Microdemocracy

What is It?

A microdemocracy is the next step in the evolution of a democracy or republic. It embraces technology to eliminate many of the problems involved with today's system of government.

Why?

In 1776 it was impossible for all citizens to convene in one location to vote on all bills and laws, therefore, a representation system was devised. A handful of elected officials would be responsible for making the big decisions. The same was true for state governments. The land was governed by a small group of people. Such a scenario inevitably leads to bribes, bias, secret-coverups and corruption. But with the information technology of today, this can be a thing of the past.

How does it Work?

Microdemocracy gives the power back to the people. Citizens would register to vote on the internet, possibly using publically available machines to connect. They would be able to partition their taxes to government agencies, bureaus or projects any way they choose. Some citizens may elect to give 25% of their taxes to NASA, or perhaps 10% to a proposed bill or movement. The ability to author legsilation and place it up for voting would also be possible. The combinations are limitless.

What if a Citizen Does Not Want that Level of Control?

Then that citizen could divide and transfer their power to a registered Representative. They may elect to have Representative #1 handle 20% of their taxes, Representative #2 handle 40% while Representative #3 and #4 would share that citizen's voting power. For the benefit of the citizens, all representatives would be required to register and publish their political stances ahead of time. Citizens would be able to add, remove or change any of their Representatives at any time.

Who can be a Representative?

Anyone can be a representative. They would just need to register themselves.

Multiple Voting

Each citizen is given one million votes. They can spread these votes out any way they want. They could choose to spend all their votes on a single issue. In this manner, the more important a piece of legislation is to someone, the more they can influence the outcome. For instance, if the community wanted to build the new nuclear plant in your back yard you would re-apply all your votes from various other issues to vote "NO" on this one. Multiple voting allows the voter to have more influence on issues closer to them.

You can also distribute some or all of your votes to various registered representatives of your choosing. The representatives would have to apply your votes to their registered voting platforms, which must be disclosed ahead of time. Votes should probably not be sold, however. It would be kind of like selling kidneys.

And if you give your votes to someone to control, you can always take them back later. That way, if a representative no longer suited your tastes you could simply withdraw your votes.

Ensuring Fairness

The main problem with giving power directly to the people is that of "mob rule". The majority may push around the minority. For instance, what if there's was a law that said that all people over seven feet tall must be deported to Canada? Now that law is obviously unethical, but the majority of people are under seven feet tall, so they could bully around those that are not.

To solve this problem we could automatically examine the voting demographics. If the votes are sharply divided along a line of height, weight, sex, race, religion, occupation, geographic location or income level then the legislation in question should be transferred to a different group of voters to decide, a group that does not share the same traits that divide the vote. The group of outsourced voters acts like a neutral judge. In turn, everybody will have their day to play judge for various legislation across the country.

To further protect citizens' rights, the Supreme Court (and related courts) could still rule a piece of legislation to be unconstitutional. In which case it would be thrown out and all votes would be returned.

What are the Benefits?

A microdemocracy is much better equipped to adapt quickly to changes than a large, archaic democracy. Citizens don't have to wait four years to have their voices heard. They can change their political stances on the fly. Voting would no longer be a discrete process. Political stances could be tallied instantly and at anytime. This is called dynamic voting. A vote would look much like a stock price graph, going up and down with time.

Corruption and favoritism would be eliminated. Power would be equally distributed to the citizens, not just in the hands of a few representatives.

Government agencies would have to compete with other government agencies for funding in a constantly changing environment. This competition would make them more efficient.

Who am I?

My name is Matt Wells. I'm an information retrieval engineer. I want to use technology to help build a more efficient and ethical government.