Is a direct democracy now possible in the USA?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by callmemike20, Aug 7, 2011.

  1. callmemike20 macrumors 6502a

    callmemike20

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    #1
    With the rise of technology over the past few decades, is it possible for America to have a direct democracy?

    Congressmen/women can be used as middlemen. They manage the votes and try to sell bills to the public.

    The public then goes online and votes or goes to the nearest voting facility to cast their vote over an internet enabled computer.

    Maybe it can be used for bills over a certain dollar value or part of specific categories (health, economic, defense, etc.). Maybe it can be used for all bills that involve the government taking on debt.

    Another thought I had was letting Americans pick where their tax dollars go. There would be critical categories that everyone contributes to (fire, police, defense, etc.) and then there would be other categories that let you choose where your money goes.

    A category may be education. In that category, you must pick at least 2 items, and you must spend at least 10% of your tax dollars in this category.

    My mind is scattering now...

    Discuss.
     
  2. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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  3. callmemike20 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    callmemike20

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    #3
    Why? Why? Why?
     
  4. Apple OC macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

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    #4
    the FatCats will never let go ... they love the $$$ too much
     
  5. guzhogi macrumors 68030

    guzhogi

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    #5
    Interesting ideas. I like them. However not sure how to implement it. How do you prevent voting fraud?
     
  6. torbjoern macrumors 65816

    torbjoern

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    #6
    Most Americans don't care about taking responsibility for their own country, which is why it's (seemingly, if nothing else) being misgoverned by whoever is in charge. Direct democracy is never going to happen - and if it does, the fat cats (reference to above posting by Apple OC) will take more than their fair share of the benefits anyway.

    This brings me to the question about to what extent the Americans even deserve direct democracy. If people could decide what their tax dollar was to be spent on, it would in most cases be "subsidized gasoline" or "free donuts" over "universal healthcare" any day... and then "education". The corporations on top of the food-chain in this increasingly feudal-like country would exploit this for what it was worth.
     
  7. obeygiant macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    #7
    There are individuals who are relatively smart, but in a group those individuals on a mass scale as a whole can act like a scared animal and subject to emotional whims. You may think there is paralysis in Washington but I think that its still better than direct democracy. As you know, a republic functions with representatives who try to reflect the populace.
     
  8. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #8
    Government can't even secure their own computers, I think not.
     
  9. AP_piano295 macrumors 65816

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    #9
    Because so many people are just dumb...

    Unfortunately our elected officials don't rank much better so it might work.
     
  10. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #10
    I think a direct democracy would have a better chance of working in a model without separate state and national governments. If the U.S. was simply America, with no states, I could see it as a possibility. As it is, the Great Compromise was to ensure representation based both on population and on the number of states in the union. Direct democracy would essentially render many states (with smaller populations) completely irrelevant in voting.
     
  11. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816

    CorvusCamenarum

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    #11
    Look at California and their ballot initiatives, then compare with their financial status. Get back to us.

    Not nearly enough. The smart faction of the country is under 20%.
     
  12. likemyorbs macrumors 68000

    likemyorbs

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    #12
    Mostly concentrated in the northern region of the country. :eek:
     
  13. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #13
    Yep, the filters between the average voter and action are necessary and valuable.

    And, I think there are lots of things that the average voter doesn't really understand and unpacking the information necessary to be a considerate voter on many of these subjects requires time that people just don't have. A representative can be steeped in a subject, like nuclear arms treaties, in a way that someone working and taking care of their family cannot.

    Of course, that's without the technical aspects which I think might be an utter nightmare. Who's going to design the software, Diebold?
     
  14. iStudentUK macrumors 65816

    iStudentUK

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    #14
    Absolutely not! The general population are far too stupid to be allowed this power. A juror was recently caught asking people on facebook how she should vote, imagine the viral campaigns about individual laws if this happened.

    My prediction- any country that implements this would be a desolate wasteland within 12 months.
     
  15. Andeavor macrumors 6502

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    #15
    A (half-)direct democracy has always been possible in the US.

    Switzerland, which is famous for it, based their democracy on the double majority model of the US congress in 1890. The people vote for laws on both the cantonal and federal level and get to choose who represents them in their municipality as well as what do do with the taxpayer money within the municipality or the canton, but only if the councils approve of either suggestion.

    But in order to implement this system, the US has to change it's political grouping system, i.e. allow more political groups, separate the governing authority on the federal, state and county level and encourage politicians as well as voters to make compromises, without that it won't work.
     
  16. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #16
    Direct democracy would be a great idea however those talking about it need to realise direct democracy and representitive "democracy" are mutually exclusive,having people vote on issues electronically or whatever to guide representatives a democracy doesn't make.
     
  17. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #17
    I gave you an "Up" for this ....

    .... but I couldn't also give you a "Down" for this.

    They are crazy like foxes. They got there's, and that the root of it.

    Now if you could implement recall through the computer, at prescribed intervals during their term, then you would have something.

    If the people you are purporting to represent are fed-up with you, you should be toast.
     
  18. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040

    MacHamster68

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    #18
    why not ask the queen to become a member of the british empire ...:confused:


    no seriously i say it with the words of Birmarck :
    "only a strong monarch can protect the people from the government "
    "People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war or before an election."
    " When a man says he approves of something in principle, it means he hasn't the slightest intention of carrying it out in practice. "


    and a real democracy could eliminate those things , if the people can direct vote against government decissions instead of having to wait a couple years before they can vote again
     
  19. guzhogi macrumors 68030

    guzhogi

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    #19
    One problem with this is look how many people vote in elections already. I wouldn't be surprised if not even 1/2 of all Americans vote at the elections. So many people don't care who wins, or don't want vote if it's bad weather out. And yet in Iraq/Afghanistan, boatloads of people vote, while trying to avoid bombs, gun fire, etc. While more Americans might vote in this way since they could just stay at home, way too many are just too apathetic to vote, anyways.
     
  20. 184550 Guest

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    #20
    The US gov't is not American Idol/ reality television.

    Never, ever, ever, ever.
     
  21. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #21
    I would say no to the direct democracy but we do need some massive changes in how we vote.

    Lets face some facts. It is a royal pain in the ass to go vote in today's age. You have to go to one poling place which depends on your schedule and where you work can be a lot of trouble.
    Hell just going is some work. I would love it if I could vote in my PJ's from home or when ever you are awake. It would get much more voter involvement.

    At the very least I should be able to go to ANY poling places in the state and get the correct ballet screw limiting the poling place to one. We live in a world in information. We can easily get that moved around with the electronic voting machines.
     
  22. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    #22
    Most states have early voting, mail in ballots, etc. There are plenty of choices if you are working on election day.
     
  23. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816

    CorvusCamenarum

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    #23
    Making voting day a national holiday of sorts would remedy that. OR at least some way to make sure everyone gets to take off work without penalty to go vote. I'd be all for that.
     
  24. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #24
    Early voting falls back to my first point of you may not have the ablity to get there.

    Mail in ballots yes I have done those and those are an EVEN BIGGER pain in the rear to do. Worse part is your vote might never get counted at all because the race is decided be hand and one of the people will resign from the race.

    Fact of the matter is we do need a massive over hall in today's age making it easier to vote not harder.

    All the GOP is doing is making it harder but they also know the more people who vote the greater chance of them losing.
     
  25. SactoGuy18 macrumors 68020

    SactoGuy18

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    #25
    Unless the voters are HIGHLY informed, I don't like the idea of direct democracy on the national level.

    Direct voting like this could lead to demagoguery, and unfortunately when majority rules, the losing side is going to suffer in a BIG way.
     

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