Original Posting: New Political System for the Information Age Draft #05
In reponse to A Committee of Lay People - [Bernard Clayson]
Email: Mon, 5 Jul 2004 22:56:47 -0700
How is the Committee of Lay People appointed?
Thursday, 08 July 2004 13:45 Singapore
“Hi Eric,No problem. Yes, I shall remind you, if needed or I shall restore what I believe are the missing relevant parts.
Hope I have not snipped to much out, remind me if I have.”
“I have taken a different line on this, democracy is government of the people, by the people, so the public have a committee that investigate public comments to present them as a 'for' and 'against' so the people can then judge on all opions. (more detail if you want it”
“Yes, I would like to have more details before I comment on your idea here.”
- Enlist members of the public to serve on a committee to present proposals in a 'for' and 'against' format using:a. interested professional (or retired professional) people to act as specialist advisory panels to quantify elements of public proposals.
- present their findings to the public with;a. alternative solutions
b. suggestions on what controls need to be set, and;
c. set revision time limits on the proposed project
- open the discussion to public commentsa. comments 'for' and 'against' should be submitted on a separate papers
- Documents to be presented as:a. proposal detail
b. advantages and potential consequences
c. reassessment period
d. potential costs involved
- public to vote on final document/s.”
“Are you proposing a committee of ‘lay’ people like the jury? ”
“Yes, don't forget their function is not to decide anything, it is to present the publics comments in a formulated way for the people to decide.”How is the Committee of Lay People appointed? Precisely, who appoint them and under what authority? How many of these committees could be appointed at the same time for the same or different issue?
Moreover, from the 5 terms of reference you have stated earlier on (see above), the average lay person would have difficulties to discharge their duties and like the some of jury, it would frequently end up with the 'interested professional' making his 'recommendations' and have them rubber-stamped by the rest of the committee.
“They can only vote on the power of the constituencies opinion (unless they have delegated powers) even then those decisions are logged for the public to judge by, on top of that, every representative (right up to the Prime Minister) can be repremanded/withdrawn by the community that proposed him/her. Move locality and they have to start again (reminder of their origins). Every individual in the system has a deputy i.e. continuous government.”
“Isn’t this precisely the problem? To remain in office or to be re-elected, the Prime Minister must serve his constituents ‘well’ with special benefits and privileges at the expense of the rest of the citizens. This is one crucial reason why Prime Ministers are often elected with large electoral majority.
A Prime Minister’s constituent is in the position to tell the civil servant handling his case that he wants satisfaction from the civil servant failing which he would see the Prime Minister on Monday (or whatever day it is) morning/evening at the meet-the–people-session. This would be scandalous in the NPS.”
“You are overlooking the hierarchy the PM has to climb through to get to that position, he/she has to be elected by his/her peers of that level in order to achieve the next level, and as it would be impossible to serve on all levels (from community, parish, district, county, region, government AND be PM), the obligation to serve on more than three is automatically removed ........... but the qualifying status remains. Hence any attempt to favour ANY sector would automatically find disfavour with the other sectors, and the PM (and MP's) can only act on their constituents vote.”
“Are “his/her peers” fellow MPs or party members whose endorsement for election or political career depends on or benefits from the political party controlled by the PM and his political success? ”
“The 'peers' are the people at the same level, only they know the individuals well enough to decide who is capable of representing them at the higher level, and please note, there are no 'parties' as such in the system.Excellent! We have a very substantial agreement here. Your NPS also envisages a ‘no party’ system.
Each individual is a community chosen person, not a party chosen person, each one has to answer to, and is held reponsible to, the community that chose them.”
However, I still remain unconvinced on one important point. The PM would, in some ways, have to favour or give preferential treatment to the community that ‘choses’ or elect him for the office over the rest of the citizens, if he wants to remain in office or to be re-elected as contrasted to a nationally, directly elected President who would not have such a problem.
“This is one of the reasons I promote public-run systems, official-run systems all favour party promotion because party-people can-be/are manipulated, individuals are bucking a stacked-deck when it comes to competing for office at any level.”Yes, I agree fully with you here. This is the inherent evil of the party-based political systems.
In a ‘no party’ political system, there is no party for promotion by the official. On the other hand, if the system is in fact run by a political party, then the system is not a genuinely ‘no party’ system.
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