Friday, November 14, 2014

On Representative Democracy

Putting aside a real question – do we really live in a democracy? – I’d like to talk for a brief moment about our representative democracy.

It seems to me that a representative democracy can take two forms: where our representatives do as we bid them or where they do what they think is best.  As to the first choice, it seems to me that if we really wanted them to do as we demand, then we should begin to implement a technology-based referenda state for all matters big and small and just let the people decide.  No need for representation at all.  On the other hand, I personally believe that our representatives ought to do what they think is best for us.  If we disagree, it is their job to explain to us why they think what they think.  If it is convincing, fine.  If not, it becomes our job to explain to them why they were wrong until they agree with us.  Failing that, it is our duty to remove them from office.  Or to allow them this difference from us ("we agree to disagree but we still love you").

There is one other argument for a representative democracy: our elected representatives have a chance to become experts on the issues they deal with, something we citizens do not have time for.

On the other hand, there is an excellent argument against preferring representative democracy.  If our representatives act in a way that they believe is best for us, fine.  However, if their choices reflect what is best for themselves – that is, if they have become corrupted – then that representative democracy is a sham and it serves no one but the thieves among us.  Those kinds of representatives should be … removed.

The problem is, the way our system works today, with Big Money being more powerful than We the People, universal corruption is nearly 100% inevitable.