From:   Richard Machado <>
Sent time:   Saturday, October 22, 2011 11:02:21 AM
Subject:   Re: [september17discuss] Re: The Culture of Democracy: We are ALL Leaders

I understand the point. And representative democracy does have very clear advantages over direct democracy. This is of course, is just the basis for a reasoned debate, a debate about an issue which we long supposed as a nation was over and done with and supported by every one. But I never got a chance to vote on that, nor have I got to hear from my fellow citizens about how they feel about this issue and what they think the possible pros and cons are of every option. I don't think this issue is simple, nor does it have an easy answer, I only provide my ideas for how to go about fixing the many problems our political sphere is entrenched in. I think direct democracy deserves a fair looking at, even if it is completely impractical, because it is very supportive of many of my principles, and I think may also be of many of the principles on which this country was theoretically founded. Like the principles of equality, and fairness; every citizen have equal voting share in the government, is another potential principle which may be more widely expressed within a direct democracy.

On the note of possible direct democracy systems: Systems like GAs, as they stand, work extremely well on a small scale, with let's say as many as 100 people. Let's say also that each person was a veritably registered citizen, and there was a way for all such assemblies nation-wide and have the decisions of such discussionary bodies tallied up and voted on by the whole of the citizenry present probably via some internet service. 

On Sat, Oct 22, 2011 at 11:03 AM, kindofblue <> wrote:
IMO, I disagree with the main point.  Sorry, but I believe some form
of representative democracy is essential.  In large governments it is
impossible to be involved in every decision.  This is especially true
if one has a full-time job, or other time-consuming responsibilities
that preclude full-time devotion to governance.  We must delegate some
decision-making, it is only practical.

I cannot make it to every GA, and certainly not every working group
meeting.  That means that I have no voice when I am not present, and
those who are able to be present full-time have a greater voice.  I
disagree with that.  Even if you were able to create some perfect
online system for decision-making people would not have the time to
study every problem and make an informed decision.  I'm sorry, but
that's just the truth, IMO.  Direct democracy only works for small
projects, but beyond a certain size one cannot escape delegation of
some form.  We are currently seeing that in OWS, and I think we should
honestly admit that at some level delegation is required, instead of
resolutely claiming "block any delegation."  If we admit that some
form of delegation is inevitable, then we can work on appropriate
checks and balances to make sure delegation is fair and not
corrupting.  If we don't explicitly acknowledge the issue, then
implicit delegation is bound to creep up.  In fact, it already has.