Like Monarchism Before It, Parliamentary Democracy’s Day Has Come & Gone. Abolish Legislatures
We need to replace Parliamentary Democracy with a completely different system of government — Democratic Executive Management
Systems Need To Fit Their Environment
Every system functions well within limited a range of conditions. When those conditions materially change, the feedback effect enlarges and intensifies that system’s flaws, and it grows increasingly “pear shaped” until it eventually either explodes or withers and dies.
When the governmental system that used to work so well compared to the one it replaced, itself becomes increasingly ineffective, it too needs to be replaced by one that is more effective, more efficient, more reliable, more timely and more suited to the new conditions.
Feudalism yielded to hereditary monarchism which was replaced by constitutional monarchism which surrendered to representative, parliamentary democracy.
Parliamentary democracy has inherent weaknesses and is proving increasingly slow, ineffective and inefficient when applied to large, urban, high-tech societies.
I propose that Parliamentary Democracy be replaced by a system of government that I call Democratic Executive Management.
No more legislatures.
The Problems With Parliamentary Democracy
Societies, industries, technology and economies are both too complicated and too rapidly changing to be effectively governed by
- increasingly complex, slow, bloated bureaucracies
- run by ignorant, corruptible, self-serving, simple-minded, untalented, politicians who are
- chosen by an apathetic, uneducated, and often stupid electorate
People Can No Longer Survive On Their Own
Unlike our ancestors who lived on farms in an agrarian society, today people in an industrialized, urban society cannot
- grow their own food,
- build their own houses,
- pump their own water,
- weave their own clothing or
- supply their own medicine.
Today, almost everyone is dependent on a complicated social and economic infrastructure for food, utilities, clothing, shelter, medicine and other necessaries of life.
This means that in order to survive, almost everyone needs a responsive, resilient, fair, efficient and robust governmental system.
Parliamentary democracy is none of those things.
People in a urban population can’t personally figure out how to solve inflation or climate change, the disappearance of the middle class, or the vastly increased cost of housing, medical care and education.
Ordinary people can’t understand, leastwise figure out how to evaluate and ultimately fix complex social and economic problems, especially ones that have no simple solution or, worse yet, no solution at all.
Most people just want a leader who will make the mess all go away, who will make things go back to the way they fantasize they used to be in their imagined “good old days.”
Complex, moribund, ineffective, corrupt, bloated, slow governments are now spurring a regression to and a longing for “strong-man” dictatorships where the Leader will “fix everything.”
“The government is a swamp. Give me power and I will fix everything with the stroke of my pen. Trust me,” the would-be dictator appealingly promises.
Get people angry. Give them someone to hate. Tell them lies. Promise to punish the bad people. That is the core message and tactic of the leaders of today’s MAGA Republican Party, a strategy that has worked frighteningly well.
If we don’t replace the system of parliamentary democracy with something more responsive, efficient and effective, the next politician who is just a little bit smarter than Trump will succeed in getting and keeping control of this country.
Isn’t There A Way To Fix Parliamentary Democracy?
- You can’t fix the inherent flaws in parliamentary democracy by trying to educate an electorate that doesn’t want to be educated and in many cases is incapable of being educated.
- You can’t fix this inherent problem by trying to keep dishonest, stupid, self-serving, ignorant, narcissistic, ego-maniacal people from being elected to public office and scheming to stay there.
- You can’t fix the serious issues in a complex society by making the government bigger, richer and more complicated.
- You can’t fix parliamentary government’s problems by having it enact more laws, more restrictions and more regulations.
You have to fix these fundamental problems by changing the system of government itself.
I propose that we start with a clean sheet of paper and design our post-parliamentary-democracy governmental system from scratch.
Test The New System In A Small State On An Experimental Basis
The Federal Constitution would prevent implementing this new system on the federal level, but maybe some small state like Wyoming with a population of only about 600,000 people would be willing to drastically amend their state constitution to give it a try for a limited period of time.
The Fundamental Principal Of Democracy — The Governed Get A Say In Choosing Their Government
Let’s start with the idea that people should have a say in choosing the laws that they are required to live under.
Today, we can facilitate that exercise of personal choice through immediate, reliable, biometric-verified, electronic voting.
To register to vote the citizen would present a “Real ID” to the County Recorder and press their fingers on a screen where an algorithm would then translate each of them into an encrypted number (not a copy of the print) which number would be stored in a read-only file in the County Recorder’s office.
To vote, the citizen would press their finger on a reader connected to their computer or on their phone’s fingerprint reader. An algorithm in a voting app would convert that fingerprint into a number which would be compared with the encrypted number in the County Recorder’s read-only file. If the two numbers matched the vote would be counted and if they did not match the vote would be rejected.
What Would Citizens Vote On?
There are two extremes at the ends of the continuum of what people might vote on.
- 1) On one end of the spectrum is the idea that everybody would vote on everything.
Should there be another traffic light on Maple Street?
Should the minimum wage be increased?
It’s pretty clear that you can’t run the United States of America by putting every issue up for a popular vote, if for no other reason than 90% of the population wouldn’t be able or willing to vote on everything, and if you forced them at gunpoint to vote on dozens or hundreds of issues every month they would just close their eyes and pick something.
- 2) At the other end of the “let the people vote” principle would be a government where people voted on only a very few things, namely picking a few people who would run the government and who would make and be held responsible for all the decisions.
ONE: The first benefit from following this second idea is that people want simple choices. People want to pick a “hero” to run things the “right way.”
People want what they want, but they don’t want to themselves take the time and trouble to do the work, especially if it’s work they don’t like or aren’t capable of doing.
People want their toilets to work, but they don’t want to clean out their own pipes. People want their investments to make a good return, but they don’t want to (or can’t) figure out how to pick the investments that will do that.
They want a professional to run the government and make those decisions for them while they get on with their lives.
TWO: The second benefit to this simple system is that there is a specific person the citizens can blame.
Today, who is really responsible for a specific program or policy or agency? No one knows. And how can John Q. Public hold that faceless person responsible? S/he can’t.
If there are 535 members of Congress and each votes hundreds of times. Who do you hold responsible for what? This person voted the way you like 92 times and voted the way you don’t like 137 times. What do you do about him/her?
But if there are only two people who enacted a law you hate, then the responsibility for that law is very, very clear and everyone who hates it knows who to punish for enacting it.
The New System — Run The Government The Way A Large Corporation Operates
Democratic Executive Management
The DEM System would entirely eliminate the state legislature.
The state government would be entirely controlled by three executives with six-year, staggered terms so that every two years one of them would be up for election. Let’s call each of them a Director.
Limitations On Who Could Be A Director
There are personality tests that weed out psychopaths, megalomaniacs, and other people with severe personality disorders from working in police departments and in other sensitive positions.
We would require that no one could be elected as a Director unless they had first cleared all of these tests.
Also, no one could serve more than three terms as a Director.
The Directors’ Authority
With a few exceptions, a majority of the three Directors would have the power to enact a wide range of legislation. They could make and repeal whatever laws a majority of them wanted provided that they would be barred from
- (1) Raising their own salaries or giving themselves a bonus;
- (2) Extending their term of office or canceling an election
- (3) Overturning a law the voters had passed by popular vote
- (4) Selling off any of the state’s material assets
- (5) Doing anything that the federal constitution would prevent the Congress from doing
Many other restrictions, of course, that I’m not going to try to list here.
Think of it this way: The state would be run like a Limited Liability Company that had three Managers, three CEOs.
The three CEOs would be responsible to the voters who could remove any or all of them at any time by a fingerprint-verified electronic recall vote cast over the internet.
Essentially, we would have three elected executives who could make and repeal laws and hire and fire any state government employees in the same way that a CEO can adopt corporate plans and policies and hire and fire corporate employees.
And we would all know who to blame.
Removing A Director
The approval of 20% of the registered voters cast over a period of 15 days would force a full, general recall vote for the Directors who were the subject of the recall campaign.
The affirmative vote of at least 60% of a quorum of at least 60% of all eligible voters would be sufficient to remove one or more Directors from office.
Legislation Enacted By The Voters
A quorum would be 60% of all registered voters.
The vote of five percent of a quorum of all eligible voters over 15 days could force a general vote on any legislation they wanted to propose. If at least twenty percent of a quorum voted “Yes” in that general vote then the Directors would be required to hold their own public vote on the proposal.
If at least 60% of a quorum approved of the legislation in that general vote, then the proposed legislation would become law.
The number of issues submitted to the voters at any one time and the number of times voters would be requested to vote in any 30-day period would be limited.
Once an issue was voted on it could not be voted on again until the passage of some minimum period of time.
We might tweak the percentage approval required based on the percentage of eligible voters who voted in that election. For example, suppose we provided that the percentage of “Yes” votes would need to be the greater of 51% and 40% divided by the percentage of eligible voters who participated.
So, if 60% of all voters participated then 40%/60% = 67% yes votes needed to pass the measure.
If 75% of all voters participated then 40%/75% = 53.3% yes votes would be needed.
If 90% of all voters participated then 40%/90% is less than 51% so 51% yes votes would be needed.
Incentives To Vote
You would need to give people an incentive to vote. The incentive could be in the form of a tax credit for each time someone voted combined with a fine for each time someone failed to vote.
Government made to operate quicker, smarter, more efficiently with less bureaucracy.
Government made to operate with clear responsibility for its actions coupled with a relatively fast and simple way to remove politicians who do things the public doesn’t like or who fail to do those things that the public wants done.
A long time ago I read a science fiction story about a planet where they asked everyone, “Who will volunteer to run the government?”
For several minutes there was stunned silence before, finally, one person held up his hand. He was instantly fitted with an explosive device and a radio receiver.
Every citizen had a “No Confidence” button in their home. If some percentage of the population pushed their No Confidence button within a certain period of time, the explosive device would activate and blow off the Leader’s head.
It was amazing how hard that person worked to do a very good job.
Well, under the DEM system we can’t blow off one of the CEO’s heads, but at least we could all press a button on our computer and kick his/her ass to the curb.
That fantasy makes me think of certain people in Washington D.C.
Don’t get me started.