I wrote this to myself originally, it came out pretty interesting, so I changed some of it and thought I'd post it here see what you guys think. (before you comment please read the whole thing; some things that seem unreasonable at first are explained later on ... yes I know it's VERY long... but I put a lot of thought into it when I originally wrote it hope that guilt-trips you enough to suffer through it) A NEW DEMOCRATIC SYSTEM While democracy may be the justest of all systems, I do not believe it is yet the justest it can be; there are many problems with it -- or, rather, with the way it is being implemented and managed. As a result, we are all witness to social injustices, and even potentially dangerous outcomes. It is very possible that society as it is stands, will not be able to do so for very long -- I know this has been said time and time again: from short-haired gentlemen at long-haired hippies, to long-haired hippies at baggy-pant-wearing thugs... but let us not forget that it has happened many times before!: empires have fallen, and fruitful societies have ripened to putrefaction, taking decades or even centuries for “normalcy” to return. -- With all of our scientific and technological advances, we are no different; we are still French rebels with guillotines, and Alexandrian theists with torches. It would be foolish to not learn from past mistakes, and equally foolish to not try and prevent future ones. From poverty to inept health-care and educational systems, I believe that many of these problems can be solved -- or come as close to being solved as is possible -- through a variation of the current democratic structure*. These are my two main ideas: 1 - Voters don’t have true influence over policy and law. This is a problem. 2 - Voting should be a privilege, not a basic right; the right to vote should be earned. 1ST LAW: INFLUENCE IS A ONE-WAY STREET Right now, the democratic system consists of choosing the lesser of two (or more) evils. People vote for the candidate that seems to kind-of-but-not-really come closest to resembling, sort-of, their own ideals... and that is about as much true influence over his or her country as the average person has. (By average, I mean, of course: average, non-political**, non-influential, non-wealthy, non-important you -- us, the slithery motor-oil that helps this shiny Global-Machine run ever so smoothly). We have candidate A, who follows ideal 1 while trying not to interfere with the agenda of corporation X, on one side; and candidate B, who follows ideal 2 while trying not to interfere with the agenda of corporation Y on the other. Some voters choose whoever they think stinks less, while others vote for the candidate they “like” the most -- completely ignorant of his or her policies. This turns many people off from voting or even caring about the state of their country. They learn to live in a state of ideological stupor, and I don’t blame them. -- From very early on, we are tacitly made to understand that “us” and “those in charge,” are two separate things; that influence is a one way street. -- We are taught about our ostensible power to change the world, and trained for the world to change us. With my system, voters have complete influence over policies, laws, etc. -- a democracy where the government works for the people, not the people for the government. Under this system, come election day***, voters get to vote not only specific ministers, but also on specific laws and policies, funding, etc.: the elected officials will be there to do the people’s bidding, not to promise one thing and then follow their own agendas. -- If the people voted for law A to be implemented, then law A IS implemented! Again: voters vote for the ACTUAL LAWS, not only for a pretty face. Elected officials should be no more than experts who know enough about their field to make sure that the voters’ decisions are followed. -- the minister of education would actually know something about education! isn’t that awesome-cool and original! … totally off the walls, I know; trippy s**t. Generic skeptic Bob says, raising his eyebrow in disapproval: but what do “the people” know? I wouldn’t trust the majority of people with my country’s economy! … most people don’t know the first thing about economy! O, bob… can’t you be patient?**** … Why, this is where the second law comes into play: 2ND LAW: VOTING IS A PRIVILEGE, NOT A BASIC RIGHT; THE RIGHT TO VOTE SHOULD BE EARNED The faults of a system where the people have direct influence over law and policy are quite obvious: No person knows a lot about everything, most people know little about many things, and too many people know nothing about most things! Now, I am the first to admit that I don’t know the first thing about economics, stock-markets, tax mumbo-jumbos… I am sure that many of you reading this know much more than I do about these things. -- And yet… when inside that voting booth, where our opinions (theoretically) really matter, you and I both have the same say over our country’s economy! Why should Joe-Ben Stamper from Wakonda, Oregon, who goes to church every Sunday, believes the earth is 6000 years-old, and couldn’t read a TV guide with a gun put to his head, have the same say over education and scientific-research funding as you and I? The problem is not that “people are stupid.” The problem is that people have LEARNED to be stupid; we have been conditioned to believe that ignorant is the best you can be. The answer: standardized tests and voting licenses. People are to be allowed to vote only on matters about which they have a certain level of understanding***** . Regardless of age, sex, religion, or race, you are allowed to vote only on subjects about which you have, at least, a basic level of understanding. This might seem discriminatory at first, but it is the very opposite. In fact, it is more inclusive than any democracy as of now! -- If Single Mother, who works two jobs to feed her child, knows she CAN have a say over what minimum-wage should be… you bet your ass she’s going to turn off “Oprah,” pick up a book, and do something about it! Under my system, that starving single-mother can have as much say over our economy as the C.E.O of a multinational corporation (provided she knows her stuff, obviously). Doctors can have a say over which research should be publicly funded, etc. This would not only move people to be politically active, but also, indirectly, produce a more educated society. And the best part of it all is that this is no communist fantasy world. Neither does this democratic system step on any “big toes” (not too heavily, at least): it is still possible to become stinkin’ rich and powerful in this society! Not only that, but everyone’s health and wealth would be improved, and the economic machinery would run much smoother, without the need of too much of that dirty oil. ----- * I am from Canada, but this applies to most democratic systems… the current variations are not relevant; none of these systems are addressing the issues I mention efficiently. ** could a word become any more of its own antonym? ! ***most probably, more than a day would be needed for this system to function… maybe an election-week would be held instead. **** OK… at this point, it was 5:55 AM after a long Friday night when I wrote this part… so I hope that explains THAT. *****their voting privileges increasing with their level of understanding of a subject.