's the whole point of the thread. Not some petty, frivolous distractions.

and third, this:

quote:
But for now:

>"Like, what if we had a system where all the members of government were drawn at random from the general population on a regular rotation?"

Sounds like a form of communism to me.


is the antithesis of productive brainstorming. Don't label and don't dismiss. Just add your thoughts to the discussion without taking someone else's apart.

Come on, cast aside your presumptions and rigid mental framework. Isn't there a possibility for something other than what we've already thought of? Can't we millions and millions of intelligent humans (er, humanoids anyways) come up with something new???

[ 24 August 2004: Message edited by: Loony Bin ]


From: solitary confinement | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Klingon
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posted 24 August 2004 07:30 PM      Profile for Klingon        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
>"Don't label and don't dismiss. Just add your thoughts to the discussion without taking someone else's apart. "

Q'uQ!! Hey man/woman! You got me all wrong here. I wasn't dismissing anyone or trying to take ideas apart. In fact, I was trying to show support for what you are trying to do.

Nor was I trying to label your rotational governance idea by referring to it as a form of communism. I was just pointing out that historically, that's what these types of governance have reflected. This type of governance method was practiced in various ways in many European communes (where the term "communism" comes from), democratic, self-governing cooperative townships.

When I reported my findings that the Quakers were using this idea in some of their cooperative ventures, it was intended to show support for your idea in that it wasn't just a good-sounding theory, but has worked successfully in practice--at least at an organizational level.

This was to support and encourage what you are proposing--not trying to shoot it down!

I tell ya, a warrior is just so misunderstood in this ghetto of sheepish humans called Earth!


From: Kronos, but in BC Observing Political Tretchery | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
sark
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posted 24 August 2004 07:43 PM      Profile for sark        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Okay, somebody who actually spent some time studying ancient history will have to back me up but if I remeber correctly from school, that is how the Roman Senate worked.

Any male Patrician(?) was eligible to sit in the Senate and they were voted in by drawing names. After their term was up, a new draw was held.

Any historians out there who can confirm this or can drag my name through the mud for muddling my history?


From: Ottawa | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
Ranger03
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posted 24 August 2004 08:50 PM      Profile for Ranger03        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I have a cunning plan Black Adder

A Cunning Plan


From: bed | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged

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