Thursday, January 29, 2015

Random Democracy

The Problem
There are many versions of direct democracy. The version proposed in this blog should have its own name. 

The Solution
True to democracy, I am open to proposals but to avoid confusion I will refer to the version of direct democracy supported by this blog as Random Democracy.

What is Random Democracy?
Random Democracy is rule by a random sample of the people (and thus by the people).

How does Random Democracy work?

What are the advantages of Random Democracy?
Random Democracy copies the advantages of traditional direct democracy:
  • Direct Democracy ensures that decisions are made by the biggest possible group which reduces the possibility of elite capture of government.
  • Direct Democracy encourages everybody to take part in debate which not only ensures people are more aware about important issues, diversity will ensure that solutions are better and more creative as proven by crowdsourced solution.
  • Direct Democracy allows everybody to propose issues that are important to them so the debate is about things that matter to large parts of the population, not only to specific interests.
In addition, it solves the biggest problems of direct democracy:
  • Random Democracy is cheap and efficient for the state. Many laws can be voted on simultaneously and even if a new law is voted on every day, Random Democracy is still hundreds of time cheaper than 1 election every 5 years.
  • Random Democracy makes the state efficient by linking taxes to services. If every law and public service has its own budget, citizens can make an informed choice. Now the government budget is like a buffet: all you can eat for a fixed amount of tax.
  • Random Democracy is cheap and efficient for citizens.  If 1 new law would be voted on every day, an eligible voter would be called upon to do "voter duty" only once in a lifetime!
  • Random Democracy is really representative. Traditional democracy suffers from a voter bias because rarely more than 50% of the people show up to vote. 

The Transition
It will be hard to transition from the current system to Random Democracy. Not because the target is difficult to achieve but because the resistance of the status-quo is enormous. But that does not mean it is impossible. Versions of direct democracy that come very very close to Random Democracy already exist. More about that in the next blog.