Thecuriousmail’s Weblog

Politicians and parliamentary democracy: a new direction

Posted in Uncategorized by thecuriousmail on July 15, 2017

 

Uluru

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.   Albert Einstein.
Parliamentary democracy has reached a point of irreversible irrelevance and unredeemable corruption. A lack of accountability and an absence of transparency,  fundamentally characterizes western style parliamentary democracies.  It is not an temporary aberration. It was inevitable due to the structure, and it is in the continuing interests of the political parties to neither reform themselves nor the process. The obvious question then is how does reform occur? Indeed, how can real reform possibly occur? The privileged control the political process, and while token concessions may be made, the privileged will always work to insist on their relevance, and will never willingly relinquish their pre-eminent position.

As history shows, there is actually only one answer.

What do I see as the future in Australia?  It’s a thought experiment on my part. It is a conversation all Australians should have, with the goal of arriving at a consensus. This is not intended to be exhaustive.

My preference is for direct democracy, and technology exists for that to be possible. As there needs to be no priest between you and god  (or that role is informal and shared), there needs to be no political class in governing ourselves. Citizens are always the ones held accountable for the decisions of politicians, without having agreed to a particular decision, or even opposed a particular decision: a politician may leave office with generous benefits, but the country is bankrupt, a politician may make decisions on an overseas armed intervention, but it is the citizen who suffers retaliatory terrorist attacks etc. That being the case, that the citizen is always held finally accountable, then let that  be on what they truly decide. But it might be a step too far at the moment.

Party politics needs to be abandoned.  Decisions in that scenario are made to be consistent with an ideology and agenda (often a secret agenda), not the best decision on available evidence, and decisions are prone to corrupt influence, and an often absurd short-sightedness.

Nationally,  12 people are elected. Term is 10 years, and 1 term only. Their mandate is to be independent,  make laws for the long-term interest of Australian citizens, and current and 7th generation (to pick a number) interests are of equal import. Laws are to encourage in all aspects equality, and fairness, and the process to encourage openness, participation, and accountability. Lobbying must be banned. Arguably there must be some kind of forum where citizens are able to argue for a particular position or cause, but lobbying, as it is practised and has been practiced, is an insidious undermining of democratic values and an invitation to corruption and otherwise compromised decisions.

Each of the 12 must provide a written explanation openly available for their decision, the reasoning for their vote. Secret decisions (cabinet, bureaucracy), and decisions without justification or explanation and not consistent with reason and common-sense, are commonplace today. In these situations a corrupt or compromised or just plain ‘bad’ decision is almost inevitable. There must be no party affiliations,  no collusion or contrivance as to voting intension, either formal or informal, as what is required is a vote based on reason, evidence and insight, not the ‘party line’ (adherence to benefits the party of course,  not the citizen).

Then randomly the vote of only 9 is counted, and a simple majority rules. The random count element is important as it is designed to minimize the potential of vote manipulation. (As i said, all of the 12 must provide openly available written explanations of their vote before the count).

Those that govern, and the governed, is an antiquated distinction. Twice a year citizen sponsored referendum may be proposed. 50% + 1 of the citizen vote means the proposal is to go to referendum,  and two-thirds + 1 means the referendum is passed and is law. Ultimate authority does not reside in the state, or institutions, or courts, it resides , always has and always will, in the people.

In direct response to a decision of the 12, to cancel or nullify a particular law a referendum can be held any time, provided the 50% + 1 level is met. If successful the particular law is over-ruled and null and void.

In all walks of life, there are people in Australia who display our best characteristics,  through their intelligence, honesty, empathy, insightfulness, and commitment to a shared future, they are suitable for election as one of the 12. No current ‘politician’, and very few past ones,  would qualify.

The bureaucracy,  the judicial system, and the police service, would need simultaneous reform, and, as it is currently experienced, the capitalist economic system is incompatible with this future.

A Note On Free Agency

Posted in Uncategorized by thecuriousmail on June 15, 2017

Reason must be our last judge and guide in everything-John Locke

Free agency is a natural right. The state has no justification to intervene in any arrangement between adult free agents exercising their reason and common-sense and in good faith, or the decision of a free agent exercising their reason and common-sense and in good faith, provided that arrangement does not deleteriously affect the experience of other free agents. The full expression of reason and common-sense means this provision should not arise, but there may be unforeseen or untoward consequences. Free agents acting in good faith can and do resolve issues and arrive at a consensus.

It is not the state’s right to otherwise intervene or to approve. The state may make procedural requirements, but the arrangement stands and is inviolable. Governments need the consent of the governed; free agents do not need the consent of the government. State intrusion into free agency has become so widespread that many think the social contract is now made null and void.

According to, for example, John Locke, when the government fails to secure our natural rights, free agents can withdraw their obligation to obey, and use any means, including, when necessary, violence, to re-assert their primacy.

Locke affirmed an explicit right to revolution in Two Treatises of Government: “whenever the Legislators endeavor to take away, and destroy the Property of the People, or to reduce them to Slavery under Arbitrary Power, they put themselves into a state of War with the People, who are thereupon absolved from any farther Obedience, and are left to the common Refuge, which God hath provided for all Men, against Force and Violence. Whensoever therefore the Legislative shall transgress this fundamental Rule of Society; and either by Ambition, Fear, Folly or Corruption, endeavor to grasp themselves, or put into the hands of any other an Absolute Power over the Lives, Liberties, and Estates of the People; By this breach of Trust they forfeit the Power, the People had put into their hands, for quite contrary ends, and it devolves to the People, who have a Right to resume their original Liberty.”

Addressing a couple of contemporary issues:
1. People with an incurable disease wanting to end their own lives.
The state may make minimal procedural requirements, eg two doctors must be consulted, there must be a 7 day delay between decision and action, or such like, but the free agent can make such an arrangement without either the approval of, or hindrance by, the state. The means are provided, but the act must be of the free agent themselves.
2. A woman choosing pregnancy termination.
Being a free agent, a woman’s body is her own, and she is soley able to decide on such matters, The state may make minimal procedural requirements, eg to be performed by a doctor in a hospital or clinic, or such like, but the free agent can make such an arrangement without either the approval of, or hindrance by, the state.
3. Same sex marriage.
In regards to a community recognized relationship commitment, ie marriage, with its explicit responsibilities and obligations, any adult free agents are able to make that commitment to each other, same gender or different gender. Free agents can make such an arrangement without either the approval of, or hindrance by, the state.

We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force.
Ayn Rand.