Real quick take: Your system sounds swell at first glance. However, I see a few flaws:
- Too many moving parts. The United States has 329 million people and population density is far from uniform. I recently read another proposal that posited that salvation could be found in enlarging Congress to one Representative per 100,000 constituents. We would then have a House of Representatives with 3,290 members. Assuming 100 people in a neighborhood, we wind up with nearly 3.3 million neighborhoods.
It would be absurd to suggest that we could have a House of 3.3 representatives. In fact, I would suggest that 435 is already too much. Maybe another tier is warranted.
- Assumption of participation. What percentage of the people that live in a neighborhood show up at neighborhood association meetings? How many people in the neighborhood then complain about the association board?
USA has a 50% voter turnout rate. So how does that suggest that democracy is working? And many of those non-voters still complain. In this regard, there isn’t much difference between the future TDG and today’s USA.
- There is a critical flaw in direct democracy. Running a government requires a lot of decisions and most of them are far from glamorous. A large number of them still need to be made in a timely manner. How many people are going to devote any time to the nuts and bolts?
I too am not a fan of direct democracy. If you read direct democracy into my essay, you need to read again.
- TDG results in a lot of upward delegation — several levels of it, as a matter of fact. With each level, the needs and desires of the lower groups become diluted and lost. What you have is the governance version of the old game, “Telephone” where a message starts and one end and is passed down from player to player with the last person announcing the message as they received it.
One voice by itself usually goes unheard in western democracy. The same too for the TDG. But when these voices combine, they do filter up through both systems and have an effect on legislation. I believe the TDG will be able to better respond to these voices.
- The United States is a federated republic consisting of 50 sovereign states. The whole theory as based on dual allegiance of the citizens to the nation and to the state. Theoretically the people hold the ultimate power but in practical terms, it’s the states. The federal government can only do what the states allow. If the states disapprove of the federal government, they can change the government’s powers and responsibilities. The states are perfectly free to call a constitutional convention and the federal government cannot prevent them. If three-quarters of the states agree on a change it’s a done deal and the federal government must comply.
In theory, the states have important rights. In practicality, those rights have been eroded in the past century. The loyalty of most Senators today lies mostly with the political party that got them the job, not the state, not the concept of separation of powers between the state and federal government. I have already written an article on this topic.
You have a very creative idea and one worth considering. However, I think we might need to work on the people themselves for it to have any chance of producing the desired results.
You are right on this one. To move straight into the TDG with today’s mindset would mean an early failure to the TDG. We need to teach people a new way. In Chapter 6, I explain how we move from western democracy to the TDG. The TDG needs only 1% of the population to start building it. They would either have the new way as part of their psyche or would be willing to learn it. People with fixed opinions would likely not join — and wreck this movement. As the TDG evolves and proves itself, this new way will become more commonplace.
And yes, I would say 3/4 rule would be a good way to move the USA from western democracy to the TDG. But not now!
Thank you for your great questions.