Is it time to do away with "Representative Government"?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by DearthnVader, May 21, 2018.

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Is it time for direct democracy?

  1. Yes, the people have the right to live by the consent of the governed.

    11 vote(s)
    44.0%
  2. No, I'd rather trust someone else to look out for me.

    14 vote(s)
    56.0%
  1. DearthnVader macrumors 6502a

    DearthnVader

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2015
    Location:
    Red Springs, NC
    #1
    I think representative government has run it's course, really it was a system put in place because those that had the most money, education, and influence didn't want to loosen their grip on power.

    I think it is time to engage in direct democracy, whereby the people the laws are going to effect, the people that are going to have to live under the rule of those laws should get the final say on any and all laws by a majority popular vote.

    Now, there is always the danger of the tyranny of the majority, and a bill of basic rights will always be needed to protect the the minority and the individual. As well as a high court to interoperate and expound on those rights.

    I'm not in favor of eliminating state, local, or federal government, or in eliminating the separation of powers, and we still need a President to be the commander and chief of our national military, as well as serve as the figurehead the the executive branch to carry out dully enacted laws.

    However, I have lost all faith in councils, commissions, assemblies, and congress to enact needed legislation, and the President's judgement to sign them into law or veto them.

    Living in a fee society means we deserve to live by laws we consent to, and I just don't find myself consenting to a great many laws I am expected to abide by, no one asked me, nor have I ever felt I should have to live my life by laws that took effect long before any of us were born.

    Further, I think we have lost the ability to alter, reform, or abolish many laws that a great number of us don't nor have ever agreed with. Largely because a lot of these laws serve to enrich people that can afford to make large political contributions or engage in expensive lobbying that most of us can't, nor will ever be able to afford.
     
  2. GermanSuplex macrumors 6502a

    GermanSuplex

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    #2
    Representatives at the federal level seem to be more about representing themselves and their donors in exchange for cash more than representing their people.

    The only time they think about their constituents is when they have to determine if saying something, doing something, passing a certain bill, etc. will cost them votes. If not, they couldn't care less about their district/state/etc. Drumpf's tax bill is a perfect example - screws working class over more, but won't cost them many votes because of the overwhelming partisanship dividing the right and left, and the small, temporary tax cut some people see on their check will quench their thirst for a bit.

    Sadly, I don't see the status quo changing. In fact, it may get worse as prices on goods/housing/etc. go up, wages stay the same and the wealth gets concentrated into fewer and fewer hands.
     
  3. VulchR macrumors 68020

    VulchR

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2009
    Location:
    Scotland
    #3
    One word: Brexit. The people can be duped, and at least the political discussions in elected bodies reveals some truth. I suppose the counterexample is the referendum system in Switzerland, but they're a fairly small country.
     
  4. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    #4
    Going to a direct democracy is a terrible idea. That said, we should hold our representatives more accountable. Also, our representatives should not be allowed to exempt themselves from laws like they did for Obama care.
     
  5. ThisBougieLife, May 21, 2018
    Last edited: May 21, 2018

    ThisBougieLife macrumors 68000

    ThisBougieLife

    Joined:
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    Location:
    SF Bay Area, California
    #5
    I think it's worth trying. We can start by doing away with the EC. :D

    A direct democracy does not necessarily end up as "mob rule". Besides, we had tyranny by the majority even under a representative democracy, so that's not safeguard alone.

    But I don't know how tenable a direct democracy truly is. It seems that it might inevitably lend itself to representative democracy, and eventually, oligarchy.
     
  6. Mousse macrumors 68000

    Mousse

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    Flea Bottom, King's Landing
    #6
    We need a realistic multi-party system. Yeah, we have several third parties, but they're glob flies compared to the R & D.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. DearthnVader thread starter macrumors 6502a

    DearthnVader

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    Dec 17, 2015
    Location:
    Red Springs, NC
    #7
    Like I said, people have the right to live under laws they consent too, sometimes the people may make bad decisions, however I prefer that to politicians making bad decisions most of the time.

    I think in America there are a lot of voices from each side of the political spectrum that get the most press, and people mistake that for a true majority. The center in America always holds, and most of the time, the center is correct, and has a well thought out, level headed idea of what should and shouldn't be done, yet they get completely ignored.

    It's time to stop pandering to vocal minorities and monied special interest.
     
  8. CaptMurdock Suspended

    CaptMurdock

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    Location:
    The Evildrome Boozerama
    #8
    I won't dismiss the idea out of hand...but mindless populism is the major downside. Like Tommy Lee said in Men in Black, "A Person is smart; People are dumb, panicky animals."

    Of course, Prohibition got passed in a representative republic. Just sayin'.
     
  9. RichardMZhlubb Contributor

    RichardMZhlubb

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2010
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #9
    We should retain, but fix, the current representative system of government. I’d like to see:

    1. 100% public financing for all campaigns for federal office; eliminate the role of fundraising, superpacs, soft money, etc.
    2. Eliminate the electoral college and elect the president by overall popular vote.
    3. Double the size of the senate and apportion the 100 new senators to states by population. Smaller states will still have a disproportionate level of representation, but it won’t be as totally out of balance as it is today.
    4. Change the internal procedural rules for the House and Senate to allow the minority party to schedule votes on proposed legislation or (for the Senate) for nominations
    5. Adopt rank order voting, or some comparable method to dilute the power of the two major political parties
     
  10. NT1440 macrumors G5

    NT1440

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    #10
    I do t think our time is best served having citizens voting on the minutiae of government functions. I don’t have time to name 4 post offices in a given day.

    What needs to happen? Eliminate corporate funding of elections so our representatives actually represent us.
     
  11. DearthnVader thread starter macrumors 6502a

    DearthnVader

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2015
    Location:
    Red Springs, NC
    #11
    I find it amusing that either of you think any of that would happen given the system we have now.

    When has Congress ever voted to take any of it's powers, and give them back to the people?

    Sure, Congress enacted the Federal Reserve System, and abdicated it's power to create the nations money to the private banking system, for their profit and benefit, and Congress passed the War Powers Act giving the President that power to wage warfare without the need to have Congress declare war.

    When do you think they'll get around to setting term limits on themselves, or taking cuts to their gold plated entailment packages?

    When will they not exempt themselves from insider trading laws?

    We are talking about a body with a 10% approval rating.
     
  12. NT1440 macrumors G5

    NT1440

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    #12
    And the mechanism to go to the method described in the OP would be...what exactly?

    Unless you're advocating a mass (peaceful) revolt and general strike to force the current congress (which I'm all for) to implement the change both your suggestion and everyone else's are constrained by the exact thing you've criticized others for.
     
  13. DearthnVader thread starter macrumors 6502a

    DearthnVader

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Red Springs, NC
    #13
    The truth is, so long as we concentrate the powers of the many, into the hands of the few, that system will always lend itself to corruption.

    There is no reform of a representative government that will change that, we all have a right to equal representation, and only our vote gives us that.

    Stop holding on to a system designed to give the most freedom and power to rich white property owners 250 years ago.

    Our time is now, they are gone, and the dead shall not rule the living.
     
  14. NT1440 macrumors G5

    NT1440

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    #14
    And how do you suggest eliminating the Republic?

    Removing corporate power from the equation goes a long, long, long way back towards actual representation. You'd have easily half of Congress unseated if the RNC/DNC corporate rulers had no say in the process leading up to elections.
     
  15. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2001
    Location:
    Denmark
    #15
    Given how many nutcases that believe everything they read on the Internet or even regular people who changes their mind after reading a headline, then hell no, I'll never want direct democracy. At least something gets done this way. But, I do want technocracy instead.

    That being said, I really don't understand the binary party system that is going on in the US - It is clearly non-functional, and the picture posted above is spot on. Can someone explain why that still exists, or just point me to a few good articles?
     
  16. DearthnVader thread starter macrumors 6502a

    DearthnVader

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Red Springs, NC
    #16
    We are the many, and they are the few, the only reason they hold any power is we have consented to it.

    All we have to do is remove our consent, that is all people anywhere ever have to do to reform their government, and I'm sure 50 years from now, or 250 years from now, people will tire of any system we may put in place, in favor of a system that better suits their life and times.

    The only thing stopping us is agreement, we have to agree to removing our consent. Like any reform movement, it starts small, a few people agree, they hold fast to some basic ideas and ideals. First they are ignored, then when they can no longer be ignored, they are ridiculed, when that fails come threats of violence, normally fallowed by actual violence, but gradually people end up seeing the wisdom of doing things a better way.

    We've made a lot of progress in our democracy in the last 250 years, and their has been a lot of technical advancement, we need a from of government that isn't stuck in the past, that can respond to the needs of the people and their desires, and the challenges and advantages of modern life.

    We have more people in prison than any other nation on earth, far too many of them are non-violent drug offenders. We call ourselves free, yet we can't even live up to the first mantra of freedom, that of informed consent. What business is it of the government to keep us safe from ourselves?

    Are we children, we can't make up our own minds about what to put in our own bodies, we do not have the final say into how we choose to live?

    Billions of dollars wasted every year to enforce laws people just ignore at any point of their own choosing. I make a few phone calls, and not drive more than 15 min. from my house and get virtually and drug I wanted.

    Drug addicts are sick, they need medical and physiatric help, not jail.

    So called zero tolerance and outlawing "things" rather than regulating and controlling them has lead us nowhere, we simply waste billions upon billions trying to stop something government has no power to stop.

    But, hey, it makes people feel better, to think they and use their vote to stop someone else from doing something, when in reality it leads to nothing but enrichment for the police state and the prison industrial complex. Those billions and billions of dollars land in someone's pocket, leaving them flush to buy a $75,000 a plate dinner at a fund raiser of a though on crime politician.
     
  17. chagla macrumors 6502a

    chagla

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    Mar 21, 2008
    #17
    gov't should be for the people, not corporations. reform political donations and Washington lobbying. you will have a much better gov't. i think that's bigger problem than representative gov't.
     
  18. BeeGood macrumors 68000

    BeeGood

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    Location:
    Lot 23E. Somewhere in Georgia.
    #18
    You think it was tough for the couple hundred people in Congress to pass a federal budget?

    Wait until a couple hundred million people are trying to get one hammered out. :confused:
     
  19. darksithpro macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2016
    #19

    THIS! Also term limits for Congress, eliminate earmarks and more parties. So tired of only choosing one of two incumbent R/D.
     
  20. BeeGood macrumors 68000

    BeeGood

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    Location:
    Lot 23E. Somewhere in Georgia.
    #20
    I think you’re giving “the people” too much credit here.

    Have you ever lived in a neighborhood with an HOA? Or participated in your kid’s PTA? Technically, that’s direct democracy.

    What invariably happens in nearly every one of these organizations is that you’ll get one or two vocal members that end up pushing the agenda, with everyone else basically rubber stamping it because they either don’t care enough to do anything different or they actually like the agenda. They essentially become a de facto representative government (for better or for worse).

    I think it’s just human nature. The majority of people are not wired to be that engaged on that scale with what’s going on around them. So I honestly think that you’ll end up with something far worse than what we have today.
     
  21. DearthnVader thread starter macrumors 6502a

    DearthnVader

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2015
    Location:
    Red Springs, NC
    #21
    Are we moving in that direction?

    How do you expect people that only really care about funding and winning the next election to pass laws restricting the funding of their next election?

    You're just asking the fox to remain in charge of the hen house, they are never going to reform themselves. Money and power are more and more being constrained into the hands of the very few, that can't be fixed by asking them to reform themselves.

    Time and time again the American people have gone to the polls to elect people that say they are going to change things, but the trouble is once they take office they become a slave to the offices of power.

    No amount of promises will change the system, because you do not join a system to change it, you join a system to be a part of it.

    Stop listening to people running for office, or a media only interested in enriching their corporate shareholders.

    It is the system that is broken, it doesn't matter who you put in it.
     
  22. NT1440 macrumors G5

    NT1440

    Joined:
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    #22
    Listen, I agree more or less with much of what you posted, but you still didn’t answer my question.
     
  23. DearthnVader thread starter macrumors 6502a

    DearthnVader

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2015
    Location:
    Red Springs, NC
    #23
    There will always be politicians and bureaucracy, changing who gets the final say on what becomes law doesn't change that. It only puts the power back where it belongs, with the people, each with their own vote.

    How people chose to vote, and who they chose to listen to is not my concern, I have faith that people know better, and will chose to do what seems right, and when they don't they will correct it, without concern to winning public office, funding some sort of campaign, or making them people that keep them there happy.

    You're free to believe anything you want to believe, you can insist that we have to elect people because they know better than the common man how we should all live our lives and spend out time and money, but in the end of the day, you're not the only one that has to live with that ill-conceived notion of freedom. The real trouble is people going to the voting booth to try and tell others how to live and how to be, while completely ignoring free will, and economic prosperity for anyone but themselves.
    --- Post Merged, May 21, 2018 ---
    I'm sorry, what question was that?
     
  24. NT1440 macrumors G5

    NT1440

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    #24
    “And how do you suggest eliminating the Republic?”

    Specifically in response to you mocking that any change presented would have to go through Congress (to die, obviously). I’m wondering what your mechanism is that doesn’t go through Congress?
     
  25. BoxerGT2.5 macrumors 68000

    BoxerGT2.5

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    Jun 4, 2008
    #25
    People are stupid and even today most voters really only give a rip about a single issue or two. I don't trust the individual enough who gets all their info from Facebook to make a intelligent/informed decision about much. I don't think we need to scrap the entire system, but a big step in the right direction is overturning Citizens united. We can all thank Republicans for that whopper of a turd that's plagued our government like a massive case of herpes.
     

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