Of The People – Maximum Democratic Principles
Part 3 of 3
Editorial by Boyd Evan White
In the year 2020, has the implementation of Democratic Principles been perfected? Has every angle of making our government “Of the People” been assessed? Listening to those who bandy the phrases “Our Democracy” and “Western Democracy” you would think the structures are already in place.
I suspect there is certain amount of “resting on the laurels” in that respect.
Take, for instance, the Supreme Court of the USA. A circumspect eye should be cast to the fact one of the three Departments of the U.S. Constitution is beyond the reach of the people. There is no check on the Supreme Court other than the Justices must remain in good behavior. This seems naively trusting especially when there is a simple and elegant check using Democratic Principles, Retention Elections, to keep Justices accountable to the People.
Once a Justice is appointed to the Supreme Court and assigned a Circuit how much more in line with Democratic Principles would making them face Retention Elections after several years be? That would not require them to open a candidacy and reveal how they will Judge cases; the Retention Elections would be based on their record. That seems highly mature and modern; more in line with “Of the People, by the People, and for the People.”
On another front, it is counter-intuitive that in order to mitigate the hypnotizing effects of the phrases “Our Democracy” and “Western Democracy” that maximizing Democratic Principles might help. Today, those phrases are used in societies where opportunities to vote only occur once and on average no more than three times a year; moreover, it is extremely rare when the participation of Registered Voters ever tops 70%. What if there was an opportunity to vote once a week for all fifty-two weeks of the year? Would that, once systemized, draw people into caring more about how they are governed? Just like any other habit, a habit of regularly voting could increase participation and care.
So, what would the people vote on during weekly elections?
Here is an idea that would close the legislative loop up nice and tight with the concept “Of the People, by the People, for the People”. Imagine if every law and bill passed by Congress was mandated to also have a Sunset Clause. And instead of Congress being the people to vote when that Sunset Clause comes due…imagine if it were the People at large who were presented the law or bills to vote upon the Sunset Clause? Who better to decide whether something should continue than the people at large who are affected by the measure? The People could assess whether there were undesirable unintended consequences of a law or bill; they could decide not only whether there were unintended consequences they could decide via the Sunset Clause whether Congress was just plain crazy; they could also decide the financial prudence via the Sunset Clause in assessing the economic impact of the original law or bill. Giving the People at large the power of approval or disapproval via Sunset Clauses of Congress’s actions would be a novel and mature usage of Democratic Principles.
Again, changing from voting opportunities once in a blue moon to voting opportunities every week is not going to happen overnight. It is systemic change, which should be fostered by the people themselves asking, “How are you going to vote this week?”
This idea of increasing voting opportunities should also be tempered with a prudent Quorum requirement. It would be immature and unwise to increase voting opportunities if only 15% of Registered Voters participated.
Here is another example of how increasing voting opportunities with a prudent quorum could make our government more accountable.
Elected officials have been exposed to Democratic Principles. Unfortunately, there are a vast number of people who work for our government, namely civil servants, who are not accountable to the people at large.
The largest employer in the USA is the government with over two million Federal employees; the number of people that work for our government and are not checked by Democratic Principles makes them a class removed from society at large. And they are a privileged class; that is worth saying even to the point of bringing up the Communist phrases “Dictatorship of the Proletariat” and “Class Dictatorship” just to make sure the full analysis is on the table. Civil Servants will immediately cloak themselves with altruism and protest that they, above all others, are “Of the People” for after all, “are they not Servants?” But they are not servants; they are a privileged class removed from that competition which breeds excellence.
Every government job should be checked through Democratic principles to promote the honesty and integrity of the quality of service provided by the Civil Servant.
Again, it is counter-intuitive that in order to have more accountability, Democratic Principles, which has the reputation of being a tool of the illiterate mob, Commies and Socialists, could leave no person of the privileged class called Civil Servants unchecked. And of what political persuasion do you imagine the majority of Civil Servants are inclined? Freedom and Liberty? Or, Statism and Socialism? Who butters their bread? Which political persuasion justifies their job’s existence?
This great technological age could help us produce allegiance to the common desire for civilization by checking every avenue from the bottom to the top of our government.
For instance, every Civil Servant as part of their job description would be held liable to a Retention Election. Democratic Principles would be much more real at this grassroots level. And because it will have more impact on people’s lives they could be impelled to participate more.
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