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In reponse to New Political System for the Information Age Draft #04

NPS is not new

Email: Tue, 18 May 2004 19:02:16 -0500 (CDT)

Clearly you are a deep thinker and worthy to be a decision maker (along with your fellow, well-educated citizens) and a source of valuable proposals in regards to principles of law, but I'm sorry that I don't have time to read your proposal for a New Political System completely. However, on the face of it it seems not fundamentally different to most representative democracy constitutions. The structure of a ruling President, elected Senate and appointed elders or eminent people (Council of Veterans) seems very much like stepping back several hundred years in England, with a ruling King, and elected House of Commons and an appointed House of Lords.

No established democratic constitution is structured around a party political system, yet factions, parties, lobby groups, business people and other eminent people effectively control most if not all governments, regardless of their method of representative democratic election. If the world's democratic governments actually operated in accordance with the best intentions of their constitutions, there would now not be undemocratic control of these governments and we would not be having this conversation.

The "New Political System" is nothing new under the sun. A president shall be no less than 35 years of age, etcetera, etcetera. If this were a truly democratic constitution, the emphasis would be on creating a government of the people, by the people and for the people, instead of facilitating a potential dictatorship. Is the specification of an arbitrary chronological age supposed to make people feel good that the potential president is somehow "qualified" to be president and make all of those legislative and executive decisions on their behalf, or does it merely reflect a fundamental distrust of democracy, believing that, but for that rule, "the people" would surely choose someone utterly unqualified and immature for the post of president?

This system has nothing in common with the direct democratic systems formerly discussed in the Direct Democracy Forum and other DD discussion groups, although one UK participant a few years ago created a proposal also called (New Political System), which was also not really direct democracy, but was rather a geographically hierarchical democracy based on progressively larger geographic areas implementing the democratic decisions of the constituents, who somehow could only exercise their democratic rights through their local group, which then voted at higher levels. Not very useful for a mobile, populace, and despite its name, it was actually a system which strongly opposed using modern information and communications technology to create a genuinely new paradigm of democracy, without representatives.

Lastly, any political system with the name "New Political System" begins on shaky ground, as it communicates nothing about the true nature of the proposed system.

"New" is not necessarily better.
"New" is not even genuinely new.
"New" is usually simply "old" with the word "new" substituted, and rightly deserves the scepticism of any who should have to consider such a proposal.

Ian Green
Direct Democracy Forum

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