Voting is a terrible way to select representatives. Vote for me.

When most people talk about democracy they normally directly equate that with voting. Real democracy is letting the people rule themselves. This is currently what people think voting gives them. It doesn’t. Elections give us an adversarial process, enabled by funding of large parties and lobby groups, which then spills out into the decisions that are made.

Climate change gives us a perfect example of the total failure of this decision making system to deal with an existential threat. Ideologies, party loyalties, the need to get re-elected, lobby groups who fund parties have all prevented the government taking the decisive action on climate change that is required. While scientists have been screaming (in their own subdued way) about the state of the planet this evidence is ignored in the face of electoral concerns.

If we wiped the slate clean, how would we choose to make decisions about our lives and future? Your comments are welcome!

  • Evidence based
  • Transparent process
  • Not based on wealth or other power
  • As unbiased as possible
  • Stop people gaining power over others
  • Ability to change the decisions made
  • Efficient (so we don’t spend all our time making decisions)
  • Not adversarial in nature

The electoral representative system fails on most of these. It might be seen as efficient but, given the current mess we are in, maybe not. Other options could be systems where everyone makes decisions on everything. This would mean spending almost all of our time trying to learn about subjects to make effective decisions them. People have proposed systems like liquid democracy. These fail on multiple of the criteria.

Citizens’ Assemblies which use random selection and deliberative processes give us a much better fit. People have time to consider the evidence. The process is open and subject to review (by other randomly selected people). The random selection prevents people gaining ‘power’ or pushing a set ideology. Stratification in the random selection ensures that those in the assembly represent those that the decisions are being made for. There are no egos to prevent a decision being changed later on. The system is efficient in that not everyone has to learn about every subject, just a representative subset.

Rebooting Democracy will use Citizens’ Assemblies to make decisions going forward. There will be multiple randomly selected bodies, including a group that will set the overall agenda. This group can be petitioned as well, giving access to direct democracy as well.

So to sum up voting isn’t a good way to do things but vote for Rebooting Democracy to fix this!

For the next election we will be standing candidates in all seats and leading up to this in all council seats. Please get in contact if you are interested in standing. It is much easier than standing for one of the usual parties. We have only one policy and none of it has anything to do with personality (since you wont be making or implementing any decision, the people will).

Well worth reading, the book that inspired me about Citizens’ Assemblies and deliberative democracy, Rebooting Democracy by Manuel Arriaga (free on web)

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