Page Nav


Classic Header




Reforming representative democracy

 There are currently two fundamentally different ways of governing human societies: authoritarianism and representative democracy. Authorita...

 There are currently two fundamentally different ways of governing human societies: authoritarianism and representative democracy.

Authoritarian leadership is a rigid form of government in which the decisions of a small group determine the life of the governed community. The small group of leaders is typically politically power-oriented, primarily self-appointed, so that the decisions needed to govern the society are essentially political power decisions and not necessarily made with the progress of the society in mind.

Authoritarian systems can remain stable as long as the decisions of the leadership lead to the progress of society. When the decisions of politics, based on the point of view of power, do not lead to the progress of society, the authoritarian system becomes unstable and its prolonged existence is possible only through the overbearing exercise of power, which weakens social cohesion, typically resulting in a society with symptoms of disease, and leads to the social breakdown of the unstable authoritarian system, which can be made functional again only by reorganizing the social structure, not necessarily using democratic methods.

Representative democracy can be a stable system of government even under constant change. In representative democracy, the members of society can actually choose who will represent their interests. In this case, the realization of social changes in the decisions made by the leaders of society is ideally not the result of an artificially maintained viewpoint that takes into account the interests of the narrow group that governs, but is a fundamental and natural consequence of the functioning of the representative system. To the extent that the decisions of the elected leaders of a representative democracy do not result in a sense of progress for the members of society, the group of leaders can be replaced, and the replacement of the leadership does not necessarily reduce social cohesion, does not necessarily lead to social instability, and, if it functions properly, the change should result in an increase in it.

In principle, representative democracy can behave as a flexible and adaptive system of social governance, but in practice it seems to seek social determination and confirmation only during leadership elections, when it often carries the risk of drifting into populism, and between elections it carries the characteristics of authoritarian systems of social governance, with the possible risk of autocratic transition.

The two fundamental problems with the functioning of representative democracy that arise from the way the system works are the possibility of electoral populism and authoritarian behavior between elections. Until humanity adopts a more suitable system of social governance than representative democracy, it would be necessary to improve the functioning of representative democracy so that these disadvantages can be eliminated. How can representative democracy be reformed?

In a representative democracy, the individual voter delegates the representation of his or her interests to the elected person, who, once elected, participates in the governance of society and acts in the perceived or real interests of the group represented. However, it is enough to demonstrate this appearance of activity only at election time, and between elections the representative is only indirectly responsible to the social group represented. The key to reforming representative democracy is to ensure the direct accountability of representatives and to maintain a permanent state of election.

Direct accountability can be ensured if the representative in power must necessarily directly represent a group of people, preferably with the characteristics of the whole society as much as possible. Each representative should therefore represent the people living in a sufficiently defined area and should be elected by the people living in that area. The representative need not necessarily live in the constituency, but his or her activities must serve that particular district. The members of the leadership organization, which represents the most substantial political power, can therefore only be persons who directly represent and are elected by a social community.

Representatives promote continuously updated personal programs by which they operate and by which they are held accountable for their activities.

The required permanent election can be achieved by anonymously maintaining a satisfaction trigger on the elected representative's activities by individual citizens living in the representative district within an open and publicly operated voting system. If the negative status of the satisfaction trigger exceeds the majority of eligible voters in the district for a specified period of time, the voting system will automatically conduct a new representative election process.

The electoral system keeps continuously updated records of the programs of candidates for representation of electoral districts and of the representatives leading the districts. Voting citizens living in the electoral district can continuously evaluate and prioritize the programs by ordering them in the electoral system according to their preferences.

In the electoral system, when a new representative election process is initiated in a given constituency, the election of the representative is an automatic process based on the weighted and ordered preferences of the representative's programs, by a procedure similar to the final-five voting method, i.e., the representative of the program with the most overall preferences among the weighted and ordered programs is selected as the district representative.

The election may result in the incumbent, who is dissatisfied by the majority, winning, but this only means that there is no better preferred candidate for the job. If the dissatisfaction trigger still persists for the specified amount of time, a new election is held until the satisfaction trigger tilts in a positive direction.

This elected representative body is responsible for the management of the operational structure of social governance, the system of administration, after which it no longer requires direct social control, but obviously the role of individual representatives in the operation of governance must be public.

A governance system built in this way does not lead to chaotic leadership structures, but contributes to the development of a responsible civil society and responsible social leadership as well. The elected representative can receive continuous feedback on the views of the community he or she represents through the satisfaction trigger, and can adjust his or her program according to this feedback. A new representative is elected only when there is sustained community dissatisfaction with the activities of the incumbent representative and there is a more preferred program for replacing the representative. The term of an elected representative is therefore indefinite; it expires when another representative is elected.

The proposed reform of representative democracy does not affect the functioning of parties, but the system of power is based on territorial elections that allow for direct accountability rather than voting on party lists. Parties will still be able to present programs in the electoral process, with party members' candidacies for representative positions demonstrating a commitment to party programs.

The proposed reform is characterized by the absence of electoral campaigns. The elected representative is constantly motivated to represent the common interests of the community he or she represents, and the replacement of the representative by one deemed more suitable does not depend on an electoral campaign.

The proposed system motivates the members of society to participate in politics, in the management of the common affairs of the community, since political participation is manifested in concrete, visible and direct consequences.

With the proposed reform, the adverse functioning of representative democracy can be solved, ensuring the direct responsibility and accountability of power, and effective social adaptation can be achieved with permanent elections, as long as there is no more suitable form of social management other than the representative democracy.

No comments