New Democratic Systems

New Democratic Systems

Section 3

These three proposals for new democratic systems are something that still interests me a great deal.  As of 8-26-15, I have not yet written comments on this.  But I hope the comments (to be posted in the next month) will put in perspective my old work from the 1970s with my most recent article on this from 2007.

  1. Concern for All, 1973. This is my Ph.D. thesis.  It is not posted here, except that two of the appendices are posted in Section 1 as #2 and #3.  It was also here that I proposed the first new democratic system I created. NOT POSTED
  2. System 4: A New Form of Democracy  1974 This new democratic system is a sketch of how randomly selected citizens could actually serve as legislators. I lost interest in it after about a year because I came to believe that representative government would surely work better.  As can be seen in #3 below, I kept inventing new democratic systems, but using Citizens Juries to make elections work better, rather than to replace legislators.  By 2015, representative democracy has become so dysfunctional that System 4 is worth consideration by those interested in whole new democratic systems.  Many thanks to David Schecter for stimulating my interest in new democratic systems and getting me to look at this again.
  3. Towards A New Democracy, 1980. Comments. This unpublished book lays out in detail System 9, a new form of democracy. It starts by proposing three requirements for a well-functioning representative democracy: that elected officials understand the laws they vote on, that there be sound administration, and that there be effective citizen control.  Three chapters of the book are devoted to showing how poorly American democracy did in meeting these requirements, even in 1980, long before the complaints about “dysfunctional democracy” became as common as they are today.  The book posited that American democracy risked collapse in about 50 years unless major changes were made.  It suggests a whole new democratic system that can meet the three requirements for an effective representative democracy. Towards A New Democracy can be downloaded in these two pdfs. Towards a New American Democracy Pages 1-149 and Pages 150-398 Towards a New American Democracy
  4. “A New American Democracy”, 2007 Journal of Public Deliberation, Vol 3: Issue 1, Article 1, “by Mark Twain IV”.  I published this article under the pseudonym in order to avoid upsetting the effort to get the Citizens Initiative Review adopted.  I didn’t want anyone in Washington state or Oregon to learn that the person proposing that reform of the initiative process had strong views about the need for radical changes in our form of democracy.  This article moves away from proposing a specific reform, instead advocating that a team effort at building a new democracy is needed, requiring tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars to be properly designed and tested before implementation at the national level.
  5. Essay #3028 2015