The most fundamental reason that voters cannot elect officials who will represent them is that political parties dictate the voter’s options. George Washington warned us of the danger of factions in his Farewell Address.
Those wishing to affect pending legislation should present their arguments, publicly, in hearing rooms provided for the purpose — and that should be the absolute limit of their personal contact with our elected representatives.
Why is our political infrastructure a shambles that produces so few trustworthy candidates for public office? The answer lays in the foundation of democracy and the edifice we’ve built on that foundation.
Academics are slowly coming to realize that the US is more an oligarchy than a democracy, but it will take time to loosen the grip of the democracy myth on the people.
There is an enormous difference between what Abraham Lincoln called “government of the people, by the people, for the people”, and the pseudo-democracies that engulf us. These pseudo-democracies are actually oligarchies.
Our political system in the U.S. failed, not because of our Constitution, but because we allowed those “cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men” to build the party-based monstrosity that controls us.
Practical Democracy is a bottom-up process that lets every member of the community participate to the full extent of each individual’s desire and ability. The process corrects the flaws in the present system.
To create a bottom-up arrangement that lets every member of the community influence political decisions to the full extent of each individual’s desire and ability, the people must be invited to participate in the political process.
We’ve looked at problems with the existing political system and a few of the considerations we must accommodate to build a different system. Now, we’ll think about the actual mechanics of such a process.
The transition from dialogue to monologue accelerates as the number of people to be persuaded increases. The larger the number of people, the less free some of them are to participate in the process.