The following discussion clip is from the Occupy Wall Street demand discussion list.
While the comment providing details of an “Equal Access Amendment” presents some good approaches to addressing some known issues, I think a much different view needs discussion. I don’t think the initial assumption: “voting is the most important activity in a civilized society,” is as clear as it appears. While voting is the most visible activity, it has serious problems as well:
It is easy for people with power and money to influence votes;
Political maneuvers can be used to affect who is allowed to vote;
But most problematic, the use of “majority” or “plurality” or “representative” or other measure to select ONE outcome creates a situation where all those on the losing side do not get what they want.
In the case of representatives, who can be influenced by money, just a handful can dictate the outcome for millions of citizens. Where “rights” are concerned, a lynch mob can produce an almost unanimous vote, while an innocent person is killed, LAWFULLY, but WRONGLY.
The problem with conventional voting is that it maintains an AUTHORITARIAN outcome for each vote. While this works in simple cases where most people agree on outcomes, in a modern, complex world, it fails miserably at achieving the choices of most people. It is time for the world to move to more egalitarian forms of decision. One of these is called PROPORTIONAL voting. Another is called Plural Democracy.
Proportional voting is a method of representation whereby the makeup of a representational body is made up of a mix of people who represent the view of the people in proportion to voter interests. The problem with this method is it only works when there are a large number of representatives for any single body of voters. When there are only 2 senators, for example, the best that can be done is one from each “major” party. It is not possible to represent 2 major plus 5 minor parties proportionally with only 2 members.
Plural Democracy is a new form of Direct Democracy in which issues are decided, not on an overall bill basis, but based on many small details. For example, let’s say a new jobs bill is proposed. In the bill, there are elements proposed for: length of work week, work hours per day, work hour flexibility, child care, vacation, holidays, etc. With a Plural Democracy vote, citizens would vote on each issue. But here is where Plural Democracy really becomes different. Once the vote is taken, a law development group creates the law to match the statistics of the vote. For example, if the population voted that the length of the work week should be 30% 4 days, 60% 5 days, 10% 6 days, then the law should include provisions to allow that. For example, it would adjust vacation time and social security differently for each length of work week.
As for election of individuals to positions, the major change under Plural Democracy is a strong credentialing requirement for the committees that a person will serve on. The idea of state senators and representatives voting on bills no longer would exist.
This approach is discussed further at http://A3society.org under the Democracy tab – plural democracy.