The two bastions of western democracy — the UK and USA — seem to be going down quite fast. So far, Canada has resisted this trend. In 2015, we voted out a prime minister who was becoming a little too authoritarian in a right-wing way. The party did replace him with a more moderate fellow with a respect for democracy. So far, we are OK in Canada. But if the two bastions go, Canada might be ripe to be conquered!
In his Foundation series, Isaac Asimov prophecized that democracy has a shelf life of two to three centuries. It eventually falls in on itself and is replaced by an oligarchy of some kind. We just might be seeing that right now. I believe 20% of Americans would prefer a Trump monarchy than allow any more D’s to gain public office. Scary, isn’t it?
So comes the challenge to Medium readers: Should we just write and read about inevitable decline? If I truly believed in this decline, I would not be putting my spare time on internet forums talking about the decline. I would be cashing in my savings, enjoying margaritas on a tropical beach.
Or should we put some effort into reversing this decline?
If you answered “yes” to this question, then I would suspect your proactive psyche will entice you to do one of two things: (1) join activist groups of your political leanings, hoping to bend the will of those overly-ambitious people aspire for public office or (2) join a political party hoping your involvement will better the nature of the political party.
I tried the second route. I was totally ineffective. You will be too. Political parties have an natural instinct for winning elections. Making their society better is only a secondary motivation. For some reason I cannot explain, I have never been interested in the first route.
After many years of civil war, the British adopted an elected parliament in 1688. Many said it would fail, but something worked. Whatever flaws this system had, British citizens had more peace and prosperity than before.
After a small war with the British, the 13 American colonies took that British model and enhanced it. Many said it would fail, and Britain would eventually retake the colonies. But despite the flaws of this new system, something stuck. America has been far better governed under this democracy than the feudalistic model most Europeans were under in 1787. Just look to the former Spanish colonies in the Western Hemisphere. None of them became a world power.
It seems we need war to bring about real democratic change. And that change will be directed by the victors of the war — not by average people.
I say it’s time that we average citizens start building another system before we ever get to that stage of war.
Tiered Democratic Governance is that project. It gets rid of all political parties. With the parties gone, it can starting building a culture of consultation, where decision makers combine their knowledge, experience, and wisdom into one voice. Citizens have respect for the people elected to TDG positions and respect for the decision coming from the TDG.
The best part about this project is that the early TDG builders need only spend five to 10 hours a month on this project to get things started. This is not a big sacrifice into one’s recreational time. But those few hours can change the world.
And the TDG needs only 1% of the population to start this process. Be that 1%!
Be a believer in humanity. We can learn new ways: just like the British in 1688 and Americans in 1787.