Is a new political system the only fix for democracy?
For many of the Financial Awakened – the problems in society are stemming from the obvious. There is a political and bureaucratic swamp engulfing the world. They are enriching themselves and their masters, but at the expense of the working middle-class and underprivileged.
There are some who want to drain the swamp. A noble cause indeed. However, what if the swamp cannot be drained?
What if our political system, the Democracy we treasure so deeply – is itself, deeply broken? Broken to such an extent that change is now impossible. Corrupted beyond all chance of repair.
Is it time we had a new form of Government?
This is the theme behind a recent and thought provoking publication by Mr Daniel James Larimer (Dan for short).
For those who don’t know Dan, Dan is a blockchain engineer. He is not just any engineer though. He is the mastermind and builder of the Delegated Proof of Stake (DPOS) concept and protocols.
Dan has been ultimately responsible for 3 generations of DPOS blockchain development. First BitShares, then Steem a popular social media blockchain and now the third generation EOSIO utility blockchain.
Bitshares and Steem were both highly successful in their day, always abuzz with activity.
Currently the two most active blockchains in the world (accordingly to blocktivity) are EOS and Telos – both based upon Dan’s DPOS EOSIO protocol.
I mention Dan’s history to ensure that you fully understand that this is one self-made and HIGHLY INTELLIGENT individual.
Just as important in Dan’s resume however, is his staunch and long time advocacy for individual liberties, free markets, property rights and small government.
In his article titled (perhaps controversially) ‘Can we end riots with a new kind of Government?’, Dan highlights the critical failings of the current political system in the US – which we deem to be applicable to most Western nations.
Dan lists some of the factors responsible to for the failings and these include:
- Gerrymandering, effectively permanently captures a district for a party
- Major parties don’t have to be democratic (or accountable) and make their own rules and they change them every time an outsider (e.g. Ron Paul or Bernie Sanders) threatens the elite’s choice.
- Media and parties control the discussion of who is eligible for masses to consider.
- Incumbent advantage leads to re-election of people with 20% approval rating!
- Campaign finance that favors celebrities and big spenders.
- Debate about people and not about policy.
All valid criticisms of the current political system of course.
If Dan had of left it at that, this would be the end of the discussion. However, in the usual helpful style of any good engineer, Dan has offered the world a potential solution, based around a whole new political system.
Dan has named this system –
Randomized Hierarchical Representative Government
Let us refer to this system as RHRG for short.
Dan outlines the basic process as follows:
- Randomly assign people to small groups (~10 people)
- Each group must select a representative from their members with 8/10 approval.
- Randomly assign selected representatives to small groups (~10 representatives)
Every election season would start with people assigned to different random groups.
Under this process:
- incumbents would have no power as any single group of 10 people could prevent an incumbent from advancing.
- Celebrities have no power because you can only vote for people in your group.
- Identity politics has no power, because you can only vote for those in your group.
- Special Interests have no power, because there are no long-term relationships with incumbents and 8/10 must agree.
- Vote fraud has no power, because how can you cheat a vote of 10 people?
- Political Parties have no power, because you must reach consensus on a representative with 8/10 people.
- Campaign finance has no power, because the only people you have to communicate with are the people in your group(s).
In a country with 100 million eligible voters, each group of 10 could be given 30 days to discuss and reach consensus on a representative and it would take at most 8 months to pick a president and a hierarch of people under them. Each step in the process eliminates 90% of the candidate’s.
The output of such a system would be a form of government which should represent the will of the people (to the extent such a thing exists). The system is neutral with respect to political opinions regarding the size/scope of government. It is neutral to Republican and Democratic opinions. It is neutral with respect to race, money, religion, abortion, war, etc.
What are the benefits of this system?
Dan goes on to discuss historical instances of small group voting for representatives up a hierarchy and the advantages and potential drawbacks of RHRG. As you come here for the Goldsmith Money opinion however – here goes.
Assuming a grassroots movement could gain enough moment to usurp the current democractic system – RHRG would indeed lead to:
- A higher quality of political representative.
- A better majority representation on important issues.
- Lower levels of political interference from unions and other special interest groups.
- Lower levels of media interference in the election process.
- Less power for minority interest groups holding the majority (and sometimes all of society) to ransom.
However, the first drawback to spring to mind what that there could be a loss of continuity, political memory and experience. This could be detrimental to the outcome – particularly in the short term. This disadvantage could be easily overcome by staggering implementation and term commencement.
To his credit – Dan briefly mentioned this above failing and offered a similar solution, along with countering a few more potential criticisms of RHRG.
To conclude, Dan briefly discusses some of the amazing new technologies which could be utilised to ensure the successful implementation and management of this proposed political system.
So does RHRG have merit?
But that does not mean that we do not seek the opinion of other thought leaders in the libertarian establishment.
Mr Douglas Horn, chief architect of the governance enhanced Telos blockchain (mentioned previously) offered Goldsmith Money a technical dissertation on the RHRG proposal.
We will go into the full details of Mr Horn’s review in a followup article in a week or two. In brief though, Mr Horn states.
The tyrannies Dan Larimer mentions in his article about Randomised Hierarchical Representative Government will feel quite tangible to anyone paying attention to American politics of the past century or more.
Mr. Larimer’s excellent treatise on a new look at electoral processes would be better served by proposing that we first show the value of this Randomised Hierarchical Representative Government through other means.
Unfortunately, you will need to wait for the full story.
At the very least… RHRG is worth discussing.
You can find Dan’s full article here on the new blockchain based social media platform – Voice.
Dan states that if we want change ‘the first step is to raise awareness of a new form of representative government.’
We at Goldsmith Money have taken our first step – we have started a conversation and created awareness. The question now – what will you do?
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Be well friends.
Looking for more on politics, try The Political Pendulum – it is sure to put a few political ideologies in perspective.